[Modern History] Reason of Revolt of 1857, Act of 1858 and Act of 1861 (Some Important Provisions)

Reason of Revolt of 1857  = Suppression & exploitation in every aspect 

(1) Turning point after revolt of 1857 = i) end of the rule of raja maharajas (traditional leadership in India). E.g. either they were defeated like Rani Laksmi Bai of Jhansi or surrendered.

(2)Educated Middle class(EMC) – Remained aloof from this revolt. Why ? = Bcoz they had faith in Indian constitution & also they did not want to stop the stream of Moderanization, which had started
with Britishers


e.g. of EMC Raja ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar.

Outcome of 1 & 2 after the revolt of 1857. Power changed from East India Company (EIC) to the crown.

Above mentioned in peshwas – Earlier power was in the hands of court of directors (COD)now power shifted to Board of control(BOC) decision making body by the crown.

But whoever remained in power the suppression always continued. And this was evident by the act 0f 1858 & 1861

Note – Just a passing reference this is happening in modern day politics too

                                                                  
 
 Act of 1858
(1)   End of dual government – From 1757 both the court of directors and the crown  were ruling India. With this Act, only Board of control was the superior and India came under the single command of secretary. That is Secretary of state(SOS) and his members council.
Charles wood was the first Secretary of state. For the first time the ruling of India shifted from Monarchy . As the head of SOS was the member of British parliament and was answerable to the British Parliament

(2)  ICS(Indian Civil Service) Commissioners – 1765 company became a political power in Bengal & this led to the birth of C.C.S by Robert Clive in the same year.
Initial phase of appointment of civil servants was a monopoly of court of directors and hence when the Board of Control took over, the civil servants were still favouring the company court of directors. And hence so reforms by the crown.

(a)   By charter act of 1833 – Talent was declared as the basis of selection, but the real problem still survived as monopoly was still in the hands of Court of Directors.

(b)  Charter act of 1853 declared examination as the basis of selection. Irrespective of race, religion or region & after 1857 Company’s rule was over in India. So British crown due to importance & Relevancy of the service adopted it with the name ICS.

(c)   Role of ICS commissioners – they were responsible for the management & regulation of civil service in India

So, after the act of 1853, civil service was open to everyone but then there were still some tough hurdles to cross.

Tough hurdles like (i) examination centre was only in England

(ii) Latin was a compulsory language iii) horse riding was compulsory

But Satyedra Nath Tagore in 1864 crossed all the hurdles it and became the Ist ICS

(3)   Responsible Government – By the act of 1858, responsible government started in india as it was stated that Secetary of State(SOS) can be sued for his acts in India in this way the head of the state was brought under the ambit of law.

Although the head of state came under the control of law, but in 1858 when majority of the population was illiterate and India was a slave nation, it was not possible for a common man to go against higher authority.

Hence in this way act of 1858 gave promotion to constitutional development in India, but then it also became cause of frustration for educated middle class and the reaction of this class was in promoting to political organization. But the government made a request that after overcoming the challenge of 1857(Sepoy Mutiny) government will provide a new act which led to the becoming of act of 1861.


Act of 1861 (Some Important Provisions) :

(1)   Birth of legislature – Judiciary & executive had already established during time of company. Birth of legislature was the soul of democracy. Its developed form is Indian parliament. It was a good move but it again irritated Indians because  of 2 reasons

(a)  Structure of legislature – the legislature of 1861 was a court of a pre-modern king. There were no powers to the legislature. Term only for 2-years

(b)  There was no legal provision for the entry of Indians in it though in Indian supporters of British Raj were given place in it egg Maharaja Digvijay Singh

(2)  Birth of ordinance – Ordinance is power of government to frame a law, during the absence of parliament, but it cannot turn the government into autocrat because Parliament always has a check on it. This provision had a beginning from 1861, but then there was no check on it, so it generally turned viceroy into autocrat.

(3)   Portfolio system – this means allotment of department to individual ministers. But Indians were not given a single dept. Therefore Act of 1858 was a shock to educated middle class.

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