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India Before 1947

India Before 1947[edit]

  • The British India, was made up of two types of state, the Provinces and the Princely states.
  • Provinces were ruled directly by British officials, either a governor or a chief commissioner, who were appointed by the Viceroy.
  • Princely states were ruled by local , hereditary rulers, who acknowledged British sovereignty in return for local autonomy.
  • British India had 15 provinces: Ajmer – Merwara, Assa, Baluchistan, Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces and Berar, Coorg, Delhi, Madras, Northwest Frontier, Orissa, Punjab, sind and United Provinces.
  • British India had hundreds of princely states, which differed in size, and with wide variation in population.
  • Most of the princely states were under the authority of a British political agent responsible to the governor of a province, but the four largest princely states, Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, and Jammu and Kashmir, were directly under the authority of the Governor – General of India.
  • The Portuguese and the French had territories in India: Portuguese occupied Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, while French and 5 enclaves Chandernagore, Yanam , Pondicherry, Karaikal and Mahe.
  • India and Pakistan, in 1947, divided its provinces and princely states along religious lines.
  • Hyderabad’s Muslim ruler tried to remain independent, but the intervention of the Indian army made Hyderabad a part of India.
  • India and Pakistan contested for control of the princely state of J&K because the state had a Muslim majority, but its Hindu ruler acceded to India.
  • Baroda was the First
  • Sir Pratap Singh Gaikwad, the rule rof the princely state Baroda, was the first to sign the Instrument of Accession to the Union of India.
  • The states of Gwalior, Bikaner and Patiala also signed the instrument on April 28, 1947.

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