A Sketch of the History of India from 1858 to 1918

A Sketch of the History of India from 1858 to 1918

A Sketch of the History of India from 1858 to 1918

A Sketch of the History of India from 1858 to 1918

Excerpt

In 1858 no one would have denied that India was held by the sword; in 1918 this had ceased to be true. In 1858 the Company's covenanted servants constituted in effect the Government of India; in 1918 appeared a scheme to transfer the Government to popularly chosen hands. In 1858 the control of the Home Government was confirmed and emphasized by the creation of a Secretary of State for India; in 1918 Secretary of State and Governor-General signed the report envisaging the immediate relaxation and the ultimate extinction of that control. These contrasts may serve as a rough measure of the changes that have transformed the Indian problem in the last two generations.

We must not, however, exaggerate the magnitude of these changes. They loom large because they are near to us in point of time. But rightly considered they are the continuation and development of momentous and rapid changes in the period that preceded the Mutiny. In 1858 there were many men still living who remembered the Presidency of Bengal as consisting merely of that province and Behar, the Presidency of Madras as a few strips of territory lying along the Coromandel Coast, and the Presidency of Bombay as some small islands and a little land in Guzerat; men who remembered the days when it was customary to withhold the . . .

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