Princes and Progress
It is evident that J. S. Mill found the ideas of the empire of-opinion school valuable in expanding his intellectual horizons. But what did this mean for Mill in his employment? The dispatches on education and Jaipur suggest that after his father's death he was willing to seek different solutions to Indian problems. But given Mill's predilection for reconciling new ideas with his old opinions, it is necessary to analyze carefully his use of the ideas of Munro and the others. His lifelong commitment to improvement suggests that at the very least Mill came to believe that British rule must preserve what was good in the Indian political system because this was compatible with progress. 1 There is good evidence, however, that he saw something very positive in the agenda of Munro and the others. As I will show, Mill came to believe that Indian participation in government was an essential component of lasting improvement in that part of the world.
Mill's primary administrative responsibility was the affairs of the hundreds of princely allies of the East India Company. In this chapter, I will explore Mill's political dispatches regarding several states or areas of India during the first twenty years of his administrative career. One group of dispatches concerns Awadh, one of the oldest allies of the British in India. Surrounded by British territories, Awadh's continued internal problems put enormous strains on the policy of indirect rule. A different set of dispatches addresses the turbulent region of Kathiawar, where a myriad semi-independent chieftains raised important issues regarding Indian participation in judicial affairs. Other dispatches on the states of Rajasthan and Satara will be briefly examined since in these regions empire-of-