Charter Act 1833

Charter Act 1833
Posted on 10-06-2022

Charter Act 1833: There were two main reasons for passing the Charter Act 1833, firstly the large quantity of material produced after the Industrial Revolution in Britain, which required a large market like India to be consumed, and secondly The reason was the increased demand for raw materials for this industrial revolution. To fulfill both these reasons, this Act was passed. This act made a significant contribution to the formation of a centralized government in British India. The Charter Act is also known as the Government of India Act 1833 or Saint Helena Act 1833.

The important points of the Charter Act are as follows:

  • This act ended the company's monopoly on the trade of tea from China.
  • The Company's rights over Indian territories and revenue were extended for another 20 years. But it was decided that the Indian territories would now be administered in the name of the British monarch, and India now became a British colony.
  • After this act, the Governor-General of Bengal was now called the Governor-General of India. All military, judicial and civil powers were vested in it to govern the Indian territories.
    • It had complete control over the British-occupied Indian territories.
    • Lord William Bentinck became the first Governor-General of India.
  • According to this act, the legislative powers of the governors of Madras and Bombay Presidencies were abolished.
    • The laws made before this act was called regulatory laws and the laws made later were called Acts or Acts.
  • According to the Charter Act 1833, an attempt was made to centralize the British government in India financially, legislatively, and administratively.
    After the passage of this Act, the company was made an administrative body. Earlier the company was functioning as a trading body.
  • Now arrangements were made for the British to come to India, stay and buy land without permission.
  • Along with Bengal, Madras, Bombay, and other occupied territories were also put under the control of the Governor-General of India.
  • After this act, all the taxes would be levied on the orders of the Governor-General and their expenditure would also be at his own discretion.
  • According to this act, only the Governor-General's council would be able to make laws in India and the law-making power of Madras and Bombay was abolished.
  • The strength of the Governor-General's Council, which was reduced from four to three by the Pitts India Act, was again reduced to four. The fourth member was elevated to Law Specialist.
    • The first law expert was Lord Macaulay.
    • A Law Commission was appointed with the spirit of governing, codifying, and reforming Indian law.
  • According to the provisions of this Act, there was a provision to conduct the selection process of civil services through open competition.
    • No Indian shall be deprived of any office of the Company to which he is entitled, on grounds of religion, race, color, or place of birth, etc.
    • Later this provision was abolished due to the opposition of the Court of Directors.
  • Slavery was abolished in India.
    • In 1843, the "Abolition of Slavery" Act was brought in the time of Lord Ellenborough.

After this came the  Charter Act 1853.


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