Administration of Warren Hastings

Warren Hastings, the experienced worker of East India Company who had joined the company in 1750 as a Clerk took 23 years to reach the top post of the time.

Prior to that, he had served as a Resident of the East India Company in Murshidabad. In 1761, he was in the British Council of Calcutta, so was well versed with the affairs of India. He had also served as the member of British Council of Madras. In 1773, he was appointed the Governor General of Fort Williams, commonly called as Governor General of India.

From 1772, Warren Hastings had come to Calcutta as Governor of the Bengal Presidency and the regulating act was passed after his arrival. When he left in 1785, the whole course and character of the British Indian History was bearing his impression and his name.

  • The first thing Warren Hastings did was to end the Dual System put forth by his predecessor Clive. When he abolished the system, he cut down the Nawab of Bengal’s Pension to one-half.

One more reason behind this was that the Nawab who was now a pensioner and a titular head was not rendering even a nominal service in respect of the enormous income. This allowance to the Nawab kept fluctuating from the times of Clive to Warren Hastings and it was basically depending upon the personal character.

  • Next step he took was to stop the payments of Tributes to the Delhi Emperor. This was because, the emperor was only a name, and his territories were sacked by Marathas. He said that since the Mughal was now not independent, paying tribute to Mughal would be like paying to the Marathas.
  • The next step Warren Hastings did was to shift the Treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta, thus making it safe in a fortified place.

Since the Marathas had raided the provinces of Kora and Allahabad, Warren Hastings held that now the emperor has no right on these places, and resold them to the Nawab of Oudh.

He strengthened the Nawab of Oudh and closed his frontier against the Maratha Invasions.

By these measures which were purely of financial nature, he was able to better the financial position of the company. He also compelled Raja Chait Singh of Banaras and Beghum of the Nawab to pay contributions. Chait Singh rebelled but was crushed and his nephew was placed at Raja for an increased ransom.

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