Notes on End of Double Government, British Takeover of Administration and the rule of law

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a. End of Double Government:

In 1772 Warren Hastings, the new Governor-General abandoned the Double Government and assumed the charge of the administration of Bengal directly.

b. British Takeover of Administration:

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As a result of the Double Government the condition of the administration and of the people of Bengal was rote of destruction and confusion.

The Company’s servants oppressed the people for the collection of as much revenue as possible. Further the private trade of the servants of the Company ruined the economy of Bengal.

The worst result of the Double Government was the Great Famine of 1770 in which one-third of the population of Bengal was wiped out.

In such a situation the collection of revenue gradually declined substantially. The Company’s treasury became empty and it was on the verge of financial bankruptcy.

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The Company’s government could not afford to tolerate the decline in the collection of revenue.

In fact, establishment of law and order and efficient administration was absolutely necessary for higher collection of revenue.

This necessitated the British to take over the administration of Bengal in their own hands.

c. The ‘Rule of Law’:

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‘Rule of Law’ meant that the government in its functioning would abide by law.

The ‘Rule of Law’ also indicates guarantee of personal liberty. Also the concept is based on the idea of equality of all before law.

The British government theoretically wanted to establish the concept of’ Rule of Law’.

Yet instances are not rare to show that the foreign rulers exercised their power in India autocratically.

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Justice could not be obtained by the people from the oppressive British rulers. Nor were all the people treated equally before law.

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