Modern History Simplified: Charter Act of 1833 (St. Helena Act)

Charter Act of 1833 (St. Helena Act)
  1. Reached its peak towards centralisation of governance in British India.
  2. In India, a financial, legislative and administrative centralisation of the government was envisaged:
    1. Governor General of Bengal became the Governor General of India. (The 1st Governor General of India was William Bentick).  Bengal, Madras, Bombay and all other territories were placed under complete control of the governor-general.
    2. The governor-general was given the power to superintend, control and direct all civil and military affairs of the Company.
    3. The Governor General of India had exclusive legislative powers over the entire British India. Thus the Governments of Madras and Bombay were drastically deprived of their legislative powers.
  3. No Indian citizen was to be denied employment under the Company on the basis of religion, colour, birth, descent, etc.
  4. The administration was urged to take steps to ameliorate the conditions of slaves and to ultimately abolish slavery. (Slavery was abolished in 1843.)
  5. Law Making:
    1. A law member was added to the governor-general’s council for professional advice on law-making.
    2. Indian laws were to be codified and consolidated.
  6. Civil Services: An attempt to introduce a system of open competition for selection of civil servants was made. But this move was opposed by the court of Directors. 

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