Modern History Simplified: Government of India Act 1858

Government of India Act 1858

The Act abolished the East India Company and transferred the powers of government, territories and revenue to the British Crown.
It was known as the “Act of Good Government of India”.
Features of the Act
  1. Her Majesty: India henceforth was to be governed by and in the name of, her Majesty.
  2. Viceroy of India: Governor general of India was designated as Viceroy of India who was the direct representative of the British Crown. [Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India].
  3. End of Double Government: The Board of Control and the Court of Directors that were created in Pitts India Act 1784 was abolished. 
  4. A new office called Secretary of State for India, vested with complete authority and control over Indian administration was created. The Secretary of State was a member of the British cabinet. 
  5. Also there was a 15 member Council of India created to assist the Secretary of State.
The assumption of power by the Crown was one of formality rather than substance. It gave a decent burial to an already dead horse—the Company’s administration.
Also the Act did not alter in any substantial way the system of government that prevailed in India. 

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