Modern History Simplified: Learn about Sir Lee warner’s Five phases of British relationship with Indian States.

Sir Lee Warner described the entire relationship between the Indian States and the British power into 5 epochs (phases) in his book- “The Native States of India”. These 5 policies were:
1. Policy of Equality (1740-1765)
  1. The British East India Company was a purely commercial body before 1740.
  2. The French intention of establishing an empire in India forced them to follow the policy of conquest.
  3. The 1st political victory was – ‘Capture of Arcot’ in 1761 by Robert Clive.
  4. After the Battle of Plassey – the British started control over Bengal, Bihar and Odisha and by the ‘Treaty of Allahabad’ the company became the ruling power.
2. Policy of Buffer State (1765-1813)
  1. The Policy of Buffer State emerged as a result of Maratha invaders.
  2. The defensive policy was followed to safeguard their territories and commercial interest in India.
  3. For instance, the Ring Fence Policy of Lord Warren Hastings.
3. Policy of Subordinate Isolation (1813-1857)
  1. By 1797, the two strongest Indian powers, Mysore and Marathas, had declined in power. And the British trading and industry class were looking for new markets to sell their goods.
  2. With the arrival of ‘Lord Wellesley’ (1798-1805) as Governor General, the aggressive policy came into force which is known as Subsidiary alliance system.
  3. Lord Dalhousie followed the policy of ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ to annex Indian Territory.
4. Policy of Subordinate Union (1858-1935)
  1. By the Government of India Act,1858 the power was transferred from company to crown.
  2. Queen Victoria’s proclamation of 1858 announces the abandonment ‘policy of annexure’.
  3. All the Indian States were made uniformly dependent on the British Government and they were considered as having become an integral part of the Indian political system.
5. Policy of Equal Federation (1935-1947)
  1. The Indian leaders were invited to Round Table Conferences.
  2. Every princely state was to enjoy full autonomy in its internal affairs.

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