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British Raj

  • India
Imperial political structure comprising
(a) British India (a quasi-federation of
presidencies and provinces directly governed by the
 British Crown through
the Viceroy and Governor-General of India);
(b) Princely States, governed by Indian rulers, under the
 suzerainty of the British Crown exercised through the
Viceroy and Governor-General of India
Flag Star of India
God Save the King/Queen
The British Indian Empire in 1936.
Languages Many local languages
Government Colonial / Empire
King/Queen of the United Kingdom Emperor/Empressa
 •  1858–1901 Victoria
 •  1901–1910 Edward VII
 •  1910–1936 George V
 •  1936 Edward VIII
 •  1936–1947 George VI
Viceroy and Governor-Generalc
 •  1858–1862 (first) Charles Canning
 •  1947 (last)  Louis Mountbatten
Secretary of State
 •  1858–1859 (first) Edward Stanley
 •  1947 (last)  William Hare
 •  Battle of Plassey 23 June 1757
 •  Government of India Act 2 August 1858
 •  Indian Independence Act 15 August 1947
 •  Partition of India 15 August 1947
 •  1937 4,903,312 km² (1,893,179 sq mi)
 •  1947 4,226,734 km² (1,631,951 sq mi)
Currency Indian rupee
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Company rule in India
Dominion of India
Dominion of Pakistan
British rule in Burma
Colony of Aden
Straits Settlements
Today part of
a. Title existed 1876–1948.
c. Full title was "Viceroy and Governor-General of India".
Colonial India
British Indian Empire
Imperial entities of India
Dutch India 1605–1825
Danish India 1620–1869
French India 1769–1954

Portuguese India
Casa da Índia 1434–1833
Portuguese East India Company 1628–1633

British India
East India Company 1612–1757
Company rule in India 1757–1858
British Raj 1858–1947
British rule in Burma 1824–1948
Princely states 1721–1949
Partition of India

The British Raj (/rɑː/; from rāj, literally, "rule" in Hindustani) was the rule of the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The resulting political union was also called the Indian Empire and after 1876 issued passports under that name. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.

This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, when, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (who, in 1876, was proclaimed Empress of India). As a state, the British Empire in India functioned as if it saw itself as the guardian of a system of connected markets maintained by means of military power, business legislation and monetary management. It lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India (later the Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern part of which, still later, became the People's Republic of Bangladesh). At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was already a part of British India; Upper Burma was added in 1886, and the resulting union, Burma, was administered as an autonomous province until 1937, when it became a separate British colony, gaining its own independence in 1948.