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Lord Dalhousie

Lord Dalhousie (James Andrew Broun Ramsay) was the Marquees and 10th Earl of Dalhousie. He was born in 1812 in Scotland. Elected into the British Parliament at the young age of 25, Dalhousie was appointed the governor-general of India in 1847.

In 1849, under Dalhousie's command, the British captured the princely state of Punjab. He also commanded the Second Burmese War in 1852, resulting in the capture of parts of Myanmar. Under his reign, the British implemented the policy of ‘lapse and annexation’ which ensured that if a king did not have any natural heirs, the kingdom would be annexed to the British Empire. Using this policy, the British annexed some of the princely states. The unfair annexation of Oudh made Dalhousie very unpopular in the region. This and other callous actions of the governor-general created bitter feelings among the Indian soldiers in the British Army, which finally led to the First War of Independence of 1857. Dalhousie and the British dismissed this uprising as the 'Sepoy mutiny,' the mutiny of peons.

Lord Dalhousie was an able administrator, though forceful and tough. His contribution in the development of communication - railways, roads, postal and telegraph services - contributed to the modernization and unity of India. His notable achievement was the creation of modern, centralized states.

Lord Dalhousie’s term in India ended in 1856. He died in 1860 at Scotland. A hill-station in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh, has been named after him.

Updated on 20th February, 2016

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