What are the provinces of British India

Administration in British India



The greatest pearl of the global British Empire was India.

British India, from 1876 the Empire of India, was not only today's India, but also Pakistan, Burma (today's Burma) as well as Aden and some islands off the Arabian coast (Bahrain, Kurian-Murian Islands, Socotra) .

British India was also not a unified territory. It consisted of immediate British territory as well as protective states and protectorates, namely in the end 565 principalities, which, depending on the protectorate treaty, had a more or less pronounced internal autonomy and, depending on their size, either the viceroy (as governor general, representative of the king and the British government) or one of the Provincial governments.

The administration in detail:

The provinces

1. Burma
597 849 sq km (excluding the subordinate protectorates)
12,120,000 inhabitants (1911)
13,212,192 inhabitants (1921), of which 11,172,984 Buddhists, 592,822 pagans, 500,592 Mohammedans, 257,106 Christians

Capital: Rangoon

The province is under a lieutenant-governor.

The province is divided into 8 divisions (administrative districts).

In addition to the immediate British territory, the protectorates are also subordinate to the lieutenant-governor
- Northern Shan states (6 small states under chiefs, main town: Laschio)
- Southern Shan States (26 small states under chiefs)
Due to the division into spheres of interest between China, Great Britain and France, there were other Shan states in China and in French Indochina (Laos)
Northern and Southern Shan States were merged as an agency on October 1, 1922 under the name Federated Shan States; 147,350 square kilometers, 1,440,431 inhabitants)
- Karenni (3 small states: Kantarawadi, Kyebogyi and Bawlake, which had to pay tribute to Great Britain, a total of 9 195 sq km (according to other data: 11 704 sq km, 48 780 inhabitants, 1931: 58 800 inhabitants)
- Pakokku Hill Tracts
- Tschin Hills (chief dynasty)
- Kachin Hills

Burma (formerly Burma, now Myanmar) was an independent and united kingdom for some time before it became tributary to the Chinese Empire in 1769. The first disputes with Great Britain resulted in the first cession of areas of the kingdom to Great Britain in 1826; In the following years more and more relinquishments followed and finally in 1885 the annexation by Great Britain and the imprisonment of the last king of Burma took place. On January 1, 1886, the country was incorporated into the British Empire of India as a province, but as a result of the Government of India Act of 1935 it was again an independent British colony and an independent state from January 4, 1948.

2. Madras (officially: Presidency of Fort Saint George)
368438 qkm (with the subordinate protectorates)
41,410,000 inhabitants (1911)
42,794,155 inhabitants (1921), of which 37,511,234 Hindus, 2,840,488 Mohammedans, 1,361,484 Christians.

Capital: Madras

The presidency (province) is under a governor and an advisory board of 4 members, including 2 Indians. A Legislative Council consists of 98 elected and 29 appointed members.

The presidency is divided into 26 divisions (administrative districts; one of the divisions is the archipelago of the Laccadives), 3 agencies and 5 protectorates.

The protectorates were:
- Travankur (principality under a Maharajah with the capital Triwandram, 19,749 square kilometers, 4,006,062 inhabitants, 2/3 of them Hindu, 1/4 Christians and 1/12 Mohammedans; dissolved in 1949)
- Kotschin (kingdom with the capital Ernakulam; the rajah resides in Trippunithura, 3 831 square kilometers, 979,080 inhabitants, of which 646,132 Hindus, 262,595 Christians and 68,707 Mohammedans; dissolved in 1948)
- Pudukkotai (principality under a rajah with the capital of the same name, 3 054 square kilometers, 426,813 inhabitants; dissolved in 1948)
- Banganapalle or Banagana Palli (principality under a Nawab with the capital of the same name, 660 square kilometers, 32,264 inhabitants; dissolved in 1948)
- Sandur (principality under a rajah, 433 square kilometers, 11,200 inhabitants; dissolved in 1949)

3. Bombay (Presidency of Bombay)
483 903 square kilometers, of which 318 502 square kilometers are directly owned by the British
19,630,000 inhabitants (1911, without protectorates)
26,757,648 inhabitants, of which 19,291,719 are British-owned, 21 million Hindu, 4.6 million Mohammedans

Capital: Bombay

The presidency (province) is under a governor.

The presidency is in 4 divisions (North, Central, South and Sind; from 1935 Sind was a separate province), later in 26 divisions and (1946) 354 protectorates, including:
- Kathiawar (officially: Kathiawar Agency, consisting of approx. 200 small and smallest principalities with a total of 54,365 square kilometers and 2,538,497 inhabitants; the largest principalities of Kathiawar are:
- Dschunagar (Principality under one Nawab, 5,255 square kilometers, 465,493 inhabitants; the Nawab decided to join Pakistan in 1947, but the majority of the population were Hindi, so that for this reason the first Indo-Pakistani war broke out; the last Prime Minister (Dewan ) of the principality was Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, ancestor of the famous Pakistani family of politicians, grandfather of Benazir Bhutto; dissolved in 1947)
- Nawanagar (Principality under a Maharajah, 9,819 square kilometers, 345,353 inhabitants; dissolved in 1948)
- Bhaunagar (principality under a rajah)
- Porbandar (principality under a rajah, 1,663 sq km, 100,000 inhabitants)
- Dhrangadhra (principality under a rajah, 3,022 square km, 94,417 inhabitants)
- Morvi (principality under a rajah)
- Gondal (principality under a Maharajah)
- Jafarabad (principality under a rajah)
- Dhrol
- Dhrafa Thana
- Jalia Dewani
- Baroda (principality under a Gaikwar, 21,191 square kilometers, 2,126,522 inhabitants)
- Kolhapur
- Rewa
- Kanta
- South Marhatta
- Jagirs
- Kaipur
- Palanpur
- Mahi Kanta
- Katsch (principality under a Maharaoh with the capital Chudsch, 21,230 square kilometers, 484,547 inhabitants, including 311,431 Hindus, 110,525 Mohammedans; the Maharaoh shares his power with 137 Bhayad (nobles)).

4. Aden
210 sq km
47,000 inhabitants (1911, excluding the Arab protectorates)
54 900 inhabitants (1921)

British since 1838, previously part of the Arab principality of Lahej.

is subordinate to a resident who is the governor of the presidency of Bombay.

5. United Provinces of Agra and Ondh
280,000 square kilometers
47,180,000 pop.

6. Central Province and Berar
260,000 square kilometers
13,920,000 pop.

7. Punjab
260,000 square kilometers
19,580,000 pop.

8. Bihar and Orissa
220,000 square kilometers
34,390,000 inhabitants

9. Bengal
220,000 square kilometers
45,480,000 inhabitants

10. Balochistan
140,000 square kilometers
410,000 inhabitants

11. Assam
140,000 square kilometers
6,710,000 inhabitants

12. Northwest Frontier Provinces
35,000 square kilometers
2,200,000 inhabitants

13. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
8,000 square kilometers
26,000 inhabitants

14. Ajmer - Merwara
7,000 square kilometers
500,000 inhabitants

15. Coorg
4,000 square kilometers
170,000 inhabitants

16. Delhi
1,440 sq km
390,000 inhabitants






Sources: Westermanns Weltatlas, 5th edition 1922
Meyers Konversationslexikon, editions 1867 and 1924
© December 28, 2007 - April 6, 2008

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