British India was the area of India in Southeast Asia which for hundreds of years was in the possession of the English and later the British. From the 1600s until 1858 these areas were run by the English East India Company. After 1858 until 1947 they came under the direct rule of the Government of the United Kingdom in London and those it put in charge in India.
After 1876 when Queen Victoria become Empress of India, British India was part of the British Indian Empire, which also included hundreds of Indian princely states which had never been conquered by the British and still had control of their own affairs. These were each ruled by local rulers under the protection of the British. This empire is sometimes called the British Raj.
Provinces[change | change source]
At independence in 1947, British India had seventeen provinces.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Bengal Province
- Bombay Province
- Central Provinces and Berar
- Delhi Province
- Madras Province
- North-West Frontier Province (1901-1955)
- Sind Province
- United Provinces of Agra and Oudh
India was split into Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan. Twelve provinces (Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces and Berar, Coorg, Delhi, Madras, Panth-Piploda, Orissa, and the United Provinces) became provinces within India. Three (Baluchistan, North-West Frontier, and Sindh) were in Pakistan. Two (Bengal and Punjab) were shared between India and Pakistan.
In 1950, after the new Indian Constitution, the provinces in India were replaced by states and union territories. Pakistan kept its five provinces. East Bengal, which was renamed East Pakistan in 1956, became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971.