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United Provinces of British India

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United Provinces of British India

The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, also known as the United Provinces of British India, was a province of British India that existed from 1902 to 1947. It covered a large area in northern India and comprised the present-day states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and parts of Haryana.


In 1902, the North-Western Provinces and Oudh were amalgamated and renamed the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh by the British colonial administration. The province was formed by joining the previously separate regions of Agra Province and Oudh. Lucknow was the capital of the new United Provinces.

The province was one of the most populous and prosperous in British India. It had a diverse population including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and others. Agriculture was the main occupation, with crops like wheat, rice, sugarcane, and cotton being widely cultivated. Industries included textiles, sugar refining, and mineral production.


The United Provinces were administered by a Lieutenant-Governor appointed by the British government. However, a legislative council with some elected Indian members was established in 1909 under the Marley-Minto Reforms to give Indians a limited role.

The Indian National Congress and other nationalist movements had significant support in the province. Major leaders like Motilal Nehru, Purushottam Das Tandon, and Govind Ballabh Pant came from here. Protests against British rule like the Non-Cooperation Movement were strongly backed.


After India's independence in 1947, the bulk of the United Provinces became the new Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, while the Himalayan hill districts became the new state of Uttarakhand in 2000. The United Provinces left behind a rich cultural, architectural, and political legacy from its time as a key region of British India.