Skip to main content

Dalhousie, Marquis of

DALHOUSIE, MARQUIS OF

DALHOUSIE, MARQUIS OF (1812–1860), governor-general of India (1848–1856). James Andrew Bourn Ramsay was born at Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian, Scotland, and graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1833. After his elder brothers and his father died, Dalhousie succeded to his father's title of earl of Dalhousie in 1838. Dalhousie attained high office at a young age (member of Parliament, 1837; House of Lords, 1838; member of the Privy Council, 1843; president of the Board of Trade, 1845). As governor-general of British India, he followed an expansionist policy, annexing the Punjab (1849) and Lower Burma (1852). The First Anglo-Sikh War of 1846 had resulted in the British annexation of Punjab's eastern districts, and Dalhousie annexed the rest of Punjab in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. He supported the brothers Henry and John Lawrence who imposed a tough policy of direct rule on the Punjab. The Second Anglo-Burmese War, which started in 1851, owed its origin to the interests of British traders in the region, which Dalhousie endorsed. In India he curtailed the princely states, whose support seemed to be no longer required after the consolidation of British rule. According to his "doctrine of lapse," states whose princes died without male heirs were merged with British India. This rule was applied to Jaitpur, Jhansi, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Satara, and Tanjore (Thanjavur). Princely "mismanagement" could also be used as a pretext for such mergers, as it did in Oudh in 1856.

When Dalhousie became governor-general, he also held the office of governor of Bengal, as had all his predecessors. He saw to it that the post of lieutenant-governor of Bengal was created in 1854, thus putting an end to this double tenure. Dalhousie had been in charge of railway policy at home and drafted a plan for 5,000 miles of railway track in India when he became governor-general. The first lines started operating when Dalhousie was still in India. The first telegraph line from Kolkata to Delhi was also installed during his period of office, in 1854. His aggressive policies contributed to the outbreak of the Mutiny of 1857, which had to be faced by his successor, but the telegraph line helped to coordinate the British fight against the rebels. Dalhousie was an enthusiastic "modernizer"; subsequent British administrators of India were more inclined to respect the Indian princes and great landlords as "natural leaders of the people" and shelved the doctrine of lapse. The hill station Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh is named for him.

Dietmar Rothermund

See alsoPrincely States

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baird, J. G. A., ed. Private Letters of the Marquess of Dalhousie. 1910. Reprint, Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972.

Das, M. N. Studies in the Economic and Social Development of Modern India: 1848–1856. Kolkata: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay, 1959.

Lee-Warner, William. The Life of the Marquis of Dalhousie. 1904. Reprint, Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Dalhousie, Marquis of." Encyclopedia of India. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Feb. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Dalhousie, Marquis of." Encyclopedia of India. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 16, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dalhousie-marquis

"Dalhousie, Marquis of." Encyclopedia of India. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dalhousie-marquis

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.