Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/191

This page needs to be proofread.


WARREN HASTINGS. 187 own words, the Court had resolved to ' stand forth as diwdn, and to take upon themselves, by the agency of their own ser- vants, the entire care and administration of the revenues.' In the execution of this plan, Hastings removed the exchequer from Murshidabad to Calcutta, and appointed European officers, under the now familiar title of Collectors, to superintend the collections and preside in the revenue courts. Warren Hastings, 1772-1785. — Clive had laid the terri- torial foundations of the British Empire in Bengal. ; Hastings may be said to have created a British administration for that empire. The wars forced on him by Native powers in India, the clamours of his masters in England for money, and the virulence of Sir Philip Francis with a faction of his colleagues at the Council table in Calcutta, retarded the completion of his schemes. But the manuscript records disclose the patient statesmanship and indomitable industry which he brought to bear upon them. From 1765 to 1772, Clive's dual system of government, by corrupt Native underlings and rapacious English chiefs, had prevailed. Thirteen years were now spent by Warren Hastings in experimental efforts at rural administration by means of English officials (1 772-1 785). The completion of the edifice was left to his successor. But Hastings was the administrative organizer, as Clive had been the territorial founder, of our Indian Empire. Hastings' Work in India. — Hastings rested his claims as an Indian ruler on his administrative work. He reorganized the Indian service, reformed every branch of the revenue collec- tions, created courts of justice and laid the basis of a police. But history remembers his name, not for his improvements in the internal administration, but for his bold foreign policy in dealing with the Native States. From 1772 to 1774, he was Governor of Bengal; from the latter date to 1785, he was the first Governor-General of India, presiding over a Council nomi- nated, like himself, under a statute of Parliament known as the Regulating Act (1773). In his domestic policy he was greatly hampered by the opposition of his colleague in council, Sir Philip Francis, whom he ultimately wounded in a duel. But in his external relations with Oudh, with the Marathds and with