Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/196

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192 THE FOUNDATION OF BRITISH RULE IN INDIA. 1782, and peace was finally concluded with Tipti in 1784, on the basis of a mutual restitution of all conquests. Warren Hastings retired from the Governor-Generalship in 1785. Marquess Cornwallis, 1786-1793. — In 1786 arrived Lord Cornwallis, the first English nobleman who undertook the office of Governor-General of India. Between these two great names an interregnum of twenty months took place under Sir John Macpherson, a civil servant of the Company (Feb. 1785 to Sept. 1786). Lord Cornwallis twice held the high post of Governor-General. His first rule lasted from 1786 to 1793, and is celebrated for two events, — the introduction of the Permanent Settlement into Bengal, and the second Mysore war. If the foundations of the system of civil administration were laid by Hastings, the superstructure was raised by Corn- wallis. He made over the higher criminal jurisdiction to European officers, and established the Nizamat Sadr Adalat, or Supreme Court of Criminal Judicature, at Calcutta; in the rural districts, he separated the functions of Revenue Collector and Civil Judge. The system thus organized in Bengal was afterwards extended to Madras and Bombay, when those Presi- dencies also grew into great territorial divisions of India. The Bevenue Settlement of Bengal. — But the achieve- ment most familiarly associated with the name of Cornwallis is the Permanent Settlement of the land revenue of Bengal. Up to this time the revenue had been collected pretty much accord- ing to the old Mughal system. The zamindars, or Government farmers, whose office always tended to become hereditary, were recognized as having a right to collect the revenue from the actual cultivators. But no principle of assessment existed, and the amount actually realized varied greatly from year to year. Hastings tried to obtain experience, from a succession of five years' settlements, so as to furnish a standard rate for the future. Sir Philip Francis, the great rival of Hastings, advocated, on the other hand, a limitation of the State demand in perpetuity. The same view recommended itself to the authorities at home, partly because it would place their finances on a more stable basis, partly because it seemed to identify the zaminddr with the landlord of the English system of property. Accordingly,