Britain's Indian empire

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  • Intro

    In 1858, following the 1857 Uprising, the government of India came under direct control of the Crown and the East India Company was wound up. Queen Victoria issued a proclamation for her Indian subjects “to enjoy equal protection of the law”, granting them equality of citizenship, at least on paper.

     

    Twenty years later, Prime Minister Disraeli initiated an Act of Parliament, which elevated Queen Victoria to the position of Empress of India, strengthening the bond between both countries. All British monarchs held the title until 1947 when imperial rule in India ended.

     

    These two cartoons from the satirical magazine Punch illustrate contemporary views of the change in administration of its Indian colony.

     

    Shelfmark: RB.31.b.249

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