Charter Act of 1813

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Napoleon Bonaparte had put in place the Berlin decree of 1806 & Milan Decree of 1807 forbade the import of British goods into European countries allied with or dependent upon France, and installed the Continental System in Europe.

These circumstances posed hardships to British traders, and they demanded entry to the ports of Asia and dissolve the monopoly of the East India Company. But the East India Company clamored that its political authority and commercial privileges cannot be separated. The controversy was later resolved by allowing all the British merchants to trade with India under a strict license system.

The East India Company Act 1813, also known as the Charter Act of 1813, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which renewed the charter issued to the British East India Company, and continued the Company’s rule in India.

Company’s trade monopoly was continued for a further 20 years. The Company’s charter was next renewed by the Charter Act of 1833.

PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

The Act expressly asserted the Crown’s sovereignty over British India. The charter act of 1813, for the first time explicitly defined the constitutional position of the British territories in India.

This act regulated the company’s territorial revenues and commercial profits. The company debt was to be reduced and dividend was fixed @10.5% per annum.

This act also empowered the local governments to impose taxes on the persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The Company’s commercial monopoly was ended, except for the tea trade and the trade with China. Reflecting the growth of British power in India,

This act also made provisions to grant permission to the persons who wished to go to India for promoting moral and religious improvements. (Christian Missionaries)

The power of the provincial governments and courts in India over European British subjects was also strengthened.

Financial provision was made to encourage a revival in Indian literature and for the promotion of science.

There was also a provision that Company should invest Rs. 1 Lakh every year on the education of Indians.

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