BRIEFLY EXPLAIN WELLESLEY’S POLICY OF EXPANSION (150 WORDS)
INTRODUCTION : A brief introduction to Wellesley
BODY : Speak about Wellesley’s policy of expansion
CONCLUSION : A short conclusion
Lord Wellesley (as Governor General) came to India in 1798 at a time when the British were locked in a life and death struggle with France all over the world. Lord Wellesley decided that the time was ripe for bringing as many Indian states as possible under British control.
To achieve his political aims, Wellesley relied on three methods i.e.
The system of Subsidiary Alliances;
Outright wars; and
Assumptions of the territories of previously subordinated rulers.
Wellesley wanted to expand the British dominions in India to such an extent that it should become the sovereign power in India.
His expansionist mind would not remain content with the British remaining one of the powers in India, as such, he set himself to the task of converting India into an empire of Britain.
Another aim, which was ancillary to his main objective, was the removal of French influence from India and to make the possibility of French territorial expansion of India impossible.
Under him the British East India Company adopted a non-interventionist policy of subsidiary alliance, assumption of the territories of previously subordinated rulers and outright wars.
Under the Subsidiary Alliance System used by Lord Wellesley, every ruler in India had to accept to pay a subsidy to the British for the maintenance of the British army. In return, the British would protect them from their enemies which gave British enormous expansion.
The system was extremely advantageous to the British. They could now maintain a large army at the cost of the Indian states.
The system of subsidiary alliance enabled them to fight wars far away from their own territories since any war would occur in the territories either of the British ally or of the British enemy.
They controlled the defence and foreign relations of the protected ally, and had a powerful force stationed at the very heart of his lands, and could, therefore, at a time of their choosing, overthrow him and annex his territories by declaring him to be ‘inefficient’.