IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > D. South and Southeast Asia, 1500–1800 > 1. India, 1500–1800 > 1780–84
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Provoked by this action, Haidar Ali, with French help, attacked the British in the Carnatic but was defeated at Porto Novo (1781) and died (1782); the Second Anglo-Mysore War, continued by his son, Tipu Sultan, was terminated when French aid was withdrawn.  1
PITT'S INDIA ACT, in an endeavor to check territorial expansion, forbade interference by the East India Company in native affairs or declaration of war except in case of aggression and made the company's directors answerable to a board of control appointed by the crown.  2
Lord Cornwallis (after a 20-month interregnum of Sir John MacPherson) became governor-general and commander in chief, with power to overrule his council. Under injunctions to preserve peace, he made administrative reforms: company officers given adequate fixed salaries and their private trade eliminated; separation of administrative from commercial branches of service.  3
Tipu attacked Travancore, opening the Third Anglo-Mysore War; Cornwallis allied himself with the peshwa and the nizam, and Tipu was defeated and forced to cede half his territory, paying a large indemnity (March 19, 1792).  4
The Sanskrit College was established at Benares by Jonathan Duncan.  5
Cornwallis's Code inaugurated substantial reforms. The Permanent Settlement stabilized the revenue system by fixing the assessment in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa (and Benares Province, 1795) with collection through zamindars (large landlords) (zamindari system), but failed to check the latter's exploitation of the peasantry; it also effected ruthless sale of zamindar rights in case of default and closed the way to later reassessments, thereby eventually causing great financial loss to the government. The judicial system was reshaped on the British model but with a paucity of courts. Indians were excluded from all higher posts. Zamindars were left only revenue duties, their magisterial and police functions being transferred to European district judges and Indian police (darogas).  6
In the Madras presidency a careful survey along the lines of local practice led to a system of direct levy (periodically reassessed) from the ryot (peasant), later extended to Bombay presidency (ryotwari system); in the Northwest and Central Provinces, somewhat later, a third type of revenue settlement, the mahalwari system, was introduced, collecting revenue through villages or estates.  7
Meanwhile the principal Maratha leader, Mahadaji Sindhia (d. 1794), assumed protection of the emperor, reclaimed Delhi, and extended his power in northern India.  8
Sir John Shore, governor-general.  9
Ceylon conquered from the Dutch and administered jointly by the East India Company and the crown until 1802, the latter assuming full responsibility thereafter. (See India, 1800–1914)  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.