Charter Act of 1793

The Charter Act 1793, or commonly the East India Company Act 1793 was passed by the British Parliament to renew the Charter of the East India Company, which authorized the company to carry on their monopolistic trade in India for the next 20 years, which was earlier given to it by the Regulating Act in 1773. 

Charter Act 1793 ensured the continuance of the company's rule over British possessions in India. The Act made only minimal changes to the system of governance in India or the British oversight of the company's activities. 

According to this Act, the Charter of the Company was renewed for 20 years and it was declared that it would be allowed to continue with the possession of all territories for the next 20 years. 

A regular code of all regulations was framed that could be enacted for the internal Government of the British territory in Bengal.

The regulation applied to the rights, persons and property of the Indian people and it bound the courts to regulate the decisions by the rules and regulations.

Thus, this Act laid the foundation of government by written laws and regulations in British India in place of the personal rule of the past rulers.

Features of Charter Act of 1793:
  • This Act continued the company’s rule over the British territories in India.
  • It continued the company’s trade monopoly in India for another 20 years.
  • The Act implied that the company's political actions were conducted on behalf of the British government by stating that "acquisition of sovereignty by Crown subjects is on behalf of the Crown and not in its own right."
  • The royal approval was mandated for the appointment of the governor-general, governors, and the commander-in-chief.
  • Individuals and the Company personnel were permitted to trade in India under the Company's license, which granted a monopoly to the Company over the trade in India. This was known as 'country trade' or 'privilege'. This also led to shipments of opium to China.
  • The East India Company was obligated to pay the British government five lakh pounds annually after paying essential expenses, dividends, salaries, interest, and other charges from the Indian revenue.
  • The corporation was given permission to raise its dividends to 10%. Now, the Governor-General has more power. He might, in some cases, defy the verdict of his council. He also received authority over the rulers of Bombay and Madras. The Madras and Bombay governors had less power when the Governor-General was in those cities.
  • If the Governor General is absent from Bengal, he could anytime appoint a Vice President from among the civilian members of the Council.
  • The revenue administration was now separated from the judicial functions, resulting in the abolition of the Maal Adalats, or the revenue courts.
  • Members of the Home Government were supposed to be paid out of Indian revenue, a practice that continued until 1919.
  • The composition of the Board of Control changed. It was now to consist of a President and two other junior members who need not be members of the Privy Council.
  • The salaries of the staff and the Board of Control were also now charged to the company.
  • Senior company officials were now banned from leaving India without prior permission. If they did so, it would have been considered a resignation.

MCQ Practice:

01. The Charter Act of 1793 was enacted to renew the charter of which company?
  1. British East India Company
  2. Dutch East India Company
  3. French East India Company
  4. Portuguese East India Company

02. The renewed charter granted by the Charter Act of 1793 was valid for how many years?
  1. 10 years
  2. 20 years
  3. 30 years
  4. 50 years

03.  Which major Indian presidencies were maintained by the Charter Act of 1793?
  1. Bengal, Madras, Bombay
  2. Delhi, Agra, Lucknow
  3. Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai
  4. Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune

04. The Charter Act of 1793 introduced reforms in the governance of which region?
  1. British West Indies
  2. British North America
  3. British territories in India
  4. British Africa

05. According to the Charter Act of 1793, what powers did the Governor-General possess?
  1. Veto power over Council decisions
  2. Sole authority over revenue matters
  3. Power to dissolve the British Parliament
  4. Authority to appoint bishops in India

06. The Charter Act of 1793 regulated trade by allowing free trade to which group of individuals within India?
  1. British citizens
  2. Indian merchants
  3. Dutch traders
  4. French settlers

07. The Charter Act of 1793 prohibited the company officials from engaging in what activity?
  1. Military service
  2. Private trade
  3. Religious activities
  4. Political campaigns

08. According to the Charter Act of 1793, who had the power to introduce laws and regulations for the territories in India?
  1. British monarch
  2. East India Company shareholders
  3. Indian princely states
  4. Governor-General and Council

09. The Charter Act of 1793 marked the beginning of regular censuses in India for which purpose?
  1. To collect demographic data
  2. To enforce taxation
  3. To determine land ownership
  4. To plan military recruitment

10. In which year was the 1st time Charter enacted?

  1. 1791
  2. 1792
  3. 1793
  4. 1794
11. The Charter Act of 1793 was a significant step in the evolution of the governance of British India. What did it emphasize regarding local governance?
  1. Increased centralization
  2. Autonomy for local regions
  3. Appointment of Indian officials in key positions
  4. Privatization of administrative functions

12. What was the key aim of the Charter Act of 1793 regarding the appointment of key officials in India?
  1. Encouraging nepotism
  2. Ensuring British-only appointments
  3. Increasing local representation
  4. Allowing Indian officials to be appointed

13. The Charter Act of 1793 brought about significant changes in the functioning of which of the following organizations?
  1. British Parliament
  2. East India Company
  3. British Army
  4. Indian National Congress

14. The East India Company was obligated to pay the British government ___________ pounds annually after paying essential expenses, dividends, salaries, interest, and other charges from the Indian revenue.
  1. 5 Lakh
  2. 50 Thousands
  3. 4 Lakh
  4. 5 Crore 

15. In Charter Act of 1793, the corporation was given permission to raise its dividends to ________%.
  1. 5%
  2. 7%
  3. 15%
  4. 10%

16. The Act during the regime of East India Company responsible for paving the way for shipment of opium to China is:
  1. Charter Act, 1813
  2. Act of Settlement, 1781
  3. Charter Act, 1793
  4. Pitts India Act, 1784 


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