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James Andrew Broun Ramsay Dalhousie, 1st marquess of

Dalhousie, James Andrew Broun Ramsay, 1st marquess of (dălhōˈzē, –houˈ–) [key], 1812–60, British statesman. After serving as president of the Board of Trade (1845–47) he was governor-general of India (1847–56). He annexed the Punjab (1849) after the British victory in the second Sikh War and lower Myanmar (1852) after the second Burma War. He also expanded British control by peaceful methods, annexing seven princely states on the basis of lapse (i.e., when the Indian rulers left no direct male heirs) and one state, Oudh, on the grounds of misgovernment. At the same time Dalhousie developed public works; planned the railway system, with which began heavy British investment in Indian economic development; encouraged western education; and instituted reforms in Hindu social practices, including authorizing the remarriage of widows. Dalhousie's policy of annexation was a factor in the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, but he must be accounted one of the ablest and most effective governors general of India. He was created marquess in 1849.

See his letters (1910, repr. 1973); biography by W. W. Hunter (1890, repr. 1961); study by M. A. Rahim (1963).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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