Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Doctrine of Lapse:

1)Dalhousie also took advantage of every opportunity to acquire
territory by peaceful means.

2) The East India Company was rapidly
becoming the predominant power in India. It had concluded alliances
with Indian rulers. It promised to support them and their heirs in return
for various concessions. Although this type of agreement favoured the
British, Dalhousie sought to acquire even more power.

3)According to the
Hindu Law, one can adopt a son in case of no male heir to inherit the
property. The question arose whether a Hindu ruler, holding his state
subordinate to the paramount power, could adopt a son to succeed his
kingdom. It was customary for a ruler without a natural heir to ask the
British Government whether he could adopt a son to succeed him.

4)According to Dalhousie, if such permission was refused by the British,
the state would “lapse” and thereby become part of the British India.

5)Dalhousie maintained that there was a difference in principle between
the right to inherit private property and the right to govern. This principle
was called the Doctrine of Lapse.

6)The Doctrine of Lapse was applied by Dalhousie to Satara and it
was annexed in 1848.

7)Jhansi and Nagpur were annexed in 1854. As a result of these annexations, a large part of the Central Provinces came under the British rule.

8)The new province was governed by a Chief
Commissioner from 1861.
Although the Doctrine of Lapse cannot be regarded as illegal, its
application by Dalhousie was disliked by Indian princes.

9)The advantages
of the annexations of Satara, Jhansi and Nagpur were substantial to the

10)Dalhousie was blamed for using the Doctrine of Lapse as an
instrument in pursuing his policy of annexation.

11)After the Mutiny of 1857,
the doctrine of lapse was withdrawn.

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