British Raj

(Redirected from British Indian Empire)

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The British Indian Empire in 1936
The British Indian Empire in 1936
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Common languagesTemplate:Hlist (official, Urdu from 1857. Hindi added from 1900) Indian languages</td></tr>
Monarch of the United Kingdom and Emperor/Empressa </td></tr>
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Viceroy and Governor-Generalc </td></tr>
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Secretary of State </td></tr>
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LegislatureImperial Legislative Council</td></tr>
History </td></tr>
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CurrencyIndian rupee</td></tr>
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Today part of23x15px Bangladesh
23x15px China (disputed)
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  1. Title existed 1876–1948
  2. Full title was "Viceroy and Governor-General of India"

The British Raj is a term of history. "Raj" is a word of Indian languages which means "rule", so "British Raj" means rule by the British in India. This rule was before 1947 and was over parts of what are now four countries, the Republic of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar At that time, these four countries were all part of the British Indian Empire, known at the time as the Indian Empire and sometimes now spoken of as the "British Raj".

The "British Raj" is used to talk of the direct British rule over areas which had been conquered by the British, known as British India, and also the British influence over hundreds of independent "princely states" ruled by their own Indian rulers, under the overall authority of the British crown.

Undivided India is another term which is used to mean the whole area of British rule, but it does not take in Burma, which from 1937 was a British colony on its own. The colony of Aden came under the same government in India from 1858 to 1937, and so did British Somaliland (now part of Somalia) from 1884 to 1898 and Singapore from 1858 to 1867.

British rule in Pakistan and the East Bengal region ended on 14 August 1947, while British rule in the rest of what had been British India ended on 15 August 1947, however the boundaries came into effect on the 18th of that month as two countries.

Jammu and Kashmir, like the other princely states, had not been under direct British rule. India and Pakistan have gone to war over this area, and it is now divided between them.


  1. Interpretation Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 63), s. 18.