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British Raj

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Indian Empire
British Raj




Flag Coat of arms
God Save the Queen/King
The British Indian Empire, 1909
Capital Calcutta (1858–1912)
New Delhi (1912–1947)
Language(s) Hindustani, English and many others
Government Monarchy
Emperor/Empress of India (1876–1947)
 - 1858–1901 Victoria¹
 - 1901–1910 Edward VII
 - 1910–1936 George V
 - 1936 Edward VIII
 - 1936–1947 George VI
 - 1858–1862 The Viscount Canning
 - 1862–1863 The 8th Earl of Elgin
 - 1864–1869 Sir John Lawrence
 - 1869–1872 The Earl of Mayo
 - 1872–1876 The Lord Northbrook
 - Established 2 August 1858
 - Disestablished 15 August 1947
Currency British Indian rupee
¹ Reigned as Empress of India from May 1, 1876, before that as Queen of Great Britain.
² Governor-General and Viceroy 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 Burma. 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.