Discuss the annexation of Oudh by Lord Dalhousie:
The British relations with the state of Oudh go back to the Treaty of Allahabad in 1765. Right from Warren Hastings, many Governor General advised the Nawab of Oudh to improve the administration. But misrule continued there and the Nawab was under the assumption that the British would not annex Oudh because of his loyalty to them.
In 1851, William Sleesman, resident at Lucknow, reported on the “Spectacle of human mistry and careless misrule”. But Sleeman was against the policy of annexing Oudh. After surreying the situation in Oudh, Dalhousie annexed it in 1851. Nawab Wajid Ali was granted a pension of 12 lakhs of rupees per year. The annexed territory came under the control of a Chief Commissioner.
Dalhousia’s annexation of oudh, the last one among his annexations, created great political danger. The annexation offended the Musilim elite. More dangerous was the effect on the British army’s Indian troops, many of whom came from Oudh.
They had occupied a priviledged position before its annexation. Under the British government they were treated as equals with the rest of the population. This is a loss of prestige for them. In these various ways, the annexation of Oudh contributed to the Mutiny of 1857.