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This article is about the rule of the British Crown from 1858 to 1947 over the Indian Subcontinent.. For the previous rule of East India Company which existed from 1757 to 1858, see Company rule in India.
"British Empire in India" redirects here. For other uses, see British India (disambiguation).
"Indian Empire" redirects here. For other Indian empires, see History of India.

The British Raj (rāj, meaning "rule" in Hindi) was British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. The term can also refer to the period of dominion. The region under British control—commonly called India—included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom as well as the princely states ruled by individual rulers under the paramountcy of the British Crown. The region was less commonly also called British India or the Indian Empire. The Empire of India was officially created by the Tory Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli for Queen Victoria in 1876, so that she wouldn't feel upstaged by the Emperors of Germany and of Russia. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.

The system of governance was instituted on June 28, 1858, when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (and who, in 1876, was proclaimed Empress of India), and lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into five sovereign dominion states: the Union of India (later the Republic of India), the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern half of which, still later, became the People's Republic of Bangladesh), the Dominion of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and Sikkim (now a province of India). At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was already a part of British India; Upper Burma was added in 1886, and the resulting union, Burma, was administered as an autonomous province until 1937, when it became a separate British colony, gaining its own independence in 1948 as British Mayanmar Burma.


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