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Woods, Philip Graham (1993) The Politics of Moderation: Britain and the Indian Liberal Party, 1917-1923. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis has three main foci. The first is an examination of the broader intentions behind the Government of India Act (1919) and the context of these reforms in the longer-term transfer of power in India. The second is the role played by the Indian Moderates within the nationalist movement leading to their defection from the Indian National Congress in 1918. Thirdly, it examines the relationship between the British rulers and the new Indian Liberal Party, both during the making of constitutional reforms and during the period of the first legislative councils elected under the reforms, 1921-23. The working of the reforms is examined from the perspective of both central and provincial legislative politics. At the centre the main issues of controversy between the British and the Indian Liberals were: economic and constitutional matters, law and order issues connected with the Gandhian non-co-operation movement, the political reaction in British policy that took place during 1921-22, the Indianisation of the civil service and armed forces, and the treatment of Indians overseas. The experience of the provincial legislatures is studied, with special attention paid to three provinces where Indian Liberals played a key part in the new Ministries: Bengal, Bombay and the United Provinces. The failure of the Indian Liberals at the elections of 1923 is examined and reasons given for the collapse of the British-Indian Liberal relationship. It is argued that the intentions and the results of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms were more liberal than has generally been recognised. The reforms provided the first steps in establishing parliamentary democracy in India. Though the amount of power that was transferred to Indians was limited, and confined to the provincial level, the level of influence that Indians gained over the policy-making process at both central and provincial levels was considerably greater.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:21

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