Evolution of Indian Constitution

 Evolution of Indian Constitution

India's first attempt at democracy was when the East India Company established a limited Administrative and Legislative Reform Before 1857 in 1757. However, this experiment proved to be short-livedafter India achieved its independence with The Indian Independence Act (1947).

Indians first saw a stable form of democracy when the British Raj established the Indian Councils Act 1861, which created provincial and Imperial legislative councils. The purpose of this council was to share power between the colonial master and the colonial subjects, but it was not fully democratic. The council had no elected members. Instead, it was made up of appointed officials, who were either nominated by the Governor-General or elected by local bodies and Indian civil servants. However, the Council of India was not considered to be a fully democratic body because it wasn’t created by and for Indians.

The result of the creation of the Imperial Legislative Council was that this council had a disproportionate influence over lawmaking. The council members represented some of the most prestigious British families in India, including the Bundelas, Todys, Jamindars and Sophias. This gave the imperial legislative council tremendous political power independent from the British colonial government. This naturally led to a disputed Council Act (1906).

The creation of provincial and Imperial legislative councils was only the beginning of a twenty-five year period of Administrative and Legislative Reform Before 1857 in India. Between 1858 and 1912, India was in the process of administrative reform, although it was still quite limited because it was dominated by London.

Administrative and Legislative Reform Before 1857:

India is a vast country with a long and complicated history. Though there were many foreign influences, India is still considered to be at the heart of many religious and philosophical traditions. Indian culture became a major part of the world’s culture too.

It’s impossible to talk about India without talking about its politics and governance too. The million people who believe in one God and speak one language, and are ruled by experts, is a challenge that has always been there.

The impact of the Mughal Empire, which ended in 1757, on Indian politics and governance is well known. The British East India Company came to India when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was ruling the country. The British were keen on gaining control over the vast trading networks through the maritime routes within the Indian Ocean. The British created trading posts in India and slowly started gaining control over the Kingdom of Mysore and the other Rajput kingdoms. In 1757, the British East India Company won a decisive victory at the Battle of Plassey.

The rapid expansion and political instability during this time led to the progressive weakening of the Mughal Empire’s hold on its presidencies and provinces. With the weakening of this ancient empire, many other powers emerged as well – Maratha Empire, Nizam’s Hyderabad State, etc.

Some Administrative and Legislative Reform Before 1857:

Regulating Act,  1773:

This act sought to regulate the civil service, creating a formal examination process to become a member of the clerical staff in one of the lord’s houses.

Pitt’s India Act of 1784:

This act sought to regulate the East India Company’s trade and territories in India but also gave Parliament control over overtaxing.

Education Acts of the mid-nineteenth Century: 

Formally established state education and recognition of both nonconformist schools and universities.

Charter Act of 1793:

This act formally established the National Bank of the United Kingdom and regulated its activities in the United Kingdom to prevent “churning” or manipulation.

Evolution of Indian Constitution-

In the 19th century, India fell into a few distinct groups. The first group was the traditional Hindu society which treated India as an extension of Hinduism. These people believed that all natives of India were Hindus. They did not understand the concept of minority rights. In addition, they did not have many modern ideas, such as the separation of church and state.

The second group was made up of Muslim leaders who wanted to dominate Indian politics by controlling the major religions in India and making themselves more powerful.


This article is an informative and factual blog post about the evolution of the Indian Constitution- Administrative and Legislative Reform before 1857.

The East India Company was centralised and had its head office in London. For administration purposes, it divided the country into smaller territories called Presidencies. Overall, the British achieved their objective of gaining control over a large and profitable trading network. The Company eventually took over the control of all of India from the declining Mughal Empire in 1857, through conquest and treaties, except for certain regions controlled by other Indian rulers.