DMPQ: . Explain the role of doctrine of lapse and doctrine of escheat in the formation of British empire. (HISTORY )

:  The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy devised by Lord Dalhousie, who was the Governor General of India between 1848 and 1856. There was a widespread custom of adoption among the Indian kings to secure an heir in the absence of a natural successor i.e. son. But as per the doctrine of lapse any Indian state created by or under the direct influence (paramount) of the British East India Company , as a vassal state under the British Subsidiary System, would automatically ―lapse‖ or annexed by the British if the ruler was either incompetent or died without a natural male heir.By applying the doctrine of lapse, Dalhousie annexed the States of Satara (1848 A.D.), Jaipur (1849 A.D.), Sambhalpur (1849 A.D.), Bahat (1850A.D.), Udaipur (1852 A.D.), Jhansi (1853 A.D.), and Nagpur (1854 A.D.).

Escheat is a common law doctrine that transfers the property of a person who died without heirs to the crown or state. It serves to ensure that property is not left in “limbo” without recognized ownership

Hence both the doctrine were the instrument used by the Britishers to increase the area under the British empire. It was a tool developed which appears to be benign but was an offensive policy.

 

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