Friday, July 11, 2008

=> History

British India had three presidencies:

  • Bengal Presidency (Presidency of Fort William)
  • Bombay Presidency
  • Madras Presidency (Presidency of Fort St. George)

Madras Presidency, also known as Madras Province and known officially as Presidency of Fort St. George, was a province of British India with capital at Madras ( now known as Chennai) and included many parts of south India :-

* Tamilnadu

* Kerala : Malabar region

* Lakshadweep

* Andhra Pradesh : Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema

* Karnataka : Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Bellary districts

Map of Madras Presidency (click for enlarged view)

The first British settlement on east coast or the Coromandel Coast was in 1611, at Machilipatnam (Masulipatam). Fort St George in Madras city was erected in 1640. Pondicherry was purchased by the French in 1762.

The population in 1901 was divided into Hindus (3.7 million), Muslims (2.7 million) and Christians (1.9 million). The main languages were Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam Tulu and Oriya.

In 1911 the province was divided into 24 districts: Ganjam, Vizagapatam , Godavari, Krishna, Kurnool, Nellore, Cuddapah, Anantapur, Bellary, North Arcot, South Arcot, Chingleput, Madras, Salem, South Canara, Malabar, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Tanjore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, The Nilgiris, and Guntur.

Five princely states fell under the political authority of Madras Presidency. They were: Banganapalle, Cochin, Pudukkotti, Sandur, and Travancore.

After India's independence in 1947, Madras Presidency was reconstituted as Madras State. In 1953 the Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra regions became the new state of Andhra, and Bellary district became part of Mysore State . In 1956, South Kanara district was transferred to Mysore, the Malabar Coast districts became part of the new state of Kerala , and Madras state, renamed Tamilnadu in 1968 , took its present shape. The northern district of Madras presidency, Ganjam, was transferred to Orissa

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