504 THE INDIAN EMPIRE [CHAP.
Lord Lord Dalhousie succeeded. The eight years' rule of this
Dalhousie, greatest of Indian proconsuls (I848-56) left more conspicuous
results than that of any Governor-General since Wellesley.
A high-minded statesman, of a most sensitive conscience
and earnestly desiring peace, Lord Dalhousie found himself
forced against his will to fight two wars, and to embark on
a policy of annexation. His campaigns in the Punjab and
in Burma ended in large acquisitions of territory; while Nag-
pur, Oudh, and several minor States also came under British
His ad- rule. But Dalhousie's deepest interest lay in the advancement
1ijostra- of the moral and material condition of the country. His
reforms. system of administration carried out in the conquered Punjab,
by the two Lawrences and their assistants, is one of the most
successful pieces of creative statesmanship ever accomplished
by Englishmen. Lower Burma has prospered under our rule
not less than the Punjab. In both cases, Lord Dalhousie
himself laid the foundations of the administrative success, and
deserves a large share of the credit.
Ilis public No branch of the administration escaped his reforming hand.
works. He founded the Public Works department, with a view to
creating the network of roads, railways, and canals which now
covers India. He opened the Ganges Canal, still the largest
work of the kind in the country; and he turned the sod
of the first Indian railway. He promoted steam communi-
cation with England via the Red Sea, and introduced cheap
postage and the electric telegraph. It is Lord Dalhousie's
misfortune that these benefits are too often forgotten in the
recollections of the Mutiny, which followed his policy of
annexation, after the firm hand which had remodelled British
India was withdrawn. But history is compelled to record not
only that no other Governor-General since the time of Lord
Wellesley had ruled India with such splendid success from
the military and political point of view, but also that no other
Governor-General had done so much to improve the internal
administration since the days of Warren Hastings.
Second Lord Dalhousie had not been six months in India before
Sikh War, the second Sikh War broke out. The Council of Regency
at Lahore was divided against itself, corrupt and weak. The
queen-mother had chosen her paramour as prime minister.
In 1848 the storm burst. Two British officers were treacher-
ously assassinated at MultAn. Unfortunately, Henry Lawrence
was at home on sick leave. The British army was not
ready to act in the hot season; and, despite the single-
handed exertions of Lieutenant (afterwards Sir Herbert)