21. Charles Cornwallis instituted reforms which benefited the company and institutionalized racism
Charles Cornwallis (who surrendered the British Army at Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War) arrived as governor-general of India and initiated reforms which affected company operations both in trade and administration. He removed the Indians from the company’s employ and had the Hindu and Muslim laws translated into English. In 1793 he imposed the Cornwallis Code, which established the British as the top of the imposed class structure which recognized both caste and religious hierarchies. He also changed the means of tax collection on property through a reform called the Permanent Settlement. Landowners were taxed based on the value of the land, whereas previously taxes were based on the income the land produced.
Cornwallis believed the changes would benefit the tenant landholders as much as the land owners, because improvements made by tenants would enhance the value held by the owner. Instead, the Permanent Settlement did the opposite, the landowners were left free to abuse the tenants by claiming for themselves as much of the crops from the land as they wished, since the produce of the land was no longer subject to taxation. Cornwallis led the EIC troops in the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-1792) which further expanded the holdings of the EIC through conquest, and for which Cornwallis was elevated in the British peerage to a Marquess for his success.