The British Raj is a term of history. "Raj" is a word in the Hindi language which means "rule", so "British Raj" means rule by the British in India. This rule was before 1947 and was over parts of what are now four countries, the Republic of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar At that time, these four countries were all part of the British Indian Empire, known at the time as the Indian Empire and sometimes now spoken of as the "British Raj".
1909 Map of the British Indian Empire, showing British India in two shades of pink and the princely states in yellow.
|Status||Imperial political structure (comprising British India, a quasi-federation of presidencies and provinces directly governed by the British Crown through the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Princely States, governed by Indian rulers, under the suzerainty of The British Crown exercised through the Viceroy of India)|
|Capital||Calcutta (1858–1911) |
New Delhi (1911–1947)
|Religion||Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism|
|Government||British Colonial Government|
|Monarch of the United Kingdom and Emperor/Empressa|
|The 2nd Viscount Canning (first)|
|The 1st Viscount Mountbatten (last)|
|Secretary of State|
|Lord Stanley (first)|
|The 5th Earl of Listowel (last)|
|Legislature||Imperial Legislative Council|
|23 June 1757 & 10 May 1857|
|2 August 1858|
|18 July 1947|
|14 and 15 August 1947|
|ISO 3166 code||IN|
The "British Raj" is used to talk of the direct British rule over areas which had been conquered by the British, known as British India, and also the British influence over hundreds of independent "princely states" ruled by their own Indian rulers, under the overall authority of the British crown.
Undivided India is another term which is used to mean the whole area of British rule, but it does not take in Burma, which from 1937 was a British colony on its own. The colony of Aden came under the same government in India from 1858 to 1937, and so did British Somaliland (now part of Somalia) from 1884 to 1898 and Singapore from 1858 to 1867.
British rule in Pakistan and the East Bengal region ended on 14 August 1947, while British rule in the rest of what had been British India ended on 15 August 1947, however the boundaries came into effect on the 18th of that month as two countries.