How did the British rule Northeast India?

British wasn't much interested in the Northeast at first. It was pretty much inhospitable, with too many tribes. When British were ruling Bengal in the late 1700s, a famous rebellion known as Mowamoria rebellion (Mutiny) was going on starting in 1769. The then Ahom king had to escape his capital at Gargaon and fled to British territory. He requested the British to help him, the Governor General declined to help him at first. But then persistent begging helped the then king to secure British help and somehow dominated the rebellion. The rebellion lasted till 1805. The political scenario in Assam was pretty much unstable with everyone vowing to become the king, since the then king was quite crazy and did everything to make sure the locals hate him. And all this internal disturbance led to few of the defectors seeking help from the King of Burma. The Burmese came twice and destroyed everything on their path. The king who was just a nominal king with no powers had to run again and entered British territory. The British were angry and decided to arrest the tresspassers. But then the Burmese came and tried to enter British territory in search of the refugee King. Which led to British interference. The British defeated the Burmese and signed the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826. Which led to British annexation of majority of Assam and later all of the North East. The mighty Ahom empire ended in 1826 with the then nominal king becoming a pensioner of the British. British gradually tighten the screws in Assam and the Northeast, like they did with rest of India. Not to mention, British found oil in Makum and Tea leaves in the forest of Upper Assam. Tea became a profitable business for the British, who earlier had to import tea from China.


  • Assam Province was one among major eight provinces of British India. The land was used for tea plantation. It witnessed the Moamoria rebellion.
  • Mizoram and Meghalaya was a part of Assam.
  • Nagaland was annexed to Assam for the ease of Administration by the British.
  • Manipur and Tripura was a princely state.
  • Arunachala Pradesh was kept as a buffer state between India and China.

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