How Far Would You Agree with the View That Curzon Made a ‘Colossal Failure’ of His Job as Viceroy.

Topics: India, British Raj, Tibet Pages: 3 (1198 words) Published: February 19, 2012
How far would you agree with the view that Curzon made a ‘colossal failure’ of his job as Viceroy.

It was Curzon’s life ambition to become Viceroy of India, therefore he worked extensively as a young man to ensure that he was prepared for the job should the situation arise that he was given the job of Viceroy. As a boy he studied at Eton and Oxford which would show not only that he gained the level of education expected of someone that would later become Viceroy but also that he represented the traditional view of India being ‘the jewel in the British Empires crown.’ Source D shows that even among the likes of children that studied at Eton and Oxford he was considered to be very arrogant. As a young man Curzon travelled extensively in the East and wrote many books on India and its land frontiers, this knowledge would prove useful for Curzon later on when deciding India’s foreign policy. He also developed a passion for Indian architecture and culture. In order to eventually become Viceroy Curzon had to enter into politics at a lower level and work his way up, initially working as under secretary to the state of India.

During his time as Viceroy Curzon worked extensively to preserve and improve India’s architecture and culture. He spent large amounts of time on working to keep the Taj Mahal in good condition, something which has benefited the countries culture since, but many believed that Curzon paid less attention to other aspects of India that he should have been working on at the same time. Source E states that ‘his example terrorised rather than inspired, his caustic wit devastated rather then delighted. Even the British in India found him quite impossible.’ This quotation suggests that Curzon was very difficult to work with and ignored everyone if he felt his own view was right, a personal feature that became key in one of his biggest failures.

‘Efficiency’ was Curzon’s watchword, one of his main aims was to make the administrative side of India...
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