History of Bhutan 1910-1968

Bhutan 1772-1910

In 1772-1773 a British East India force occupied Cooch Behar, expelling the Bhutanese garrison. Bhutan requested military aid from TIBET, of which it was a vassal. The Panchen Lama however revoked any Tibetan claim over Bhutan. The head of the Bhutanese THEOCRACY, the DRUK DESI, in 1774 signed a peace treaty with the EIC. There were several EIC diplomatic missions and some limited trade in the late 18th century. In 1841 the EIC annexed disputed territory on the border of Assam. In the wake of the SEPOY REBELLION, the EIC declared bankrupcy and was succeeded by the British Crown. A British-Bhutanese war in 1864-1865 ended in a British victory and the annexation of some territory by Britain.
Bhutan repeatedly saw power struggle, in the 1860es and again in the 1870es. In 1907 the British interfered in such a power struggle and aided UGYUN WANGCHUCK in establishing a HEREDITARY MONARCHY, thus ending the century-old theocracy.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Bhutan
REFERENCE Article : Bhutan, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 p.394, 1898 pp.393-394, 1901 pp.452-453, 1905 pp.490-491, 1910 p.650 [G]

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First posted on May 20th 2002, last revised on April 23rd 2007

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