The 1947 Indian Independence Act

The 1947 India Independence Act was an act that the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed to free British India into becoming India and Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan (now modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh) came into being on August 15th, a little less than a month after the act was passed on July 18th. The line between the two countries was based in religion, with a majority of Muslim people in Pakistan and a Hindu majority in India. Over 18 million people migrated to join the people within their religion and at least one million died from violence on the journey. This was the biggest mass migration in history. There are many historians that debate the reasoning for so much violence and bloodshed after gaining independence. Many argue that it had to do with the slow movement leading up to the act and the fact that tensions between Britain and India only worsened as World War II raged. Many say that the cause was the campaign of civil disobedience and protests, along with the differences between Gandhi, who spoke for much of India, and Jinnah, who spoke for much of Pakistan. It was the promise of the British to leave India in July of 1948, which was then moved forward to August of 1947, which is said to have led to the chaos in the newly formed countries. There was no sufficient plans for the British to partition India when they left the country, and this led to unrest and religious confrontation as the only form of rule they had known had left them. Many issues still plague India and Pakistan to this day, such as the region of Kashmir and who it belongs to.

The National Archives. “The Road to Partition 1939-1947.” The National Archives, 3 Sept. 2019,

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

18 Jul 1947 to 15 Aug 1947

Parent Chronology: