Avadh (also Awadh; Devanagari: अवध, avadha, in British India officially Oudh, besides also more than Oundh or Oude known) is a region in northern India and occupies about a third of the state of Uttar Pradesh. In this region, there was until 1856 a princely state with its capital Lucknow which is the capital of Uttar Pradesh today. In this region has its own dialect of Hindustani called Avadhi is spoken.

As an early precursor of this princely state applies the Kingdom of Kosala with its capital at Ayodhya. The name " Avadh " appears only in the 15th century.

The Mughal Empire

1722 Saadat Khan was appointed Nawab and resided initially in Faizabad. He took advantage of the growing weakness of the Mughal Empire to establish their own dynasty.

Due to the diminishing importance of Delhi was a major center for Avadh art, literature and religious life in northern India. The Nawabs, who were Persian Shiites, did himself as a promoter of cultural life. During this period, Urdu was always more important than everyday language, although Persian was still the predominant language for most official occasions.

Avadh was considered a " breadbasket of India " and also had an important strategic position in the Doab, the fertile plain between the rivers Ganges and Yamuna. It was big and rich enough to preserve in the second half of the 18th century its independence against the Marathas and Afghans. Under the third Nawab, Shuja -ud- Daula, it came into conflict with the British, when he granted the fugitive Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim support. In the battle of Buxar its 40 000 -strong army was defeated by the troops of the British East India Company, which had a magnitude of only 7072 men, decisive and had to cede parts of his territory and afford high penalties. 1773 a British Resident was appointed, who had the superintendence of the princely state and agreed to the stationing of British troops and the assumption of the costs for this. From a direct annexation saw the East India Company, since they did not want a conflict with the Marathas and the remnants of the Mughal Empire at this time, and also in this phase at all was still unwilling to have too extensive areas under costly state administration.

1773-1774 led the Nawab with the help of the Rohilla war in consequence he annexed Rohilkhand.

In 1798, the fifth Nawab Wazir Ali Shah made ​​both unpopular with his people as well as the British, and was forced by Governor General John Shore to resign. The British installed Saadat Ali Khan as a puppet ruler who ceded them half his territory and his troops disbanded in favor of a very expensive guided by the British professional army. This Avadh was effectively a British protectorate, but under theoretical supremacy of the Mughal emperor.

Under British rule

This with Saadat Ali Khan 1801 contract concluded brought the East India Company a lot, particularly as they accessed repeatedly against subsidized loans on government revenues. To the west Avadh acted as a buffer state. The Nawabs degenerated into symbolic figures who surrounded himself with pomp and circumstance, but had little influence on affairs of state. However, the British mid-19th century were increasingly dissatisfied with this state and wanted to bring the territory under direct control. A pretext was provided by the extravagant and extremely costly lifestyle of Nawabs.

1856 Avadh was annexed assumed under a Chief Commissioner. The area became a British province under the administration of James Outram and Henry Lawrence. This led reforms that limited the power of the large landowners. The Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was arrested and exiled to Calcutta. This was a crucial trigger of the uprising of 1857, which currently stationed in Awadh troops played a key role. The British took eighteen months to retake Avadh and it was in this area, the most extravagant cruelties committed as the massacre at Kanpur.

After the suppression of the rebellion, the leader of the revolt fled to Nepal. Among them was the fourteen- year-old Birjis Qadr, the son of the last Nawabs. Oudh (as the Brits now officially called ) became a province of the now Empire India. 1877, the function of the Governor NWFP to Agra was merged with that of the Chief Commissioners of Oudh, 1902, the two provinces were merged formally under the name of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. For these United Provinces of the present-day state of Uttar Pradesh has emerged.