History Notes Part XIV – Modern India – British Rule (Static GK Material for Competitive Exams)

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The English, East India Company, Robert Clive, Murshil Ali Khan, Shujauddin, Sarfaraz Khan, Siraj-ud-daula, Battle of Plassey, Alivardi Khan, Mir Jafar, Mir Qasim, Dual Government of Bengal, Shah Alam II, Important History notes, Lucent G.K. material for History, Farrukh Siyar, History Notes, History Notes for Competitive Exams, One Liners for History.

East India Company and British Rule

To establish themselves in India the British East India Company has to face Dutch and French opposition. Dutch and French were the main contestants for political supremacy over India.
British were successful in destabilizing the Dutch and French and soon the company expanded their functions into political ambition.

Robert Clive

  • Robert Clive was a British officer and privater who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal.
  • He led the forces in the Carnatic Wars between French and the English.
  • He finally defeated the French in Battle of Wandiwash to gain control over South India.

Murshil Quli Khan (1717-1727)

  • In 1717, Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar appointed Murshid Quli Khan as Bengal’s Subedar. He was also known as Mohammad Hadi.
  • Murshid Quli khan was the first Nawab of Bengal, serving from 1717 to 1727.
  • He was also appointed as Subedar of Orrisa.
  • Murshid Quli Khan transferred the Capital of Bengal from Dacca to Murshidabad.

Shujauddin (1727-1739)

  • He was son-in-law of Murshid Quli Khan.
  • After the death of Murshid Quli Khan in 1727 he ascended to the throne of the Nawab.
  • He was the Subedar of Odisha with Alivardi Khan as his Deputy.
  • Murshid Quli Khan nominated his grandson Sarfaraz Khan, son of Shujauddin to the throne.
  • With the help of Alivardi and Haji and support from Mughal emperor Muhhammad Shah, Shujauddin established himself as the second Nawab of Bengal.

Sarfaraz Khan (1739-1740)

  • He was the son of Shujauddin and was murdered by Alivardi Khan, the Deputy Governer of Bihar in 1740.

Alivardi Khan

  • In 1740, in battle of Giria, Alivardi Khan defeated and killed Sarfaraz Khan and took the control of Bengal and Bihar.
  • Orissa also came under control of Alivardi Khan. He legalized his usurpation by receiving a farman from Muhammad Shah by paying him 2 crore.

Sirajuddaula Khan (1739-1740)

  • Sirajuddaula was the grandson (daughter’s son) of Alivardi Khan.
  • Alivardi Khan nominated his grandson as his heir since he had no sons. In mean time East India Company started constructing fortifications at Calcutta which was against the policies and terms of trade.
  • Sirajuddaula took prompt actions and occupied English factory at Kasimbazar.
  • On 20th June 1756, Fort William surendered but Robert Clive recovered Calcutta. In 1757, Treaty of Alinagar was signed in which Siraj-ud-daula conceded all demands.
  • The Battle of Plassey was fought on 23rd June 1757 in which Nawab was defeated.

Battle of Plassey

  • Battle of Plassey was fought between the East India Company and Nawab of Bengal Siraj-ud-daula.
  • With the help of Nawab’s Uncle, Mir Jafar, officer in charge of Calcutta, Manikchand, Sikh merchant Amichand, Jagat Seth, biggest banker of Bengal and Khadim Khan, Commander of Nawab’s troops, Siraj-ud-Daulah was betrayed.
  • Battle of Plassey established British Supremacy in Bengal and Mir Jafar became the first Nawab of Bengal under British influence.

Mir Jafar

  • Mir Jafar betrayed Siraj-ud-Daula, the previous Nawab of Bengal to become the next Nawab.
  • He granted the East India Company undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • Also the British merchants were freed from any taxes on their private trade.
  • Mir Jafar soon discovered that it was impossible to meet all the demands of the British East India Company.
  • Company began to criticize the Nawab for his in capacity in fulfilling their expectations.
  • Mir Jafar was forced to abdicate in favour of his son-in-law, Mir Qasim.

Mir Qasim (1760-1764)

  • He was put on the throne of Murshidabad by the East India Company. Mir Qasim ceded Burdwar, Chhitagong and Midnapore.
  • He shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger.
  • The Indian merchants had to pay taxes whereas the British were exempted from taxes on their private trade.
  • Moreover East India Company’s servants illegally sold the dastak or free duty passes.
  • These practices deprived the Nawab of very important source of revenue when he needed it the most.
  • Mir Qasim revolted against this but after been defeated by British, he fled to Awadh.
  • In Awadh he formed a confederacy with Awadh ruler Shujauddaula and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II to recover Bengal ffrom the English.
  • In 1764 Mir Qasim, Shujauddaula and Shah Alam II were defeated by Munro in the Battle of Buxar.
  • Shah Alam II joined the English and concluded peace with them, Shujauddaula fled to Rohila Khand and Mir Qasim disappeared.
  • Mir Jafar was again placed on the throne.

Dual Government of Bengal (1765-1772)

  • Dual Government of Bengal was the brain child of Clive.
  • It was started in 1765.
  • The company acquired both Diwani and Nizamat right from Nazmuddaula, the Nawab of Bengal.
  • Diwani (Fiscal) was carried out by the company so company was Diwan.
  • Nizamat (territorial) jurisdiction was carried out by these decrepit Indians so they were Nizam.
  • This system of separate Diwan and Nizam is called Dual Administration.
  • Warren Hastings ended the Dual Government in 1772.

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