Know the Terms
Confederacy : An alliance.
Dharmashastras: Sanskrit texts prescribing social rules and codes of behaviour, composed from 500 BCE onwards.
Diwani : The right of revenue collection was known as Diwani.
Farman: A Farman is a royal edict or a royal order granting some permission. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb issued a farman granting the company the right to trade duty free up.
Injunction: An instruction.
Impeachment: The action of calling into question the integrity or validity of something.
Sawar: Men on horses.
Steamships: Ships which are propelled by steam engine.
Mercantile : A business enterprise that makes profit primarily through trade, buying goods cheap and selling them at higher prices.
Mufti: A Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters.
Musket: A heavy gun used by infantry soldiers.
Matchlock: An old type of gun in which the powder was ignited by a match.
Paramountcy: Chief in importance of impact supreme.
Privy Council : The king’s council based in London was called Privy council.
Puppet ruler: The term is used disapprovingly to refer to a person who is controlled by someone else.
Subservience: Willingness to obey others unquestioningly.
Qazi: A judge.
Know the Dates
1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India.
1600: Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to East India Company allowing it to trade with the east.
1650-1750: The Europeans came into India during this period in the form of traders.
1651: First English factory set up on the banks of river Hugli.
1696: East India Company started building a fort around its settlement.
1700-1750: Segregation of Mughal Empire; Start of British conquest upon India.
1707: Death of Aurangzeb.
1756: Death of Alivardi Khan; Siraj-ud daulah became the Nawab of Bengal.
1761-1782: Hyder Ali ruled upon Mysore.
1757: Battle of Plassey.
1764: Battle of Buxar
1765:Death of Mir Jafar; East India Company was appointed the Diwan of provinces of Bengal by the Mughal Emperor.
1767-1769: First Anglo-Mysore War.
1775-1782: First Anglo-Maratha War
1780-1784: Second Anglo-Mysore War.
1782-1799: Tipu Sultan ruled upon Mysore
1785: Tipu Sultan banned the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through his kingdom and prohibited local merchants from trading with the Company.
1790-92: Third Anglo-Mysore War.
1799: Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. Tipu Sultan was killed in this battle.
1801: Nawab of Awadh forced to give half of his territory to the Company.
1803-1805: Second Anglo-Maratha War.
1817-1819: Third Anglo-Maratha War.
1813-1823: Lord Hastings was the Governor General of India.
1849:Annexation of Punjab.
1848-1856: Lord Dalhousie was the Governor General of India.
1848: Annexation of Satara.
1850: Annexation of Sambalpur.
1852: Annexation of Udaipur.
1853: Annexation of Nagpur
1854: Annexation of Jhansi.
1856:Annexation of Awadh.
1857:Start of War of Indian Independence
Aurangzeb died in 1707 and was succeeded by weak rulers. Governors and Zamindars asserted their authority and took power in their own hands. This led to the rise of regional kingdoms. At this time, the British East India Company emerged as a strong contender for supremacy in India.
In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to The English East India Company for monopoly of trade with nations in the east. Trading companies made efforts to maximise profit by eliminating rivals in trade.
The first factory of The English East India Company which worked as a warehouse and base for the workers of the company, was established in 1651. The workers known as ‘factors. As trade expanded, the company persuaded merchants to settle near the factory.
Tipu Sultan-The Tiger of Mysore: The company engaged in direct conflict only when a native state became detrimental to company’s rule in the subcontinent. Mysore emerged as a potential threat under Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.
War with the Marathas: The Third Battle of Panipat shattered the dreams of the Marathas to rule India from Delhi. It also led to the division of Maratha confederacy. Four chiefs ruled from four centres under a Peshwa based in Pune.
The Claim to Paramountcy: Lord Hastings initiated the aggressive policy and annexed Indian kingdoms. This was challenged by the Indian powers. Russophobia was one of the reasons that prompted The English East India Company to wage war against Afghanistan to secure frontiers of India.
Factory : It was a place where the workers and officials of the company resided. Since they were called “Factors it came to be known as ‘factory,It also served as a warehouse for the company goods.
Subsidiary Alliance : A policy introduced by Lord Wellesley through which Indian states were to accept a British resident and had to disband their army. The English East India Company deployed its troops and their maintenance was borne by Indian rulers.
Doctrine of Lapse: A law introduced by Lord Dalhousie which stated that if any ruler of a subsidiary state dies without having a natural heir, his state would lapse into The English East India Company empire. The states annexed were Satara, Sambalpur, Udaipur, Nagpur and Jhansi.
The Company Army: Strength of the company rested on its army composed of Indian soldiers. Cavalry and Infantry were the two broad divisions of the army. Infantry regiments became important after 1820 and were furnished with modern technology.
Cotton Textile, Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom and Cinnamon were in great demand in Europe.
Vasco-da-Gama, a Portuguese explorer discovered the sea route of India in 1498.
The English or British East India Company was first to set up its trading factory in India.
Charter Act: Charter Act 1813 or East India Company Act 1813 was passed by the British Parliament to renew the charter of British East India Company and continue the rule of the same in India.
Dual Government: Dual Government meant double government under which the executive powers and responsibility for collection of revenue were shared by two different authorities.
Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey, fought in 1757, is an important landmark in the history of India because
(a) it marked the beginning of the establishment of British rule in India.
(b) The British got a foothold from where they were to eventually conquer the whole of India.
(i) Siraj-ud daulah refused to grant concession to the Company, demanded large tributes for the Company’s right to trade, denied it any right to mint coins, and stopped it from extending fortifications.
(ii) Accusing the Company for deceit, he claimed that the Company was depriving the Bengal government from huge amounts of revenue and undermining the authority of the Nawab.
(iii) The Company was refusing to pay taxes, writing disrespectful letters, and trying to humiliate the Nawab and his officials.
(iv) In 1756 A.D., the Nawab seized the English Factory at Kasim Bazar and occupied Fort William, but Clive recaptured it in 1757 A.D.
(v) Mir Jafar wanted to dethrone the nawab and entered into a conspiracy against the nawab joining hands with the Britishers.
(vi) Clive blamed the nawab that he was conspiring against English with the help of French.
(i) After negotiations failed, the Nawab marched along with 30,000 soldiers to the English factory at Kasim bazar, captured the Company officials, locked the warehouse, disarmed all Englishmen, and blocked English ships.
(ii) Then he marched to Calcutta to establish control over the Company’s fort. On hearing the news of the fall of Calcutta, Company officials in Madras sent forces under the command of Robert Clive, reinforced by naval fleets.
(iii) Prolonged negotiations with the Nawab followed. Finally, in 1757, Robert Clive led the Company’s army against Siraj-ud daulah at Plassey.
(iv) One of the main reasons for the defeat of the Nawab was that the forces led by Mir Jafar, one of Siraj-ud daulah’s commanders, never fought the battle. Clive had managed to secure his support by promising to make him nawab after crushing Siraj- ud daulah.
(i) The Battle of Plassey became famous because it was the first major war that the Company had won in India.
(i) After the defeat at Plassey, Siraj-ud daulah was assassinated and Mir Jafar was made the nawab.
The Company was still unwilling to take over the responsibility of administration. Its prime objective was the expansion of trade.
(i) The kingdom of Awadh was restored to the Nawab Shuja-ud-daullah.(ii) The nawab paid the company a sum of Rs 50 lakhs and the company promised to support Awadh against any outside attack, using its own troops, but the expenses would be borne by the nawab.(iii) The Mughal empire granted the Company the ‘Diwani’ of Bengal, Bihar and Orrisa.(v) The company gave the Mughal emperor an annual pension of Rs 26 lakhs.
The policy of non-intervention
Doctrine of Lapse
(i) The Doctrine of Lapse was introduced by Lord Dalhousie.
(ii) According to this, if the ruler of a protected or dependent state died without a natural heir, his state would automatically lapse.
(iii) The victims of this doctrine were Satara (1848), Jaitpur, Sambapur (1850), Udaipur (1852), Nagpur (1853) and Jhansi (1854).
Impact of Battle of Buxar on India
(i) After the Battle of Buxar (1764), the Company appointed residents in Indian states. They were political or commercial agents and their job was to serve for the further interests of the Company.
(ii) Through the residents, the Company officials began interfering in the internal affairs of Indian states. They tried to decide who was to be the successor to the throne, and who was to be appointed at administrative posts.
(iii) Mir Jafar was reinstalled. The Nawab had to pay 500,000 every month but the Company wanted more money to finance its wars, and meet the demands of trade and its other expenses.
(i) The army was needed to establish control upon the vast empire.(ii) It was also required to suppress internal revolts against the British.(iii) The army consisted of Indian soldiers who were known as sepoys.(iv) The army was well disciplined, well trained and regularly paid.
(i) The people who managed to return with wealth and led flashy lives and flaunted their richness.
(ii) They were called “Nabobs” – an English version of the Indian word ‘nawab’.|
(iii) They were often seen as upstarts and social climbers in British society and were ridiculed or made fun of in plays and cartoons.
(i) After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, many Mughal governors (Subedars) and big zamindars began asserting their authority. (ii) As powerful regional kingdoms emerged in various parts of India, Delhi could no longer work as an effective centre. (iii) The ruler of England, Queen Elizabeth I, granted the Company a charter to trade in east. The Company started trading as Mughals allowed them the right to trade.
Beginning of trade in Bengal by the East India Company:
(1) The first English factory was set up on the banks of the river Hugli in 1651. This was the base from where the Company traders, known at that time as “factors”, operated.
(2) The factory had a warehouse where goods for export were stored, and it had offices where company officials used to sit. As trade expanded, the Company persuaded merchants and traders to come and settle near the factory.
(3) By 1696, it began building a fort around the settlement.
Demands put up by the East India Company:
(i) Two years later, East India Company bribed Mughal officials to give the Company, zamindari rights over three villages.
(ii) One of these was Kalikata, which later grew into the city of Calcutta or Kolkata (as it is known today)
(iii) It also persuaded the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to issue a farman, granting the Company the right to trade duty free.
(i) Direct Annexation: At times, British fought direct wars. eg. State of Punjab was annexed after the death of Punjab king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. (ii) Appointment of Residents : East India company residents began interfering in internal affairs deciding as to which person has to be appointed at political or administrative posts. (iii) Doctrine of Lapse : It was a policy made by lord Dalhousie. The doctrine declared that if an Indian ruler died without a male heir, his kingdom would lapse, and would become a part of Company’s property, eg, Udaipur, Jhansi.
(iv) Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance: According to the terms of subsidiary alliance, Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces. They were to be protected by the Company. Also, they had to pay for the ‘subsidiary forces that the Company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of their protection. If the Indian rulers failed to make the payment, then a part of their territory was taken away as penalty.
Charter of 1600
(i) In 1600, the East India Company required a charter from the ruler of England, Queen Elizabeth I , granting it the sole right to trade with the East.
(ii) This meant that no other trading group in England could compete with the East India Company.
(iii) With this charter, the company could venture across the oceans, looking for new lands from where it could buy goods at a cheaper price, and carry them back to Europe to sell at higher prices.
(iv) The Company did not have to fear competition from other English trading .
(i) The problem was that all the companies were interested in buying the same things. (ii) The fine qualities of cotton and silk produced in India had a big market in Europe. Pepper, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon too were in great demand. (iii) Competition amongst the European companies inevitably pushed up the prices at which these goods could be purchased, and this reduced the profits that could be earned.
(iv) The only way the trading companies could flourish was by eliminating rival competitors.
(v) The urge to secure markets therefore led to fierce battles between the trading companies.