The Mughal Empire ruled most of the Indian Territory, right from the early 16th century to the mid 19th century. However, there were a series of eventful incidents that led to the fall of the Mughal Empire and resulted in the powerful Britishers taking over our country. As they took over the country they introduced the concept of trade and then used the same concept against us.
In this chapter, we will look at a brief outline of the series of events that gave the British, the power of our country. It all started with the East India Company arriving at the East.
The East India Company Comes to India
- In the year 1600, the royal charter was granted to the East India Company. This gave them the right to trade with the East solely.
- The East India Company bought goods from Indians at a cheap price and sold them at a much higher price in Europe.
- Back then, silk and cotton produced in India had a big market in Europe.
- Spices like pepper, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon were in great demand.
East India Company Starts Its trade In Bengal
In the year 1651, the first English factory was set up on the banks of river Hugli. The then Mughal king, Aurangzeb, issued a farman granting the company the right to trade duty-free. The Company was not satisfied with only this. It tried to press for more concessions and manipulate the existing privileges. The unfair practices of trade gradually led to battles.
How Did The Trade Lead To Battles?
After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Bengal Nawabs asserted their power and autonomy. They refused to grant the company any concessions.
The Battle of Plassey
On 23rd June 1757, Battle of Plassey was fought. It was a major victory for the British. Alivardi Khan died in 1756 and Siraj-ud-daulah became the Nawab of Bengal. In 1757, Robert Clive led the Company’s army against Siraj-Ud-daulah at Plassey. One of the main reasons for the failure of the Nawabs was that Mir Jafar and his forces didn’t fight the battle. Clive promised Mir Jafar the Nawabi title after the death of Sirj-ud-daulah.
The Battle of Buxar
Mir Jafar became the Nawab of Bengal after the defeat of Plassey. He was a mere puppet in the hands of the British. British and Mir Qasim fought in the Battle of Buxar in 1764. After Mir Jafar’s death, the Mughal emperor appointed the East India company as the Diwan of Bengal and its provinces. In 1764, Robert Clive was appointed Governor of Bengal.
Expansion Of The Company Rule
The process of annexation of Indian states by the East India Company from 1757 to 1857 brought forth some key aspects like the company rarely launched a direct military attack on an unknown territory. After 1764, the company forced the states into a ‘subsidiary alliance’. The Nawab of Awadh and the Nizam of Hyderabad were forced to cede territories and accept the subsidiary alliances.
Question For You
Q. Write a short note on Tipu Sultan.
Ans: Tipu Sultan was the son of Haidar Ali, ruler of Mysore. He was known as the “Tiger of Mysore”. He ruled Mysore from 1782 to 1799. Four wars were fought between the British and Mysore and were known as the Anglo- Mysore wars(1767-1769, 1780-84, 1790-92and 1799). In 1799, the Britishers won the battle of Seringapatam against Mysore where Tipu Sultan was killed.