Chapter 4: British Conquest Of India From 1756 - 1818
The province of Bengal was the
most fertile and suitable for trade and commerce. The
British saw its importance and established a factory in
Calcutta. The Farman issued by the Mughal emperor
allowed free trade in Bengal but the Farman didn’t apply to
private trade by Company officials. The
Nawabs of Bengal had forced the British to pay
heavy taxes due to wrong interpretation of the Farman. Yet
the Company officials continued to break rules whenever
given a chance. Nawab of Bengal was now Siraj ud dawlah, he
learnt of fortification by British and French. He ordered
them to cease from this but the British continued. The Nawab
waged a battle and defeated the British. But in haste he
allowed them to escape to an island guarded by British navy.
The Company officials waited there for reinforcements from
madras. Meanwhile they managed to lure Mir Jafar and other
nobles of Nawabs court to their side. In the battle between
the English army led by Robert
Clive and Admiral Watson and Nawab at Plessey the
Nawab was defeated. He was captured and executed. Mir Jafar
replaced him. Mir Jafar paid tributes to the Company but
soon even he couldn’t meet their demands and the British
felt that he wasn’t able to fulfill their expectations and
soon he too was replaced by his son in law Mir Qasim.
Mir Qasim proved to be a
threat to the British power in Bengal. He wanted to free
Bengal from British control. For this he wanted to build a
strong army and good administration. On the other hand the
British wanted a titular Nawab. This led to confrontation
between them and soon the Nawab with the help of Shuja ud
dawlah, Nawab of Awadh and shah alam II, the fugitive Mughal
emperor waged a war against British. In this battle of Buxar
they were defeated.
The battle of Buxar
established British supremacy in India. The British got
diwani rights of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. All conquerors of
odissa wanted domination over the Puri temple as it gave
legitimacy to their rule in minds of local.
The diwani rights gave the
British full and legitimate control over Bengal. The
governor of Bengal Robert Clive started a dual system of
government where the British were in charge of collecting
revenue and the army but Nawab and his officials were in
charge of administration. In effect this system meant no
responsibility for both sides. The Nawab was entrusted with
the responsibility of collecting revenue on behalf of
British so they plundered the peasants for as much as they
could and passed on a share to the British. This led to
untold oppression in Bengal.
Sind: The British feared that
Russia might try to attack
India through Persia or Afghanistan. This had to be
prevented and hence British had to increase their influence
in both these countries. To do this Sind had to be brought
Policy of annexation from
1848 to 1856
Dalhousie came to India as the governor general and he
wanted to extend the rule to all parts of India. This he
felt as he believed the British rule was better than the
corrupt and oppressive native rulers. He did this by his
doctrine of lapse method. This meant that if the ruler of a
protectorate state died without a natural heir then the
state would be annexed by the British. The right of
inheritance of the adopted child wasn’t recognized.
OF VARIOUS GOVERNORs AND GOVERNOR GENERALS
followed Robert Clive as the governor of fort William. He
was a reformist and the steps he took were:
dual government system and the now the Company servants
collected revenue on their own.
of revenue was created and collectors were established to
collect revenue. The treasury was moved to a safer
location of Calcutta from murshidabad. Calcutta soon
became the capital of Bengal and then India.
remove the highly corrupt judicial system. Civil courts
were created presided by the collectors and criminal
courts by an Indian judge. Appellate courts for civil and
criminal cases were there in Calcutta. Highest court of
appeal for civil cases was sadar diwani adalat and
criminal cases were sadar Nizamat adalat.
bank was established in Calcutta. Pre paid postal system
was introduced. Police too were created to stop dacoits.
was a patron of Indian languages and arts. He was a person
of oriental tastes.
The controller of east India Company was the court of
proprietors and court of directors. The three presidencies
were independent and managed by governor and his council.
The court of directors was elected annually and managed
the affairs of the Company. The mismanagement of Indian
territories led to bankruptcy of the Company and the
directors asked for a loan. The government passed this act
as a precondition for the loan.
the foundations for a centralized administration in India.
Governor of Bengal became the governor general of Bengal
with an executive council of four to assist him. Decisions
would be taken by majority and governor general could only
vote in case of tie. Presidencies of Madras and Bombay
lost their independence and became subordinate to Bengal.
established a supreme court of justice at Calcutta. It
prohibited the servants of EIC from accepting gifts and
engaging in private trade.
Board of control was established to control political
affairs in India. So a system of dual government was
created. The number of members in the governor’s council
was reduced to 3. The board of control was responsible to
the parliament and controlled political affairs. The court
of directors was in control of commercial affairs.
amendment to this act in 1786 allowed the governor general
to overrule the majority of his council.
was a respected aristocrat. He led the British army in the
war against America. Although he had to surrender he still
commanded deep respect amongst his fellow countrymen.
points of his rule were:
increased the salaries of the Company servants and
prohibited their private trade.
removed collectors from the post of judges of the civil
courts. Separated judiciary and administration.
judges were appointed at the lowest judicial levels.
District and city courts had European judges. Provincial
court of appeals had European judges. Highest court of
appeal at civil and criminal courts was governor general
appointed darogas in every thanas for policing.
was the father of the Indian civil service.
was responsible for implementing permanent settlement in
Bengal and Bihar.
was responsible for reformation, modernization,
rationalization of civil service. He started the
covenanted civil service with only Europeans and
un-covenanted civil service for others.
was famous for introducing the subsidiary alliance system.
rose during his regime as the thousands of soldiers who
became unemployed as they were dismissed due to the
subsidiary alliance. These soldiers became dacoits.
was the maker of madras presidency and creator of Agra
features of his administration:
Nepal and British territories were bordering each other.
The Gurkha’s were aggressive and this led to
confrontation. Lord Hastings declared war on Nepal and
the menace of the Pindaris.
was the maker of the Bombay province.
was the first governor general to believe in serving the
features of his administration:
followed a policy of non intervention and non aggression
with Indian princely states.
abolished the provincial court of appeals.
of local languages in lower courts and English in higher
for abolition of sati, female infanticide and suppression
became the official language of India. Calcutta medical
college was established.
of English education.
It reduced monopoly of EIC to trade with India. But it
kept monopoly for trade with china. It also allocated an
amount of Rs. 1 lakh for promotion of Indian education.
Ended all monopolies of EIC with respect to trade.
Governor General of Bengal became the governor general of
India. It laid the foundation of Indianisation of public
was the youngest governor general.
features of his administration:
followed the policy of annexation by annexing Punjab,
lower Burma, Oudh and central provinces to the British
annexed the princely states if the rulers died without
natural heirs. His doctrine of lapse was the reason many
kingdoms were added to the British Empire. This policy was
one of the reasons for princes joining the 1857 mutiny.
annexation of Oudh affected the sepoy’s of the British
army as many came from Oudh. They had privileged positions
in the army but after the annexation they became same as
the remaining population. This too became a reason for
molded the new provinces into a centralized state. He
shifted the Bengal artillery to Meerut and shiplap became
the permanent headquarters of the army.
were started in India by him. The reasons were commercial,
administrative and defense.
line was laid from Calcutta to diamond harbor. Telegraph
and railways were very useful for crushing the 1857
stamps were introduced. Uniform rate of half Anna was
charged on post throughout the country.
universities of Calcutta, Madras and Mumbai were founded
in 1857. John Wilson was first chancellor of Mumbai
university and KT Telang was first Indian chancellor.
modernized the public works department and laid foundation
for engineering service in India.
introduced the process of modernization in India and is
hailed as The
Maker of Modern India.
features of his administration:
vernacular press act was passed to muzzle periodicals in
Indian languages and curtail freedom of the press.
act was passed to prevent Indians from keeping arms
the vernacular press act.
of local self government. Started telephone in Kolkata in
hunter commission for expansion and improvement in
elementary education for the masses.
the factory act to improve working conditions in factory.
to pass the Illbert bill which would have allowed Indian
magistrates to try Europeans. But the bill was rejected
due to the popular protest against it.
the universities act that brought all universities under
training schools were started for officers and constables.
the legislation making it mandatory for government to
protect archaeological monuments.
of Bengal was done by him.
Note: The first census and statistical survey of
India was conducted by Lord Mayo
Score more than 80% marks and move ahead else stay back and read again!