Chapter Notes and Summary
• Introduction: 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 rise of regional kingdoms. At this time, British East India Company emerged as a strong contender for supremacy in India.
• EEIC Comes East : In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to EEIC for monopoly of trade with nations in east. Trading companies made efforts to maximise profit by eliminating rivals in trade.
• EEIC Begins Trade in Bengal : first factory of EEIC, which worked as a warehouse and base for workers of company, was established in 1651. workers were known as ‘factors’. As trade expanded, company persuaded merchants to settle near factory.
• Battle of Plassey : Sirajuddaulah succeeded Ali Vardi Khan. He faced armies and naval fleet of EEIC at Plassey in year 1757. British army was led by Robert Clive who managed to crush forces of nawab, thus winning first major battle and making it a historic landmark.
• Battle of Buxar : Mir Jafar became new Nawab, and in return, he gave huge amounts of revenue to EEIC and its officials. EEIC felt it as best way of earning profits and started changing nawabs regularly. Mir Kasim was made nawab after Mir Jafar, and when he posed danger to their existence, EEIC replaced him again by Mir Jafar.
• Company Officials become Nawabs : Company officials became masters of Bengal and developed a taste for nawabs’ lifestyle. This resulted in widespread corruption in company.
• Company Rule Expands : Expansion of company was a slow and carefully planned process. EEIC appointed residents in court of provincial rulers to serve interest of EEIC. Gradually, they assumed position of king makers in Indian states.
• Tipu Sultan—The Tiger of Mysore : company engaged in direct conflict only when a native state became detrimental to company’s rule in subcontinent. Mysore emerged as a potential threat under Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.
• War with Marathas : Third Battle of Panipat shattered dreams of Marathas to rule India from Delhi. It also led to division of Maratha confederacy. Four chiefs ruled from four centres under a Peshwa based in Pune.
• Claim to Paramountcy : Lord Hastings initiated aggressive policy and annexed Indian kingdoms. This was challenged by Indian powers. Russophobia was one of reasons that prompted EEIC to wage war against Afghanistan to secure frontiers of India.
• Setting up a New Administration : Expansion of EEIC Empire in India led to administrative reforms in India. Bengal Presidency supervised working of Bombay and Madras presidencies. head of administration was Governor General of Bengal.
• Administration : Various Charter Acts and Parliamentary Acts shaped administration of EEIC in India. Regulating Act of 1773 and Pitts India Act of 1784 were first two parliamentary acts that shaped administration of EEIC.
• Factory : It was a place where workers and officials of company resided. Since they were called “Factors”, it came to be known as ‘factory’. It also served as a warehouse for company goods.
• Subsidiary Alliance : A policy introduced by Lord Wellesely through which Indian states were to accept a British resident and had to disband their army. EEIC 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 EEIC empire. states annexed were Satara, Sambhalpur, Udaipur, Nagpur and Jhansi.
• Company Army : Strength of company rested on its army composed of Indian soldiers. Cavalry and Infantry were two broad divisions of army. Infantry regiments became important after 1820 and were furnished with modern technology.
Chapter Notes and Summary