Chapters :
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF BRITISH RULE (1761-1818)
  • THE CONCEPT OF DUTY FREE- PRIVATE TRADE
  • BATTLE OF BUXAR
  • FALL OF SHAH ALAM II
  • THE GREAT FAMINE ( 1770)
  • SHAH ALAM II & MARATHAS
  • FIRST MARATHA WAR (1775-82)
  • TREATY OF SURAT

HISTORY OF MODERN INDIA – 02

HISTORY OF MODERN INDIA (1761-1947)

LATER MUGHALS :

The most important event in the history of the Company during these years was the diplomatic mission led by John Surman in 1715 to the court of the Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar,  resulting in the grant of three famous farmans addressed to officials in Bengal. Hyderabad and Gujarat.   The farmans gave the company many valuable privileges. 

  1. In Bengal it exempted the Company’s imports and exports from additional customs duties.
  2. The Company was allowed to rent additional lands around Calcutta.
  3.  In Hyderabad, the  Company’s old privilege of freedom from dues in trade was retained, and it had to pay only the existing rent for Madras. 
  4. At Surat, the Company was exempted from the levy of all duties for its exports and imports in lieu of an annual payment of Rs. 10,000.

In Bengal, Murshid Quli Khan, its able governor, tried to control the Company in various ways and to place it on the same footing as the other traders. But on the whole the Company’s trade prospered. The importance of Calcutta increased and its population grew to 100,000 by the middle of the century. 

In Madras, the Company carried on peaceful commerce” and its relations with the Subadar of the Deccan and the Nawavb of Kamatak were cordial. Thomas Pitt, Governor Of Madras from A.D. 1698 to 1709, obtained from the Nawab of Karnatak a grant of five villages near Madras in 1708 (actually occupied nine years later) and in 1734 it also got Vepery and four other settlements.

In Bombay, there were some disturbances for nearly two decades due to quarrels between the Portuguese and the Marathas and the exploits of Maratha sea captains, notably Kanhoji Angria, on the western roast. 

ESTABLISHMENT OF BRITISH RULE (1761-1818)

BENGAL AND AVADH: 

Mir J’afar, placed by Robert Clive  on the mansab of Murshidabad after the Battle Of Plassey, was deposed in 1760. The theory of Mir J’afar’s conspiracy with the Dutch had no support from the Dutch records. 

Mir Qasim  was placed on the financial demands. The new Nawab assigned to them the districts of Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong for the expenses of the British army which was to help him.

 This alliance was of great use to the British in their campaign against the French in 1760-61 the money paid by Mir Qasim helped the Calcutta Council to finance their war in the South.

THE CONCEPT OF DUTY FREE- PRIVATE TRADE

The Nawab succeeded in establishing a better system of administration. But he came into conflict with the British in Bengal on the question of a privilege i.e. duty-free private trade of the Company’s servants a privilege which had been granted to the Company for its export and import trade by Emperor Farrukhsiyar. According to this Imperial farman, the Company had to pay Rs. 3,000 a year and in return could carry on trade duty-free in Bengal. 

The Governor proposed a plan which they thought would be a better one. The British private traders were to pay 9 percent duty, while the Indian merchants, were to pay 40 percent. 

Mir Qasim, an excellent civil administrator, was no military leader in the circumstances, remitted all duties on Indians and the British alike for two years. This measure deprived the British private traders of the privileged position they had created for themselves they could not compete with Indian traders on equal terms. 

BATTLE OF BUXAR 

Mir Qasim   army was defeated. When he was forced to withdraw to Avadh,, the Nawab Wazir and EMPEROR SHAH ALAM II decided to come for the support. The Army advanced to Patna, and a battle was fought at Buxar on October 22, 1764. With a decisive victory at Battle of Buxar, the British army Annexed Avadh. The Nawab Wazir fled to the Rohilla country, but Shah. Alam II arrived at amiable terms with the British. 

Robert Clive concluded a treaty with the Nawab Wazir of Avadh, who was to pay Fifty Lakhs Of Rupees for the expenses of the war and was given back his dominions. He entered into a defensive alliance with the Company. Avadh became for the British a buffer state.

FALL OF SHAH ALAM II

The British gave Shah Alam II possession of Kora and Allahabad, while he granted them the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in return for a regular annual payment of twenty-six lakhs of rupees. Mir J’afar’s son and successor, Najmu’d-daulah, signed a treaty with the Comapny and became a titled pensioner on fifty-three lakhs of rupees per year, which was subsequently reduced.

The Governor and Council at Calcutta had complete control over Military & Political matters, the Resident at the durbar exercising his functions under their guidance.

 This system, according to Clive, served to hide the true position from the Dutch, the French, the Danes and other European trading companies in Bengal. This system of government continued from 1765 to 1772.

THE GREAT FAMINE ( 1770)

A great Famine struck Bengal and Bihar in 1770 and swept away on-third of the population. The newly appointed supervisors were accused of intensifying the rigor of the famine by their attempt to corner the grain market in the interest of their private trade. The Court of Directors felt that the assumption of direct responsibility Warren Hastings, who was appointed Governor of Bengal, was asked to take over the administration from Riza Khan and Shitab Rai

SHAH ALAM II & MARATHAS 

Under  Robert Clive’s political system, Shah Alam II, was a British pensioner at Allahabad. The Marathas reappeared in Northern India in 1769, recaptured Delhi in 1771 and brought the emperor back to that city. The British political system was to readjust itself to changed circumstances. The settlement of 1765 had made Avadh a buffer state.

On the death of Shuja’u’d-daulah in 1775 a new treaty was concluded with his successor. A regular brigade of the Company’s Troops was stationed in Avadh after the annexation of Rohilkhand, the Nawab bearing the expense. 

The financial pressure was hard and the Nawab’s debt mounted in £1,400,000 in 1780. To get this settled, Warren Hastings seized the treasuries as also the jagirs of the Begums.

FIRST MARATHA WAR (1775-82) 

Warren Hastings sought also to intervene in the affairs of the Maratha empire. His idea was to detach Berar and set up in the person of Madhoji Bhonsle a new Maratha line in the heart of India, a kingdom dependent on the British he sent Elliot to Nagpur. Warren Hastings, accordingly asked Elliot to negotiate the passage of a British army through Berar and an alliance in general terms. Elliot died and the negotiations lapsed. Raghunatha Rao promised to cede Salsette and Bassein, and refrain from entering into alliance with the enemies of the Company.

TREATY OF SURAT

The main terms of the Treaty of Surat concluded in 1775 was,

The British in Bombay agreed to help him with 2,500 men in his contest with the confederate Maratha leaders who had taken up the cause of the posthumous son of Narayana Rao. 

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