European Conquest of India

16th century

Year Date Event
1503 Kingdom of Kochi is taken over by the Portuguese creating the first European settlement in India.
1508 The Christian-Islamic power struggle in Europe and the Middle East. Spills over into the Indian Ocean as Battle of Chaul during the Portuguese-Mamluk War
1509 Battle of Diu marks the beginning of the dominance of the Europeans in the Asian naval theater.
1510 Portuguese India (to 1961)
1522 Portuguese land on the Coromandel Coast
1526 21 April Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, of the Delhi Sultanate, angers local nobles, who respond by inviting Babur, the Mughal ruler of Kabul, to invade Delhi and Agra. The local population, plus the possession of artillery, assists Babur in killing the Sultan (whose soldiers desert him) at the Battle of Panipat.
1527 17 March Babur bribes Mewar general Silhadi promising Silhadi a kingdom, if Silhadi betrays Mewar King Rana Sanga in Battle of Khanwa, thus leading to the annexation of Mewar.
1530 Babur completes his Baburnama, reflecting on society, politics, economics, history, geography, nature, flora and fauna, which to this day is a standard textbook in 25 countries. Babur dies, and is succeeded by his son Humayun.
1539 Battle of Chausa fought between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri in which Humayun defeated.
Guru Angad Dev becomes second guru of Sikhs.
1540 Battle of Kannauj fought between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri and Humayun was completely defeated. Humayun lost the Mughal empire to Afghans (Suri Dynasty), and passed 12 years in exile.
1545 22 May Death of Sher Shah Suri and succeeded by Islam Shah Suri.
1552 Guru Amar Das becomes third Guru of Sikhs.
1554 22 November Death of Islam Shah Suri.
1555 Humayun regained the throne of Delhi from the hands of weak successors of Sher Shah.
1556 Humayun converts from Sunni Islam to Shia Islam, to gain the alliance of the Shah of Persia. Humayun dies, and is succeeded by his son Akbar.
Hindu king Hemu establishes ‘Hindu Raj’ in North India and bestowed with title of “Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya“; Second Battle of Panipat fought between Hemu and Akbar‘s forces in which Hemu is killed.
1565 26 January Battle of Talikota results in the rout of Vijayanagara empire.
1572 Akbar the Great annexes Gujarat, also shifts the Mughal capital to Fatehpur Sikri where a new township and citadel containing buildings of a unique all-India character—inspired by the architecture of Bengal, Gujarat, Malwa, Kashmir as well as the Timurid world—is born.
1574 Guru Ram Das becomes fourth Guru of Sikhs.
Akbar annexes Bengal.
1581 Guru Arjan Dev becomes fifth Guru of Sikhs.
1586 Akbar annexes Kashmir.
1600 East India company is formed in England. Gets exclusive trading rights with India.

17th century

Year Date Event
1605 Akbar dies, and is succeeded by his son Jehangir.
1606 Guru Hargobind becomes sixth guru of Sikhs.
1612 British India (to 1947)
East India Company (to 1757)
1628 Jehangir announces “Chain of Justice” outside his palace that anyone can ring the bell and get a personal hearing with the emperor. Jehangir dies, and is succeeded by his son Shah Jahan.
1630 Birth of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
1644 8 March Guru Har Rai becomes seventh guru of Sikhs
Shivaji takes oath of Independence at Raireshwar.
1658 Shah Jahan completes Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid, and Red Fort. Imperial treasuries drained by architectural and military overexpenditures. Shah Jahan dies, and is succeeded by his son Aurangzeb.
1659 Shivaji‘s ill-equipped and small Maratha army defeat mighty Adilshahi troops at the Battle of Pratapgarh in a major upset in Indian history. Shivaji personally kills Adilshahi commander Afzal Khan (general).
1661 7 October Guru Har Krishan becomes eight guru of Sikhs.
1665 20 March Guru Tegh Bahadur becomes ninth Guru of Sikhs.
1674 Forces led by Shivaji defeat Aurangzeb’s troops, and establishes Maratha Empire.
1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs is executed in Delhi by the order of Aurangzeb for his support for the Kashmiri Hindus to practice their religion.Guru Gobind Singh becomes tenth Guru of Sikhs.
1680 Shivaji dies of fever at Raigad.

Sambhaji became 2nd Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire

1681 Aurangzeb invades the Deccan
1689 March Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj dies.
1696 Danish India (to 1869)
1699 Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of Sikhs creates Khalsa, the saint-soldier at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab.
1700 March 2 Rajaram Chhatrapati dies


18th century

Year Date Event
1705 Mughal army arrested for the act.[clarification needed]
1707 Death of Aurangzeb the mughal emperor.
1708 Guru Granth Sahib becomes Guru of Sikhs.
1721 March – October Attingal Outbreak takes place
13–14 November Madras cyclone occurs
1749 The Maratha Peshwa (prime minister) usurps the Maratha kingdom, starting a new dynastic rule based in Pune.
1757 Battle of Plassey
Company rule in India (to 1858)
1759 French India (to 1954)
1760 Marathas comprehensively defeat the Nizam, Maratha Empire reaches its zenith.
1761 The Marathas are routed in the Third Battle of Panipat on 14 January 1761, by the Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the largest battles fought in the 18th century.
1764 Battle of Buxar (British victory against allied Mughal, Bengal and Oudh forces)
1765 Princely states (to 1947)
1767 First Anglo-Mysore War begins, in which Haidar Ali of Mysore defeats the combined armies of the East India Company, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad.
1771 Marathas re-captures Delhi and parts of North India.
1772 14 August Ram Mohan Roy Born (to 1833)
1773 Narayanrao Peshwa is murdered by his uncle Raghunathrao‘s wife in front of Raghunathrao.
Regulating Act of 1773
Warren Hastings appointed as first Governor-General of India
1774 Chief Justice of the Maratha Empire, Ram Shastri passes death sentence against the ruling Peshwa Raghunathrao for murdering his nephew.
1775 First Anglo-Maratha War
1779 Maratha sardar Mahadji Shinde routs the East India Company army at the Battle of Wadgaon War ends with the restoration of status quo as per Treaty of Salbai.
1780 Second Anglo-Mysore War begins.
1784 Second Anglo-Mysore War ends with the Treaty of Mangalore.
1786 District collectors in Bengal were made responsible for settling the revenue and collecting it.
1789 Third Anglo-Mysore War begins.
1790 The Marathas under Holkar and General de Boigne defeat the Rajputs of Jaipur and Mughals at the Battle of Patan, where 3000+ Rajput cavalry is killed and the entire Mughal unit vanquished. The defeat crushes Rajput hope of independence from external influence
1792 Third Anglo-Mysore War ends.
1795 August 13 Death of Ahilyabai Holkar
1796 Ching-Thang Khomba moves Manipur‘s capital to Kangla
1798 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War begins.
1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War ends with the death of Tipu Sultan, the victory of the East India Company, and the restoration of their ally, the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore.
Polygar War
1800 Death of Nana Fadnavis


19th century

Year Date Event
1801 Maharaja Ranjit Singh establishes Khalsa rule of Punjab from Lahore. Khalsa army liberates Kashmiri Pundits and invades Afghanistan through Khyber Pass.
1803 Second Anglo-Maratha War begins
1805 Second Anglo-Maratha War ends
1806 Vellore Mutiny
1807 East India Company signs treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh
1811 October 28 Death of Yashwantrao Holkar
1814 “Atmiya Sabha” Established Later on known as “Prarthana Samaj” By Raja Ram Mohan Roy
1817 Third Anglo-Maratha War begins

Establishment of Hindu College (Presidency College, now Presidency University, Kolkata)

1818 Third Anglo-Maratha War ends with the defeat of Bajirao II and the end of the Maratha Empire leaving the East India Company with control of almost the whole of India
1820 September Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is born (to 1891)
1823 Anglo–Burmese Wars (to 1826)
1824 12 February Dayananda Saraswati is born (to 1883)
1826 British rule in Burma (to 1947)
1836 Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa is born (to 1886)
1839 First Anglo-Afghan War
1845 First Anglo-Sikh Wars (to 1849)
4 November Vasudev Balwant Phadke is born (to 1883)
1853 Started Post Service
1853 16 April First Railway estalblished between Bombay and Thane
1855 30 June Santhal rebellion
1856 25 July Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856
23 July Bal Gangadhar Tilak is born (to 1920)
20 August Narayana Guru is born (to 1928)
1857 10 May Indian Rebellion of 1857
Established first three University of Mumbai, University of Madras and University of Calcutta in India
1858 British Raj (to 1947)
November 7 Bipin Chandra Pal is born (to 1932)
1859 18 April Death of Tatya Tope
1863 12 January Swami Vivekanand is born (to 1902)
1865 28 January Lala Lajpat Rai is born (to 1928)
1867 Prarthana Samaj” Established Earlier known as “Atmiya Sabha”
1869 Mahatma Gandhi is born (to 1948)

Thakkar Bapa is Born (to 1951)

1875 Arya Samaj” Established
Aligarh Muslim University
Deccan Riots
1877 January Delhi Durbar First time
1885 28 December Indian National Congress Eshtablished
1889 3 December Khudiram Bose is born (to 1908)
1891 14 April B. R. Ambedkar is born (to 1956)
1897 23 January Subhas Chandra Bose is born (to 1945)


Conquest Of India of European Powers

1498 ·         Vasco Da Gama comes to India

·         discovers trade route between Portugal and India

·         Lands on Calicut on Malabar coast

·         Gama sent a couple of his men to Ponnani to meet with ruler of Calicut, the Zamorin.

·         Over the objections of Arab merchants, Gama managed to secure a letter of concession for trading rights from the Zamorin, Calicut’s Hindu ruler. But, the Portuguese were unable to pay the prescribed customs duties and price of his goods in gold.

1500 ·         Pedro Álvares Cabral sailed to India, officially discovering Brazil on the way, to trade for pepper and other spices

·         He established a factory at Calicut to store goods

·         Matters worsened when the Portuguese factory at Calicut was attacked by surprise by the locals, resulting in the death of more than fifty Portuguese.

·         Cabral was outraged by the attack on the factory and seized ten Arab merchant ships anchored in the harbour, killing about six hundred of their crew and confiscating their cargo before burning the ships.

·         In Cochin and Cannanore Cabral succeeded in making advantageous treaties with the local rulers.

·         The Portugese made call to expel all the arabs from Calicut which was vehemently opposed and led to power struggle.

·         The Portuguese built the Pulicat fort in 1502, with the help of the Vijayanagar ruler.

1505 ·         Francisco de Almeida was appointed Viceroy of India, on the condition that he would set up four forts on the southwestern Indian coast: at Anjediva Island, Cannanore, Cochin and Quilon.

·         The Zamorin prepared a large fleet of 200 ships to oppose the Portuguese, but in March 1506 Lourenço de Almeida (son of Francisco de Almeida) was victorious in the Battle of Cannanore, an important setback for the fleet of the Zamorin

1509 ·         Afonso de Albuquerque was appointed the second governor of the Portuguese possessions in the East.

·         The Zamorin’s palace was captured and destroyed and the city was set on fire.

·         Albuquerque entered into a treaty with the Zamorin in 1513 to protect Portuguese interests in Malabar.





·         In 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the Bijapur sultans,on  behalf of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire, leading to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa).

·         The Southern Province, also known simply as Goa, was the headquarters of Portuguese India, and seat of the Portuguese viceroy who governed the Portuguese possessions in Asia.

·         These possessions became the Northern Province of Portuguese India, which extended almost 100 km along the coast from Daman to Chaul, and in places 30–50 km inland.

·         From the 16th century, the Portuguese meddled in the church affairs of the Syrian Christians of Malabar. The Udayamperoor Synod (1599) was a major attempt by the Portuguese Archbishop Menezes to Latinize the Syrian rite. Later in 1653, Coonan Cross Oath led to the division of the local church into Syrian Catholics and Syrian Christians (Jacobites).

·         Bombay (present day Mumbai) was given to Britain in 1661 as part of the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza‘s dowry to Charles II of England. Most of the Northern Province was lost to the Marathas of the Maratha Empire

·         The Luz Church in Mylapore, Madras (Chennai) was the first church that the Portuguese built in Madras in 1516. Later in 1522, the São Tomé church was built on the grave of Saint Thomas.

·         The Portuguese acquired several territories from the Sultans of Gujarat: Daman (occupied 1531, formally ceded 1539); Salsette, Bombay, and Baçaim (occupied 1534); and Diu (ceded 1535).

1843 ·         In 1843 the capital was shifted to Panjim, then renamed “Nova Goa”, when it officially became the administrative seat of Portuguese India, replacing the city of Velha Goa (now Old Goa), although the Viceroys lived there already since 1 December 1759. Before moving to the city, the viceroy remodelled the fortress of Adil Khan, transforming it into a palace.

Dutch India

  • Dutch presence on the Indian subcontinent lasted from 1605 to 1825.
  • Merchants of the Dutch East India Company first established themselves in Dutch Coromandel, notably Pulicat, as they were looking for textiles to exchange with the spices they traded in the East Indies.
  • After the Dutch conquered Ceylon from the Portuguese in 1656, they took the Portuguese forts on the Malabar coast five years later as well, to secure Ceylon from Portuguese invasion.
  • Apart from textiles, the items traded in Dutch India include precious stones, indigo, and silk across India, saltpeter and opium in Dutch Bengal, and pepper in Dutch Malabar. Indian slaves were imported on the Spice Islands and in the Cape Colony.
  • In the second half of the eighteenth century the Dutch lost their influence more and more. The Kew Letters relinquished all Dutch colonies to the British, to prevent them from being overrun by the French.
  • Travancore king Marthanda Varma‘s army defeated the Dutch East India Company, resulting in the complete eclipse of Dutch power in Malabar.
  • Dutch Coromandel and Dutch Bengal were restored to Dutch rule by vitue of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, but they returned to British rule owing to the provisions of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Under the terms of the treaty, all transfers of property and establishments were to take place on 1 March 1825.
  • By the middle of 1825, therefore, the Dutch had lost their last trading posts in India.


English Conquest


1600 East India company is formed in England. Gets exclusive trading rights with India.
1608 ·         English East India Company established a settlement at Surat (now in the state of Gujarat), and this became the company’s first headquarters town.
1611-12 ·         a permanent factory at Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast, and in 1612 the company joined other already established European trading companies in Bengal.


1640 ·         Madras Presidency established

·         after obtaining permission from the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to trade with Bengal, the Company established its first factory at Hoogly in 1640.

1661 ·         Bombay, which was ceded to the British Crown by Portugal as part of the wedding dowry of Catherine of Braganza in 1661, was in turn granted to the East India Company to be held in trust for the Crown.
1687 ·         Bombay Presidency
1690 ·         Emperor Aurengzeb forced the Company out of Hooghly, Calcutta was founded by Job Charnock in 1686.

·         Bengal Presidency

·         By the mid-18th century the three principal trading settlements, now called the Madras Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort St. George), the Bombay Presidency, and the Bengal Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort William) were each administered by a Governor.

1707 ·         the decline of the Mughal Empire in 1707 By the mid-19th century, the East India Company had become the paramount political and military power in South Asia, its territory held in trust for the British Crown
Mid 18th century (British French Struggle) ·         By the early 18th century, the British East India Company had a strong presence in India with the three main stations of Fort St. George in Madras, Fort William in Calcutta and Bombay Castle in western India. These stations were independent presidencies governed by a President and a Council, appointed by the Court of Directors in England.

·         The British adopted a policy of allying themselves with various princes and Nawabs, promising security against usurpers and rebels. The Nawabs often gave them concessions in return for the security.

·         By then, all rivalry had ceased between the British East India Company and the Dutch or Portuguese.

·         The French had also established an East India Company under Louis XIV and had two important stations in India – Chandernagar in Bengal and Pondicherry on the Carnatic coast, both governed by the presidency of Pondicherry. The French were a late comer in India trade, but they quickly established themselves in India and were poised to overtake Britain for control.


1741 Dupleix Comes to India ·         the most famous governor of French India, Joseph François Dupleix began to cherish the ambition of a French territorial empire in India

·         Dupleix’s ambition clashed with British interests in India and a period of military skirmishes and political intrigues began

·         Under the command of the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau, Dupleix’s army successfully controlled the area between Hyderabad and Cape Comorin.

·         But then Robert Clive arrived in India in 1744, a British officer who dashed the hopes of Dupleix to create a French empire India.

·         After a defeat and failed peace talks, Dupleix was summarily dismissed and recalled to France in 1754.

The Carnatic Wars ·         The War of the Austrian Succession between Britain and France in Europe marked the beginning of the power struggle between Britain and France and of European military ascendancy and political intervention in the Indian subcontinent.

·         In September 1748,

·         Mahé de La Bourdonnais landed off Madras with a naval squadron and laid siege to the port city. The defences of Madras were weak and the garrison sustained a bombardment of three days before surrendering. The terms of the surrender agreed by Bourdonnais provided for the settlement to be ransomed back for a cash payment by the British East India Company.

·         However, this concession was opposed by Joseph François Dupleix, the governor general of the Indian possessions of the French.  When Bourdonnais left India in October, Dupleix reneged on the agreement.

·         The Nawab of the Carnatic Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan intervened in support of the British and the combined forces advanced to retake Madras , but despite vast superiority in numbers, the army was easily crushed by the French.

·         As retaliation to the loss of Madras, the British, under Major Lawrence and Admiral Boscawen, laid siege to Pondicherry but were forced to raise it after thirty-one days.

·         The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 forced Dupleix to yield Madras back to the British in return for Louisbourg and Cape Breton Island in North America.

·         The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle prevented direct hostilities between the two powers but soon they were involved in indirect hostilities as the auxiliaries of the local princes in their feuds.

·         The feud Dupleix chose was for the succession to the positions of the Nizam of the Deccan and the Nawab of the dependent Carnatic province. The British and the French both nominated their candidates for the two posts. In both cases, Dupleix’s candidates usurped both thrones by manipulation and two assassinations.

·         In mid-1751, the French candidate for the Nawab’s post, Chanda Sahib, laid siege to the British candidate Mohammed Ali’s last stronghold Trichinopoly, where Ali was holed up with his British reinforcements. He was aided by a French force under Charles, Marquis de Bussy.

Seize of Arcot (Modern day vellore, TN) Capital of Carnatic

·         On 1 September 1751, 280 Europeans and 300 sepoys under the command of Captain Robert Clive attacked and seized Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, finding that the garrison had fled the night before. The troops sent by Chanda Sahib besieged the fort and breached the walls in various places after several weeks.

·         Clive sent out a message to Morari Rao, a Maratha chieftain who had received a subsidy to assist Mohammed Ali and was encamped in the Mysore hills. British became successfull with his help.

·         With success at Arcot, Conjeeveram and Trichinopoly, the British secured the Carnatic and Mohammed Ali succeeded to the throne of the Nawab in accordance with a treaty with the new French governor Godeheu.

·         After their victory in south, the British wanted to root out French from Bengal, Battle of Plassey provided the opportunity.

Buildup of battle of Plassey ·         On 10 April 1740 in the Battle of Giria, Alivardi Khan defeated and killed Shuja ud-Din’s successor, Sarfaraz Khan. Thus he took control of Bengal and Bihar.

·         He became the Nawab of Bengal after capturing the capital of Bengal, Murshidabad. Later, he also won Orissa under his control.

·         Alivardi’s attitude to the Europeans in Bengal is said to be strict.

·         He collected large amounts of money from them for the upkeep of his war. He was well-informed of the situation in southern India, where the British and the French had started a proxy war using the local princes and rulers. Alivardi did not wish such a situation to transpire in his province and thus exercised caution in his dealings with the Europeans.

·         British always complained that they were prevented from the full enjoyment of the farman of 1717 issued by Farrukhsiyar which gave them free trading rights.

·         The British, however, protected subjects of the Nawab, used to sell passes of free trade given by farrukhsiyar (meant for European traders)  to native traders to trade custom-free and levied large duties on goods coming to their districts – actions which were detrimental to the Nawab’s revenue.

Black Hole Incident ·         In April 1756, Alivardi Khan died and was succeeded by his nineteen-year-old grandson, Siraj-ud-daulah. His personality was said to be a combination of a ferocious temper and a feeble understanding. He was particularly suspicious of the large profits made by the European companies in India.

·         When the British and the French started improving their fortifications in anticipation of another war between them, he immediately ordered them to stop such activities as they had been done without permission.

·         When the British refused to cease their constructions, the Nawab led a detachment of 3,000 men to surround the fort and factory of Cossimbazar and took several British officials as prisoners, before moving to Calcutta. The defences of Calcutta were weak and negligible. The city was occupied on 16 June by Siraj’s force and the fort surrendered after a brief siege on 20 June.

·         The prisoners who were captured at the siege of Calcutta were transferred by Siraj to the care of the officers of his guard, who confined them to the common dungeon of Fort William known as The Black Hole. This dungeon, 18 by 14 feet (5.5 m × 4.3 m) in size with two small windows, had 146 prisoners thrust into it – originally employed by the British to hold only six prisoners. On 21 June, the doors of the dungeon were opened and only 23 of the 146 walked out, the rest died of asphyxiation, heat exhaustion and delirium.

·         When news of the fall of Calcutta broke in Madras on 16 August 1756, the Council immediately sent out an expeditionary force under Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Watson.

·         On 29 December, the force dislodged the enemy from the fort of Budge Budge. Clive and Watson then recaptured Calcutta on 2 January 1757.

·         Plan of action against the Nawab was prepared. The fortifications of Fort William were strengthened.

The Capture of Chandernagar Fort (French) by Clive ·         On 9 January 1757, British army sacked the town of Hooghly, 23 miles (37 km) north of Calcutta. On learning of this attack, the Nawab raised his army and marched on Calcutta

·         Siraj set up his headquarters in Omichund’s garden.

·         Clive launched a surprise attack on the Nawab’s camp on the morning of 4 February. The attack scared the Nawab into concluding the Treaty of Alinagar with the Company on 5 February, agreeing to restore the Company’s factories, allow the fortification of Calcutta and restoring former privileges. The Nawab withdrew his army back to his capital, Murshidabad.

·         Concerned by the approach of de Bussy (French Commander) to Bengal and the Seven Years’ War in Europe, the Company turned its attention to the French threat in Bengal. Clive planned to capture the French town of Chandernagar, 20 miles (32 km) north of Calcutta.

·         The French expected assistance from the Nawab’s forces from Hooghly, but the governor of Hooghly, Nandkumar had been bribed to remain inactive and prevent the Nawab’s reinforcement of Chandernagar.

·         After plundering Chandernagar, Clive decided to ignore his orders to return to Madras and remain in Bengal.

1757 Battle of Plassey ·         Company’s victory at the Battle of Plassey

·         It was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies on 23 June 1757.

·         The battle established the Company rule in Bengal which expanded over much of India for the next hundred years.

·         The battle took place at Plassey (anglicised version of Palashi) on the banks of the Bhagirathi River (another name of Hooghly River upstream of Kolkata), (now in Nadia district in West Bengal).

·         The belligerents were Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and the British East India Company.

·         When Alivardhi Khan died in 1756, Siraj-ud-dulah became the nawab of Bengal. He orderd the English to stop the extension of their fortification.

·         Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar the commander in chief of the nawab’s army and attacked Calcuta. He defeated the Nawab at Plassey in 1757 and captured Calcutta.


·         The battle was preceded by the Black Hole incident and British seize on the French fort of Chandernagar.


·         The battle was waged during the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) in Europe, and, in a mirror of their European rivalry, the French East India Company (La Compagnie des Indes Orientales) sent a small contingent to fight against the British.


·         Siraj-ud-Daulah had a numerically superior force and made his stand at Plassey. The British, worried about being outnumbered, formed a conspiracy with Siraj-ud-Daulah’s demoted army chief Mir Jafar, along with others such as Yar Latif Khan, Jagat Seths (Mahtab Chand and Swarup Chand), Omichund and Rai Durlabh.


·         Popular discontent against the Nawab flourished in his own court. The Seths, the traders of Bengal, were in perpetual fear for their wealth under the reign of Siraj, contrary to the situation under Alivardi’s reign. They had engaged Yar Lutuf Khan to defend them in case they were threatened in any way.

·         A treaty was drawn between the British and Mir Jafar to raise him to the throne of the Nawab in return for support to the British in the field of battle and the bestowal of large sums of money upon them as compensation for the attack on Calcutta.

·         Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh and Yar Lutuf Khan thus assembled their troops near the battlefield but made no move to actually join the battle. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army was defeated by roughly 3,000 soldiers of Col. Robert Clive, owing to the flight of Siraj-ud-daulah from the battlefield and the inactivity of the conspirators.


·         This is judged to be one of the pivotal battles in the control of South Asia by the colonial powers. The British now wielded enormous influence over the Nawab and consequently acquired large amounts of concession for previous losses and revenue from trade. The British further used this revenue to increase their military might and push the other European colonial powers such as the Dutch and the French out of South Asia, thus expanding the British Empire in Asia.

·         In 1760, the 35-year-old Clive returned to Great Britain with a fortune of at least £300,000 and the quit-rent of £27,000 a year.

1760 ·         Marathas defeated the Nizam in the Deccan, Maratha power had reached its zenith with a territory of over 2,800,000 km² acres.
1761 (Third Battle of Panipat) ·         Third Battle Of Panipat , at Panipat, about 60 miles (95.5 km) north of Delhi

·         between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Empire and a coalition of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali with two Indian Muslim allies—the Rohilla Afghans of the Doab (Both ethnic Pashtuns), and Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh.

·         decline of the Mughal Empire following the 27-year Mughal-Maratha war (1680–1707) had led to rapid territorial gains for the Maratha Empire. Under Peshwa Baji Rao, Gujarat and Malwa came under Maratha control. Finally, in 1737, Baji Rao defeated the Mughals on the outskirts of Delhi, and brought much of the former Mughal territories south of Delhi under Maratha control. Baji Rao’s son, Balaji Baji Rao (popularly known as Nana Saheb), further increased the territory under Maratha control by invading Punjab in 1758.

·         This brought the Marathas into direct confrontation with the Durrani empire of Ahmad Shah Abdali. In 1759 he raised an army from the Pashtun tribes and made several gains against the smaller Maratha garrisons in Punjab. He then joined with his Indian allies—the Rohilla Afghans of the Gangetic Doab—forming a broad coalition against the Marathas.

·         Both sides tried to get the Nawad of Awadh, Shuja-ud-Daulah, into their camp. By late July, Shuja-ud-Daulah made the decision to join the Afghan-Rohilla coalition, preferring to join what was perceived as the ‘army of Islam’.

·         This was strategically a major loss for the Marathas, since Shuja provided much needed finances for the long Afghan stay in North India.

·         The Marathas, under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau mainly consisted of people who wanted to visit the Holy Hindu sites in the North.

·         The forces led by Ahmad Shah Durrani came out victorious after destroying several Maratha flanks. It is believed that between 60,000–70,000 were killed in fighting.

·         1771, 10 years after Panipat, Peshwa Madhavrao sent a large Maratha army into North India in an expedition that was meant to re-establish Maratha domination in North India and punish refractory powers that had either sided with the Afghans, such as the Rohillas, or had shaken off Maratha domination after Panipat. The success of this campaign can be seen as the last saga of the long story of Panipat.

1764 ·         Battle of Buxar

·         The Battle of Buxar was fought on 23 October 1764 between the forces under the command of the British East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined army of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal King Shah Alam II

·         The battle fought at Buxar, then within the territory of Bengal, a town located on the bank of the Ganges river about 130 km west of Patna, was a decisive victory for the British East India Company.

·         Treaty of Allahabad was signed


Treaty Of Allahabad ·         The prime victim, Shah Alam II (Mughal), signed the Treaty of Allahabad

·         British secured Diwani Rights for the Company to collect and manage the revenues of parts of the modern states of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as in the neighbouring areas of Bengal.

·         He was also forced to pay a war indemnity of five million rupees.

·         However, all his pre-war possessions were returned except for the districts of Karra and Allahabad

·         Shah Alam II became a pensioner with a monthly stipend of 450,000 rupees towards upkeep of horses, sepoys, peons, barkandazis (matchlock men) and household expenses.

·         Mir Qasim was quietly replaced. He also received a small share of the total land revenue, initially fixed at 2 million rupees.

·         Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula was restored to Oudh, with a subsidiary force and guarantee of defence, the emperor Shah Alam II solaced with Allahabad and a tribute and the frontier drawn at the boundary of Bihar. For Bengal itself the Company took a decisive step.


Importance of Treaty of Allahabad

·         It heralded the establishment of the rule of the East India Company in one-eighth of India proper with a single stroke.

·         Buxar should be seen in conjunction with the third battle of Panipat in January 1761 in terms of its impact on consolidating British presence in north-east India. By the treaty of 1752, the Marathas had essentially taken over administration of all the subahs of the Mughal empire, and had established their right to collect Chauth across these subahs. In return, they would protect the north-west frontier of the Mughal empire from Afghan invasion. This resulted in nine years of Maratha-Afghan struggle to establish control over the empire, and the subah of Punjab, which was claimed by both. However, due to the Marathas’ defeat at the third battle of Panipat, and their subsequent ten-year hiatus from North Indian affairs, the British were able to establish a foothold in North Indian affairs. Buxar was an important step in that direction.


Dual Government in Bengal

·         In return for restoring Shah Alam II to Allahabad, the Company got from him the imperial grant of the diwani or revenue authority in Bengal and Bihar. This had hitherto been enjoyed by the nawab of Bengal. Thus now there was a double government, the nawab retaining judicial and police functions but the Company exercising the revenue power.

·         The Company was acclimatised, as it were, into the Indian scene by becoming the Mughal revenue agent for Bengal and Bihar. There was as yet no thought of direct administration, and the revenue was collected by a Company-appointed deputy-nawab, Muhammad Reza Khan.

·         This arrangement made the British East India Company the virtual ruler of Bengal, since it already possessed decisive military power.

·         All that was left to the Nawab was the control of the judicial administration. But he was later forced to hand this over to the Company in 1793. Thus the company’s control was virtually complete.

·         It should also be noted that when the Marathas finally did send a large force back into North India in 1771, they were able to persuade Shah Alam II to leave British protection and enter Maratha protection. They then established Maratha regency over Delhi, which they essentially held till their defeat in the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803.

·         After taking almost 1/8th of India in a single stroke, they concentrated now on the southern India, against Mysore and Marathas.


British Conquest of Southern India


·         Their eastern holdings at Madras were strongly influenced by treaties with the Nawab of Carnatic, Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah, whose territory surrounded Madras.

·         By the Third Carnatic War (1757–1763) the British had not only gained somewhat solid footholds at Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta, but they had also marginalised but not eliminated the influence of other colonial powers.

·         The other major powers in the east were the Nizam of Hyderabad, formerly a viceroyalty of the Moghul Empire but declared independent in the 1720s, held in the 1760s by Asaf Jah II

·         Nominally ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, control of Mysore had in 1761 come into the hands of Hyder Ali, a shrewd and ruthless Muslim military leader.

·         The colonial powers sought to influence the local powers to gain either direct control of territory, or the revenues from territory nominally controlled by a local ruler beholden to them for financial and military support. Since European military training was significantly better than local practices, the latter was particularly important; small numbers of disciplined European or European-trained forces could defeat significantly larger Indian armies composed mainly of poorly trained infantry and cavalry.


1767 The First Anglo–Mysore War (1767–1769)

·         Sultanate of Mysore (Wodeyar Dynasty) and the East India Company

·         instigated in part by the machinations of Asaf Jah II, the Nizam of Hyderabad, who sought to divert the company’s resources from attempts to gain control of the Northern Circars

·         The Nizams and Marathas were wary of Hyder Ali’s expansionist policies and entered into an alliance.

·         British began to occupy northern circars (east coast where they had defeated French forces) after getting permission from Mughal Emperor in 1766, to which Nizam of Hyderabad objected but company forces were strong and he had to negotiate a treaty. Thus he agreed to company’s occupation of northern circars and company provided him military support.

·          Conflict involving Madras authorities, Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah (Ruler of Carnatic) and Hyder Ali, was also simmering. Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah, allied to the British, whose territory his surrounded, was upset that Hyder was harbouring his opponents.

·         Hyder was annoyed that the British had established a fortified outpost at Vellore.

·         British formed an alliance with the Nizams and Marathas

·         Seige of Amber was a momentous event during battle where Hyder Ali troops laid siege on company’s fort of Amber.

·         Haidar Ali of Mysore defeats the combined armies of the East India Company, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad. Hyder Ali won the battle and compelled Company to negotiate for a mutual defence treaty. (company agreed)

·         Treaty of Madras (1769)

1770 (Second Mysore Maratha war) ·         In 1770, when the Maratha armies of Madhavrao Peshwa invaded Mysore (three wars were fought between 1764 and 1772 by Madhavrao against Haider, in which Haider lost)

·          Haider expected British support as per the 1769 treaty but they betrayed him by staying out of the conflict.

·         The British betrayal and Haider’s subsequent defeat reinforced Haider’s deep distrust of the British—a sentiment that would be shared by his son and one which would inform Anglo-Mysore rivalries of the next three decades.

1771 ·         Marathas re-captures Delhi and parts of North India. Mahadji recaptured Delhi and installed Shah Alam II as the puppet ruler on the Mughal throne (Time of Peshwa Madhav Rao).
1773 ·         Regulating Act of 1773

·         Warren Hastings becomes 1st Governor General

·         Narayanrao Peshwa is murdered by his uncle Raghunathrao‘s wife in front of Raghunathrao.

1774 ·         Chief Justice of the Maratha Empire, Ram Shastri passes death sentence against the ruling Peshwa Raghunathrao for murdering his nephew.
1775 -82 First Anglo Maratha war

·         fought between the British East India Company and Maratha Empire

·         The war began with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai

·         After the death of Madhavrao Peshwa in 1772, his brother Narayanrao became Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. However, Raghunathrao, Narayanrao’s uncle, had Narayanrao assassinated in a palace conspiracy that resulted in Raghunathrao becoming Peshwa, although he was not the legal heir.

·         Narayanrao’s widow, Gangabai, gave birth to a posthumous son, who was legal heir to the throne. The newborn infant was named ‘Sawai’ Madhavrao (Sawai means “One and a Quarter”). Twelve Maratha chiefs, led by Nana Phadnavis directed an effort to name the infant as the new Peshwa and rule under him as regents.

·         Raghunathrao, unwilling to give up his position of power, sought help from the British at Bombay and signed the Treaty of Surat on 6 March 1775. According to the treaty, Raghunathrao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British, along with part of the revenues from Surat and Bharuch districts. In return, the British promised to provide Raghunathrao with 2,500 soldiers.

·         The British Calcutta Council condemned the Treaty of Surat, sending Colonel Upton to Pune to annul it and make a new treaty with the regency. An agreement between Upton and the ministers of Pune called Treaty of Purandar was signed on March 1, 1776. Raghunath Rao was pensioned and his cause abandoned, but the revenues of Salsette and Broach districts were retained by the British.

·         In 1777 Nana Phadnavis violated the treaty with the Calcutta Council by granting the French a port on the west coast. The British replied by sending a force towards Pune. This led to war.

·         Maratha sardar Mahadji Shinde routs the East India Company army at the Battle of Wadgaon War ends with the restoration of status quo as per Treaty of Salbai.

·         Treaty of Salbai, was signed on 17 May 1782, and was ratified by Hastings in June 1782 and by Phadnis in February 1783. The treaty returned to Shinde all his territories west of the Yamuna. British recognised young Madhav Rao as Peshwa.

·         It also guaranteed peace between the two sides for twenty years, thus ending the war. (Salbai is located 32 km south-east to Gwalior city in Gwalior district, MP)

After securing peace with Marathas, British concentrated with full force on Mysore.

 Second Anglo Mysore War (1780-84) ·         Between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company. At the time, Mysore was a key French ally in India, and the Franco–British conflict raging on account of the American Revolutionary War helped spark Anglo–Mysorean hostilities in India.

·         The company’s operations were bolstered by Crown troops sent from Britain

·         Hyder Ali ruled Mysore (though he did not have the title of king). Stung by what he considered a British breach of faith during an earlier war against the Marathas (three wars he fought and lost between 1764–1772 against Madhavrao Peshwa), Hyder Ali committed himself to a French alliance to seek revenge against the British.

·         Following the British seizure of the French port of Mahé in 1779, Hyder Ali declared wars against the British in 1780, with significant success in early campaigns.

·         In 1782, Hyder Ali died of cancer. His son had to return from warfront.

·         In 1783, news of a preliminary peace between France and Britain reached India, resulting in the withdrawal of French support from the Mysorean war effort.

·         The British consequently also sought to end the conflict with Mysore, and the British government ordered the Company to secure peace with Mysore.

·         This resulted in the 1784 Treaty of Mangalore, restoring the status quo antebellum under terms company officials such as Warren Hastings found extremely unfavourable.

·         The treaty is an important document in the history of India, because it was the last occasion when an Indian power dictated terms to the British, who were under orders from London to negotiate a peace.

·         The great advantage to Tipu was the psychological impact of his victory with the British.

1786 ·         Charles Cornwallis becomes 2nd Governor General.

·         District collectors in Bengal were made responsible for settling the revenue and collecting it.

1789 The Third Anglo–Mysore War (1789–92)

·         East India Company allies included the Maratha Empire and the Nizam of Hyderabad.

·         Tipu Sultan lost and had to sign the treaty of Seringipatnam

·         The war resulted in a sharp curtailment of Mysore’s borders to the advantage of the Mahrattas, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Madras Presidency.


Congreve Rockets

·         One notable military advance championed by Tipu Sultan was the use of mass attacks with rocket brigades, called kushoons, in the army.

·         The weapons used by the kushoons sufficiently impressed the British during the Third and Fourth Mysore Wars to inspire William Congreve to develop Congreve rockets.


1790 The Marathas under Holkar and General de Boigne defeat the Rajputs of Jaipur and Mughals at the Battle of Patan, where 3000+ Rajput cavalry is killed and the entire Mughal unit vanquished. The defeat crushes Rajput hope of independence from external influence
1792 Third Anglo-Mysore War ends with the Treaty of Seringapatnam
1798 – 1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

·         Napoleon‘s landing in Egypt in 1798 was intended to capture British possessions in India, and the Kingdom of Mysore was a key to that next step as the ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, was a staunch ally of France.

·         Colonel Arthur Wellesley, the future 1st Duke of Wellington), nevertheless marched into Mysore in 1799 and besieged the capital, Srirangapatnam, after some engagements with the Tipu’s armies.

·         Tipu Sultan was killed


·         The British took indirect control of Mysore, restoring the Wodeyar Dynasty to the Mysore throne (with a British commissioner to advise him on all issues).

·         Tipu’s young heir, Fateh Ali, was sent into exile. The Kingdom of Mysore became a princely state of British India, and ceded Coimbatore, Uttara Kannada, and Dakshina Kannada to the British.

·         The war, specifically the Battle of Mallevey and the Siege of Seringapatam, with many of the key protagonists, is covered in the historical novel Sharpe’s Tiger.

1799 (Polygar War) ·         Polygar War or Palayaikarar Wars refers to the wars fought between the Polygars (Palaiyakkarars) of former Madurai Kingdom in Tamil Nadu, India and the British East India Company forces between March 1799 to May 1802 or July 1805.

·         The British finally won and made large part of territories of Tamil Nadu come under British control enabling them to get a strong hold in India.

1800 ·         Death of Nana Phadnavis
1801 ·         Maharaja Ranjit Singh establishes Khalsa rule of Punjab from Lahore. Khalsa army liberates Kashmiri Pundits and invades Afghanistan through Khyber Pass.
1803 Second Anglo-Maratha War

·         So with the fall of Mysore as a serious threat to British expansion in the south Wellesley turned attention towards the Marathas.

·         The Maratha empire at that time consisted of a confederacy of five big chiefs, viz the Peshwa at Poona,Gaekwad of Baroda,Sindhia of Gwalior, Holkar of Indore and Bhonsle of Nagpur.

·         The Maratha chiefs were engaged in internal quarrels among them.

·         Wellesley had repeatedly offered a subsidiary treaty to the Peshwa and Sindhia but Nana Phadnavis refused strongly. He died in 1800.

·         However in 1802 when Holkar defeated the combined armies of Peshwa and Sindhia, Peshwa Baji Rao II signed the Subsidiary treaty at Bassein in 1802.

·         This act on the part of the Peshwa, their nominal overlord, horrified and disgusted the Maratha chieftains; in particular, the Scindia rulers of Gwalior and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur and Berar, who contested the agreement and led to war.

·         Wellesley, who went on to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo, would later remark that Assaye was tougher than Waterloo.

1805 Second Anglo-Maratha War ends
1806 (Vellore Mutiny) The Vellore Mutiny on 10 July 1806

·         the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the East India Company

·         lasting only one full day, but brutal as mutineers broke into the Vellore Fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot.

·         Summary executions of about 100 mutineers took place during the suppression of the outbreak.

1807 East India Company signs treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh
1811 Death of Yashwantrao Holkar
1817-18 (Third Anglo Maratha war) ·         The war left the Company in control of most of India.

·         It began with an invasion of the Maratha territory British East India Company troops. The troops were led by the Governor General Hastings.

·         The operations began with action against Pindaris, a band of Muslim and Maratha from central India.


·         The Peshwa Baji Rao II‘s forces, followed by those of Mudhoji II Bhonsle of Nagpur and Malharrao Holkar III of Indore, rose against the British company.

·         Pressure and diplomacy convinced the fourth major Maratha leader, Daulatrao Shinde of Gwalior, to remain neutral. even though he lost control of Rajasthan.

·         British victories were swift, resulting in the breakup of the Maratha Empire and the loss of Maratha independence.


·         The Peshwa was captured and placed on a small estate at Bithur, near Kanpur.

·         Most of his territory was annexed and became part of the Bombay Presidency.

·         The Maharaja of Satara was restored as the ruler of his territory as a princely state. In 1848 this territory was also annexed by the Bombay Presidency under the doctrine of lapse policy of Lord Dalhousie.

·         The defeat of the Bhonsle and Holkar also resulted in the acquisition of the Maratha kingdoms of Nagpur and Indore by the British.

·         Along with Gwalior from Shinde and Jhansi from the Peshwa, all of these territories became princely states acknowledging British control.

1818 ·         Third Anglo-Maratha War ends with the defeat of Bajirao II and the end of the Maratha Empire leaving the East India Company with control of almost the whole of India





January 2, 2018

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