India upto 1857 – Chapter 2

Section B: Struggle between French and British East India Company


The Arrival of French East India Company

  • Among the Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and French, the French East India Company was the last to be formed.
  • However, the first East India Company (Voyage) founded by the French State was in 1603. This voyage was captained by Paulmier de Gonneville.
  • This was called Compagnie des Indes Orientales and was authorized by Henry IV , granting the firm a 15-year monopoly of the Indies trade.
  • These early French Indian Companies were just trading voyages and left no establishments in the East Indies.
  • After the troubles of Louis XIV were over and he was firmly seated on the throne of France, and after the Island of Bourbon or Reunion and Madagascar had happened, the French ministers were firm on the idea to look for a field for commercial expansion of the French Trade.
  • The French acquired the Island of Bourbon in around 1650 and were trying to make establishments at the Madagascar.
  • In 1667, under Francis Caron, the company established first factory at Surat and second factory was established at Masulipattanam a year later.
  • In 1674, the François Martin of French East India Company established a trading center at Pondicherry, which eventually became the chief French settlement in India.
  • The Dutch captured Pondicherry in 1693 but returned it to France by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1699.
  • The French acquired Mahe in the 1720s, Yanam in 1731, and Karaikal in 1738. François Martin also established a factory at Chandranagar in Bengal.
  • A new factory in 1688 was established at Chinsura but want of support from France brought the Company’s affairs in India to a low ebb and the French East India Company felt obliged to cede its right of monopoly to some enterprising merchants of Saint-Malo.
  • In February, 1701, Pondicherry was made the capital of the French settlements in India, and François Martin was appointed president of the superior council and director general of French affairs in India. Martin died December 30, 1706 and this followed a series of the successors.
  • Till 1720, the factories at Surat, Masulipattanam and Bantam had to be abandoned because of the adverse conditions back at home.

Joseph François Dupleix

  • In 1741, Joseph François Dupleix began to cherish the ambition of a French Empire in India but could not sell the idea to his superiors.
  • The series of skirmished began in India when the conflict of the British and French started. In 1744 Robert Clive arrived in India. This devil British Officer ruined the hopes of Dupleix to create a French Colonial India.
  • In 1761, Pondicherry was captured by the British and since then the French colonies in India have been unimportant.
  • Dupleix was governor-general of the French possessions in India from 1742 to 1754. In 1764, Dupleix died deserted and poverty-stricken in Paris.
  • Dupleix had married Jeanne Dupleix, who was a Pondicherry born widow of one of the councilors of the company. She was known in India as Joanna Begum. Joanna Begum participated in some of the negotiations with the native rulers.

Beginning of French and British East India Companies – The State of Affairs in Deccan

  • The political history of the British in India begins with the Carnatic Wars, which were fought in the early eighteenth century. The Fort St. George or Madras was the first territorial possession of the British in India acquired in 1639.
  • The First settlement of the French was 100 miles down south at Pondicherry, on the coromandal coast.
  • For many years, the English as well as French traded side by side without much rivalry. The commercial and maritime quarrels in the initial decades of the 18th century gradually drew the France and England into open hostilities. The English had a larger and powerful navy; the France was in dangerous position in this context.
  • But in America and West Indies, the colonial dominions of the France were more extensive than England.
  • In Indian Ocean also the French had a strategic advantage, the base of operations in the Islands of Bourbon and Mauritius.
  • When Aurangzeb died in 1707, the Deccan became almost sovereign from Delhi. The Governors appointed by the Mughals soon got autonomy. In 1724, Asaf Jah I, who was granted the title Nizam-ul-Mulk (Governor of the country) by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, defeated a rival official to establish control over Hyderabad. This began the Asaf Jahi dynasty that ruled Hyderabad until a year after India’s independence from Britain.
  • The Nizam-ul-Mulk exercised a nominal authority over the entire Deccan with its capital at Hyderabad.
  • A deputy of the Nizam ruled the Carnatic, who was also known as Nawab of Arcot. The Nawab of Arcot started claiming hereditary sovereignty.
  • The Trichurapalli was capital of a Hindu Raja. There was another Hindu fiefdom at Tanjore which was under one of the descendants of Shivaji.
  • Mysore was also gradually growing into a Hindu State, where the Nayaks had some half independent status in some of the citadels; they were remnants of the Vijayanagar Empire. Thus the whole of south was divided into small parts which claimed their own sovereignty.
  • In 1744, a war was declared between France and England. Dupleix was the French Governor of Pondicherry and Clive was a young civil servant (Clerk) at Madras.








Section C: The East India Company under Robert Clive

The Initial Career of Robert Clive

  • Robert Clive was born in Shropshire, England and was appointed as Clerk in the service of the East India Company in 1743.
  • He arrived Madras in 1744. In 1747 he was commissioned ensign in the Company’s army.
  • Later he became Governor of Bengal from 1758 to 1760 and from 1765 to 1767.
  • He committed suicide in 1774.


Carnatic Wars

First Carnatic War


  • Please note that First Carnatic war was a part of the War of the Austrian Succession that was fought between the Kingdom of Prussia, Spain, France, and Bavaria, Sweden etc. on one side and Habsburg Monarchy, England, Dutch Republic, Russia on the other side. This war continued from 1740 to 1748 and finally ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748).
  • This treaty could not bring any substantial settlement with regard to the commercial struggle between the Britain and France in India. In India the same war is coterminous with the First Carnatic War.
  • The First Carnatic war in India began with the appearing of a British Fleet on the Coromandel Coast. in 1745. The Judicious French Governor Dupleix induced the Nawab of Arcot for intervention but the Nawab opted for an impartial policy.
  • British initially captured a few French ships, the French called for backup from Mauritius. In 1746 a French squadron arrived under the command of Bertrand François Mahe de la Bourdonnais, who was the famous French governor of Mauritius.
  • In September 1746, the French captured the Madras almost without any opposition and the British were made prisoners of war. Clive was also one of those Prisoners.
  • The Nawab of Arcot had adopted the impartial policy but to drive the British out of Madras, marched with 10,000 soldiers to the St Fort George but was defeated. The negotiations about the fate of Madras started but these negotiations took too much time to let Clive escape from the Fort St. George to Fort St David, some twenty miles to the south.
  • In 1748 an English fleet arrived under Admiral Boscawen, and attempted the siege of Pondicherry. At the same time the Land Force of the company was led by Major Stringer Lawrence. Major Stringer Lawrence successfully foiled an attempted French surprise at Cuddalore, but subsequently was captured by a French cavalry patrol at Ariancopang (Ariankuppam) near Pondicherry and kept prisoner till the peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
  • Major Stringer Lawrence was the first Commander-in-Chief, India, of the East India Company. Some people also call him the “Father of Indian Army”.
  • In October 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle restored the peace between France and England and this also brought an end to the First Carnatic War.
  • Madras was restored to the English for some territories (Louisburg) in North America. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was merely a truce and it was violated by both French and British, thus the war formally renewed in 1756. But before that a crisis in Indian Politics led to the Second Carnatic War.

Second Carnatic War


  • France and England were at Peace during the Second Carnatic War.
  • In 1748, the Nizam of Hyderabad Asaf Jah I died and there was a civil war for succession broke out. This Civil war of succession is known as Second Carnatic War.
  • The Belligerents were Mir Ahmad Ali Khan (Nasir Jung), who was the son of the Nizam-ul-Mulk, and Hidayat Muhi ud-Din Sa’adu’llah Khan (Muzaffar Jung), who was the grandson of Nizam-ul-Mulk.
  • During the first Carnatic War, the Nawab or Arcot was Muhammad Anwaruddin, who received overtures for support from both from the English and the French.
  • The French wanted to reduce the growing influence of the English in the Carnatic. So they supported Husain Dost Khan (Chanda Sahib) as the rightful Nawab of the Carnatic against Muhammad Anwaruddin, who was supported by the British.
  • For Chanda Sahib, this was an opportunity to become Nawab of Arcot with the support of the French. He joined the cause of Muzaffar Jung and began to conspire against the Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammad Khan in Arcot.
  • The French allied with Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jung to bring them into power in Arcot and Hyderabad respectively. But the British were not sitting idle. To offset the French influence, they began supporting Nasir Jung and Nawab Muhammad Anwaruddin. This old man Nawab Muhammad Anwaruddin, supported by the English, met the French army at Ambur in August 1749 and was killed in the battle. Now the British supported the son of Nawab Muhammad Anwaruddin named Muhammad Ali Khan Walajah.
  • In 1751, Robert Clive led British troops to capture Arcot. This is famous as Siege of Arcot. In this Clive was successful and English protégé, Mohammed Ali Khan Walajah, was recognized as Nawab of Arcot. The war ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry, signed in 1754.
  • Muhammad Ali Khan Walajah was recognized as the Nawab of Arcot. The Siege of Arcot (1751) was a heroic feat, more important than the Battle of Plessey. It spread the fame of English valor throughout India.
  • Shortly afterward Clive returned to England in ill-health, but the war continued for some more years. The result was that English influence predominated in the Coromandal Coast and Carnatic. Mohammad Ali maintained his position, but the French were able to get the Northern Circars, the maritime tract.
  • At Hyderabad, Nasir Jang Mir Ahmad, the English protégé was killed in the battle, the French helped in placing Asaf ad-Dawlah Mir Ali Salabat Jang the third son of Asaf Jah as Nawab of Hyderabad.


Rise of Lord Clive


  • The end of the Second Carnatic war brought a disaster for Dupleix.
  • The French Government recalled him and Dupleix was compelled to embark for France on 12 October 1754. He had not saved any money and the government did not support him. His wife died 2 years later and the ruined Dupleix died in 1763 in utter poverty and obscurity. His successors failed in cherishing the dream of a French Empire in India.
  • The Siege of Arcot had made Clive a national hero in England. He was described by the Prime Minister Pitt, the elder as the “heaven-born general”, thus endorsing the generous appreciation of his early commander, Major Lawrence.
  • The Court of Directors of the East India Company voted him a sword worth £700, which he refused to receive unless Lawrence was similarly honored.

Third Carnatic War


  • The conflict between the France and England got renewed in 1756 in Europe, in the form of Seven Years War, which is coterminous with the Third Carnatic War.
  • The Third Carnatic war was a local version of the Seven Years war in Europe. The Third Carnatic War put an end to the French ambitions to create a colonial empire in India.
  • The earlier two Carnatic wars were limited to Deccan but the third war spread in Bengal also.
  • The British Forces were able to capture the French Settlements at Chandranagar in 1757.
  • The French forces in south were led by Comte De Lally. The British forces under Sir Eyre Coote, defeated the French in the Battle of Wandiwash in 1760 and besieged Pondicherry.
  • After Wandiwash, the French capital of Pondicherry fell to the British in 1761.
  • When the Seven Years war ended with The war concluded with the signing of the 1763 Treaty of Paris or Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763. As per parts of this treaty, the Chandranagar and Pondicherry was returned to France. The French were now allowed to have trading posts in India but forbade French traders from administering them.
  • The Government of France also agreed to support British client governments. This was the last nail in the coffin of the French ambitions of an Indian Empire. British were now the dominant power in India.

Condition of Awadh, Bengal and Deccan after Aurangzeb


  • The Puritan King Aurangzeb died in 1707 and after his death the throne of Delhi passed in the hands of 8 Mughal rulers by 1719.
  • The immediate successor of Aurangzeb was prince Muazzam styled Bahadur Shah-1, who was followed by Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi ud-Darajat, Rafi ud-Daulah, Nekusiyar, Muhammad Ibrahim.
  • The Empire had already broken into pieces and when Mohammad Shah Rangila sat on the throne, the Mughals had became nominal heads of Hindustan by 1719.
  • The Nobles as expected, rose and the prominent provinces of the Mughals became independent.
  • Out of them the most important were Oudh under Saadat Ali Khan, Bengal & Orissa under Murshid Quli Khan and Deccan (Hyderabad) under Asaf Jah-I.
  • These experienced people were the decorated courtiers of Aurangzeb and were far ahead in popularity than the new Mughal rookies in the Red Fort of Delhi. The only positive thing about these rulers was that they never declared rebellion till the Old Lion was alive. The new Mughals became weaker and dependent upon these nobles and to purchase their loyalty, compromised on the conditions they were ruling their respective territories.

Murshid Quli Khan of Bengal


  • The first among these to declare himself the de-fact ruler was Asaf Jah-I of Hyderabad.
  • The next was Murshid Quli Khan of Bengal.
  • Under the nose of Farrukhsiyar, the name of Makhsusabad was changed to Murshidabad and Nawab Murshid Quli Khan became the de-facto ruler of Bengal and Orissa, however, he kept on working “for” decrepit Mughals.
  • Murshid Quli Khan was the First Nawab of Bengal whose reign in this capacity was from 1717 to 1727.
  • As soon as Farrukhsiyar acknowledged his changing the name of Makhsusabad to Murshidabad he released Zurbe Murshedabad coin, in his own new mint.
  • He kept on sending annual tributes to the Mughals but was the real ruler of Bengal. He died in 1727.
  • Before he died, he had appointed his maternal grandson Sarfaraz Khan as heir apparent, who abdicated the seat for his father Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan, who became the second Nawab of Bengal.
  • In some British Records, Murshid Quli Khan is named Jafar Khan. He was a Brahmin by birth and was brought up as a slave in Persia. He became a fanatic muslim and destroyed some temples.


Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan


  • Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan was the son-in-law of the first Nawab Murshid Quli Khan. He remained the Nawab till 1740.
  • His tenure is known for reorganization of the Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • In 1733, Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan had merged Bihar in Bengal and divided the entire region into 4 administrative regions viz. Central Division, Dhaka Division, Bihar Division and Orissa Division.
  • During his time a noble Jagat Seth, who was a baker in Calcutta rose to prominence.
  • After he died in 1739, he was followed by his son Sarfaraz Khan, who within a year was defeated by one Alivardi Khan and killed in a bloody battle at Giria.
  • From 1740 to 1756, Ali Vardi Khan remained the Nawab of Bengal as Mahabat Jung.
  • In 1756, when Alivardi died he was succeeded by Siraj ud-Daulah. Siraj ud-Daulah was the last sovereign Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Black Hole of Calcutta


  • Siraj, a young man of 23 years sat on the throne of Nawab of Bengal amid plots and counter-plots by the friends and family members. One of the adversaries was his maternal aunt Ghaseti Beghum who was placed by him in confinement.
  • Another adversary was the greatest traitor of all times Mir Jafar who was not appointed him Mir Bakshi.
  • The young Nawab was wary of the growing intervention of the British in the affairs of the province.
  • The ungovernable temper of Siraj led to a rupture with the English within two months after his accession. He marched upon Calcutta with a large army and laid the siege of the site of the Fort William. Many British fled down the river in their ships and the remainder 146 people were compelled to surrender. These people were stuffed for a night in a room of 18 square feet, with only two windows and 123 people (Including natives) got suffocated to death. This is called the Black Hole of Calcutta (1756), which is still doubtful on account of the number of the perished.
  • This news reached Madras, when Clive had already come from England. He led the troops and arrived in Bengal. After a small skirmish, the peace was restored.
  • Soon afterwards, Clive breached the neutrality and captured the French settlement of Chandranagar. Acting on the tactics which Clive had learnt in South from Dupleix, he contacted Mir Jafar and other people in the court of Nawab and offered him the throne if he deceives Siraj-Ud-Daulah. In May 1757, the British Calcutta Council made a secret treaty with Mir Jafar, promising to place him on the throne of Bengal.
  • William Watts, the chief of the British factory at Kasimbazar plotted this conspiracy.

Battle of Plassey


  • British marched out to the grove of Plassey, about 100 Kilometers north of Calcutta, at the head of 1000 Europeans and 2000 sepoys, with 8 pieces of artillery. The Bengal viceroy’s army numbered 35,000 foot and 15,000 horse, with 50 cannon.
  • On 23 June 1757, the Battle of Plassey was fought between the forces of Siraj Ud Daulah, and his French support troops and the troops of the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive. This event was a part of the Seven Years War.
  • In the battle of Plassey the forces of Nawab were defeated and Nawab fled the scene on a Camel along with his 2000 horsemen. He went first to Murshidabad and then to Patna by boat, but was eventually pursued by Mir Jafar’s soldiers.
  • On 2 July 1757, Siraj-Ud-Daulah was executed under orders from Mir Miran, son of Mir Jafar.
  • The faithful commanders of Nawab were Mir Madan and Mohan Lal. The right arm of the army was commanded by Rai Durlabh, Center by Yar Lutuf Khan and Left close to British by Mir Jafar, all traitors. The Nawab’s army had attacked vigorously in the beginning but Clive kept his ammunitions in reserve and soldiers safe under a groove / embankment. There was a rainfall, which led the ammunition and powder of Nawab drenched while the British used tarpaulins to protect their ammunition.
  • When the Nawab’s army realized that the British ammunition is rendered ineffective Mir Madan asked the cavalry to take charge but the next moment a shot from British claimed his life. Nawab tried to reconcile with Mir Jafar, but he did not turn up.
  • Mir Jafar : He became the first titular Nawab of Bengal paving the way for British Empire in India.
  • Jagat Set : A Marwari Banker. After 9 years of the Battle of Plassey, the entire family of Jagat Seth was beheaded by Mir Kasim.
  • Omi Chand or Amir Chand : He tried to get 5% from the treasure after Mir Jafar becomes Nawab but was deceived by the British by fake treaty and this shock was enough to plunge him into mental retardation. He survived for some 10 years and died anonymously.
  • Manik Chand: This was an officer in Calcutta Rai Durlab: He was the treasurer of Nawab.
  • Ghaseti Beghum: The rich maternal aunt of Nawab.
  • Mir Jafar , the Gaddar-e-Abrar: Mir Jafar was placed as a titular Nawab of Bengal in 1757. The British extracted enormous sums from Mir Jafar as the price of his elevation. Mir Zafar paid 1 Crore 77 Lakh Rupees as compensation for the attack on Calcutta to the company and the traders of the city. The East India Company claimed 1.5 Crore. Clive was promised 280,000 Rupees.
  • The long cherished dream of becoming Nawab of Bengal of Mir Jafar was achieved. But he could not bear the extortionist policies of the British for long. When he realized that British expectations were limitless he tried to wriggle out of their grip. For this he took the help of the Dutch.


Battle of Chinsura


  • Mir Jafar opened secret negotiations with the representatives of the Dutch East India Company to bring troops against the British.
  • The Dutch, seeing an opportunity to enhance the influence sent a force at Chinsurah, but they were defeated by the British army. The battle was fought both in sea and land. The Victories British overthrew the titular Nawab Mir Jafar and his placed his son in law Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal

Clive’s Jagir


  • Mir Jafar had made a grant to the Company of the Zamindari over an extensive tract around the Calcutta which is now known as 24 Pargana. This Twenty-Four Parganas included the country immediately surrounding Calcutta, except city.
  • In 1757, the East India Company obtained the Zamindari rights over this territory so now it could collect the cultivator’s rent, subject to tax paid to the Nawab as the representative of the Mughal Emperor.
  • In 1759 the land tax was granted by the emperor in favor of Clive, who thus became the landlord of his own boss i.e. the East India Company. It was known as Clive’s Jagir.
  • The Clive’s Jagir became a matter of inquiry in England. The Clive’s claim to the property as feudal suzerain over the Company was contested by the company in 1764. In 1765, a new deed was issued, which confirmed this Jagir for 10 years. This Jagir received the sanction of the Mughal Emperor in 1765 and it gave the absolute validity to the original Jagir. However, it was transferred to the company as a perpetual property. Annual grant of around 2.22 Lakh Rupees was paid to Clive from 1765 till 1774, when he shot himself to death. After that whole proprietary rights were reverted to the company. This was the climax of Clive’s career.
  • In 1758 he was appointed by the court of directors as the first governor of all the company’s settlements in Bengal.

Mir Kasim


  • After the Battle of Chinsura, the British deposed Mir Jafar and placed his son in law Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal.
  • Mir Kasim, soon began to show a will of his own, and to cherish dreams of independence.
  • He eventually shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger in Bihar where he raised an independent army.
  • The problem was the free trade. It was during Farrukhsiyar reign, in 1717, that the British East India Company purchased duty-free trading rights in all of Bengal for a mere three thousand rupees a year. Mir Kasim opposed that the imperial Dastak was discriminatory. The British could trade without paying taxes but the other local merchants with dastaks were required to pay up to 40% of their revenue as tax. In a reaction, Mir Kasim abolished all taxes on the local traders as well. This upset the British and hostility was renewed.
  • The forces of Mir Kasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the resident. Later he teamed up with Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula of Avadh and Shah Alam II, the itinerant Mughal emperor. But all of them were defeated in the Battle of Buxar in 1764. Meanwhile, Mir Jafar managed to regain the good graces of the British and he was again appointed Nawab in 1763 and held the position until his death in 1765.

Saadat Ali Khan


  • The Puritan King Aurangzeb died in 1707 and after his death the throne of Delhi passed in the hands of 8 Mughal rulers by 1719.
  • The immediate successor of Aurangzeb was prince Muazzam styled Bahadur Shah-1, who was followed by Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi ud-Darajat, Rafi ud-Daulah, Nekusiyar, Muhammad Ibrahim.
  • The Empire had already broken into pieces and when Mohammad Shah Rangila sat on the throne, the Mughals had became nominal heads of Hindustan by 1719.
  • The Nobles as expected, rose and the prominent provinces of the Mughals became Out of them, the most important were Oudh under Saadat Ali Khan, Bengal & Orissa under Murshid Quli Khan and Deccan (Hyderabad) under Asaf Jah-I.
  • These experienced people were the decorated courtiers of Aurangzeb and were far ahead in popularity than the new Mughal rookies in the Red Fort of Delhi. The only positive thing about these rulers was that they never declared rebellion till the Old Lion was alive. The new Mughals became weaker and dependent upon these nobles and to purchase their loyalty, compromised on the conditions they were ruling their respective territories.
  • The forces of Mir Kasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the resident. In the initial skirmishes Mir Kasim was successful but his forces were defeated in two battles by Major Adams at Gheria and Udhunala. He had to fled and take refuge to Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula. Shuja-ud-Daula refused to deliver to the British. The war was prolonged.
  • In Delhi Shah Alam or Ali Gauhar succeeded his father Alamgir II.
  • On October 23, 1764, there was a decisive battle at Buxar.


Saadat Ali Khan I

  • Saadat Ali Khan I was the Subedar Nawab (Governor) of the Mughals in Awadh from 1722 to 1739. He was son of a merchant of Khurasan.
  • When Nadir Shah attacked in 1739, he was in the battle from Mughal side. He died just after this attack and was succeeded by Safdarjung, who as soon as sat on the throne, paid Nadir Shah 2 Crore Rupees.
  • Safdarjung was succeeded by Shuja-ud-Daula in 1753.

Battle of Buxar


  • On October 22-23, 1764, the decisive Battle of Buxar was fought.
  • The belligerents were the East India Company on one side and combined forces of Mir Kasim, Shah Aalam II and Shuja-ud-Daula.
  • The combined forces had 40000 soldiers and the British Forces had 18000 forces. The three separate allies could not coordinate in a better way and got defeated.
  • The British won this Battle of Buxar under the command of Major Hector Munro.
  • After this battle, Shah Aalam II submitted to the British.
  • Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula fled from the scene and took refuse to Rohilla.
  • Mir Kasim also fled and died a few years later in extreme obscurity.
  • Clive was in England when Battle of Buxar was fought and won by the British.
  • In 1765, Clive returned styled Lord Clive as Governor General of Bengal for the second time.
  • By this time, the British had shown their military supremacy in India for, the Battle of Buxar was tough contested bout, than the Battle of Plassey which was won by deceit. Battle of Buxar ended with Treaty of Allahabad.

Treaty of Allahabad


  • The important outcome of the Battle of Buxar was the Treaty of Allahabad which was signed between Lord Clive and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, who had submitted to the British in the battle.
  • Mughal Emperor granted Fiscal Rights (Diwani) or right to administer the territory and collect taxes to the East India Company at Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Thus the British became the masters of fate of the people of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa and now they would collect the revenue.
  • In lieu of this Right, the Company gave an annual tribute of 26 Lakh Rupees to the Mughals
  • The districts of Kora and Allahabad were returned to Mughal Emperor.
  • Awadh was returned to Shuja-ud-Daulah but Allahabad and Kora was taken from him.
  • The Nawab of Awadh paid 53 Lakhs rupees of war indemnity to the British.
  • Thus Clive, in person settled the fate of almost half of the Northern India. The fiscal administration of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa and the territorial jurisdiction of the Northern Circars is called the Dual System of Government.

Dual System of Government


  • The Dual System of Government in Bengal was the brainchild of Lord Clive.
  • At Murshidabad, there was a puppet Nawab sitting paying the company an annual allowance of Rs. 6 Lakh.
  • The British Emperor Shah Aalam II came under the “protection” of the British and he would now stay at Allahabad. The company was giving to him Rs. 26 Lakh every year in lieu of the Diwani rights or the Fiscal administration.
  • But this was not able to satisfy the ambitions of Lord Clive. He left nothing for the Bengal than just a shadow authority and the real government came into the hands of the East India Company.
  • The territorial administration of the Northern Circars was to keep the French and British at bay.
  • The Diwani (Fiscal) was carried out by the company so Company was Diwan. The Nizamat (territorial) jurisdiction was carried out by these decrepit Indians so they were Nizam. So, this system of separate Diwan and Nizam is called Dual Administration.
  • However, the real authority was East India Company in the Nizamat also. The biggest fall out of this system was that the Indian Merchants were reduced to beggars. On the one side, British kept enjoying the duty free trade; the Indian merchants were to pay around 40% of the revenue. The peasants were now under the British revenue collection. The British left no stone unturned to extract each penny.
  • There was zero activity in the name of development so Peasants started turning beggars. The new confusing administrative machinery which was not properly set up created chaos .
  • The Officials of the British East India Company such as Lord Clive became extremely rich due to the clandestine private trade.
  • This was the beginning of the Economic loot from India, which made England the wealthiest country in the world in the 19th and 20th century. The consequence of this steady drain upon the production of the country soon began to be felt.

Famine of Bengal 1770


  • There was one more result of the Battle of Plassey and Battle of Buxar.
  • After winning the Battle of Plassey, the 35 year young man Clive returned to England in 1760 with a fortune of 3 Lakh Pounds and a rent of 27 thousand Pounds per year.
  • Further, the treasure of Nawab Sirajuddaula was looted in such a way that 20% was appropriated to the Zamindars and the corrupt company officials.
  • In 1770, there was a catastrophic famine in Bengal. This famine was so ruinous that every 1 out of 3 people in Bengal (Plus Bihar & Orissa) died and the population of 30 million was reduced to 10 million. The immediate reason of this famine was that the rains were no good and the company which was now Diwan of the region increased the land tax by 10% in April 1770.
  • One partial reason was that Opium cultivation was something the corrupt British wanted from the peasants of India, which could maximize their trade profits. The Indians and the British were collectively responsible for this disaster.


Clive Fund


  • After the Battle of Buxar in 1764, Clive arrived in May 1765. Mir Jafar was dead before his arrival and he was succeeded by his son Kasim Ali.
  • This time, the order of Clive’s superiors was to introduce some reforms which could “curb” the corruption in the East India Company. The Salaries of the servants was increased and acceptance of Gifts from the Indians had been forbidden.
  • But he himself was a corrupt, so there was no much positive achievement in the purification of the Company’s service, by prohibiting illicit gains, and guaranteeing a reasonable salary from honest sources only.
  • Mir Jafar, before dying, had bequeathed a large sum to Lord Clive. But he was unable to accept this money honorably as under the new orders forbade the Company’s officials to accept presents from natives. With this money Clive established the Clive Fund for the disabled officers and men of the Company’s army. This was known as Clive’s Fund. The Fund was reverted to his heirs when the East India Company was dissolved.

Hyder Ali


  • From 1734 to 1766, Mysore was under Krishnaraja Wodeyar II.
  • His reign was dominated basically by his commander in chiefs and among them; Hyder Ali came to prominence from 1760 onwards.
  • When Krishnaraja died, Hyder Ali became the de facto ruler of Mysore in 1763, though Nanjaraja was placed on the throne of Mysore as nominal head.
  • The Mysore had territorial threats from both the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad.
  • In 1758, Hyder Ali was able to successfully drive out Marathas from Bangalore where they had laid a siege. But the Marathas were dominant and kept raiding Mysore territories at their will.
  • But before Hyder could become a ruler of Mysore, he had to overcome a conspiracy by Queen Mother of Mysore and one Khanderao. He cleverly overcame this conspiracy and captured and imprisoned Khanderao and took over Shrirangpatnam. After that he tried to overrun the territories of Marathas but got defeated.
  • In 1761, in the Battle of Panipat, the Marathas got defeated and due to this they drew their forces from Mysore. Hyder Ali was able to increase his influence after this battle.
  • The British were conscious of rising power of Hyder Ali but they had no immediate reasons to become enemy of Hyder.
  • They immediate reason of the rivalry was the access to the Northern Circars, which was a series of coastal territories held by French. The Hyderabad Nizam was a French Protégé, who rejected the demand of Robert Clive for access to this area. But, Robert Clive took his application to Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II who in 1765 issued a decree granting the rights of that territory to Clive. Now after getting a Firman from the Boss, British began occupying the Northern Circars, the Nizam objected. But the Nizam was too poor to fight a battle with the British. He sent letters to the Madras Presidency for a settlement. As per terms of this settlement, he gave the company 4 of the 5 Circars for a payment of Rs. 7 Lakh in Nizams endeavors. The British also provided Nizam, two battalions of the troops. Now Nizam was getting ready to get Mysore from Hyder Ali. The Marathas also joined the Nizam in this alliance against Hyder Ali.


First Anglo Mysore War

  • The war started when Marathas attacked Mysore in 1766.
  • But Hyder Ali made peace with Marathas paying them 35 Lakh Rupees. Half amount was paid immediately and for rest Kolar was kept with Marathas for security.
  • Now after Marathas returned, Nizam attacked Mysore with the assistance of British. But even before the war could be concluded, the Nizam changed the side and came towards Hyder Ali.
  • The English forces could not retaliate and retreated to Trichinopoly under col. Smith. Later Col. Wood joined the British army and amid confusion, Hyder Ali retreated from the battle.
  • Now the British threatened to attack Hyderabad. This brought the Nizam to thier knees and sign a treaty in 1768.
  • As per the terms of this treaty:
    • Nizam agreed to abide by the treaty signed with British in context with the Northern Circars.
    • Hyder Ali was regarded as usurper and refused to acknowledge him as ruler of Mysore
    • Nizam agreed to help the British to punish Hyder Ali.
    • The important aspect of this treaty was that Nizam agreed to give the British Diwani Rights of Mysore when Hyder Ali was ousted and Mysore is won by him.
    • Hyder Ali was left with no allies, but he was brave due to his solid Financial Position, partially.
    • An English Force was sent to punish Hyder Ali, but it got defeated by this brave commander. The result was the Treaty of Madras.
  • This Treaty of Madras was signed in April 1769 and it maintained the status quo.
  • As per the Treaty of Madras:
    • Both the Parties returned the areas won by each other.
    • The District of Arcot was given to Nawab of Arcot
    • British & Hyder Ali Promised that they would support each other if there is any foreign invasion.
    • Hyder Ali believed that as per the terms of this treaty, British would come to help in if there is a conflict with the Marathas. So, he started demanding tributes from the smaller states on the border of Maratha and Mysore.
    • The Marathas responded this in 1770 with a force of over 30 thousand. Hyder Ali requested the British to help, but British did not turn up. The result was that all the territories of Hyder were confiscated by the Marathas.
    • Hyder again begged the British for the help, but the British placed some conditions which were not acceptable to him. The result was that Hyder requested for peace with Marathas. In return for the peace, he paid 36 Lakh Rupees to Marathas and 14 Lakh Rupee as annual Tribute. After this event, Hyder Ali remained an enemy of the British throughout his life.
    • Later, he came to know that his nominal ruler Nanjaraja was having a secret communication with the Marathas. So he executed him and placed Chamraraja as nominal head. However, soon after that the Marathas came under mutual dissention and this gave Hyder an opportunity to claim back all he had lost.

Section D: East India Company under Warren Hastings


Arrival of Warren Hastings


  • Clive left India in 1767, but the Evening of his life was not peaceful. There were numerous voices in Britain about his through corruption in India and his “conduct” was cross examined in the British Parliament. He was vindicated, but despite that, he stabbed himself to death with a pen Knife on 22 November 1774.
  • The suicide was partially attributed to his Opium addiction.

Conditions before arrival of Warren Hastings

  • 3 Years after Clive left India, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa came under the grip of the Bengal Famine of 1770, which swept away one third of the population.
  • The Dual System of the Government proved to be an utter failure. The divided responsibility between the English Diwans and Indian Nizams made it impossible to find out who was to blame.
  • The court of directors at England discerned about, what changes required to handle this. The Administration of the East India Company, back home was managed by a body of directors who were 24 in number. These were called “Court of Directors”. The Court of Directors was elected by an annual election in which the shareholders took participation. The collective body of the Shareholders was called “Court of Proprietors”. The Court of Directors created the committees which used to carry out the day to day functioning.
  • Before arrival of Warren Hastings, the East India Company was on brink of financial bankruptcy in 1770 onwards. This was a result of corruption by the company officials and immediately afterwards, the Famine reduced the revenue of the company.
  • In August 1772, the East India Company applied for a Loan of One Million Pounds to the British Government. This gave the parliament an opportunity to cross examine Clive and affairs of the company and then vote for regulation of the company. The result was the Regulating Act of 1773.

Administration of Warren Hastings


  • Warren Hastings, the experienced worker of East India Company who had joined the company in 1750 as a Clerk took 23 years to reach the top post of the time.
  • Prior to that, he had served as a Resident of the East India Company in Murshidabad. In 1761, he was in the British Council of Calcutta, so was well versed with the affairs of India. He had also served as the member of British Council of Madras.
  • In 1773, he was appointed the Governor General of Fort Williams, commonly called as Governor General of India. From 1772, Warren Hastings had come to Calcutta as Governor of the Bengal Presidency and the regulating act was passed after his arrival. When he left in 1785, the whole course and character of the British Indian History was bearing his impression and his name.
  • The first thing Warren Hastings did was to end the Dual System put forth by his predecessor Clive.
  • When he abolished the system, he cut down the Nawab of Bengal’s Pension to one-half. One more reason behind this was that the Nawab who was now a pensioner and a titular head was not rendering even a nominal service in respect of the enormous income. This allowance to the Nawab kept fluctuating from the times of Clive to Warren Hastings and it was basically depending upon the personal character.
  • Next step he took was to stop the payments of Tributes to the Delhi Emperor. This was because, the emperor was only a name, and his territories were sacked by Marathas. He said that since the Mughal was now not independent, paying tribute to Mughal would be like paying to the Marathas.
  • The next step Warren Hastings did was to shift the Treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta, thus making it safe in a fortified place.
  • Since the Marathas had raided the provinces of Kora and Allahabad, Warren Hastings held that now the emperor has no right on these places, and resold them to the Nawab of Oudh. He strengthened the Nawab of Oudh and closed his frontier against the Maratha Invasions.
  • By these measures which were purely of financial nature, he was able to better the financial position of the company.
  • He also compelled Raja Chait Singh of Banaras and Beghum of the Nawab to pay contributions. Chait Singh rebelled but was crushed and his nephew was placed at Raja for an increased ransom.

The Dissention in Marathas

  • When Warren Hastings took office, the Power of the Marathas, which has accumulated for over a century now had made them dominant from the Sutlej River in North to Kanyakumari in South. However, the shattering overthrow they suffered in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 by the forces of Ahamad Shah Durrani, they were expelled from Punjab.
  • But still, in Western India & Konkan they were supreme. In Rajputana and Central India they kept raiding. Immediately after the Third Battle of Panipat, Balaji Bajirao, the Third Peshwa of Marathas had died.
  • He was succeeded by his son Madhavrao-I. This 16 years youth was to be assisted by his Uncle Raghunath Rao in the administrative affairs. In 1762, they sat out for a raid in Karnataka. But before that there was a conflict between Madhavrao I and his uncle Raghunath Rao. Raghunath Rao abandoned the troop midway and raided the villages nearby. The discord increased and there was a war or sort between the two relatives.
  • Madhavrao I died shortly afterwards of Tuberculosis. His brother Narayanrao became the next Peshwa who was murdered by Raghunathrao in 1773. Thus , Raghunathrao became the Peshwa.


Treaty of Surat

  • Late Narayanrao’s widow, Gangabai, gave birth to a posthumous son, who was legal heir to the throne. The newborn infant was named Sawai Madhavrao. Twelve Maratha chiefs, led by Nana Phadnavis, one of the ministers of the late Narayanrao conspired to make the infant as the new Peshwa and rule under him as regents. Since Nana Phadnavis was assisted by 11 more ministers and this conspiracy is called “Barabhai Conspiracy” or the Conspiracy of the Twelve.
  • But Raghunath Rao approached British to purchase their support. He signed the Treaty of Surat in March 1775.
  • As per this treaty, Raghunath Rao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British, so that the British restore him to Poona. But this treaty created confusion.
  • The Regulating Act was in place; the Governor General in Council at Calcutta did not approve this treaty and held it invalid. They sent one representative Colonel Upton to Pune to annul this treaty and make a new treaty with the Governor General in Council at Calcutta.
  • Raghunath Rao made another treaty but that treaty was not accepted by Nana Phadnavis and he granted a port to French. The British retaliated this with sending troops to Poona. This triggered the First Anglo Maratha War.

First Anglo Maratha War

  • The Maratha force was joined by Mahadji Shinde, the “most celebrated & Brave Maratha” after Shivaji. The combined Maratha forces fought with the forces of the British and Raghunath Rao at Wadgaon.
  • Mahadji Shinde and Tukojirao Holkar commanded the Maratha army.
  • In this battle the British were badly defeated. The British Forces surrendered at Wadgaon in 1779, on January 12. 4 days later on January 16, the British signed a treaty of Wadgaon as per the terms of the Marathas.
  • As per this treaty, the British relinquished all the territories acquired by the East India Company in Western India since 1773 and promised to pay Rs. 41 thousand as indemnity to Mahadji Scindia. Raghunathrao was captured and imprisoned.
  • But this Treaty of Wadgaon was held invalid by Warren Hastings, who quoted that the Presidency of Bombay had no legal power to sign such treaty. The Calcutta Presidency sent another force which harassed Mahadji at Sipri. Accordingly a new treaty called “Treaty of Salbai” was signed between the British and the Marathas.

Treaty of Salbai


  • Treaty of Salbai was signed between the Marathas and the British East India Company.
  • British acknowledged Madhavrao Narayan as Peshwa of the Maratha Empire
  • British Recognized the Territorial claims of Madhav Rao Scindia in west of Yamuna River.
  • Raghunath Rao was freed and a pension was fixed for them.
  • British East India Company got the control of the Salsette.
  • British promised to support Marathas in case they attack Hyder Ali of Mysore and retake the territories of Carnatic.
  • In summary, the Treaty of Salbai which was the outcome of the First Anglo Maratha war maintained the status quo. Gujarat was restored to the Marathas; and only Salsette, with Elephanta and two other small islands in Bombay harbor was retained by the English.

Consolidation of British Power in India


  • The years from 1757 to 1782 mark the rise of the modern British Empire. England’s ally, Fredrick the Great of Prussia won the Battle of Rossbach in 1757 during the 7 years war and humbled the France. In 1759, James Wolfe of England took Quebec in the Battle of Quebec and by 1763; whole of Canada was won from the French. Clive won the battle of Plassey in 1757 and Eyere Coote crushed the remnants of French Power in India in 1761. These 5 years assured the greatness of England and France was humbled in America, Asia and Europe.
  • The 80 years from the Battle of Plassey 1757 to Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 was the period of steady rise and expansion of the British Power India.
  • The three generations of the British consolidated the power of Britain in India and the consistent economic drain from the country assured its place among the poorest of the poor regions in the world.
  • The First Generation was the age of Clive and Warren Hastings, which was closed by the Pitts India Act of 1784.
  • The Second Generation was of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Wellesley and Lord Hastings which saw the final wars with Mysore and Marathas. It ended with the annexation of province of Bombay in 1817 and capture of last of the Peshwas. The
  • Third Generation was of peace and administrative reforms in India which saw Lord Munro, Lord Elphinstone, Lord Bentinck, the names which are still cherished in India. Third generation ended with arrival of Lord Auckland in 1836 and accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
  • The first three Carnatic wars assured elimination of all the competitive powers from India. In the First Carnatic War, the French had an advantage, but in the Third Carnatic war, Lally, the Patriotic but impulsive leader of France, got defeated in the Battle of Wandiwash and paved the way for British supremacy.
  • By 1763, there was no rival power in India which could hold the British in place. In the first Anglo Maratha war, the British troops distinguished themselves by capturing Ahmadabad and Gwalior, but the mission of the British got failed. The ally of the British Raghunath Rao retired on pension but the Treaty of Salbai in 1782 added the Islands of Salsette and some other such as Bassein to the British possessions. In the First Anglo Mysore war, the British felt the weight of arms of Hyder Ali, the most capable military commander that India produced in those times. Hyder Ali devastated the Carnatic and the British, struck with panic made peace (Treaty of Madras) with this terrible commander in 1769.

England French Rivalry in North America

  • In 1775, American Revolutionary war started in which France assisted the victory of Americans seeking independence from Britain.
  • This was preceded with the Boston Tea Party in 1773 in America in which the natives refused to accept the British Government given monopoly of the failing East India Company over the tea sold in North America, resulted in throwing large quantities of tea overboard into the Boston Harbor. This was followed by an open war between England and France and it got its own version in India.
  • At home, Hyder Ali had become a French ally. The French-British hostility in Europe gave rise to the renewed hostility between the Mysore and British East India Company. Hyder Ali had become number 1 enemy of the British due to their non compliance of the terms of treaty in the previous war with Marathas. The British too had resolved to drive the French out of India.
  • The local version of the French declaration of war upon England in 1778 was a raid upon the Pondicherry by the British East India Company in 1778, capturing the French outposts.
  • In 1779, the British captured Mahe. Mahe, the strategic port was under Hyder Ali. The capturing of the Mahe led Hyder Ali declare a war against British which is called the Second Anglo-Mysore War.

Second Anglo-Mysore War

  • Prior to this war, Hyder Ali had again made a treaty with the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad, but both of them were convinced to not to take arms again British and Hyder Ali ended fighting the war on his own. But the army of Hyder was one of the largest armies in India.
  • In 1780, his army carefully swept down the Eastern Ghats and burnt the villages. The British could not make out due to failure of intelligence and Hyder laid the siege of Arcot. He sent his son Karim to Porto Novo.
  • When the British Forces left Madras under the command of Hector Munro to throw out the siege, Hyder lift the siege but moved to confront them. But then, Hyder came to know that new forces are coming from Guntur under Colonel William Baillie, so he sent a detachment under his son Tipu to intercept them. Hyder himself also led his forces to intercept Col. Braithwaite. At Pollilur, Colonel William Baillie was surrounded and was compelled to surrender. The defeat in Battle of Pollilur was the worst defeat of English in India in which the British were massacred. The siege of Arcot was renewed.
  • The news of the British defeat shook Warren Hastings but he sent a new force under General Eyre Coote from Bengal to take charge of British forces opposing Hyder. Eyre Coote arrived Madras take command from Munro. He marched into the Carnatic and occupied Cuddalore. At Porto Novo, the armies met and the victory was in British side. Then again new reinforcements were sent from Bengal, which Hyder tried in vain to stop. There was a fight again in Pollilur, but Hyder got defeated but the battle remained indecisive.
  • In summary, the second Anglo Mysore war was a prolonged war which took 4 years to conclude without victory of any side. Hyder was humbled in 4 engagements by Eyre Coote, but every time he succeeded in safely withdrawing the troops from each of the battle field. He was also able to surround the two British detachments under Col. Baille and Col. Braithwaite and destroyed them. This prolonged war was hotly contested, for the aged Sir Eyre Coote had lost his energy, and the Mysore army was not only well disciplined and equipped, but skillfully handled by Hyder and his son Tipu.
  • All of a sudden, Hyder died in 1782, the battle remained indecisive and peace was finally concluded with Tipu on 28 June 1784, on the basis of a mutual restitution of all conquests. This is called the “Treaty of Mangalore”.


Foundation of Madarasa Aaliya 1781 and Asiatic Society 1784

  • The First chief Justice of Supreme Court of Calcutta was Elijah Impey.
  • Sir Robert Chambers was appointed second judge under Sir Elijah Impey as chief justice, with a promise that if the Chief Justice’s post became vacant, it would be offered to him. In 1784, Sir Robert Chambers was the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court of Calcutta. This year is special for development of the Indology.
  • Sir William Jones, one of the outstanding Oriental Researcher had correspondence with Warren Hastings regarding the research of the Sanskrit Language. Warren Hastings had considerable respect of the ancient Indian Law.
  • No English person understood the Sanskrit, and not much work was done except translation of some Puranas such as Skandpurana and some other books such as Surya Siddhanta.
  • In 1781, Warren Hastings founded the Madarasa Aliya or Calcutta Madarasa.
  • Warren Hastings supported the establishment of AsiatiK society, (which later became Asiatic Society) in 1784 by Sir William Jones under the chairmanship of Sir Robert Chambers. Both of them exist till date flourishing. It’s worth note that Madarsa Aaliya was run for quite some time by Warren Hastings only through his own pocket, but a year later he was paid by the Bengal Government. In 2007, this Madarasa Aaliya became the Aliah University by Aliah University Act 2007.

Return of Warren Hastings and Impeachment

  • In 1785 Warren Hastings returned to England. On his return to England he was impeached by the House of Commons for alleged acts of oppression and corruption.
  • Some of them were:
    • He was accused for oppression in the Rohilla war.
    • The oppression and deposing Chait Singh of Banaras and accepting bribes.
    • General corruption in the company Warren Hastings was solemnly tried by the House of Commons, and the proceedings prolonged for seven years (1788-1795).
    • The Impeachment of Warren Hastings is one of the most celebrated state trials in English history. It ended with exoneration of all charges on Warren Hastings.
    • But these 7 years of defending himself made him near bankrupt.

Edmund Burke Bill

  • Though the Regulating Act of 1773 had made the two presidencies of Bombay and Madras subordinate to the Presidency of Fort William, yet there was an absence of power in the Governor General in Council of Fort Williams to control them and even override his council.
  • Warren Hastings, practically worked as a 5th member of the Council. There Supreme Court of Calcutta was established but there was not clear jurisdiction. The Regulating Act was a failure. In the first Anglo-Mysore war and First Anglo Maratha war its failure was seen in the confusion of treaties and these flaws were taken up by William Pitt, the younger.
  • He introduced the Pitts Bill in 1784 with an objective to provide better regulation and management of the company as well as British Possessions in India. It also had an objective to establish a court of Judicature in India, which could provide speedy trial and justice. But the bill was not passed.
  • Prior to Pitts India Act, Jame Fox had introduced an Edmund Burke’s bill to reform East India Company. But this bill failed in the house of Lords. In the subsequent election, William Pitt obtained a majority and got the bill passed in August 1784, which was known to be Pitt’s India Act 1784.


John Macpherson

  • Warren Hastings had resigned from the Company before he went to England. Before arrival of Lord Cornwallis, at Calcutta Sir John Macpherson took the office of Governor General for a short period of around 20 months.
  • John Macpherson had earlier come to India in 1767 and was a corrupt officer who had been charged for taking bribery from the Nawab of Arcot. He was expelled from the Madras Council. He appealed in front of the Court of Directors against his dismissal and the Court of Directors reinstated him finding no proof. Before he could again go to Madras, Lord North sent him to Calcutta where he kept pitching against Warren Hastings.
  • When Warren Hastings resigned and went to London, John Macpherson became the Governor General of the Fort Williams. In his time, Mahadji Scindia, who was now well recognized face of the Great Marathas asked the British to pay the sum of 4 Crore Rupees, as arrears to the tribute promised by them in 1765 (@26 Lakh Per year). John Macpherson answered immediately disapproved this claim.
  • Now he was fearful of Scindia, and to check the Maratha, he posted one envoy at Pune.
  • In 1786, there was a war between the Marathas and Tipu Sultan. Before the war could conclude, John Macpherson returned to England.
  • He was superseded by Lord Cornwallis in September 1786.




Section E: East India Company under Lord Cornwallis


Arrival of Lord Cornwallis

  • Lord Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis arrived in India in 1786. This was the First English Nobleman to come to India to undertake the office of the Governor General.
  • Prior to that he had served in America and commanded the British generals in the American War of Independence. He was made to surrender by the combined forces of America and French in the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, after which the British government hastened to restore peace and that paved the way for America’s independence in 1783.
  • Lord Cornwallis twice held the high post of governor general. His first tenure lasted from 1786 to 1793. For second time, he came to India in 1805, but died before he could do any wonders again.
  • Lord Cornwallis, the first of the new dynasty of the Parliamentary Governors General of India came to India with a high reputation as a soldier and as a diplomat. He was having the support of the strongest ministry that had ever governed England.
  • He was invested with the well defined supreme authority for; he was the Governor General of all the three Presidencies and was also appointed the Commander in Chief of the British Forces in India. The accession of Lord Cornwallis set a new era, transformed from the chartered commercial company to a senatorial proconsul. The first object was to set in order the chaos in Bengal misgovernment. Lord Cornwallis is chiefly remembered in India for the administrative achievement Permanent Settlement of the land revenue of Bengal.

Permanent Settlement in Bengal

  • The predecessor to the Permanent Settlement, the brainchild of Lord Cornwallis was the Izaredari system.
  • Izaredari system was introduced in 1773 by Warren Hastings.
  • Izaredari system was coterminous with the farming system in which right of collecting revenue of a particular area was auctioned to the Highest Bidder. This means that the Peasants, shopkeepers and merchants had to pay their taxes to the Izaredar who eventually was also the Highest Bidder to the company. We can easily make out what would have happened to the poor people of India under this system.
  • The Izaredar squeezed the poor peasants and then paid to the company saving his profit.
  • Philip Francis, English politician (MP House of Commons) was the chief antagonist of Warren Hastings, had raised a question on this system and struggled against the policy of Warren Hastings, when he was appointed in the Calcutta Council in 1773.
  • His recommendations brought fruits in 1786, but again the new system was no good as far as India’s common public is concerned. In England, the Court of Directors of the company had expressed their disapprobation of the system, not because it exploited the peasants, but because there was a frequent change in the revenue system. The questions were raised about the Izaredars who had no permanent interest in the welfare of the peasants. These “Thekedars” consistently endeavored to raise the land tax, considerably putting down the poor peasants. Thus, as expected, Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement in Bengal.
  • Please note that Izaredari system was introduced in Bengal only
  • In Zamindari system Bengal, Banaras, Bihar, Carnatic (Today’s North Karnataka) and Orissa came.
  • As per this system, the Zamindars who formerly collected revenues were “recognized” as Land Lords and the ownership of the Land was made hereditary. This means that now onwards there would be no auctioning. The son of Zamindar would be a Zamindar.
  • The idea was that Zamindars would have a “permanent interest” in the welfare of the Peasants. But the result was that cultivators were reduced to tenants, deprived of all kinds of rights on the land. The Zamindar could kick a cultivator any time, without giving any reason. In the same system in 1799, the Zamindars were given rights to confiscate the land and kick out the tenant cultivators.
  • So the system was as follows:
    • Zamindar was the real owner of the Land and “representative” of the Government.
    • Peasants were now “tenants” of the Zamindars
    • Peasants could be kicked out any time by the Zamindar
    • The Zamindar was like a servant to the Government.
    • He used to keep 11% of the revenue with him for “serving as agent of the Government” and 89% he had to pay to the Government. Thus the revenue started coming to the British on 10/11 ratio.
    • The Permanent Settlement fixed the revenue of the land on a 10 year basis.
    • The economic drain from India was set at a faster pace by Lord Cornwallis by putting in place the Zamindari or Permanent settlement system.
    • The system remained in placed but later a new Mahalwari system was placed during the times of Sir Thomas Munroe in certain areas of India.

Company Reforms by Cornwallis

  • To “curb” the corruption in the company, Cornwallis was given sufficient powers and authorities. He put in place the rules and regulations for the servants of the company. As per the new rules Only qualified people would enter into the service of the company.
  • No recommendation from England would be given weightage for appointments in the company’s service.
  • The private trade of all the company servants was abolished.
  • Company servants were now to sign a bond which included that they won’t accept any gifts from Indians and will not indulge in private trade.
  • Top posts were only for Europeans, Indians were given posts which were lowest such as peons. The revenue collectors were deprived of the Judicial powers.

Judiciary Reforms of Cornwallis

  • The next important change Cornwallis did was to set up courts in the states, districts and provinces.
  • The Supreme Court of Calcutta was the final court of appeal.
  • The system of Civil Judiciary was as follows:
    • Lowest Court was the Amin Court or Munsif Court. The Munsifs could decide the case where the value was less than Rs. 50.
    • The higher court was the District court or “Diwani Adalat”. The Judge was called “Session Judge”. This session Judge was essentially an Englishman, who used to deliver justice to “only Indians” and not the Europeans. He was assisted by assessors.
    • The higher than Diwani Adalat was the Provincial Court of Appeal. Four provincial Courts of appeal were set up at Dhaka, Calcutta, Murshidabad and Patna. These courts heard appeals from the districts except the English.
    • After provincial court, the Highest Court of Appeal was set up which was called “Sadar Diwani Adalat”. The headquarters of Sadar Diwani Adalat was at Calcutta and it was the Highest Court of Appeal. Its judge was supported by a Head Qazi, two Muftis and Two Pandits.
    • The appeals from the “Sadar Diwani Adalat” were submitted to the King in England. The King of England only entertained those cases whose value was more than 5000 rupees. The above system was in the Civil Judiciary.
  • In Criminal Judiciary, Cornwallis introduced the following structure:
    • At Taluka / Tahsil level there was a Darogh-i-Adalat. Its Judge was “Darogha” who was “An Indian”. This was the lowest level.
    • The appeals from a Darogha could be taken to “District Criminal Courts”. The judge of this court was a Session Judge, an English.
    • To hear the criminal appeals from District courts, 4 Circuit Courts at Murshidabad, Dhaka, Calcutta and Patna were established.
    • The Highest court of Criminal appeal was in “Sadar Diwani Adalat” at Calcutta which used to sit once in a week. It was supervised by Governor General in council.
    • Court fees were abolished by Cornwallis. Lawyers were to prescribe their fees.
    • Ordinary people could sue the Government servants (Indians) if they committed mistakes.
    • Inhuman punishments such as cutting limbs, cutting nose and ears were abolished.

Police Reforms of Cornwallis

  • So far Police was under the Zamindars.
  • It was taken away from Zamindars and handed over to the Superintendent of the Police at District level. The Police was Europeanized.
  • They were now paid salary and given unlimited powers to arrest the suspected persons. So now Thanas were there in India to maintain “peace and order”.
  • Zamindars had still a great influence on these Thanas, but legally there were detached from the Police functionary.
  • In 1789 Lord Cornwallis made a proclamation that “anyone who is found associated with Slavery would be prosecuted in the Supreme Court”.
  • This step he had taken to curb the menace of slavery prevalent in India since Sultanate Era but the immediate reason was that the Children were collected by the Indians and sold to “French”.

Mysore Maratha War

  • When Lord Cornwallis was busy in making administrative reforms in the English dominions, the Indian Great Marathas and Tipu Sultan were engaged in bloody quarrels.
  • After second Anglo Mysore war, Tipu Sultan was the sovereign King of Mysore.
  • The Marathas established a military alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad to recover the territories that were lost to Mysore. Tipu Sultan resolved to teach them a lesson and attacked.
  • Marathas tried to include Lord Cornwallis in the war which commenced with marches, counter marches and skirmished from 1785 onwards. Cornwallis stick to the policy of neutrality and did not participated in the war game.
  • Finally, exhausted, Marathas and Tipu Sultan signed the Treaty of Gajednragarh in 1787 and maintained peace.


Third Anglo Mysore War

  • Tipu Sultan was hostile towards the British since the beginning. Mangalore Treaty of 1784, which was signed on the end of the Second Anglo Maratha war had an article regarding transfer of the Prisoners. Tipu did not honor this and kept the British prisoners with him. This was one of the reasons of the hostility.
  • In the same treaty, the British had promised to not to enter into agreements with the Marathas and Nizam, but Cornwallis informally convinced them to not support if there was a war. The immediate reason of the war which commenced in 1789 was that the local Dharamaraja of Travancore made some fortifications into the territories which were claimed by Tipu.
  • In Cochin he purchased two forts from the Dutch, but Cochin was paying tribute to Tipu. Travancore was an ally of the British. So when Tipu attacked Travancore, the British attacked Tipu.
  • The Diplomacy of Cornwallis kept Tipu aloof from the Marathas , Coorg and Nizams.
  • Lord Cornwallis led the British army in person, with pomp and a magnificence of supply which recalled the campaigns of Aurangzeb. The result was Tipu’s defeat.
  • The peace was restored by the Treaty of Shrirangpatnam which was signed in 1792. The terms of the Treaty were dictated by the British.
  • As per this treaty:
    • Half of the territories of Tipu were snatched away from Tipu and divided into Marathas, British and Nizam
    • Tipu had to pay Rs. 3.30 Crore as war indemnity.
    • The Raja of Coorg got independences from Tipu. Two sons of Tipu were delivered as Hostages. This war eventually crippled the great Sultan, who once thought of making India free of the British. He fulfilled the conditions of the treaty but ever afterwards he burnt in the fire of revenge upon his British victors.


Retirement of Cornwallis 1793 to arrival of Lord Wellesley 1798

  • Lord Cornwallis retired in 1793, and was succeeded by Sir John Shore.
  • The Tenure of Sir John Shore’s rule as Governor General from 1793 to 1798 was politically uneventful in India but in Europe, a new sun Napoleon Bonaparte had risen.
  • In 1798, 1st Earl of Mornington, better known as the Marquis Wellesley or Lord Wellesley arrived in India. He was another British Aristocrat close to the Prime Minister Pitt, the younger, who had appointed him a Lord of the Treasury earlier. Meanwhile some new changes were introduced in the management of the company as well as Indian Judiciary via the Charter Act of 1793

Section F: East India Company under Lord Wellesley

Charter Act of 1793

  • By 1793, when the company’s charter timed out the British parliament passed a new charter which authorized the company to carry on trade with the East Indies for next 20 years.
  • The company was allowed to increase its dividend to 10%.
  • The Act recognized the Company’s political functions and clearly established that the “acquisition of sovereignty by the subjects of the Crown is on behalf of the Crown and not in its own right.”
  • A provision in the Charter act of 1793 was made that the company, after paying the necessary expenses, interest, dividend, salaries, etc from the Indian Revenues will pay 5 Lakh British pounds annually out of the surplus revenue to the British Government.
  • However, the act also had a provision, that Crown could order the application of the whole of the revenue for the purpose of defense if the circumstances posed such demands.
  • Expenses, interest, dividend, salaries, etc were to be borne by the Indian Exchequer.
  • In this act, the Governor General was empowered to disregard the majority in the Council in special circumstances. Thus more powers were entrusted in him.
  • The Governor General and respective governors of the other presidencies could now override the respective councils, and the commander in chief was not now the member of Governor General’s council, unless he was specially appointed to be a member by the Court of Directors.
  • If a high official departed from India without permission, it was to be treated as resignation. This act reorganized the courts and redefined their jurisdictions.
  • The revenue administration was divorced from the judiciary functions and this led to disappearing of the Maal Adalats.
  • The Charter act of 1773 was followed by the Act of 1797 which reduced the number of Judges of the Supreme court at Calcutta from 4 to 3 (One chief Justice and 2 other judges).

Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Napoleon Bonaparte was the military and political leader of France who changed the course of European Politics by his conquests.
  • He was born in 1769 and remained emperor of France from 1804 to 1814.
  • While the Judicial reforms in India carried out by Lord Cornwallis are called Cornwallis Code, Napoleon established Napoleonic code, which laid the administrative and judicial foundations for much of Western Europe.
  • The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified. His career began in 1785, when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the French artillery. In next 3 years he polished his warfare skills with a French army regiment.
  • In 1789 the crowds of French Peasants stormed the French prison known as Bastille on July 14, the event which marked the beginning of the French revolution and is celebrated in France now as Bastille Day, a national holiday.
  • In 1793, Napoleon distinguished himself in a Battle between the Revolutionaries and royalists (Battle of Toulon), in south France. He was promoted from Captain to Brigadier General. On January 21 French King Louis XVI was beheaded.
  • In 1795, the new French leaders (Directory) asked Napoleon to put down people’s revolt. In 1796, Napoleon led the French army against a coalition of nations including Austria, Prussia and Great Britain, in the military campaigns in Italy.
  • He was able to expand territory of France.
  • In 1797, Napoleon and his army marched into Austria. Much of the Austrian land came under France control with the Treaty of Campo Formio.
  • In 1798 his troops sailed to Egypt and defeated the Mamluk rulers in Egypt in the Battle of the Pyramids. He returned France, overthrew the Directory of new leaders and became leader of France in 1798-99.


Napoleon’s Correspondence with Tipu Sultan

  • In the last document we studied that the vagaries of the British internal politics led the resignation and impeachment of Warren Hastings in 1785, in which he remained entangled for 8 years.
  • The Pitts India Act of 1784 sought to limit the authority of the East India Company and placed it under the “indirect” control of the crown.
  • Lord Cornwallis who governed between 1786 to 1793 reduced the corrupt and extortionary practices of the company’s officials by increasing their salaries and by laying the foundation of British Legal and Fiscal administration in India.
  • The outbreak of war between Britain and France in 1793 led the renewal of French attempts to drive the British out of India with the help of the native rulers.
  • Pondicherry was the principal possession of France in India.
  • Hyder Ali was an enemy of British and his son Tipu was a step ahead of his father in this enmity.
  • Tipu was a French ally. Tipu professed unbounded enthusiasm for the French revolution and applauded the Frenchman Napoleon. Tipu was somewhat in contact with the Directory in Paris, which expected great things from Tipu in connection with Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt. After Egypt was conquered, Bonaparte had a “communication” with Tipu Sultan and if possible would dispatch his forces by land or Sea to India, to drive out the British. But this plan was not executed however, till the end of 1798 Tipu was in touch with Napoleon Bonaparte. Meanwhile the inactive Governor General John Shore was replaced by Lord Wellesley.
  • Lord Wellesley resolved to crush Tipu, without waiting for any further developments. Before Wellesley attacked Tipu, he diplomatically persuaded the French protégé Nizam of Hyderabad to abandon the French alliance and dismiss the French soldiers. When Bonaparte was campaigning in Syria in 1799, the British attacked Tipu and this was the final of the Anglo Mysore war , known as Fourth Anglo Mysore War.

Fourth Anglo Mysore War

  • The French plan of sending troops to India was crushed by Nelson of British in Battle of Nile. Three British armies marched into Mysore and siege Shrirangpatnam. One of the commanders of Tipu, Mir Sadiq was bought by the British, he deceived Tipu and the result was that Tipu, amid the English advantageous position, was shot and killed.
  • Tipu had used the iron cased rockets in the Third and Fourth Mysore wars. It led the British to develop their own versions of the Rockets.
  • The Wodeyar dynasty was restored on the throne of the Mysore and Mysore came indirectly under the British. Thus, with the end of Fourth Mysore war, Mysore became a princely state with suzerainty of the East India Company.

Tipu’s Tree of Liberty

  • French had the “Islands of France” in the Indian Ocean which are now Mauritius, and Island of Bourbon, which us now called Reunion. Both of them played an important role in halfway rendezvous for French intrigue and for the assembling of a hostile expedition, but the Battle of Nile changed the course of history and none of the French plan was carried out.
  • Tipu had also allowed the Directory to plant a “tree of liberty” in Shrirangpatnam. These islands were the cradle of French activity in India throughout the 18th century, but from 1810 onwards Mauritius has been in English possession. However, Reunion is still French.
  • In 1795, the Dutch territory Ceylon was annexed to the Madras presidency, but a few years later it was made a crown colony by the Treaty of Amiens.
  • Later around in 1801, Tsar Paul of Russia was actually planning, with a bit of connivance of Bonaparte, for an overland invasion of India, but before anything could be done, Tsar Paul was assassinated.

Subsidiary Alliance System

  • The French assistance to Tipu Sultan in 1798 was the last instance of active intervention of any other European power in India.
  • To counter the intrigues of Napoleon and any further development in French Power in India, Wellesley, who was extremely influenced with the imperial thoughts, came up with the scheme of eliminating the French Power from India for ever. He placed the British on the head of the great Indian confederacy.
  • The Fourth Anglo Mysore war had placed England on the Military supremacy in India and now Wellesley used the Subsidiary Alliance System aggressively.
  • It was a Treaty, between the company and the Indian native rulers. In return for a payment or subsidy, the company would place garrison troops in that ruler’s territory to fight against their rivals. The credit for placing the subsidiary alliance in India goes to Lord Wellesley. But he was NOT the inventor of it.
  • Pioneer of the Subsidiary Alliance System was the French Governor Dupleix. He used to lent his army on “rent” to the native Indian Rulers. The same policy was copied by Lord Clive who had made the Oudh to sign such treaty in 1765 (The Treaty of Allahabad) and promised to protect the territory of Oudh from invasions of any foes such as Marathas. He lent his expensive troops to be placed with Nawab and also an English resident was placed in the Court of Nawab, all at the expense of the Nawab.
  • After the third Anglo Mysore war, Cornwallis had tried to provide for Peace in south by inducing the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad to join him in a treaty guaranteeing against Tipu the territories that each of them possessed at the close of the war. Nizam had agreed, because he was much afraid of the Marathas. But Marathas declined because they were contemplating to attack Nizam.
  • The Awadh and Hyderabad both were weak in terms of their proportion of territory and revenue. However, Cornwallis largely remained non interventional and so did his immediate successor John Shore. But it was Wellesley who effectively reverted the policy of “non intervention”.

Subsidiary Alliance System by Lord Wellesley

  • It was Wellesley who effectively reverted the policy of “non intervention” followed by his predecessors. He made the Nawab and Nizams subsidiary allies by signing almost 100 such treaties. Initially Wellesley compelled the friendly rulers to accept this alliance.
  • The First victim of the policy of subsidiary alliance of Wellesley was the Nizam of Hyderabad. Wellesley neutralized the Nizam by getting him to sign the Subsidiary alliance to replace his French detachments. He also forbade Nizam to correspond with the Marathas without British consent. As the Nawab was a French protégé, he had appointed many Frenchmen at his court, but after this treaty, he was forced to dismiss the French employees and maintained six expensive British Battalions.
  • Marathas in Deccan had not entered into any kind of treaty, but still they were neutralized by Wellesley by a promise of share in the spoils of Tipu.
  • After that only Wellesley demanded submission of Tipu and followed an invasion.
  • In summary, the system of Subsidiary Alliance could be any of the following:
    • The company lent its army in lieu of the Cash
    • Company kept the armies near the border of the Protectorate and collected cash.
    • Company kept the army inside the border for protection and collected cash.
    • Company kept its army inside the border of army and got some territories.
  • The last among the above given 4 types was dangerous.
  • It was Nawab of Oudh that entered into this kind of arrangement in 1801 (Treaty of Lucknow) and ceded half of Awadh to the British East India Company and also agreed to disband his troops in favor of a hugely expensive, British-run army.
  • After this , the British were able to use Oudh’s vast treasuries, repeatedly digging into them for loans at reduced rates. They also got revenues from running Oudh’s armed forces. Last, but not least, the subsidiary alliance made Oudh a “buffer state”, which gave strategic advantage to the British.

Censorship Act 1799

  • We know that in 1684, British had established a printing Press in Bombay.
  • However, even before that we have traces of Press in India. In 1550, the Portuguese had brought a Press Machine with them and the Jesuit of Goa published the first book in 1557.
  • Since 1684, no newspaper was published in India in the company’s territories for; it could awake either its subjects or their bosses sitting in England. Not all officers and servants of a company like East India Company were happy.
  • There were some disgruntled servants who wished to “publish” and “expose” the malpractices in the company and its territories like “wikileaks” is doing today by letting out the diplomatic cables. A fruitless attempt was made by one of those discontents named William Bolts in 1776, who after censured by the company’s court of Directors for “private trade” expressed intentions to “publish” a newspaper.
  • It was in 1780, when James Augustus Hickey published the first newspaper in India titled “Bengal Gazette” or “Calcutta General Advertiser” in 1780. But he was too outspoken and the result was that his press was seized in 1782.
  • Later, some more newspapers were published which were:
    • The Calcutta Gazette 1784
    • The Bengal Journal 1785
    • The Oriental Magazine of Calcutta 1785
    • The Calcutta Chronicle 1786
    • The Madras Courier 1788
    • The Bombay Herald 1789
  • But almost all of them did not choose the “blasphemy” of the company and thus avoided clash like James Augustus Hickey did.
  • But, in 1799, Lord Wellesley brought the Censorship of Press Act, 1799. The idea was to stop the French from publishing anything which could harm British in any way. This act brought all the newspapers under the Government scrutiny before their publication.
  • This act was later extended in 1807 and covered all kinds of Press Publications newspapers, magazine, books and Pamphlets. The rules were relaxed when Lord Hastings came into power.

Establishment of Fort William College in 1800

  • Civil Service to the East India Company was the backbone of the East India Company.
  • Initial steps were taken by Clive to improve the terms and conditions but Clive as well as Warren Hastings was unable to put an end in the corruption for; they themselves found hooked.
  • The initial attempt to train the Civil Servants locally was done by Lord Wellesley. Within the campus of the Fort William, he founded Fort Williams College on 10 July 1800.
  • The idea was to teach the British rookies understand the Oriental culture, tradition, law and administration to better coordinate in the “governance”.
  • The result was the thousands of works in Indian languages such as Sanskrit, Persian, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu were translated in English.
  • Now Calcutta was home to Calcutta Madarasa 1781, Asiatic Society 1784, Fort William College 1800
  • This was the first stage of development of Calcutta as India’s most respected Intellectual centers in the 19th century. Bengal Renaissance started from Calcutta only after this phase was over.

The Maratha Affairs 1773-1802

  • The First Anglo-Maratha war ended in 1782 and for the next two decades there was no important war between the British and the Marathas.
  • While the next 20 years were put in good use by the British in making Indian rulers crippled one by one, it was Maratha confederacy which despite of being the most formidable power in Deccan and Central India decayed itself to extinction because of the internal dissensions.
  • In these 20 years the most dangerous enemy of British, Tipu Sultan had been eliminated and British were teaming with vigor and energy, both morally and financially.
  • The last signed treaty of importance between British and Marathas was Treaty of Salbai (1782) which left the British Protégé Raghunath Rao retire on a pension.
  • The British got Salsette and Elephanta and Mahad Ji Scindia got the land which was west of Yamuna River, making a border between the British and Marathas.
  • The Marathas were still rocking from Attock (now in Pakistan) to Cuttack (Cuttack was under Bhosle).
  • These twenty years mark the rise and fall of Nana Fadnavis. Nana Fadnavis, one of the 12 conspirators (12 Bhai) was present in the Third Battle of Panipat but he escaped death and fled from there.
  • Under his leadership the Barabhai opposed the Raghunathrao and forestalled Narayanrao’s posthumous son Madhav Rao Narayan as Peshwa in 1774. He became the chief minister of this Peshva and ran the affairs of Marathas practically. But his position was opposed by Mahad Ji Scindia. In 1794 Mahad Ji Scindia died and thus Nana’s most formidable opponent was now no more. He then administered Maratha affairs with undisputed authority.
  • The young Peshva Madhav Rao Narayan got impatient of the control of Nana Fadnavis and committed suicide.
  • In 1796, Baji Rao II, who was son of the retired British Protégé Raghunath Rao, was made next Peshva by Nana Fadnavis et al. But he was hostile to Nana Fadnavis since beginning. Neither Baji Rao II nor Nana Fadnavis had any military skills but the contest for power was developed between the two.
  • In 1800 Nana Fadnavis died and the Maratha Confederacy came on the brink of
  • The remaining Maratha veterans were Yashwant Rao Holkar of Indore and Daulat Rao Scindia of Gwalior, who was grandson of Mahadji Scindia’s brother, as Mahadji left no heir. These veterans contested for power and their rivalry made the British come alive. The result was that the Maratha veterans fought with each other in the Battle of Poona.

Battle of Poona

  • The Battle of Poona started when the Forces of Yashwant Rao Holkar attacked the forces of Scindia and Peshwa Bajirao II.
  • The combined armies of Scindia and Peshwa were defeated by the Holkar at Hadspar. This defeat led Peshwa flee from Pune. The British were now to play their game.
  • Baji Rao II was invited to Bassein and British enticed him to sign the “Subsidiary Alliance”. To get the throne of Poona, Bajirao-II signed this treaty and surrendered his sovereignty in lieu of the “carrot” of Poona’s throne. This was called Treaty of Bassein, which was signed at the English possessions of Bassein in 1802.
  • As per Treaty of Bassein, the British promised to place a force of around 6000 troops to be permanently stationed with Peshwa. In return the British got the territorial districts that would yield the revenue of 26 Lakh rupees.
  • Baji Rao II was also required to :
    • Not to enter into any treaty without consulting British
    • Not to declare war without consulting the British
    • Not to claim over Surat and Baroda.
  • So, British repeated the history again. This time, Poona was under Holkar and the protégé was Baji Rao II , in like Raghunath Rao, his late father. The war was now inevitable.
  • The Marathas took it as surrender to National Honor. The war was fought between the broken Maratha Confederacy and British and it was the Second Anglo Maratha war.

Second Anglo Maratha War

  • The war started when deposed Peshwa Baji Rao II, entered Poona with the British Forces in May 1803.
  • British attacked from North under General Lake and from South under Arthur Wellesley, brother of the Governor General.
  • The fighting started from Gujarat, Bundelkhand, Orissa engaging all Maratha chiefs in their homes but not let them “reunite”. The war prolonged two years and several treaties were signed by the Maratha rulers with the Peshwa and the British.
  • The result of these different treaties was that the “Divided Marathas” paid the price to the “United” British.
  • The result of this war was as follows:
    • In 1803, Aurangabad and Gwalior was taken by British
    • Bhosle lost Cuttack, Balasore and west of Wardha river
    • Scindia lost Jaipur, Jodhpur, Gohad, Ahamad Nagar, Bharuch, Ajanta
    • Both of Scindia and Bhosle accepted the Treaty of Bassein and gave their sovereignty to British
    • Now the powerful Holkar was left. He was a step ahead and approached Delhi to capture it. But he was defeated by British at Deeg, near Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
    • At last he also signed a treaty and lost the places north of Chambal River, Bundelkhand. Poona was sure not in his claim now.
    • Thus with the second Anglo Maratha war, Maratha lost their independence. India was now bound in chains.
    • The Marathas made a last attempt in 1817, unsuccessfully to get Mother India freedom from the colonist power.

Successors of Lord Wellesley

  • The adventures of Lord Wellesley were good, but they were costly. The continuous wars with Mysore and Marathas, his policy of launching educational projects in India caused the financial strain which made the Court of Directors impatient.
  • He was recalled in July 1805 and once again Lord Cornwallis was sent to India.
  • He was advised by his peers to bring peace in the British dominions which were under the threats with the wounded lions such as Holkars and Scindias. He came in the rainy season and the bad weather of India claimed his life.
  • He was succeeded by Sir George Barlow, an intimate adviser of John Shore and Lord Wellesley. His term was till 1807 when there was a mutiny at Vellore in 1806.

Vellore Mutiny 1806

  • When Lord Wellesley was justifying himself in England for his ventures in India, there was a more important event which had lasting importance than any other thing in the history and which began the earliest sign of a great mutiny coming up half century later.
  • At Vellore, some foolish orders were passed by Sir John Cradock and Lord Howdon, the commander in Chief in Madras to regulate the dress of the Sepoys.
  • They must change the turban of the Indians so that it looks more like the Helmet and the why the Hindu Brahmin Sepoys put caste marks on their foreheads? The Muslims must get rid of their beards. It appeared to the Sepoys that they were going to be “Christianized”.
  • The result was that on the midnight of 10 July 1806, the crowd got collected, sepoys mixed with them led by one of Tipu’s son, massacred the Europeans and hoisted the Flag of the Mysore Sultanate out there.
  • The mutiny was subdued by dawn, but it sends ripples of fear among the British overlords, as first sign of losing an empire. But the empire was established. It was now turn to look at the foreign countries and establish diplomatic relations with them. In 1807 Lord Minto came to India as Governor General.

Section G: East India Company under Lord Minto


Arrival of Lord Minto 1807

  • Lord Minto was more active in Java, Sumatra and Malacca.
  • In his time the British Government of India opened relations with the set of the foreign powers. He sent embassies to Punjab (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) and Shah of Persia.


Rise of Misals in Punjab

  • 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, the last Human Sikh Guru was born in Patna and he became Guru at the age of 9 years. Guru Govind Singh’s life was one of the greatest landmarks in the history of Sikhs.
  • He established Khalsa and fought around 20 battles with the Mughals.
  • He declared in 1708, that Guru Granth Sahib will be the holy scripture of Sikkhism and will be the permanent Guru of Sikhs.
  • Establishing the Khalsa Panth was the beginning of the Sikh religion. The five K’s of Sikhs was a pledge of a Sikh’s dedication to Khalsa of Guru.
  • Sikhs became a strong political Force in the Punjab Region with next 50 years and with the decline of Mughal Power in Delhi, many Sikh sardars became owners of large parts of land which they called Misals.
  • The lords or leaders of these Misals were called Misaldars.
  • The repeated invasions and exposure to the western adventurers had made the people of Punjab acquire martial skills for their survival. The Misaldars were very strong, each of them with great military skills.
  • When the Mughals were decaying, India was invaded by Nadir Shah and Ahamad Shah Durrani. Nadir Shah when going back was assaulted by these Misaldars.
  • Though, defeating Ahamad Shah Durrani was out of their power, yet they tried their hand and got killed in thousands.
  • The Misals were not a consolidated power. The 12 Misals varied in size, power as well as importance. But they were “equal” as far as matter of Sikkhism is concerned.
  • The Misaldars often used to fight with each other. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who consolidated the Sikh Misals and laid the foundation of Sikh Empire, which lasted for half century.
  • Rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh 12 Misaldars were welded into a Khalsa State by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who captured Lahore in 1799 and annexed the provinces of Multan, Peshawar and Kashmir. In 1805, he captured the Amritsar Sahib from Bhangi Misal and took over Kashmir.

Minto-Metcalfe Treaty 1809

  • Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, who later served as Governor General of India was sent as envoy to the Sikh court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore.
  • The British Government signed the treaty of “Mutual Friendship”, which is also called Minto-Metcalfe Treaty with Maharaja Ranjit Singh on 30 May 1809.
  • This Friendship was based upon the British fear of attack from Napoleon or Russia from the Northern frontiers of the British Empire in India.


Developments in Persia & Afghanistan during times of Lord Minto

  • Nadir Shah who is called the Napoleon of Persia had attacked South West of Afghanistan in 1736 and captured it. In next year, he captured Kandahar and in 1739, he defeated the Mughal army in the Battle of Karnal.
  • Apart from being responsible for killing of 20-30 thousand innocent people he was also took the Peacock Throne & Koh-I-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds. Nadir shah got assassinated in 1747.
  • After the assassination of Nader Shah, Afghan again rose and under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Abdali , (also known as Ahamad Shah Durrani) who was founder of Durrani Empire, modern Afghanistan was founded.
  • Ahamad Shah abdali is called by the Pushtuns as Ahmad Shah Baba. He consolidated and enlarged Afghanistan. Defeated Mughals in the west of Indus and pushed southeast towards the Punjab in Mughal India.
  • He was succeeded by Timur Shah Durrani, who was the eldest son & successor of Ahamad Shah Durrani. He was married to the daughter of Mughal Emperor Alamgir II. He died in 1793.
  • After his death a war of succession took place among his sons. This was the era of rising of Barakzai Sardars and later two brothers Fateh Khan and Dost Mohammed Khan played the role of the King maker in Afghanistan.
  • The war of succession was basically among the three sons Zaman Shah, Mahmud Shah and Shah Shuja.
  • Timur Shah Durrani was succeeded by his son Zaman Shah Durrani in 1793 when he died and later Zaman Shah Durani was forced out by Mahmud Shah Durrani in 1801. Another son of Timur Shah Durrani, Shuja Shah Durrani forced out Mahmud Shah Durrani in 1803.
  • Shuja Shah ruled from 1803 to 1809 and aligned with British in 1809.
  • But later, just after signing this treaty in 1809, he was ousted again by his Brother Mahmud Shah Durrani.
  • Shuja Shah fled to India, but later was arrested by Jahandad Khan Bamizai and imprisoned at Attock.
  • However, he took the shelter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and lived in Lahore. In return of his freedom, he gave Kohinoor Diamond to Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Section H: East India Company under Lord Hastings


Arrival of Lord Hastings 1813

  • The tenure of Lord Minto was known for establishment of the diplomatic relations with Persia and Punjab by the British Government of India. Lord Minto sent envoys to Persia and Punjab and signed the “treaties of friendship” with them.
  • Meanwhile, in 1813, the charter of the company ran out. So a new Charter Act of 1813 was in place.
  • Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings or Lord Moira remained the Governor General of India from 1813 to 1823, a long 10 years term.
  • His tenure is known for two important wars. One was the Gurkha War and another was Third Anglo Maratha war, the last of the Maratha struggle against the British.

Gurkha war 1814-16

  • Gurkhas were ruling in Nepal and from 1767 onwards they extended their power over the hills and valleys of Nepal. They were ruling on Feudal basis and soon became powerful.
  • They marched into the Kumaun and Gangetic Plains and raided in the British Territories.
  • The British had recently acquired the lands of Nawab of Oudh and Gorakhpur, Sikkim were on the front. The dispute was because of no fixed boundary.
  • The war ended in a defeat of Gurkhas.
  • The British army marched from Patna to Kathmandu and finally dictated the terms of Treaty of Segauli, which defined the English relations with Nepal.
  • Gurkhas lost Sikkim, the territories of Kumaon and Garhwal, and most of the lands of the Tarai; the British East India Company promised to pay 200,000 rupees annually to compensate for the loss of income from the Tarai region. This remained the definition of India-Nepal relations for a long time.



Third Anglo Maratha War

  • The Third Anglo Maratha war consisted of skirmished such as Pindari war , Battle of Sitalbaldi, Battle of Mahidpur and Battle of Khadki.
  • The Pindaris were many castes and classes who worked like mercenaries under the Maratha Chiefs. When the Maratha chiefs became weak, they started raiding the territories of the British. The companies accused Marathas of giving shelter to Pindaris.
  • Pindaris, opposed to the Marathas, who were bound by traditions of confederate government, were merely freebooters or plundering bands. They were a mix of Hindus, Muslims, Afghans, Jats and Marathas, better called as a “debris of the Mughal Empire” broken and not incorporated into any of the regimes. The Pinadris were crushed in 1817.
  • But in the same year three great Maratha powers at Poona, Nagpur, and Indore rose separately against the British. Peshwa Baji Rao was chafed under the terms & circumstances imposed by the Treaty of Bassein in 1802.
  • In June 1817, a new Treaty of Poona was signed which freed the Gaekwar from his control and ceded fresh districts to the British for the pay of the subsidiary force.
  • The Marathas attacked the British at Khadki near Poona, and same plot was enacted at Nagpur at Sitabaldi. The Maratha armies of Indore (Holkar) rose in Mihidpur in the following month. The result was a general defeat of the Marathas.
  • The outcome of this war was as follows:
    • Dominions of the Peshwa Baji Rao were annexed to the Bombay presidency.
    • The Peshwa surrendered, and was permitted to reside at Bithur, near Cawnpore (Now Kanpur) , on a pension of 8 Lakh Rupees per year.
    • His adopted son Nana Sahib later led the Mutiny of 1857.
    • The Peshwa’s place was filled as traditional head of the Maratha confederacy and a descendant of Shivaji was brought forth from obscurity, placed upon the throne of Satara.
    • An infant was recognized at heir of Holkar, another child was proclaimed Raja of Nagpur under the Guardianship of British.
    • The Rajas of Rajputana accepted the position of feudatories of the paramount British Power in India.
    • They remained the Princely states till India got independence.
    • This was the last big battle won by the British. India was now theirs.
  • The Map which was drawn by Lord Hastings remained same till Lord Dalhousie came in 1848 and imposed the infamous “Doctrine of Lapse”. The next few years were of general peace but there was a development on the foreign front.


Abolition of Censorship –Lord Hastings

  • One of the important events during the tenure of Lord Hastings was abolition of Censorship. This was basically because of his dislike towards “unnecessary” imposition of restrictions on Press.
  • But as a precaution, he issued some guidelines prohibiting company’s policies in the newspapers.
  • The result was that many fresh newspapers came up.
  • India’s first Vernacular newspapers Samachar Darpan was started in 1818.
  • However, some scholars note that “Bengal Gazetti” was published even prior to this Vernacular magazine by Ganga Kishore Bhattacharya.
  • Then in 1818 only “Calcutta Journal” was started by J S Buckingham.
  • 3 years later Raja Ram Mohun Roy started national press in India. He published “Sambad Kaumudi” in 1821. This was one of the pre-reformist publications that had actively campaigned for “Abolition of Sati”. There was a growing public outcry for Sati and it “inspired” Lord William Bentinck to abolish “Practice of Sati” in 1829. However, this liberal policy of Lord Hastings could not continue further. The successors of Lord Hastings took harsh actions against the press people.

Impact of British on Economy of India

  • The Battle of Plassey was fought in 1757 and Battle of Buxar in 1764. The economic loot started from 1757 ended only in 1947 when India was free.
  • From the third quarter of the 18th century, Industrial Revolution in England started and this brought the age of spinning genny, power looms and steam engine.
  • The most important initial developments were as follows:
    • Textile: Richard Arkwright developed water frame. James Hargreaves developed Spinning Jenny Samuel Crompton developed Spinning Mule These were developed in the initial decades of the 18th century. The last of above three i.e. Spinning Mule was patented in 1769, but the patent ended in 1783. As soon as this patent ended there was a rapid growth of cotton mills in England.
    • Steam Power: In 1775 James watt patented the improved Steam Engine which was apart from pumping out machines; it was used in the power machines. This enabled the development of the semi automated factories.
    • Iron Industry: In Iron making, Coke was finally applied to all stages of Iron smelting, replacing the Charcoal. It improved the production as well as efficiency.
  • But, the economic loot in India provided the profits to the Great Britain in these years that no other investment had ever provided. For almost half a century, England was standing without a competitor. Great Britain kept on maturing the manufacturing and industrial revolution and in India; it kept changing the objectives and methods of control towards a more centralized colony.
  • The first state of economic loot from India started when East India Company was given a status of Monopoly Company. So far, the company carried Indian goods such as Silk, Saltpeter, Muslin, spices to the European markets.
  • Till its charter was renewed for second time in 1813 and its monopoly was ended, it kept working on the basis of the 17th century Buccaneering capitalism in which , using the power of the gun and politics, it kept dictating its terms to the weavers in Bengal. The cost of production had nothing to do with the prices fixed by the company in European Markets. The political advancements from 1757 till 1813 gave the company squeeze out enormous wealth from Indian Rajas, Nawabs and Nizams.
  • The money was put to the best use in England’s infrastructure, Industrial development and financial strength.
  • After the Charter Act of 1813 ended the monopoly of company in India, the process was reversed. Now the loot was guided by the needs of the British Industry. The Charter Act of 1813 closed the British Markets for Industrial Goods produced in India.
  • But this act allowed one way duty free trade for the British Mercantile Capitalists, who made India a dumping ground for cheap and machine made imports. The result was the Indian Industry which was based upon the handloom and cottage based production for thousands of years, lost foreign markets as well as Indian markets. The machines of England devoured Indian raw products such as raw cotton, jute, Silk, Oilseeds, Indigo, Wheat, Tea etc. and imported the British made products. If Indians wanted to export, there was a heavy duty imposed over there for entry in the market. The acts and legislations excluded the Indian Goods from British markets and other foreign markets. In India also the movement of the goods was subject to various kinds of duties. The Indian Industries such as silk and textiles collapsed.
  • The new manufacturing methods replaced the old manufacturing methods in ship building, metal works, glass works, paper and many other crafts.
  • In summary, after losing the industries, Indians were confined with the only industry– that was agriculture. But the agrarian economy also produced raw materials for England’s machines. The large population of India was a large market for Britain. Destruction of Industries rendered large scale unemployment.
  • People started running from the Industrial hubs to villages to become cultivators, the pressure on land increased.
  • The Zamindari system made it sure that agriculture keeps the rural peasants indebted always, generation to generation.
  • The Zamindari, The Military structure, the Judiciary and administration, all were meticulously designed by the British to keep Indian Land and its vast resources under their control. The mercantile exploitation remained till 1860.
  • From 1860 till 1947 India remained a victim of Britain’s Finance Capitalism. In Finance Capitalism, the Capital which was actually of India was rerouted by the British to create infrastructure that was under the “Guaranteed returns to the British Investors”.

Arrival of Lord Amherst

  • The tenure of Lord Hastings ended in 1823 and he was succeeded by John Adams, the senior member of the Governor General’s council, who served as acting Governor General.
  • In the same year 1823, Lord Amherst came to India as next Governor General. His tenure was from August 1823 to February 1828.
  • By this time, the Maratha war had concluded and India was generally peaceful.
  • He faced the foes which were beyond the sea. In 1824, there was Conflict between British India and Burma called the First Anglo Burmese War.

First Anglo Burmese War

  • The first Anglo Burmese war was the first in the series of wars that were fought between British India and Burma from 1824 till 1885.
  • The Burmese kingdoms declined from this time and finally all of Burma came under the British control in 1886. Burma was ruled as a part of India within the British Empire.
  • Burma was under the Konbaung Dynasty from 1752 to 1885. This dynasty tried in vain to attack and annex Siam (Ayutthaya Kingdom) in modern Thailand during 1765-1769.
  • The ruling dynasty of China was Qing Dynasty which had some friendly relations with the British. The Ayutthaya Kingdom approached China and Qing Dynasty waged a war against the expansionist Burmese rulers.
  • Now the focus of the expansionist Burmese dynasty King Bodawpaya turned westward towards Arakan. The Arakan was the eastern frontier of Bengal and it was somewhat independent since the Mughal era.
  • The Burmese forces entered Arakan and captured modern Manipur in 1813, Assam in 1817-19. The result was that they were now on the border of the Bengal.
  • Meanwhile King Bodawpaya died and his son and successor King Bagyidaw tried to put down British instigated rebellions in Manipur in 1819 and Assam in 1821–1822. There were cross border encroachments from both the sides. The British tried to avoid clash with some peaceful proposals with scorn. At last Lord Amherst declared war in 1824.
  • British attacked from 3 sides: The British forces marched from Bengal up to Brahmaputra into Assam. Another expedition by land went through Chittagong into Arakan. This was because the Bengal Sepoys refused to go by sea.
  • There was another, the strongest force of the British army sailed from Madras directly to the mouth of Irawadi. The prolonged war ended with a decisive victory of the British. However, they lost 20000 men from the Anglo-Indian army.
  • In 1826, Burma signed the famous “Treaty of Yandabu”

Treaty of Yandabu

  • The Treaty of Yandabu or Yandabu Accord brought peace after the First Anglo Burmese War. It was signed on February 24, 1826.
  • Treaty was signed between East India Company and King of Ava (Ava was capital of Burma from 1364-1841).
  • As per this treaty:
    • Assam, Manipur, Arakan, Taninthai were ceded to British.
    • The Burmese had to cease interference in Chachar Kingdom and Jaintia Hills.
    • Burmese agreed to pay an indemnity of One million Pounds sterling to British.
    • Burmese agreed to allow diplomatic representatives from British.
    • Burmese also agreed to sign a commercial treaty in due course of time.
    • The first among the above 5 conditions was very important, which led to Annexation of Assam.

Annexation of Assam after Treaty of Yanbadu

  • It’s worth note that Assam was ruled by Ahom kingdom from 1228 to 1826 and it was sovereign even in the Mughal era.
  • But in 1817, it was attacked by the Burmese and thus Ahom Kingdom went into the control of Burmese till 1826. The Assamese call this 7 year period as Manor din and the Manipuris call it Chai Taret Khuntakpa which means 7 years of devastation.
  • The independent and powerful Ahom dynasty ended with the Burmese invasion.
  • But, after the First Anglo Burmese War, the Burmese lost control over Assam in 1826 by Treaty of Yandabu. Lower Assam was now a part of British India.
  • Later Cachar Kingdom was annexed in 1832 and in 1833 Upper Assam came under British Protection. By 1838-39, whole of today’s Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram was annexed by the British.
  • The immediate impact on British annexation of Assam was that its Tea manufacturing flourished.
  • In 1839 Assam Company was established but it lost in obscurity soon. At that time, the wasteland rules did not allow tea cultivation but in 1854, there was a rush when these rules were relaxed. The result was that British people started “importing” labor for tea plantations from China and central India.
  • The people from central India were virtually ‘captured’ and exported to Assam to work in these plantations. The transportation of these people was so dreadful that only 1 out of 10 people survived. This was the height of a new kind of slavery in North East India sponsored by the British. The result was rebellions. But all rebellions were cruelly subdued.
  • Lord Amherst abandoned all claim of Burma to Assam, and ceded to the British the provinces of Arakan.
  • Now British Empire was touching Rangoon, but during this war, there was another mutiny in the British armed forces known as Barrackpur mutiny.

Barrackpur Mutiny of 1824

  • During the first Anglo Burmese war, there was a dress rehearsal of the Mutiny of 1857 at Barrackpur in 1824. It’s worth note that Barrackpur is best known for two mutinies; one in 1824 and another in 1857 in which India got its one of the most cherished heroes of war of independence Mangal Pandey.
  • But 3 decades earlier, the First mutiny in Barrackpur occurred on Novermber 1-2, 1824.
  • The reasons were the same. Indians were made to feel by the British as inferior and their demands were handled in insensitive manner.
  • As per the records, the 26th, 47th and 62th battalions of the Native Infantry of the Bengal army were ordered to March to Chittagong and from there to board the ships to reach Rangoon to participate in the First Anglo Burmese War in October 1824.
  • In those days the higher caste Indian Sepoys had taboo of going by sea, which was called “Kaala Paani”. But, even till Chittagong, to take their belongings there were no bullocks. The complaints of the sepoys were not conspired. The result was that the soldiers forbade going on the march unless the emoluments are increased and provided means to carry their belongings.
  • In the Barrackpur cantonment, which was set up in 1765, the British refused these demands. The sepoys revolted and drove away the British Officers. For 2 days the cantonment was under the sepoys which were led by one hero – Binda.
  • The British approached and asked the Sepoys to surrender on a condition that their reasonable demands would be considered later. But they rejected. The European troops launched a full scale assault on the Indian sepoys and they were overpowered. 200 Indian Sepoys were killed. Binda and other leaders were captured and executed. Binda was killed and his body was tied in chains and hung on a papal tree, his dead body allowed to rot for two days.
  • The chilling message was sent to the Sepoys, who had ever thought of rebellion. Binda was a hero but now not many people know about his martyrdom. There is a temple in Barrackpur on that site, where his body was hung , known as Binda Baba Temple. The deity of this temple is Lord Hanuman.

Section I : East India Company under Lord William Bentinck


Arrival of Lord William Bentinck

  • Lord Amherst departed from India in 1828 and his place was taken by acting Governor General William Butterworth Bayley for some time in 1828.
  • He was succeeded by Lord William Bentinck whose term was from 1828 to 1835.
  • 20 years back Lord William Bentinck was Governor of Madras and had seen the Mutiny of Vellore.
  • Tenure of Lord Bentinck was not marked by any war adventures & extension of the territories. But this 7 years period forms an epoch in the administrative reforms in India.
  • It started a process by which the Indian population, which is furious of sudden changes, was made to obey the British rulers and administration slowly. Partially this period can be said as of “benevolent administrators”. There is an inscription on his statue at Calcutta which was penned by Lord Macaulay.
  • He writes: He abolished cruel rites; he effaced humiliating distinctions; he gave liberty to the expression of public opinion; his constant study was to elevate the intellectual and moral character of the nations committed to his charge.
  • The Finances of the East India Company were tottering due to the prologed Anglo Burmese War. There was a general dissatisfaction among the masses who had heard the story of the Mutiny of Barrackpur.
  • The first step Lord William Bentinck took was to restore the equilibrium in the East India Company’s finances.
  • He took the following steps:
    • He reduced the permanent expenditures of the company amounting to 15 Lakh Sterling every year.
    • He incorporated the revenue from the lands which had escaped the earlier assessments.
    • He imposed duty on Opium cultivated in Malwa. He widened the door, though which the natives could enter the services of the company.

Abolition of Sati by Lord William Bentinck

  • The Practice of Sati was first banned in Goa in 1515 by the Portuguese, but it was not that much prevalent there.
  • This evil practice was banned by the Dutch and French also in Chinsura and Pondicherry respectively.
  • The British permitted it initially but the practice of Sati was first formally banned in city of Calcutta in 1798, but it continued in the surrounding areas.
  • The Bengal Presidency started collecting facts and figures on the practice of Sati in 1813. The data showed that in 1817 only, 700 widows were burnt alive in Bengal alone.
  • From 1812 onwards, it was Raja Rammohan Roy, who started his own campaign against the Sati practice. His own sister-in-law had been forced to commit Sati. Raja Rammohan Roy used to visit the Calcutta cremation grounds to persuade widows not to so die. He also formed the watch groups. In Sambad Kaumudi he wrote articles and showed that it was not written in any Veda or epics to commit this crime.
  • It was on 4 December 1829, when the practice was formally banned in all the lands under Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck.
  • By this regulation, the people who abetted sati were declared guilty of “culpable homicide.” The ban was challenged in the courts.
  • The matter went to the Privy Council in London. The Privy Council upheld the ban in 1832.
  • After that other territories also started following banning, but it remained legal in princely states, particularly in the Rajputana where it was very common. Under the British control, Jaipur banned the practice in 1846.

Suppression of Thugs by Lord William Bentinck

  • The name of Lord William Bentinck is still cherished in India for suppression of the Thugs. Thugs were the hereditary assassins whose profession was to deceive people and strangle them to death with their Pugree or handkerchief. They used to travel in Gangs, disguised as merchants or pilgrims. They were bound together by an oath on the rites of their deity goddess Kali.
  • The word “Thug” is derived from “Sthag” of Sanskrit, which means “sly”. Rather than ordinary thieves, they were the bands of the people who were first recorded by Barni, when he mentions that Firoz Shah Tughlaq captured the Thugs. But none of them was killed and Sultan put them in boats and sent them to Lakhnauti where they were set free, so that they don’t trouble the “Delhites”.
  • In suppression of Thugs, along with William Bentinck, one more name is cherished. This able officer was William Henry Sleeman. Initially he was a soldier and later became the administrator.
  • In 1835, the ‘Thuggee and Dacoity Dept’ was created by William Bentinck and William Henry Sleeman was made its superintendent. He was later promoted as its Commissioner in 1839.
  • The rigorous operations under Sleeman led to capture of 1400 Thugs who were hanged by the government or transported for life.
  • A special prison was established at Jabalpur for Thugs.
  • The reason of this success was the awareness creation by the Government. The department started disseminating information about the Thugee and at every Police Station or Thana, the information about the new techniques by the Thugs would be sent. The travelers were warned. Since, Thugs could be recognized only by evidence, the department started “King’s Evidence Programme”.
  • In this programme the Thugs, who turned evidences of the and provided into about the Gang members & peers would be provided protection and incentives.
  • This was used by the government to break the code of silence, which kept the members of the gang silent.

Charter Act 1833

  • The 20 years renewal of the charter in 1813 ran out in 1833. This was the time for the government to do a careful assessment of the functioning of the company in India.
  • The charter was renewed for another 20 years, but the company was asked to close its commercial business. Thus, this time the charter was renewed on the condition that Company should abandon its trade entirely, alike with India and China, and permit Europeans to settle freely in India.
  • The company lost its monopoly in China and also the trade of tea which it enjoyed with Charter act of 1813.
  • The charter act of 1813 legalized the British colonization of India and the territorial possessions of the company were allowed to remain under its government, but were held “in trust for his majesty, his heirs and successors” for the service of Government of India. This act made the Governor General of Bengal the Governor General of British India and all financial and administrative powers were centralized in the hands of Governor General-in-Council.
  • Thus with Charter Act of 1833, Lord William Bentinck became the “First Governor General of British India”. The number of the members of the Governor General’s council was again fixed to 4, which had been reduced by the Pitt’s India act.
  • However, certain limits were imposed on the functioning of the 4th member. The 4th member was NOT entitled to act as a member of the council except for legislative purposes. First fourth person to be appointed as the member of the Council was Lord Macaulay.
  • Split in Bengal Presidency: The Charter Act of 1833 provided for splitting the Presidency of Bengal, into two presidencies which were to be known as Presidency of Fort William Presidency of Agra. But this provision never came into effect, and was suspended later.
  • Enhanced Power of Governor General of India: Charter act of 1833 distinctly spelt out the powers of the Governor-General-in-Council. He could repeal, amend or alter any laws or regulations including all persons (whether British or native or foreigners), all places and things in every part of British territory in India, for all servants of the company, and articles of war. However, the Court of Directors acting under the Board of control could veto any laws made by the Governor-General-in-Council.
  • Codifying the Laws: The charter act of 1833 is considered to be an attempt to codify all the Indian Laws. The British parliament as a supreme body, retained the right to legislate for the British territories in India and repeal the acts.
  • The act of 1833 provided that all laws made in India were to be laid before the parliament and were to be known as Acts.
  • In a step towards codifying the laws, the Governor-General-in-Council was directed under the Charter act of 1833, to set up an Indian law Commission.
  • First Indian Law Commission So the first law commission was set up by the Charter act of 1833 and Lord Macaulay was its most important member and Chairman. The objectives of the law commission was to inquire into the Jurisdiction, powers and rules of the courts of justice police establishments, existing forms of judicial procedure, nature and operation of all kinds of laws.
  • Indians in the Government service: The section 87 of the Charter Act of 1833, declared that “Normative of the British Territories in India, NOR any natural Boon subject of “His majesty” therein, shall by any reason only by his religion, place of birth, descent, color or any of them be disabled from holding any place, office or employment under the company” This policy was not seen in any other previous acts. So the Charter act of 1833 was the first act which provisioned to freely admit the natives of India to share an administration in the country.
  • Mitigation of Slavery: This act also directed the Governor General-in-Council to adopt measures to mitigate the state of slavery, persisting in India since sultanate Era. The Governor General-in-Council was also directed to pay attention to laws of marriage, rights and authorities of the heads of the families, while drafting any laws.
  • More Bishops: The number of British residents was increasing in India. The charter act of 1833 laid down regulation of establishment of Christian establishments in India and the number of Bishops was made 3.

Direct Control of Mysore by Lord William Bentinck

  • After the Fourth Anglo Mysore war, a young Raja of Mysore of Wodeyar dynasty was placed on the throne of Mysore. For a few years, the relations between British and Mysore remained cordial.
  • But in Late 1820s, there was a civil insurrection in Mysore. This was either due to the financial oppressions of the British Resident or due to misgovemment and oppressive taxation of the maharaja. These developments led to the British to take direct control over the Mysore in 1831. This arrangement continued till 1881, when Mysore was restored to native government, and the lawful heir enthroned.

Coorg War 1834

  • In 1834, British East India Company and the Raja of Coorg in 1834 entered into a conflict which was a short but bloody war. The Raja was defeated was permitted to retire to Benares. Coorg was annexed to British Empire.
  • The annexation of the Coorg was the only annexation effected by Lord William Bentinck.

Judicial Reforms of William Bentinck

  • We have studied in previous modules that at the time of Lord Cornwallis, the provinces of Bihar, Bengal & Orissa were divided into 4 divisions. In each of these divisions a Circuit court was established. Besides there were 4 Provincial Courts of appeal at Calcutta, Murshidabad, Dhaka and Patna.
  • Judiciary required reforms because of the following reasons:
    • The new territories acquired in last 3 decades expanded the territorial jurisdiction of the Sadar Diwani Adalat at Calcutta, but it was now too far away from them.
    • The Provincial Courts of appeal were thought to be worthless and a burden on the administration.
    • The people who were in prison had to be kept for months before a Circuit Court met at district headquarters and disposed the cases.
    • So, the under trials suffered badly under the Police oppression.
    • The entire system was considered too expensive.
    • The language of the courts was Persian and it was not easy for the litigants to fight in this language.
  • Following reforms were introduced by Lord William Bentinck:
    • The first reform done was to abolish the Provincial Courts of Appeal and Circuit Courts altogether. This was done by a regulation passed in 1829. In place of the Provincial courts of appeal and Circuit, the Commissioners of Revenue and Circuit were appointed to do this job.
    • For this purpose, the Bengal Presidency was divided into 20 divisions and each division was placed under a separate commissioner.
    • For revenue cases these commissioners worked directly under the Board of Revenue and for Criminal cases they worked under Sadar Nizamat Adalat.
    • Separate Diwani and Sadar Nizamat Adalat were opened at Allahabad.
    • In 1831, another regulation was passed by which the “Respectable Indians” were to be appointed in the Zilla or City Courts. They were called “Munsifs”. Munsifs were to be appointed on a salary and they could decide the cases worth less than Three Hundred Rupees.
    • Then, in a separate regulation, it was decided the Governor General in Council would appoint respectable Indians to the post of Sadar Amins. The Sadar Amins would hear appeals from the Zilla and city courts. Sadar Amin was now the highest Judicial Indian authority. However, neither Munsifs nor Sadar Amins could trial the Europeans.
    • In 1832, a sort of Jury was introduced in Bengal, which was like Indian Jury (Panchayat) that could help the European Judges.
  • Results:
    • The abolition of the Provincial Courts of Appeal and Circuit reduced the expenditure of the company Government.
    • The appointment of the Commissioners introduced individual responsibility.
    • Police was now less oppressive as the Commissioners would dispose the cases.
    • The Jury system in Bengal (Panchayat) made possible the use of local knowledge and opinion.
    • To some extent, Indians were now to enter into the administration. It was not tangible at that time, but at least it was a ray of hope for the Indians.


Raja Ram Mohan Roy

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in 1772 and died in 1833.
  • He along with Dwarkanath Tagore founded Brahmo Sabha in 1828, which later became Brahmo Samaj.
  • It was the influential socio-religious reform movement which influenced the contemporary politics, public administration, education and religion of India. The efforts of this Sabha led the Regulation XVII, via which Lord William Bentinck abolished Sati practice in India.
  • When Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a Brahmin from Bengal was a young man of 20 years, he came in touch with William Carey, an English follower and propagator of Jesus Christ, who wished to translate the Bible into Indian Languages and then propagate the Christianity in India.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was interested in the English Language. He, William Carey and one more friend Hariharananda Vidyabagish, who was a tantric, published a work on Trantrism known as “Maha Nirvana Tantra” in 1897. This work tried to portray the “One God” of ancient religious texts, wished to link the “Brahma” with “Jesus Christ” but the work could not impress the British who termed it a forgery.
  • In any case, it was a great attempt to revitalize the ancient Hindu law, which was used by the East India Company to work out some disputes in Zamindari.
  • As Munshi Later, Raja Ram Mohan Roy joined as a “Writer” in the East India Company and worked as “Munshi” of Registrar of the Appellate Court at Murshidabad.

Atmiya Sabha

  • In 1815, Raja Ram Mohan Roy established the “Atmiya Sabha” a precursor in the socio-religious reforms in Bengal.
  • With this, he was known as a campaigners for the rights of women.
  • He started opposing the Sati system and Polygamy in Hindus.
  • Later he left from East India Company due to some alleged corruption charges which were never proved.

Hindu College

  • In 1817, Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded Mahapathshala (Hindu College) at Kolkata along with some other personalities such as Raja Radhakanta Deb, Maharaja Tejchandra Ray of Burdwan, David Hare, Justice Sir Edward Hyde East, Prasanna Coomar Tagore and Babu Buddinath Mukherjee. This was later renamed as Presidency College in 1855.
  • In 2010, this college has been upgraded to the status of a full university by the Presidency University Act, 2010 passed in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.

Sambad Kaumudi and Mirat ul Akbar

  • In 1821, he established Sambad Kaumudi. In the very next year, he also published a Persian newsmagazine named “Mirat-ul-Akbar “. In Sambad Kaumudi, he touched the subjects like freedom of press, induction of Indians into High Ranks and separation of executive and Judiciary.

His title “Raja”

  • The decade of 1820-30 was very important as many religious texts of Hindus were translated in English. In 1828, when Brahmo Sabha was launched he was a well known figure in India.
  • In 1829 he went to England to plead the cause of the Mughal emperor Akbar II, with an ambassador of the emperor. The title “Raja” was given to him by Mughal emperor Akbar II to convince the British Government for the “welfare” of the Indian Public and ensure that the Regulation XVII is not overturned. Death and legacy Raja Ram Mohan Roy died of meningitis in England in 1833. Thus was our one of the earliest reformers whose legacy is Brahmo Samaj.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy demanded “property inheritance” rights for women and fought the social evils of the Bengali Society. Sati, Caste rigidity, polygamy, child marriages etc. were targeted and his led this reform movement personally.

Lord Macaulay

  • The passing of Charter Act of 1833, was led by appointment of Lord Macaulay as India’s First Law member of the Governor General in Council.
  • He served from 1834 to 1838, and ensured that English flourishes in India.
  • Precursor of UPSC: A decade before Lord Macaulay arrived in India, the General Committee of Public Instruction was formed in 1823, which was to guide the company on the matter of education. This was the precursor of the Union Public Service Commission.
  • However, please note that the first Public Service Commission was set up on 1 October 1926 in response to the demands of Indian politicians that the superior Civil Services be indianized.
  • The General Committee of Public Instruction had two groups viz. Orientalists and Anglicists on the issue of the Development of Education of India.
  • The Orientalists group was led by H T Princep, who promoted the teaching of the “Oriental Subjects” in India’s vernacular Languages.
  • In 1828, English was first introduced in the college of Delhi.
  • Since, the General Committee of Public Instruction has equal number of the Orientalists as well as Anglicists the issue was taken to the Governor General in Council. This led him to refer the matter to Lord Macaulay.
  • In 1835, the education policy of Lord Macaulay was published titled “Minute on Indian Education” in which he advocated educating Indians through English and also enrich Indian Languages’ so that they become the vehicles of European scientific, historical and literary expression. English was introduced as a medium of instruction from class VI onwards.
  • Lord Macaulay expressed that it was impossible for the British East India Company, through its limited means to attempt to educate masses.
  • His idea was to form a class who may be interpreters between British and the millions whom British Ruled. It was a class of persons, Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.
  • His idea was to delegate that class to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.

Foundation of Presidency of Agra

  • On 14 November 1834, as per the provisions of the Charter Act of 1833, the Presidency of Agra was founded.
  • It was actually renaming of the “Ceded and Conquered Provinces” and its Governor was C T Metcalfe. However, in 1836, it ceased to exist.

Section J: East India Company under Lord Auckland


Arrival of Lord Metcalfe

  • In 1835 Sir Charles Metcalfe succeeded Lord William Bentinck, being senior member of council.
  • His short term of office is memorable for the measure which his predecessor had initiated, but which he carried into execution. This was giving entire liberty to the press.
  • It was the Public opinion in India, but there were people at home as well as India who opposed this policy.
  • “Lord Metcalfe” is called Liberator of India Press but soon he became a victim of party politics in England and was succeeded by Lord Auckland in 1836.

Arrival of Lord Auckland

  • His term as Governor General of India was from 1836 to 1842.
  • The last 20 years of general peace were over and now began a new era of wars and conquests. He is best known for his follies in the Afghan wars.

Rise of Dost Mohammad Khan in Afghanistan

  • The Durrani Empire which was founded by Ahmad Shah Abdali ended in 1823
  • Dost Mohammad Khan became the Emir of Afghanistan usurping the throne and occupying Kabul & Ghazani.
  • But by that time Peshawar had gone into the hands of Sikhs. Sikhs under the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Peshawar and Dost Mohammad’s forces, under the command of his son Mohammad Akbar Khan in 1836 defeated the Sikhs at Jamrud, yet could not retake Peshawar.
  • Dost Mohammed contacted Lord Auckland, the Governor General of British India and this was the first indication of British Intervention in Afghanistan.
  • Dost Mohammad Khan surrounded by the Sikhs and Persians had tried to win friendship from the British to win back Peshawar from Sikhs.
  • However, British were aware and fearful of the Russian intervention in Persia. There was a fear among the British that Russia could attack India through Persia and Afghanistan.
  • There was a series of 4 Russo-Persian wars in 1722-23, 1796, 1804, 1826-28 and all of them Russia was victorious.
  • Persia had surrendered the territories around the Caspian Sea to Russia and Russia had a dominant position.

The Great Game

  • Afghanistan which was between the Russia and British India was a cradle of the Great Game, the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia.
  • The fear of Russian attack, dominant position of Russia made the British try to increase their interference in Afghanistan. However, Dost Muhammad Khan wanted to take Peshawar Back from Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a friend of British. The culmination of the hotch potch was the Treaty of Lahore.

Treaty of Lahore

  • The Anglo-Sikh Friendship was basically based upon the fact that “Enemy’s enemy is Friend”.
  • There was fear on French attack by a coalition led by Napoleon and Zamanshah.
  • In this treaty both the parties (British and Sikhs) basically agreed to not shelter to each other’s enemy and not interfere with each other’s affairs. This friendship had lasted till death of Ranjit Singh in 1839.
  • The dilemma of Lord Auckland was that he could not afford the friendship of Dost Mohammad khan at the cost of Ranjit Singh.
  • So he had two options. One was to defer all the plans for Afghanistan Other was to attack Afghanistan and force Dost Mohammad Khan out and impose a puppet government in Afghanistan which could hold Russians and Persians Back. Lord Auckland chose the second option. Result was First Anglo Afghan War .

First Anglo Afghan War

  • The Great Game involved Britain’s repeated attempts to impose a puppet government in Kabul. The British wanted Dost Mohammad to break all contact with the Iranians and Russians.
  • This puppet was Shuja Shah. In 1838 Shuja Shah gained the support of the British and Maharaja Ranjit Singh for wresting power from Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the Tripartite Treaty which was signed in June 1838.

Tripartite Treaty 1838:

  • A tripartite treaty was signed between Ranjit Singh, Shah Shuja and Lord Auckland in June 1838. This tripartite treaty was basically to help each other in the time of need.
  • The terms of this treaty were as follows:
    • Shah Shuja will be reinstated on the Throne
    • Sikh armies will provide army to Shah Shuja
    • Shah Shuja will determine the Foreign Policy with the advice of the British.
    • Ranjit Singh’s claim on the right bank of Indus was recognized by Shah Shuja.
    • Shah Shuja gave up claims on Sind. British would remain in the background.
    • The above hotchpotch of Shah Shuja, British and Maharaja Ranjit Singh triggered First Anglo Afghan War.
  • The outcome of the war was as follows:
    • After some resistance Dost Mohammed Khan surrendered to the British and Shuja was restored to the throne by the British on August 7, 1839.
    • Dost Mohammad Khan was deported as a prisoner to Calcutta.
    • But Shah Shuja was a traitor.
    • The Afghanis took Shah Shuja as a betrayer and could not accept Shah Shuja as their ruler.
    • So, Shuja ud-Daula, leading the Afghan awam, sent Shah Shuja to hell on April 5, 1842. The killing of Shah Shuja also burst the balloon of the British Success, which seemed to be an extraordinary initially.
    • The Afghanis rose in rebellion and the victims of their wrath wre the British Political Agents who were cut into pieces.
    • Many British soldiers were killed in adverse cold.
    • Thus the final outcome of this war was that a humiliating treaty was signed by the British and the British were forced to recognize Dost Mohammad as Emir of Afghanistan.
    • Thus, the First Anglo Afghan War was a stupe project of Lord Auckland which resulted in the death of thousands of British (Indian) soldiers and waste of Crores of Rupees.
    • The names of the English Commanders murdered during this period were Alexander Burns, Charles Burns, Sir William Macnaughten & General Elpinstone.
    • The Afghan Policy of Lord Auckland was criticized and he was replaced by Lord Ellenborough in 1842. Lord Ellenborough was a lover of military pomp and to seek an avenge, he ruined Kabul and evacuated Afghanistan.
    • Mohammad Akbar, son of Dost Mohammad secured local control.

Death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

  • During the First Anglo Afghan war, the pillar of the Sikh Empire Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839, after a rule of around 45 years. He left 7 sons with 7 different queens and immediately after his death the Sikhs started disintegrating.
  • This led death of his successors one by one, which is dealt in brief in the later passages of this module.

Successors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839 and after that Sikhs started disintegrating. Lahore was torn by dissensions between rival princes, generals, ministers, and queens. These foolish successors ousted the skillful European generals, inducted by late Maharaja, from their commands in the Sikh army.
  • The supreme military power of the time got vested in the Panchayats.
  • Maharaja was succeeded by his Son Kharak Singh, who was deposed within months of remaining in power. He was later poisoned to death later and was replaced by his son Nihal Singh, who was also dispatched from this world, under mysterious circumstances.
  • Now the Panchayats had to play their roles.
  • The Hindu Dogras and Sikh Sindhanwalias tried to place their own representatives on the throne. Thus one Raja Sher Singh came to power. But within months, he was murdered by his own cousin and the Dogras placed Jind Kaur, one of the widows of late Maharaja on the throne. She ruled as a regent for his son Maharaja Duleep Singh, a young boy of 8-9 years, placed on the Throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Section K : East India Company under Lord Ellenborough

Arrival of Lord Ellenborough

  • On 28 September 1837 , the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar who used to write Ghazals and Shayari with his pen name “Zafar” sat on the throne of the Mughal Empire which was now limited to Red Fort of Delhi. He was son of Akbar II.
  • The stupefied Afghan projects of Lord Auckland forced the superiors sitting in England to recall him back to pavilion.
  • He was succeeded by Lord Ellenborough in 1842. Lord Ellenborough remained Governor General of India for 2 and half years till 1844.
  • This pompous military general type of Governor, who was sent to “restore peace in Asia” devastated Kabul on arrival and later conquered Sind for Britain. So Lord Ellenborough is best known for Conquest of Sind.

Annexation of Sind

  • Since 18th century, Sind was being ruled by some Baluchi chiefs collectively known as “Amirs of Sind”.
  • The East India Company, because of the strategic positions of the Ports of Sind had tried its hand as early as 1775 to open a factory out there. But they abandoned it in 1792.
  • In 1809, during the times of Lord Minto, an embassy was sent to these Amirs which resulted in the “Treaty of Eternal friendship” of 1809. Once becoming the friends of English, the Amirs stopped allowing French to the Ports of Sind.
  • The British were able to renew this treaty in 1820 and now the foolish Amirs excluded the Americans also from Sind.
  • The story of winning Sind starts from a dispatch of Charles James Napier to Sind.
  • Charles James Napier, a 60 year old British lion was appointed as Major General in the command of the army of the Bombay Presidency. By this time, Lord Auckland had been recalled and Lord Ellenborough, who loved military pomp, had his tastes gratified by sending him to “cure” the Muslim insurrections in this region. The loosely governed Sind, which was repeatedly targeted by the Sikhs in past, fell in the Battle of Miani & Battle of Dobo, wherein in which 3000 British troops defeated 12,000 Baluchis in 1843 under Charles Napier.
  • The Amirs of Sind, their kith and kin were taken prisoners, and then these broken-hearted and miserable men were sent to Burma in exile. Whole of Sind was annexed to British Empire in 1843. Napier’s sent a one word telegram which was a pun after this battle. The message in the telegram was a Latin word “peccavi” means “I have sinned”. The meaning of this wordplay was “I have Sind” J

Succession of Lord Ellenborough and arrival of Sir Henry Hardinge

  • In 1844 Lord Ellenborough was recalled by the court of directors. Actually, the Court of Directors differed from him on points of administration, and distrusted his erratic genius. He was succeeded by William Bird in 1844, who remained for a temporary time.
  • Finally in 1844 only a veteran soldier, Sir Henry Hardinge, who had entered the army in 1799, was sent to India as next Governor General of India.
  • This brave soldier had served England in the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign, and was knighted in 1815. It was felt in England that after overcoming all kinds of power in the region, the fall of a Great Sikh nation was near.


First Anglo Sikh War

  • Meanwhile, the Sind was annexed and British were teaming with energy.
  • The established a cantt. at Ferozpur and amid the accusations and mutual demands, the British Army invaded Punjab.
  • The war was fought and victory was in the British side. The outcome of this war was a peace pact called Treaty of Lahore signed on March 9, 1846.


Treaty of Lahore

  • As per the treaty of Lahore signed on March 9, 1846 between Lord Hardinge and 7 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh plus 7 members of the Lahore Durbar
  • Sikhs lost Jammu, Kashmir, Hazara and some territories in Jalandhar Doab. Thus all claims south of Sutlej River were lost by Maharaja Duleep Singh.
  • 1.5 Crore was paid to the British as war indemnity.
  • The armies of the Punjab were now to be not more than 20000 horses.
  • King agreed that he would not appoint any European in service without the consent of the British.
  • The following people were recognized as masters of Punjab: Maharaja Duleep Singh as King Rani Jind Kaur as Regent Lal Singh as Wazir. A British resident was also kept at Lahore (Major Henry Lawrence).

Section L : East India Company under Lord Dalhousie


Arrival of Lord Dalhousie

  • In 1848, Lord Hardinge returned to England.
  • He was succeeded by Lord Dalhousie, who was the youngest to hold the office of the Governor General of India, at the age of 36.
  • Lord Dalhousie remained in power for 8 years from 1848 till 1856 and was one of the greatest proconsuls to leave footprints in India’s history since Lord Clive.
  • This was an imperialistic minded statesman who embarked upon the policy of annexation by “Doctrine of Lapse”.
  • His campaigns in the Punjab and in Burma ended in large acquisitions of territory; while Nagpur, Oudh, and several minor states also came under British rule. But he could sniff a great mutiny coming ahead and for this he was scolded till his death.

Second Anglo-Sikh War

  • The first major conflict during the early period of Lord Dalhousie was the Second Anglo Sikh war in 1848-49, which ended with annexation of Punjab and end of Sikh Kingdom.
  • After the Treaty of Lahore, Sir Henry Lawrence was appointed at the Lahore Darbar to control the policies.
  • He left England due to some disease, and in his place a lawyer named Sir Frederick Currie was appointed at the Lahore Durbar. Sir Frederick Currie, was a legalist and a puritan, who asked the somewhat independent Governor of Multan, Diwan Mulraj to pay arrears of the taxes. When the British officers were sent at the Mulraj’s fortress, he revolted, attacked and wounded them. These wounded officers were saved by some people but the angry mob killed them the next day. But the small army of Mul Raj was defeated, but again there was a rebellion.
  • The war prolonged for months and Sikhs were defeated. The whole of Punjab was annexed on 29 March 1849. Rani Jind Kaur was imprisoned and the 11 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh was “abducted” by the British. The “bloody” Kohinoor diamond was taken from him. A few years later , he was later sent to England and was retired on “pension” Now Punjab was under the British. This was a major success under Lord Dalhousie, who not only subdued the rebellions in the region, but also annexed a large territory to the British India. In next few years he had problems with the eastern neighbour Burma.

Second Anglo-Burmese War

  • After the First Anglo-Burmese war, the Treaty of Yandabu was signed between Burma and East India Company on February 24, 1826. For next 20 years the relations were normal, but the Burma Kings were chaffed of the English merchants who started flocking in the country and got settled over there.
  • In 1851, these merchants complained their overlords sitting in Calcutta about the oppression of the Burmese officials at Rangoon. The issue was taken seriously by the East India Company and the Lord Dalhousie asked Burma for compensation. No reply was sent from the other end. The idea was to made it a reason for an imposed war on Burma. Apart from that there were minor bilateral issues regarding the Treaty of Yandabu.
  • However, exactly under which circumstances, this war was fought was not made public. The war started in April 5, 1852 and as soon as the war started the port of Martaban was taken on the same day. On 12th April Rangoon was annexed and in June Pegu was taken. In January 1853, a proclamation of annexation was read out and thus this war ended without any treaty signed. The outcome of this war was that Pegu was annexed to the British Empire and it was renamed Lower Burma.
  • British dominion now was from Chittagong to Singapore in the East. Lord Dalhousie was able to change the map of British India considerably. It was he, who waged a war against Burma (Second Anglo-Burmese War) without any considerable reasons other than his desire to exclude all other European powers from Burma and expand the territory of the British Empire.
  • The second Anglo Sikh war ended in the annexation of Punjab. Both of these annexations were made by Proclamations and not by any treaty. Lord Dalhousie reduced the Punjab and planted British standard at Peshawar, and then he became involved with the government of Burma which had always been obstinate and foolhardy in dealings with the foreigners such as Chinese and British. The Burmese could not guess in the war of 1826 (First Anglo Burmese War) that they were practically at the mercy of a very strong maritime power in the Bay of Bengal, which could occupy the whole of their seaboard and penetrate up to the Irawadi River. The over intelligent rulers of Burma could understand the military supremacy of Britain only after the second Anglo Burmese War, which ended with the official proclamation of annexation of Lower Burma (Pegu) on December 20, 1852. This conquest made the British Possessions continuous along the Eastern Shores of the Bay of Bengal, from Chittagong to as far as Singapore. The British settlement in Calcutta led to the conquest of Burma and the first step was to set up Rangoon as capital of British Possessions at the bank of River Irawadi.

Indian Railway Begins Journey 1853

  • The first proposals for railways in India were being debated in Great Britain in the 1840s and the people out there started entering into lobbying in support of these proposals by banks, traders, shipping companies etc. The businessmen of England had a strong interest in seeing railways be formed in India. But they wanted the British Parliament to create a Guarantee System.
  • In the Guarantee System, any company that constructed railways in India was guaranteed a certain rate of interest on its capital investment. This guarantee was to honoured by the East India Company which then controlled large parts of India. The railways which were made on this arrangement were called Guaranteed Railways. The guarantee was for a return of 5% annually, and the right for the railway company to pull out of the venture and get compensation from the government at any time. Thus Indian Railways started on a Guarantee System.
  • It was during Lord Dalhousie’s time that on April 16, 1853 at 3:35pm a train with 14 railway carriages and 400 guests left Bombay’s Bori Bunder for Thane, with a 21-gun salute. The three locomotives were Sindh, Sultan, and Sahib. This 75 minutes journey was the first Journey of Indian Railway that embarked an era of development thereafter. But this was a passenger service. Prior to that there is a trace of Railway in India.
  • In 1851, a steam loco, Thomason, was used for transporting construction material in Roorkee for the Solani viaduct, which was a part of the construction in the Salony Valley.
  • The locomotive Thomason was assembled on the spot from parts transported from Calcutta. Second locomotive to arrive in India was Falkland (named for a governor of Bombay), used by the contractors of the GIPR for shunting operations on the first line out of Bombay that was being built.

Telegraph begins in India 1854

  • Lord Dalhousie had authorized him to construct an experimental line and in 1852 he was appointed director general of telegraphs and authorized to construct an extensive system.
  • The 800-mile line from Calcutta to Agra was opened in March, 1854, and two years later 4000 miles were in operation, including lines to Bombay and Madras.
  • It was “telegraph” the saved India in mutiny of 1857.
  • Telegraph communication between India and England was opened in 1865 by the Persian Gulf line.

Charter Act of 1853

  • In 1853, the charter act of 1833 was to time out and had to be renewed. It was renewed but no substantial changes were made. However, this was for the first time, that this charter act, unlike other charter acts, did not fix any limit for the continuance of the administration of the company in India.
  • The act provided that the Indian territories will remain under the Governance of the company, until the parliament otherwise directed.
  • Charter Act of 1853 reduced the number of Directors of the Company from 24 to 18. Out of these 18, six were to be appointed by the crown.
  • The Charter act of 1853 provided for appointment of a separate Governor for the Presidency of Bengal, distinct from the Governor General. However, the court of Directors and the Board of Control were authorized to appoint a lieutenant governor, till the appointment of a Governor was made. Please note that the Lieutenant governor was appointed in 1854, but no Governor was appointed for Bengal till 1912.
  • Power to constitute a new Presidency: This act also empowered the Court of Directors either to constitute a new Presidency (In lines of Presidency of Madras or Bombay) or appoint a Lieutenant Governor. Here it’s worth that No new presidency was constituted but in 1859, a new Lieutenant governor was appointed for Punjab.
  • Expansion of Governor General’s Office: Charter Act of 1853 marks the expansion of the Council of the Governor General for legislative purposes.
  • The fourth member (Lord Macaulay) was placed at an equal status with other members.
  • The council of legislative purposes which had 6 members now was expanded to 12 members.
  • Genesis of Indian Civil Services: The previous charter act of 1833 had laid down that the Court of Directors should nominate annually 4 times as many candidates as there were vacancies, from whom one should be selected by competitive examination. The charter act of 1833 also provided the Haileybury college of London should make quota to admit the future civil servants. However, this system of an open competition was never effectively operated.
  • The Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Macaulay had prepared the regulations in this context.
  • The report said that Haileybury should cease to be maintained as higher education college for the ICS
  • There should be a broad general education rather than specialized education for the ICS recruits
  • The recruitment should be based upon an open competitive examination to bring out the best candidates and not through mere superficial knowledge
  • The appointments should be subject to a period of probation.
  • Charter Act of 1853 deprived the Court of Directors of its right of Patronage to Indian appointments and now it was to be exercised under the regulations. This was the Birth of Civil Services which was thrown in 1854 for open competition.
  • New provinces: By that time, the administrative situation got hard due to annexation of new territories to the company’s possession in India. The Charter Act of 1853 empowered the Governor General of India-in Council to take over by proclamation under his immediate authority and management of the territories for the time being. He was authorized to issue necessary orders and directions for its administrations or provide for its administration. This resulted in creation of Assam, the central provinces, and Burma.

Doctrine of Lapse

  • After the victory in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818-19, the British Empire annexed most of the Maratha territory to Bombay Presidency. However, as we have read in the previous modules, a descendent of Shivaji was brought forward from obscurity and was restored as the titular Raja of Satara by the British. This titular Raja Pratap Singh, ruled in the principality of Satara which was of the same size as of today’s Satara District of Maharashtra. He remained as an obedient British vassal till 1839, when the political intrigues caused him to be deposed. His brother Shahji Raja or Appa Sahib was placed on the throne. In 1848, this prince, died without male heirs in April 1848. Now a question arose for the British. If no direct male heir of the body having been left by the deceased, should a son by adoption, or a collateral member of the family, be permitted to succeed him, or whether the rights and titles of the principality be declared to be extinct? The Governor of the Presidency of Bombay was Sir George Clerk.
  • He looked at the Treaty of 1819 in which the following lines were enshrined: “the British Government agreed to cede in perpetual sovereignty to the Rajah of Satarah, his heirs and successors”
  • The members of the Council of the Governor of Presidency of Bombay considered it the duty of the British Government to decide what should be done next? When the matter reached the Governor General of India Lord Dalhousie who had just arrived (he arrived in 1848), he did not hesitate in a practical expression of the policy of annexation, the “Doctrine of Lapse”.
  • The Council of the Governor General accepted at once this doctrine which best favorable to the British advantages.

Initial Annexations under Doctrine of Lapse

  • The Doctrine of Lapse resulted in the first annexation of Satara, which was annexed in 1848.
  • In the next year 1849- Sambalpur were annexed to the British Empire.
  • Next followed Karauli in 1852.
  • There were people who protested against this measure as an act of unrighteous usurpation, but it was not until 1857, when this protest took a shape of a fire –The Great Mutiny. Soon, another great Maratha chief at Nagpur Raghojo Bhosla died. He also had not adopted an heir.
  • The result was that the British Paramount pronounced a fatal sentence of Lapse.
  • Nagpur was annexed in 1854.
  • Next important annexation was Annexation of Jhansi .

Annexation of Oudh

  • The Punjab and Pegu were the conquests of war.
  • The states of Satara, Jhansi, Nagpur, and Sambhalpur had fallen in by the “Doctrine of Lapse”.
  • The Kingdom of Oudh was the only great Indian state whose ruler Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was dispossessed on the ground of “intolerable misgovernment”.
  • The British alleged that the Nawab who had made a treaty with Lord Wellesley to establish such a system of administration as would be conducive to the “prosperity of the subjects” were entirely and continuously neglected and the whole of Awadh had fallen into the constantly increasing confusion, violent disorders, tumults, brigandage and widespread oppression of the people.
  • Awadh was annexed finally in February 1856 via a proclamation and before the end of this month, the tenure of Lord Dalhousie ended and he was replaced with the Governor Generalship of Lord Canning.

Administration of Dalhousie: some other points

  • During the times of Lord Dalhousie, a separate Lieutenant Governor was appointed for the Presidency of Bengal so that it could immediately relive the Governor General of India from the pressure of local administration.
  • In April 1854. Fredrick J Halliday was appointed the First Lieutenant Governor General of Bengal under the provisions of Charter act of 1853
  • The cool hill town of Shimla was made the summer capital of the British Empire.
  • The Artillery headquarters of the army was moved from Calcutta to Meerut.
  • The army headquarter was shifted to Shimla.
  • It was during Lord Dalhousie’s time that Gurkha regiments came into force.
  • The Postal system was improved and all important towns were linked by the Telegraph lines.
  • The important reform during this period was Wood’s Dispatch of 1854.

Wood’s Despatch

  • Charles Wood was a British Liberal politician and Member of Parliament. In 1854 he sent the “Wood’s despatch” to the Governor General Lord Dalhousie.
  • As per this despatch:
    • An education department was to be set in every province.
    • Universities on the model of the London University be established in big cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
    • At least one government school be opened in every district.
    • Affiliated private schools should be given grant in aid.
    • The Indian natives should be given training in their mother tongue also.
    • Wood’s Despatch is called Magnacarta of English Education in India.
    • In accordance with Wood’s despatch, Education Departments were established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857 on the model of the London University.
    • Later more universities were opened in Punjab in 1882 and at Allahabad 1887.

Section M: East India Company under Lord Canning and Mutiny of 1857


Arrival of Lord Canning

  • Lord Canning sailed to India to fill the vacancy created by return of Lord Dalhousie.
  • Lord Canning was the last Governor General of East India Company.

Causes of Revolt of 1857

  • The successive Governor generals appointed by the crown and based at Calcutta expanded the domains of British India over the period of time up the time of Lord Dalhousie, whose conquests against Punjab and Burma pushed the frontiers of the British India against Afghanistan and Burma.
  • By this time, the East India Company had evolved from a commercial organization to a Civil and Military administration mammoth handling much parts of the Indian Subcontinent.
  • By this time, the positive things happened to the Indian society were the general peace, rule of law, better roads, introduction of telegraph and an early stage of Railways, but all of them were actually planned and implemented for the better coordination in the British governance.
  • The unwelcome attitudes and institutions also entered the society which made the British resented and loathed.
  • Pathetic Socioeconomic Condition:
    • Not a shilling was spent from the British treasury on the defense of the India.
    • The sever famines which devoured millions of people remained issues, that were never addressed.
    • The Indian public which does not like sudden changes was applied with the new laws and customs which were anathema to the Indian society.
    • Some of them were allowing the widows to remarry, abolishing practice of Sati (which was considered revered at that time) , establishing the land revenue systems which never existed before.
    • Widows Remarriage Act was introduced by Lord Dalhousie, but it was approved by Lord Canning in 1856. The Hindus saw it as a sequel to the Abolition of Sati (Regulation XVII) and took it as a threat to Hinduism.
  • Problems of Land Revenue:
    • The Ryotwari and Mahalwari system demanded the revenue which was exorbitant and methods of collecting the revenue were cruel.
    • In 1852, the Inam commission was established which recommended the takeover of the Jagirs on which the revenue was not paid. The result was that twenty thousand Jagirs had been confiscated.
  • Destruction of Economy:
    • The Economic drain also destroyed the Indian Industry, disintegrating the traditional fabric of the country.
    • The Industrial revolution of England made the machines devourers of Indian Raw material and destroyed the Foreign Trade of the country.
    • India was reduced to a mere exporter of the raw materials.
  • Low position in Administration:
    • Indians were debarred from the important and high posts in their own country.
    • The notorious signboards ‘Dogs and Indians not allowed’ were common in the British places of activities in India.
  • Doctrine of Lapse:
    • The annexation of Satara, Nagpur, Jhansi, Sambhalpur, Karauli, Udaipur, Baghat etc. by the notorious Doctrine of Lapse caused the general hateful sentiments among the Indian public.
    • In Nagpur, there was an open auction of the Royal belongings.
    • Ill-treatment with Bahadur Shah Zafar The name of Bahadur Shah Zafar was removed from the coins during the times of Lord Ellenborough. He was ordered by Lord Dalhousie to vacate the Red Fort and shift to the Mahrauli area outside Delhi. By this time the people of India had become nostalgic about the Mughal rule and wanted to see Bahadur Shah Emperor of India. Lord Canning announced that after Bahadur Shah, the Mughal successors would not be called emperor and their status would be reduced to Prince.
  • Annexation of Oudh:
    • The annexation of the so far loyal state of Oudh created general panic and disaffection contrary to the British belief that it was done for removing the “misrule and administration irregularities”.
  • Police and Judiciary:
    • The Judiciary was biased. The British officers were hated and considered aliens in the land of Hindus and Muslims. The people were loathful of the oppressive loot of the officers, including British appointed Indian Daroghas.
  • Christian Missionaries:
    • The increased activities of the Christian missionaries were seen with suspicion and mistrust. The tried their best to convert as many people they could and indulged in the false propaganda against the faiths and religions of Hindus and Muslims. The Padris were appointed in the army to “teach” the sepoys about Christianity.
  • Education:
    • The education policy was not taken positively in Indian public. They thought that the new schools opened by the British and where the “English” is taught will convert their sons to “Christians”.
  • Discrimination with Sepoys:
    • The Indian sepoys were victims of discrimination. They were paid low wages and faced constant verbal and physical abuses from their bosses.
    • The annexation of Oudh in 1856 created discontent in the Bengal army.
    • The Indian sepoys were chaffed of the new customs which forbade them putting caste marks on their foreheads, keeping beards and wearing turbans.

Santhal rebellion 1855-56

  • The Santhal rebellion predates 1857.
  • It was a rebellion of Santhal people led by 4 Murmu Brothers named Sindhu, Kanhu , Chand and Bhairav, in modern Jharkhand (then Bengal Presidency) against the oppressive Zamindari system.
  • The initially launched Guerilla warfare in the Jungles of Jharkhand.
  • The British trapped these outstanding archers and killed them in a battle.
  • The Santhal villages were plundered and the rebellion was brutally subdued.

The cause of Nana Sahib 1854-55

  • Nana Sahib was the adopted son of Last Peshwa Baji Rao II who had been retired to Bithoor, after the Third Anglo Maratha War.
  • Baji Rao was receiving the pension of Rupees 8 Lakh per annum from the British.
  • When he died, Nana Sahib was to get this pension as heir-presumptive to the throne. But the company stopped the pension on the ground that he was not a natural born heir.
  • Nana Sahib sent his friend and envoy Azimullah Khan to England in 1853 to plead his cause but the British were not convinced.
  • The result was that he conspired against the British and led the revolt at Kanpur.
  • So far, Azimullah Khan, who was prime minister to Nana Sahib, was an English lover. But at England, he could not plead the cause of Nana Sahib and while returning from England, he got an opportunity to visit Constantinople, in the Ottoman Empire. He visited the sites of the Crimean war and was able to look at the exhausted British soldiers returning. He also tried to get in touch with the Turkish and Russian spies.

Mutiny of 1857

  • On the New Year day of 1857, a new Enfield (P 1853) rifle was issued in India to the 60th Queen’s Royal Rifles in Meerut. The cartridges of this rifle had a paper cover that had to be bitten off before loading in the rifle. It was accepted by some British officials that the papers and the grease inside is composed of the beef and pig fat. This was taken as destroying their religion.
  • On 22 January 1857, at the Dum Dum arsenal near Calcutta the natives expressed concern regarding the use of the greased cartridge required by the new rifle and a consequent threat to Hindu and Muslim religions. The military drills of the time needed the sepoys to bite off the cartridge, pour the gunpowder from within to down the barrel, then ram the cartridge, which included the bullet, then remove the ram-rod, then bring the rifle to the ready and set the sights and fire. The “user guide” said: “Whenever the grease around the bullet appears to be melted away, or otherwise removed from the cartridge, the sides of the bullet should be wetted in the mouth before putting it into the barrel; the saliva will serve the purpose of grease for the time being” J From January to May, the wave of dissatisfaction touched various British Cantonments. The most awful sentiments were in the cantonments of Meerut, Barrackpur and Ambala.
  • Use of Chapattis: All of a sudden, the English officials could see passing of the Chapattis, usually by the village chaukidars and watchmen throughout the north India. The first report was issued in February 1857 by Magistrate of Gurgaon that these Chapattis may be a portent of a general disturbance coming up and signify the joining of the people. The magistrate was true in his interpretation, but it was realized later only.
  • March 1857: Refusal to accept greased cartridge
  • By 9 March 1857, the Sepoys of the 19th Bengal Native Infantry at Behrampur refused to accept the greased cartridges. A court martial was done and the regiment was disarmed.
  • On 23 March General Greg Anson, Commander in Chief, India, issued an order suspending the use and firing of the greased cartridges throughout India until a special report is received from Meerut.
  • 29 March 1857 – Mutiny at Barrackpur – Mangal Pandey: At Barrackpur, Mangal Pandey of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry went on a rampage wounding the British Officers. The mutiny was basically a “One Man Show”. Mangal Pandey was hanged on 8 April 1857, thus becoming one of the first martyrs of mother India’s liberation war that extended 90 years afterwards. One Paltu Khan was promoted for his active duty towards stopping Mangal Pandey creates more havoc.
  • Mutiny at Meerut – 10 May 1857: 85 Sepoys of the 20th and 11th Bengal Infantry regiments and 3rd Indian Light Cavalry mutinied. The broke out in open rebellion, shouted “Delhi Chalo”, proceeded to Delhi, over threw the British Rule, massacred any European that came their way, Proclaimed Bahadur Shah Zafar as Emperor of India. Ripley was killed at Delhi. The public welcomed the soldiers and supported the revolt. The son of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mirza Zahiruddin was declared commander in chief, despite no military experience.
  • Later the command at Delhi was taken by Bakht Khan, the nominal commander chief of the rebels at Delhi who later died in the battle in 1859.


The Mutiny Spreads – May 1857

  • On 12 May 1857, a company of the 81st infantry captured the fort of Govindgarh near Amritsar. The mutiny spread to Lahore where Mian Mir fought the mutineers and saved the Lahore from falling to the Mutineers.
  • On 14 May 1857, Lord Canning issued orders for the 43rd Queen Regiment and 1st Madras Fusiliers to embark immediately to Calcutta. Lord Canning telegraphed Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay to send British Forces immediately. He also sent transport to bring the British forces back from Pegu in Burma.
  • On 16 May 1857, 50 Europeans rounded up in Delhi were massacred by the crowd. On 16 May, Lord Canning sent a letter to Lord Elgin at Singapore to send troops at Calcutta.
  • The rebellion spread to Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Bareili, Banaras, and Jhansi very soon.
  • The siege of Cawnpore
    • Siege of Cawnpore is also known as “Bibighar Massacre or “Satichaura Ghat massacre”.
    • Before this event the British had approached Nana Sahib and ‘convinced’ him to support in case there is a mutiny at Kanpur.
    • By June 1857, the number of the rebellions got 3000. The place was mistaken as safe by the British, European families began to drift into the entrenchment as the news of rebellion in the nearby areas reached them. The entrenchment was fortified. Nana Sahib entered as a friend of the British inside and declared that he was with the rebels. He proceeded with the soldiers to capture Cawnpore. He made the British officers surrender on a promise of safe passage to Allahabad. Cawnpore was in siege till 15 July 1857 and 200 Europeans including women and children were massacred.
    • On 16 July the British Forces arrived and Cawnpore was recaptured.
    • Nana Sahib disappeared and then fled to Nepal in 1859.
  • Mutiny at Lucknow :
    • Begum Hazrat Mahal was the first wife of recently deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She led the rebels at Lucknow and was able to siege Lucknow. Her son Birjis Qadra was declared King of Awadh.
    • But when the British were able to destroy the rebels, she fled to Nepal, where she took asylum and died in obscurity in 1879.
  • Mutiny at Gwalior :
    • Tantya Tope: With the aid of the rebels at Gwalior he was able to compel General Windham hard at Cawnpore on the 27th and 28th of November 1857. But later was defeated by Sir Colin Campbell on the 6th of December.
    • Together with the Rani of Jhansi he was besieged by Sir Hugh Rose in the Jhansi fort, but escaped and collected a force of 20,000 men which Sir Hugh defeated without relaxing the siege. After this he sought refuge in the jungles of Bundelkhand, and later captured and executed in 1859.
  • Mutiny at Jhansi
    • Rani Laxmi Bai Jhansi was relatively calm in 1857, but British troops arrived under Hugh Rose and laid siege to Jhansi on 23 March 1858 and asked Laxmi Bai to surrender. She did not surrender and the fight began which continued for 2 weeks.
    • Later her army was joined by Tantya Tope’s troops, but the British were able to capture Jhansi by 31 March.
    • Laxmi Bai escaped over the wall at night and fled from her city, surrounded by her guards.
    • Along with her young adopted son Anand Rao, she decamped to Kalpi.
    • Both Nana and Laxmibai moved on to Gwalior and occupied the fort of Gwalior. But on 17 June, 1858, she died in the battle. The British captured Gwalior three days later. Her father, Moropant Tambey, was captured and hanged a few days after the fall of Jhansi. Anand Rao, was given a pension by the British Raj.
  • Mutiny in Arrah – Kunwar Singh
    • A band of rebels was led by Kunwar Singh at Arrah in Bihar. Despite his old age (near 80) he had a good fight and harried British forces for nearly one year and remained invincible till the end.
    • But he was defeated by William Taylor and Eyre and died in the battle.
  • Recapturing Bahadur Shah was arrested. British general Hudson shot dead his two sons and he was exported to Rangoon where he died 1862.
  • The imam of Bauli kalandar led the revolt in Panipat. He was captured and hanged.
  • General Hewitt commanded the Forces at Meerut.
  • Delhi was recaptured by Sir John Nicholson.
  • Colin Campbell recaptured Kanpur.
  • General Havelock defeated Nana Sahib.
  • Role of Princely states
    • The princely states did not participate in the mutiny and as per Lord Canning, the princely rulers proved to be a barrier to stop this hurricane.
  • Leaders of Revolt:
    • Delhi : Bahadur Shah Zafar and Bakht Khan
    • Jhansi : Rani Laxmi Bai
    • Bihar : Kunwar Singh
    • Mathura : Devi Singh
    • Meerut : Kadam Singh
    • Faizabad : Muhammad Ullah
    • Kanpur: Nana sahib, Tantya Tope and Azimullah Khan
    • Allahabad : Liaqat Ali
    • Gwalior : Tantya Tope
    • Haryana : Rao Tularam
    • Sambhalpur : Surender Sai
    • Bareli: Khan Bahadur Khan
    • Satara: Rango Bapuji Gupte
    • Hyderabad : Sonaji pant
    • Karnataka: Maulavi Sayyed Allauddin, Bhimrao Mundargi And Chhota Singh
    • Kolhapur : Annaji Phandnavis and Tatya Mohite
    • Madras: Ghulam Gaus and Sultan Baksh
    • Chengalpattu: Annagirian Krishna
    • Coiambatore: Mulbagal Swami
  • Those who helped British
    • Holkar of Indore remained with the British.
    • Man Singh at Gwalior deceived Tantya Tope and Laxmibai.
    • Nizam of Hyderabad, Gulab Singh of Kashmir, Sikh rulers of Patiala, Nabha and Jind also remained loyal to British.
    • The Sikhs detest towards the Mughals was the main reason behind their remaining against the mutineers.
    • Dinkar Rao of Gwalior and Salar Jang of hyderabad were “praised” by the British for their loyalty to the Government.
    • Zamindars, Land Lords, Money lenders, Big Traders remained loyal to the East India Company.
    • The elite “educated” class of Indians remained indifferent.
    • Railways, Telegraph and Postal services, which were initiated by Lord Dalhousie saved India for British from the hands of Indians.
  • Who said what about this mutiny?
    • Charles Raikes: Merely a mutiny of the soldiers , which took the shape of revolt of the people in certain areas.
    • Sir J.W. Kaye : A battle of Blacks against the Whites
    • T R Holmes: A conflict between civilization and barbarism
    • V D Savarkar : India’s planned war of Independence.
    • Karl Marx: Struggle of soldiers, peasants and democratic combine against the foreign and feudal bondage.
    • Rees: a war of Fanatic religionists against the Christians
    • R C Mazumadar: Neither first, nor national not war of independence.
    • Hutchinson: It began as a mutiny and became a popular rebellion.
    • J L Nehru: a feudal outburst headed by feudal chiefs and their followers aided by widespread anti-foreign sentiments.
    • S N Sen: began with a fight for religion, ended with a war for independence. After the Mutiny of 1857, Peace was restored in a period of more than one year and the most important outcome was that the Government of India passed from the Company to the Crown.

Queen Victoria’s Proclamation – November 1, 1858

  • On November 1, 1858, a grand Darbar was held at Allahabad.
  • Here Lord Canning sent forth the royal proclamation which announced that the queen had assumed the government of India. This proclamation declared the future policy of the British Rule in India.
  • The proclamation read: We hereby announce to the Native Princes of India that all treaties, engagements made with them by or under the authority of the Honorable East India Company are by us accepted, and will be scrupulously maintained, and We look for a like observance on their part. We desire no extensions of Our present territorial possessions ; and while We will permit no aggression upon Our dominions or Our Rights to be attempted with impunity, We shall sanction no encroachment on those of others, We shall respect the rights, dignity, and honor of Native Princes as Our own ; and we desire that they—as well as our own subjects—should enjoy prosperity, and that social advancement, which can only be secured by internal peace and good government. We hold ourselves bound to the Natives of Our Indian territories by the same obligations of duty, which bind us to all Our other subjects, and those obligations by the Blessing of God, we shall faithfully and conscientiously fulfill….. ……And it is our further will that, so far as may be, our subjects, of whatever race or creed, be freely and impartially admitted to offices in our service, the duties of which they may be qualified, by their education, ability, and integrity, duly to discharge….
  • As per Queen Victoria’s proclamation of November, 1 1858, all treaties and agreements made with the Indian native princes under the authority of the East India company did not cease to exist but were there to stay and accepted by the crown.
  • The declaration expressed faith and the rights, dignity and status of the native princes.
  • The Indian public was given an assurance that there would be no extension of the current territorial possessions.
  • The document was called “Magnacarta of the People of India” and was declared in eloquent words the principles of justice and religious toleration as the guiding policy of the queen’s rule. The document also granted amnesty to all except those who had directly taken part in the murder of British subjects.
  • Peace was proclaimed throughout India on July 8, 1859.
  • The armies of the East India Company ceased to exist and the forces in India were incorporated as an integral part of the British army.
  • The most important result was the now onwards the Indian Sepoys were enlisted in the regular service in the British Army and participated in the world wars in the next century.
January 2, 2018

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