The establishment of the English Empire in India is considered to be in 1757 AD because in the same year Clive established the East India Company as a political force by defeating the Nawab of Bengal by deceit at the plains of Plassey.
Cause of the Battle of Plassey
(1) Conspiracy of the British against Siraj-ud-Daulah –
The British conspired to remove Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal because the British wanted to make the Nawab a puppet in their hands. For this, the British joined the Nawab’s general, Mir Jafar, by luring him to make him the Nawab of Bengal. The British had already taken over the court nobles like Amichand and Jagat Seth. The British were very clever, so they found the amirs who were angry with the Nawab and joined them as well. That is why the army of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah did not fight with full loyalty in the plain of Plassey.
(2) Tension between the British and Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula –
Tension was going on in the relations between the British and Siraj-ud-Daulah. There were many reasons for this, the main ones being that the British did not send any gifts to Siraj-ud-Daula after becoming the Nawab of Bengal, the British used to give aid and shelter to the rebels of the Nawab, the Nawab had imposed very strict restrictions on the British trade.
(3) Fortifications by the British –
At this time the British and the French started the fortification of Calcutta and Qasim Bazar. Siraj-ud-Daula opposed this. The French agreed to the order of the Nawab, but the British continued the fortification without heed to it, which angered the Nawab.
(4) Right over Qasim Bazar and Calcutta –
Enraged by the British fortification, the Nawab won by sending his army to Qasim Bazar and Calcutta. Many Englishmen were also taken, prisoner.
(5) The dungeon incident –
The Nawab imprisoned many Englishmen in a cramped cell, as a result of which many Britishers died. This incident is famous in history as ‘Black Hole’.
war of Plasi
Clive soon prepared a plan of conspiracy against the Nawab, but the foolish Nawab was completely unable to understand the diplomatic tricks of the British. If his eyes were opened in time and he would be Mir. Had Jafar, Amichand, etc. been taken prisoner, perhaps the British would never have been successful in their conspiracy. On June 12, 1757, Mir Jafar sent a letter to Clive informing them that he could now initiate direct action against the Nawab. Soon Clive wrote a letter to Siraj-ud-Daulah and threatened war by leveling several charges against him. The Nawab’s eyes were opened after receiving the letter, but now the situation was out of his hands. Still, he decided to fight with the British. Soon he reached the plains of Plassey with the army of Mir Jafar. There were 50 thousand soldiers in his army. Here Clive also came to the plains of Plassey with an army.
At first, Clive was frightened to see the huge army of the Nawab, but he was satisfied to see Mir Jafar, his colleague in the army. On being signaled by Mir Jafar, Clive attacked the Nawab’s army. The Battle of Plassey started on 23 June 1757. Nawab’s army fought with great valor and courage, but in the end, it was defeated. Mir Jafar kept watching the defeat of the Nawab silently. He did not participate in the war. Now the Nawab came to know about his betrayal. He tried to escape from the battlefield to save his life but was taken prisoner and killed by Mir Jafar’s son Meeran. Thus ended the historic Battle of Plassey, fought with treachery and cunning.
Consequences of the Battle of Plassey
The battle of Plassey yielded the following results
(1) The British were victorious in the war and indirectly the rise of British power in India
(2) Mir Jafar was made the new Nawab of Bengal.
(3) The power of the French in India ended completely.
(4) Clive received a jagir from Mir Jafar with an annual income of 30 thousand pounds.
(5) The way was opened for the British to establish a state in India.
(6) The company also got the territories of twenty-four Parganas.
Significance of the Battle of Plassey
The strategic importance of the Battle of Plassey was nothing, it was a small skirmish in which a total of 65 men of the Company and 500 men of the Nawab were employed. The British did not display any special tactical ability or tact. Betrayed the Nawab After Mir Madan attained martyrdom, only the betrayers dominated. Had Mir Jafar and Raj remained a rare royal devotees, the outcome of the war would have been different.
Describing the outcome of the Battle of Plassey, Sir Jadunath Sarkar states that “On 23 June 1757, the medieval era ended in India and the modern era began. Less than a generation or 20 years after the Battle of Plassey. Only then does the country start getting free from the curse of theocratic rule.”
Of. According to M. Pannikar, this was the deal in which the rich Seths of Bengal and Mir Jafar sold the Nawab to the British.
Legally, the British could not become the political masters of Bengal in 1757. A few years later, the Supreme Court of Kolkata ruled that only the residents of Kolkata were the subjects of British rule. Residents of other British factory areas could not claim this status. Therefore, in principle, even after Plassey, the “commercial form” of the British remained in India.
The Battle of Plassey provided immediate military and commercial benefits to the British. He “set the background for the establishment of political dominance in the three states of Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa leading in the field of agricultural production and handicrafts.” The expulsion of the French from Bengal strengthened the position of the British in the Anglo-French conflict in South India. In about 1759, Clive suggested to Pitt the Elder, a prominent member of the royal rule in London, that the monarchy should be taken under the direct control of the territory of Bengal under the Company.
According to Maleson, perhaps never in history has a war been fought so impactful. It may be an exaggeration, but it was certainly a very important link in the chain of gaining authority over India.