Battle of Buxar (1764) Causes and Results

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In 1764, the Battle of Buxar was fought between the forces of the East India Company led by Major Hector Munro and the combined forces of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab Wazir of Oudh; and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. The battle was a decisive victory for the East India Company and paved the way for British control over Bihar and Bengal. This articles will help you in the preparation of UPSC exams as well as other competitive exams.

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Causes of the Battle of Buxar

With the desire to become independent, Mir Kasim moved his capital to Monghyr (Munger), far from Calcutta. He also employed foreign experts to train his army. As a result of Mir Qasim’s decision to abolish all inland duties, the Indian merchants were placed on the same footing as the English, resulting in a war between Mir Qasim and the Company.

Ram Narayan, Bihar’s deputy governor, refused to submit Bihar’s revenue accounts to the nawab. Although Patna’s English officials supported Ram Narayan, Mir Kasim was unable to stand up to such open defiance of his authority.

The Company’s servants also sold Dastak for a commission to Indian merchants. Also, they used coercive methods to obtain goods at lower prices.

To oust the English from Bengal, Mir Qasim fled to Oudh and formed a confederacy with Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab of Oudh and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.

Battle of Buxar (1764)

Events of the Battle of Buxar

On October 22, 1764, the combined armies of the three powers met the English army of 7,072 troops commanded by Major Munro at Buxar, with a combined army of between 40,000 and 60,000 troops.

Mughal army commander Mirza Najaf Khan advanced his forces against Major Hector Munro first. As Munro divided his army into various columns, he pursued the Mughal Grand Vizier Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh, who, after crossing the river, blew up his boat-bridge, abandoning Shah Alam II.

Mir Qasim fled with 3 million rupees worth of gemstones and later died in poverty in 1777. Mirza Najaf Khan reorganized formations around Shah Alam II, who then retreated and began negotiating with the victorious British.

Results of the Battle of Buxar

The Treaty of Allahabad (16 August 1765) which ended the Battle of Buxar was signed by Clive when he was sent out to India as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the British possession in Bengal. The following conditions were imposed on Shuja-ud-Daulah by the Treaty:

  • The Nawab surrendered Allahabad and Kara to Emperor Shah Alam.
  • He agreed to pay Rs. 50 lakh to the Company as war indemnity.
  • He confirmed Balwant Singh, Zamindar of Benares in full possession of his estate.
  • He also being forced to maintain English troops for the defence of the state.

The Company protected the fugitive Emperor Shah Alam and ordered him to reside at Allahabad. On 12 Aug 1765, the Emperor issued a farman granting the Company in perpetuity the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa in exchange for Rs. 26 lakhs to him and provided for the expenses of Nizamat of said provinces which were set at Rs. 53 lakhs.

Dual Government in Bengal: A double government was now in place, with the Nawab retaining judicial and police functions, yet the Company exercising its revenue power. At the time, direct administration had not been considered, and revenue was collected by Muhammad Reza Khan, appointed by the Company. Nevertheless, the British East India Company had already possessed decisive military power in Bengal, making it virtually the ruler of Bengal. In 1793, he was forced to hand over the control of the judicial administration to the company. Thus, the company’s control was almost complete.

During the Battle of Buxar, the English demonstrated their military superiority and unchallenged power in Bengal, making them virtually the masters. Following his success in Bengal, Robert Clive was appointed the first Governor General of Bengal, consolidating British power both in Bengal and in the Deccan.

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