In 1757, the Battle of Plassey was fought between the British East India Company and Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal. The battle was a major turning point in Indian history, as it marked the beginning of British rule in India. The British East India Company had been steadily gaining power in India, and the Nawab of Bengal was the last major obstacle in their path to complete control. During the Battle of Plassey, Alamgir-II ruled the Mughal empire. In this article, we will providing you Battle of Plassey Notes which are helpful in the UPSC preparation and other competitive exams.
Among India’s provinces, Bengal was the most fertile and the richest. It had well-developed industries and commerce.
In 1717, the Company had secured valuable privileges under the royal farman of the Mughal Emperor, which allowed it to export and import goods in Bengal without paying taxes, as well as issuance of passes and dastaks. In addition to servants of the Company, they were also permitted to trade, but they were not covered by this farman. They were required to pay the same taxes as Indian merchants. There was constant conflict between the Company and the Bengali Nawabs over this farman. For one thing, the Bengal government lost revenue.
The Company’s servants used their authority to issue dastaks to evade taxes on their private trade by issuing dastaks for the goods of the Company.
Murshid Quli Khan, Alivardi Khan, and other Nawabs of Bengal forced the Company to pay lump sums to their treasury, and firmly suppressed dastak misuse.
Causes of Battle of Plassey
In 1756, after the death of Alivardi Khan, his grandson Siraj-ud-daula became the Nawab of Bengal. Shortly after assuming the throne, the Nawab engaged in conflicts with the English.
As a result of their victory over the French in South India, the English refused to trade on the same basis as they used to during the time of Murshid Quli Khan.
A new fortification was built at Fort William after Siraj prevented the English from fortifying it. However, the English refused to stop the construction, which led the Nawab to attack the English factory at Cassim Bazar. The English were allowed to escape with their ships after he occupied Fort William upon the 20th of June 1756.
As a result of the Nawab’s capture of Fort William, 146 Englishmen were taken as prisoners and held in a very small room for over two months. 123 of them died from suffocation and only 23 survived. English historians call this an incident known as the Black Hole Tragedy.
Krishna Das, son of Raj Ballabh and an enormous treasure fugitive, was granted asylum by the Company.
Events of Battle of Plassey
On 23rd June, 1757, Clive marched towards Plassey, near Murshidabad, the capital of the Nawab. Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh, Jagat Seth (a powerful banker in Bengal), and Omichand, the nawab’s traitors, formed a secret alliance with Clive.
English losses were 29 while Nawab losses were nearly 500 in Plassey’s fateful battle.
Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of Siraj-ud-daula, had refused to engage in battle with the English army, while the Nawab’s soldiers fled. Clive had promised that Miran, Mir Jafar’s son, would become the Nawab of Bengal after the Nawab was killed.
The Nawab’s loyalists Mir Madan and Mohan Lal fought bravely, but were killed by Mir Jafar and Rai Durlabh.
Result of Battle of Plassey
Despite being merely a skirmish, Plassey was one of the most decisive battles in Indian history since it established English rule in the country.
The English acquired a large sum of money from the new Nawab – the first installment of wealth paid to the Company being a sum of £ 8,00,000, all paid in coined selve. Jafar granted the English, zamindari of 24 Parganas and a personal gift of 2,34,000 pound to Clive.
In 1760, the English proclaimed Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Bengal. However, Mir Jafar couldn’t satisfy the demands of the English, so he resigned. Mir Kasim, his son-in-law, succeeded him, but failed to satisfy the English in the end.