Updated December 20, 2022
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Arrival of the British and the establishment of East India Company was the outcome of the Portuguese traders who earn enormous profit by selling their merchandise in India. The East India Company was formed 1599 through the royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600 AD authorizing it to trade in the East. Establishment of The East India Company is considered as the arrival of British power in India. The East India Company was initially a European trading companies and later became the mighty political power by the end of 18th century. The British gradually defeated all the regional powers by 1773 and acquired territorial control over Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Madras and Bombay. Lack of Unity between all regional powers of India was a major cause for the expansion of British power
However, after 1765 they had to face stiff opposition from the Marathas, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore, and the Sikhs though, the British manage to gain control over most of the regional powers of India through political maneuver and divide and rule policy. British fought several wars (Mysore War, Maratha War, Sikh War etc.) with the regional powers of India to establish British power as The East India Company had to subjugate these powers in order to be paramount in India.
Here are Some of the Important and Interesting Points on Expansion of British Power in context of Bengal, Mysore, Punjab etc. These Points will Help You Strengthening Your Modern Indian History Section.
Important Rulers of Bengal amid the flourishing of British Rule
1. Marshil Quli Khan (1717-27) was appointed as Bengal’s Subedar in 1717 especially governor by Mughal emperor Farrukh Siyar. Grant of the Governorship of Orissa also to him by Farrukh Siyar in 1719. He transferred the Capital of Bengal from Dacca to Murshidabad
2. Sujjauddin (1727-39) was the son-in-low of Murshid Quli Khan. He was granted the Governorship of Bihar by Mughal emperor Muhhamad Shah ‘Rangeela’ in 1733.
3. Sarfaraj Khan (1739-40) was the son Shujauddin and was murdered by Alivardi khan, the deputy Governor of Bihar, in 1740.
4. Alivardi Khan (1727-39) legalized his usurpation by receiving a farman from Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah ‘Rangeela’ after paying him Rs. 2 crores. He prevented the English and the French from fortifying their factories at Calcutta and Chandranagore respectively.
5. Rulers of Bengal before British captured the territory were, Sirajuddaula (1756-57), Mir Jafar (1757-60) and Mir Qasim (1760-64).
Important Points with regards to Sirajuddaula (1756-57)
6. Alivardi Khan was succeeded by his grandson Sirajuddaula.
7. Sirajuddaula seiged the English factory at Kasimbazar. On 20th June, 1756, Fort William surrendered but Robert Clive recovered Calcutta.
8. On 2nd January, 1757, treaty of Alinagar was signed, where by Siraj conceded practically all the demands. British then captured Chandrana-gore, the French settlement, on March 1757.
9. The Battle of Plassey was fought on 23rd June, 1757. Owing to the conspiracy, the Nawab was defeated.
10. The following betrayed the Nawab.
(a). Mir Jafar: Mir Bakshi
(b). Maanikchand: Officer in Charge Calcutta
(c). Amichand: Rich Sikh merchant
(d). Jagat Seth: Biggest banker of Bengal
(e). Command a large number of Nawab’s troops.
Important Points with regards to Mir Jafar (1757-1760)
11. The Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It receives the Zamindari of 24 Prangnas. Mir Zafar, however, fell into arrears and was forced to abdicate in favour of his son-in-low Nir Qasim.
Important Points with regards to Mir Qasim (1760-64)
12. Mir Qasim ceded Burdwana, Midnapore and Chittagong. He shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger.
13. Mir Qasim soon revolted as he was angry with the British for Misusing the Dastak (free duty passes). However, having been defeated by the British, he fled to Awadh, where he formed a confederacy with Awadh ruler Shujauddaula and Mughal emperor Shah Alam II were defeated by Munro.
14. Mir Jafar was again placed on throne.
Important Points with regards to Dual Government of Bengal (1765-72)
15. Dual Government of Bengal started in 1765.
16. The Company acquired both Diwani & Nizamat rights from Nazmu-ddaula, the Nawab of Bengal. But the Company did not take over direct administration and revenue collection.
17. warren Hastings ended the dual system of Government in 1772.
Expansion of British Power in context of Mysore
18. Rulers of the Mysore before British captured the territory were, Haider Ali (1761-82) & Tipu Sultan (1782-99).
Important Points with regards to Haider Ali (1761-82)
19. Haider Ali began his career as a soldier in the Service of the Mysore state, later he became the faujdar of Dindigul. He established a modern arsnel in Dindigul with the help of French.
20. In 1761, he overthrowed the Nanjarar (the powerful Prime Minister of Wodeyar King Krishraja I) and usurped power, through continuing to recognize Krishraja I as the lawful ruler.
21. Haider Ali defeated the British in First Anglo-Mysore War (1766-69). The treaty of Madras was signed in 1769.
22. Second Anglo-Mysore war was fought during 1780 – 84. Warren Hasting attacked French port Mahe, which was in Haider Ali’s territory.
23. He died during the Second Anglo-Mysore War.
Important Points with regards to Tipu Sultan (1782-99)
24. Haider Ali was succeeded by his son Tipu Sultan in 1782.
25. He continued the Second Anglo-Mysore War till 1784.
26. The Treaty of Mangalore (1784) was signed by Tipu Sultan which ended Second Anglo-Mysore War.
27. Third Anglo-Mysore War was fought during 1790-1792. Marathas and Nizam aided the British, Cornwallis captured Bangalore. By the Treaty of Serigapatnam in 1792, Tipu ceded half of his territory.
28. Fourth Anglo-Mysore War was fought in 1799. Lord Wellesly attacked and Tipu Sultan died.
Expansion of British Power in context of Punjab
29. Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and the last Guru of the Sikhs transformed the religious sect into a military brotherhood
30. In the confusion and disorder the followed the invansion of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali, Sikhs increased their military strength and became a strong power.
31. Some of the Punjab’s rulers before British captured the territory were, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1792-1839), Kharak Singh (1839-40), Naunihal Singh (1840), Sher Singh (1841-43) and Dalip Singh (1843-49).
Important Points with regards to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1792-1839).
32. He was the greatest Indian Ruler of his time and founder of the Sikh ruler in the Punjab. Born in 1780 at Gujranwala, he occupied Lahore in 1799 and made it his capital. He conquered Amritsar in 1802, occupied Ludhiana and after incessant wars, annexed Kangra, Attock, Multan, Kashmir, Hazara, Bannu, Derajat and Peshawar. He died in 1839.
33. Kharak Singh (1839-40), Naunihal Singh (1840), Sher Singh (1841-43) and Dalip Singh (1843-49) were successors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
34. First Anglo-Sikh War was fought during 1845-46. Shikhs were defeated in all the battles at Mudki, Ferozshah, Aliwala and Sobraon. The Treaty of Lahore (1246) ended the war. Sir Henry Lawrance became the first resident.
35. Second Anglo-Sikh War was fought during 1848-49. Dalhousie annexed Punjab and Sir John became the first chief commissioner of Punjab.