From Trade to Territory

Mughal rulers from Babur to Aurangzeb were called the Greater Mughals. They controlled the trading companies including the East India Company, which got a ‘Farman’ for duty free trade in Bengal. Later they started the fortifications for their protection as most of the companies carried trade with arms. This also led to a friction with the Nawabs of Bengal. The British factory at Kassim bazar was attacked and captured by Sirajuddaulah, so the Company sent forces under the command of Robert Clive, who defeated the nawab in the Battle of Plassey. British placed a puppet nawab, Mir Jafar. Even the Company was appointed as the Diwan of Bengal by the Mughal Emperor in 1765.

Later East India Company interfered in states by appointing Residents in Indian courts under the Subsidiary Alliance. At the same time, Mysore grew in strength under the leadership of Haider Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. The Company won at the Battle of Seringapatam, by killing Tipu Sultan. The British also wanted to destroy the Maratha power that got defeated in the Third Battle of Panipat. The Marathas were subdued in a series of wars, resulted in removal of the Peshwa. The British were also worried about the expansion of Russia into India so they tried to control the North-West regions, including Afghanistan, Sind. Punjab was annexed after the death of Ranjit Singh. Lord Dalhousie, British Governor-General introduced the Doctrine of Lapse. British Company also introduced various administrative reforms in India. They divided the British territories into Presidencies. Warren Hastings introduced reforms in the sphere of justice.

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