updated on September 11th, 2019
Background of Battle of Plassey
- Bengal was the richest province in the 18th century.
- East India company was making huge profits here.
- EIC had headquarters in Calcutta, Fort William
- Dutch and French had factories only.
- Chinsura – Dutch
- Chandernagar -French
- 1756 Siraj ud Daulah became a new Nawab of Bengal.
- English and French companies were fighting Carnatic wars in south India.
- English began to fortify their factory( Fort William) at Calcutta without the permission of the Nawab.
- Siraj ud Daualh asked English to stop the enhancement of military preparedness.
- English did not respond in a positive way and continued fortification of the factory at Calcutta
Misuse of Dastak
- secondly, Misuse of Dastak by the employees of the company
- This Dastak was based on a Firman issued by Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyyar in 1717.
- Dastak allowed the east India company to trade without paying taxes.
- Employees of EIA started using dastak for their personal trade and started giving it local traders
- This led to the fall of Revenue of the Nawab.
Siraj attacks and Capture Calcutta
- 16 June 1756, Siraj attack Calcutta
- 20 June 1756 Siraj captures Calcutta
- after the fall of Fort William, the surviving British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers, and Indian civilians were imprisoned overnight in conditions so cramped
- It was a room 18 feet (5.5 meters) long and 14 feet (4 meters) wide, and it had two small windows.
- that many people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion, and that 123 of 146 prisoners of war imprisoned there died.
- Historians often debate about the authenticity of the Blackhole incident.
Robert Clive recapture Calcutta – Alinagar treaty
- Robert Clive and Watson recapture Calcutta in January 1757
- The attack scared the Nawab into concluding the Treaty of Alinagar ( Old name for Calcutta )with the Company on 5 February
- agreeing to restore the Company’s factories, allow the fortification of Calcutta and restoring former privileges.
- The Nawab withdrew his army back to his capital, Murshidabad.
British Captures Chandernagar
- Clive planned to capture the French town of Chandernagar, 20 miles (32 km) north of Calcutta.
- The French expected assistance from the Nawab’s forces from Hooghly, but the governor of Hooghly, Nandkumar had been bribed to remain inactive and prevent the Nawab’s reinforcement of Chandernagar.
- At 9:00 on 24 March, a flag of truce was shown by the French and by 15:00, the capitulation concluded.
- After plundering Chandernagar, Clive decided to ignore his orders to return to Madras and remain in Bengal.
- He moved his army to the north of the town of Hooghly.
Battle of Plassey
- The Battle of Plassey was a major battle that took place on 23 June 1757.
- The battle took place at Palashi, Bengal on the river banks of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, a distributary of the Ganges.
- The fighting took place about 150 kilometers (93 mi) north of Calcutta.
- This was near Murshidabad which was the capital of Bengal at the time.
- Britishers formed a conspiracy with Siraj-ud-Daulah’s demoted army leader Mir Jafar as well as others such as Yar Lutuf Khan and Rai Durlabh.
- Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh and Yar Lutuf Khan brought their soldiers near Plassey but did not actually join the battle.
- Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army was beaten by about 3,000 soldiers of Col. Robert Clive, and Siraj-ud-daulah fled from the battlefield.
- Siraj-ud-Daulah was executed on 2 July 1757 by Mohammad Ali Beg under orders from Mir Meerun, son of Mir Jafar
- As a reward for his treachery, Mir Jafar was made the Nawab of Bengal.
- The British now had influence over the Nawab.
- They also got a lot of revenue from trade.
- The British used this revenue to increase their military power.
- They pushed the other European colonial powers such as the Dutch and the French out of South Asia.
- This was a sign of the expansion of the British Empire in Asia.