Modern Indian History Part I: From 1757 to 1857

1. Battle of Plassey
2. Battle of Buxar
3. Important governor generals and viceroys from 1756 to 1857 and their contribution
4. Important acts from 1756 to 1857

  • Regulating act-1773 
  • Pitts Indian act 1784 
  • Charter act- 1813 
  • Charter act-1833 
  • Charter act-1853 
5. Important revenue settlements from 1756 to 1857- Permanent Settlement, Zamindari, Ryotwari and Mahalwari System

6. Others
After the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the Battle of Buxar in 1764, the Company became a political power in India and ruled till 1857

Battle of Plassey- 23rd June 1757

  • Between British (Robert Clive) and Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-Ud-daullah) 
  • Robert Clive led the Company’s army against Siraj-ud-daulh at Plassey. 
  • One of the main reasons for the defeat of the Nawab was that the forces led by Mir Jafar, one of Sirajuddaulah’s commanders, never fought the battle. Clive had managed to secure his support by promising to make him Nawab after crushing Siraj-ud-daulh. 
  • The Battle of Plassey became famous because it was the first major victory the Company won in India 
  • After the defeat at Plassey, Siraj-ud-daulh was assassinated and Mir Jafar made the Nawab with conditions 
  • When Mir Jafar failed to fulfilled the conditions the Company deposed him and installed Mir Qasim as Nawab of Bengal. 
Battle of Buxar-1764
  • Between the combined armies of Mir Qasim (Nawab of Bengal), Nawab of Awadh, Mughal emperor Shah Alam-II on one side and English East India company on other side
  • When Mir Qasim complained, he in turn was defeated in a battle fought at Buxar (1764), driven out of Bengal, and Mir Jafar was reinstalled. 
  • This battle brought Bengal under direct control of British 

Important Governor generals and Viceroys from 1756 to 1857 and Their Contribution

1. Robert Clive

  • First Governor of Bengal (Fort William) - Robert Clive 
  • Introduced a policy known as Dual government. In Dual system government Right to collect revenue (Diwani) was given to East Indian company and Nizamat (administrative responsibility) was in the hands of Bengal of Nawab 

2. Warren Hastings

  • The Dual system of government was abolished by Warren Hastings and Bengal was brought under direct control of British in 1772 
  • Warren Hastings introduced the annual lease system of auctioning 
  • Under the governorship of William Hastings Calcutta became capital in 1772 
  • He reorganized judicial system as follows 
  • Established highest civil court of appeal- Sadar Diwani Adalat 
  • Highest appellate criminal court- Sadr Nizamat Adalat 

Lord Cornwallis:

  • He introduced revenue system known as Permanent Settlement 
  • Major reform that Cornwallis introduced was the separation of the three branches of service, namely commercial, judicial and revenue 
  • Cornwallis inaugurated the policy of making appointments mainly on the basis of merit thereby laying the foundation of the Indian Civil Service 

Lord Wellesley:

  • Lord Wellesley was a great imperialist. He called himself as Bengal tiger. 
  • He launched a policy called Subsidiary alliance. Hyderabad was the first state which was brought under Wellesley’s Subsidiary System in 1798. The second state to enter into subsidiary alliance was Oudh 

Lord William Bentinck:

  • He is the first governor-general of India 
  • Bentinck promulgated his Regulation XVII on 4 December 1829 prohibiting the practice of sati. 
  • The introduction of English Education was a significant event of Lord William Bentinck’s administration. He appointed a committee headed by Lord Macaulay to make recommendations for the promotion of education 

Lord Dalhousie:

  • Lord Dalhousie was the youngest Governor-General of India 
  • At the end of the second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, Punjab was annexed by Dalhousie. 
  • He introduced the concept of Doctrine of Lapse. The Doctrine of Lapse was applied by Dalhousie to Satara and it was annexed in 1848. Jhansi and Nagpur were annexed in 1854 
  • Bentick was successful in winning the friendship of Ranjit Singh and the Indus Navigation Treaty was concluded between them. This treaty opened up the Sutlej for navigation 
  • During his reign, The first railway line connecting Bombay with Thane was opened in 1853 
  • The foundation of modern postal system was laid down by Lord Dalhousie 
  • Dalhousie created a separate Public Works Department and allotted more funds for cutting canals and roads. He introduced the process of modernization of India. Hence, he is hailed as “the maker of modern India”. 

Important acts from 1757 to 1857:

1. Regulating act-1773
  • The act was laid down by British Parliament to regulate the actions of the company 
  • It changed designation from governor of Bengal to Governor General of Bengal 
  • As per this act Supreme Court was established in Calcutta in 1774. Sir Elijah Imphay became first Chief justice 

2. Pitts India act-1784
  • The main purpose of the act to address the shortcomings of regulating act 
  • For the first time, this act differentiated the company’s political functions and commercial functions 
  • The company’s territories in India were first time called as the British Possessions in India 

3. Charter act-1813
  • This act permitted Christian missionaries to propagate English and preach their religion. 
  • The Company's commercial monopoly was ended, except for the tea trade and the trade with China. 
4. Charter act 1833
  • The English East India Company ceased to be a commercial agency in India. In other words, it would function hereafter as the political agent for the Crown. 
  • The Governor-General of Fort William was hereafter called ‘the Governor- General of India’. William Bentinck became the first Governor-General of India’. 
  • A Law Member was appointed to the Governor-General’s Council. T. B. Macaulay was the first Law Member of the Governor-General-in-Council. 
Important Revenue and Military Policies of British From 1757 to 1857

1. The Permanent Settlement by Lord Cornwallis:

  • Before this system, Warren Hastings introduced the annual lease system of auctioning the land to the highest bidder. Due to failure of annual lease system Cornwallis introduced Permanent settlement 
The main features of the Permanent Settlement were as follows:
  • The Zamindars of Bengal were recognised as the owners of land as long as they paid the revenue to the East India Company regularly. 
  • The amount of revenue that the Zamindars had to pay to the Company was firmly fixed and would not be raised under any circumstances. 
  • The Ryots became tenants since they were considered the tillers of the soil. 

2. Ryotwari Settlement:

  • Sir Thomas Munro introduced this system in the Madras Presidency. 
  • Under this settlement, the peasant was recognised as the proprietor of land. There was no intermediary like a Zamindar between the peasant and the government. So long as he paid the revenue in time, the peasant was not evicted from the land. 
  • Every peasant was held personally responsible for direct payment of land revenue to the government. 

3. Mahalwari Settlement: 1833

  • In 1833, the Mahalwari settlement was introduced in the Punjab, the Central Provinces and parts of North Western Provinces. 
  • Under this system, the basic unit of revenue settlement was the village or the Mahal. As the village lands belonged jointly to the village community, the responsibility of paying the revenue rested with the entire Mahal or the village community. So the entire land of the village was measured at the time of fixing the revenue.

Important points:

1. Governor/Viceroy
First Governor of Bengal
Robert Clive
First Governor general of Bengal
Warren Hastings
First Governor general of India
Lord William Bentick
First Viceroy of India
Lord Canning

2. Acts
Regulating act
Supreme court was established in 1774 as per this act

Pitts India act
The company’s territories in India were first time called as the British Possessions in India

Charter act-1813
Allowed Christian missionaries to preach in India
Charter act-1833
East Indian company became purely political body
Charter act-1853
Last act in series of Charter acts

3. Anglo- Mysore wars:
Anglo-Mysore war
Year
Governor-general
       First
1767-69
Robert Clive
      Second
1780-84
Warren Hastings
      Third
1790-92
Cornwallis
      Fourth
1799
Wellesley

  • In First Anglo Mysore war Hyder Ali emerged as Victorious 
  • Second Anglo Mysore war took place from 1780-84 and ended with Treaty of Mangalore 
  • Third Anglo Mysore war took place from 1790-92 during the reign of Cornwallis and ended with treaty of Sriranga patnam
  • Fourth Anglo-Mysore war took place during the reign of Wellesley and Tippu died in it 

5. Anglo-Mysore wars
Anglo-Mysore war
Year
Governor-general
       First
1767-69
Robert Clive
      Second
1780-84
Warren Hastings
      Third
1790-92
Cornwallis
      Fourth
1799
Wellesley

5. Anglo-Maratha Wars:
Anglo-Maratha war
Year
War ended with
       First
1779
Treaty of Salabai
      Second
1803-05
Treaty of Bassein
      Third
1817-19
Last big battle won by Britis
  • Woods despatch related to education 
  • First railway line Mumbai to Thane- 16th April 1853 
  • First state to annex under doctrine of lapse- Satara (1848) 
  • First chief justice of Supreme Court established in 1784- Sir Elijah Imphay
  • Vellore Mutiny takes place in 1806 

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