Topic outline

    • From Trade to Territory
      The Company Establishes Power

      Q56. Write a note on Tipu Sultan—The ‘Tiger of Mysore’.

      Ans. Tipu Sultan—The ‘Tiger of Mysore’

                                 i.        Tipu Sultan, son of Haidar Ali (ruled from 1782 to 1799) was known as Tiger of Mysore’. Mysore controlled the profitable trade of the Malabar coast where the Company purchased pepper and cardamom.

                                ii.        In 1785 Tipu Sultan stopped the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through the ports of his kingdom, and disallowed local merchants from trading with the Company.

                               iii.        He also established a close relationship with the French in India, and modernized his army with their help.

                               iv.        In the last – the Battle of Seringapatam, the Company ultimately win a victory. Tipu Sultan was killed defending his capital Seringapatam.

      Q57. What was the main cause of the Battle of Plassey?
      What led to the Battle of Plassey and what was the result?

      Ans. Sirajuddaulah asked the Company to stop meddling in the political affairs of his dominion, stop fortification, and pay the revenues. After negotiations failed, the Nawab marched with 30,000 soldiers to the English factory at Kassimbazar, captured the Company officials, locked the warehouse, disarmed all Englishmen, and blockaded English ships. Then he marched to Calcutta to establish control over the Company’s fort there. On hearing the news of the fall of Calcutta, Company officials in Madras sent forces under the command of Robert Clive, reinforced by naval fleets. Prolonged negotiations with the Nawab followed. Finally, in 1757, Robert Clive led the Company’s army against Sirajuddaulah at Plassey. The Battle of Plassey was the first major victory the Company won in India.


      Q58. What were the areas of conflict between the Bengal nawabs and the East India Company?

      Ans. The areas of conflict between the Bengal nawabs and the East India Company were:

                                 i.        The nawabs refused to grant the Company concessions, demanded large tributes for the Company’s right to trade, denied it any right to mint coins, and stopped it from extending its fortifications.

                                ii.        They claimed that the Company was depriving the Bengal government of huge amounts of revenue and undermining the authority of the nawab by refusing to pay taxes, writing disrespectful letters, and trying to humiliate the nawab and his officials.

                               iii.        The Company on its part declared that the unjust demands of the local officials were ruining the trade of the Company, and trade could flourish only if the duties were removed.

      Q59. In what way was the administration of the Company different from that of Indian rulers?

      Ans. Administration of the Company

      British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies. There were three Presidencies: Bengal, Madras and Bombay. Each was ruled by a Governor. The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General. From 1772 a new system of justice was established.

      Each district was to have two courts – a criminal court (faujdari adalat ) and a civil court (diwani adalat ). Under the Regulating Act of 1773, a new Supreme Court was established, while a court of appeal – the Sadar Nizamat

      Adalat – was also set up at Calcutta.

      Administration of Indian rulers

      The principal figure in an Indian district was the Collector. As the title suggests, his main job was to collect revenue and taxes and maintain law and order in his district with the help of judges, police officers and darogas.


      Q60. Describe the changes that occurred in the composition of the Company’s army.

      Ans. Several changes occurred in the composition of the Company’s army:

                                i.        The East India Company started recruiting peasants into their armies and training them as professional soldiers, which came to be known as the sepoy army.

                               ii.        As warfare technology changed from the 1820s, the cavalry requirements of the Company’s army declined.

                              iii.        The soldiers of the Company’s army had to keep pace with changing military requirements and its infantry regiments now became more important.

                              iv.        In the early nineteenth century the British began to develop a uniform military culture. Soldiers were increasingly subjected to European-style training, drill and discipline that regulated their life far more than before.

      Q61. How did the assumption of Diwani benefit the East India Company?

      Ans. Finally, in 1765 the Mughal emperor appointed the Company as the Diwan of the provinces of Bengal. The assumption of Diwani benefited the East India Company in several ways.

                                i.        The Diwani allowed the Company to use the vast revenue resources of Bengal.

                               ii.        From the early eighteenth century its trade with India had expanded. But it had to buy most of the goods in India with gold and silver imported from Britain. This was because at this time Britain had no goods to sell in India. The outflow of gold from Britain slowed after the Battle of Plassey, and entirely stopped after the assumption of Diwani.

                               iii.        Now revenues from India could finance Company expenses. These revenues could be used to purchase cotton and silk textiles in India, maintain Company troops, and meet the cost of building the Company fort and offices at Calcutta.


      Q62. How did the East India Company begin trade in Bengal?

      Ans. East India Company begin trade in Bengal

                               i.        The first English factory was set up on the banks of the river Hugli in 1651. This was the base from which the Company’s traders, known at that time as “factors”, operated. The factory had a warehouse where goods for export were stored, and it had offices where Company officials sat.

                              ii.        As trade expanded, the Company persuaded merchants and traders to come and settle near the factory. By 1696 it began building a fort around the settlement.

                              iii.        Two years later it bribed Mughal officials into giving the Company zamindari rights over three villages. One of these was Kalikata, which later grew into the city of Calcutta or Kolkata as it is known today. It also persuaded the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to issue a farman granting the Company the right to trade duty free.

    • Download to practice offline.