In 1743, Robert Clive was appointed as Clerk in East India Company. In 1755 he was appointed as deputy governor of Fort William. He was appointed as Governor of Fort William from 1758 to 1760, and then again from 1765 to 1767.During his reign, the British won the battles of Plassey, Buxar, and Chinsura.
These wars laid the groundwork for the British invasion of India. He also enforced a dual management system in Bengal, and this system devastated the Bengal economy.
Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey was fought between Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-ud-Daulah) and the British led by Robert Clive. Siraj-ud-Daula was very angry due to the British because they were interfering in his state affairs. Due to this Siraj-ud-Daulah attacked Fort William with his army and captured the 146 British. He kept them in a small room. About 123 British died due to suffocation the next day. It’s called the Black hole of Calcutta 1756.
It led to the Battle of Plassey. Following this occurrence, Robert Clive signed a pact with Mir Jafar, pledging him to make Nawab of Bengal after Siraj-ud-Daulah in exchange for his assistance. Ghaseti Begum (Nawab’s aunt) also contributed to the Nawab’s defeat. She was also a traitor. The Nawab’s army was beaten, and he ran from there but got caught and beheaded on July 2, 1757. After this fight, Mir Jafar sat in Siraj-ud-Dula’s place.
After the war Company demanded a huge amount of money from Mir Jafar in exchange for his position as Nawab. But he couldn’t stand with British’s expensive policies. When he realized that British demands were impossible, he sought to get rid of them. He requested the support of the Dutch for this.
Battle of Chinsura 1759
The Battle of Chinsura was fought between Mir Jafar and East India Company. Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II was also against Mir Jafar because he helped the British in the Battle of Plassey. He couldn’t get help from France because in the Battle of Plassey French were on the Siraj-ud-Dula side. So, Mir Jafar seeks help from Dutch. Mir Jafar began discussions with the Dutch East India Company to fight with him against the British. The Dutch saw a chance to increase their power in India and agreed to deploy a force to Chinsura against the British, but both were defeated by the British army. Battle of Chinsura was fought both on land and at sea. After Battle of Chinsura, Mir Jafar was deposed and was replaced by his son-in-law Mir Qasim. Mir Qasim changed his capital. He left Murshidabad and made Bihar his capital where he established his army.
Mir Kasim’s main concern with the British was commerce. During Farrukhsiyar’s rule in 1717, the British obtained tax-free trading rights across Bengal for just 3000 rupees per year. Mir Kasim objected to this discrimination. The British were allowed to trade without paying any taxes, but local traders had to pay up to 40% of their revenue in taxes.
Mir Kasim responded by abolishing all tariffs on local merchants as well. It became Company angry, and they turned against the Mir Qasim. In 1763, A clash happened between Mir Qasim and Company soldiers. Mir Qasim fled from there and took refuge with Shuja-ud-Dula (Nawab of Awadh). British requested Shuja-ud-dula to hand over Mir Qasim to them but he refused. This thing led to the “Battle of Buxar”.
Battle of Buxar
Battle of Buxar was fought in 1764 between Company forces on one side and the united forces of Mughal monarch Shah Alam II, Shuja-ud-Daula, and Mir Kasim on the other side. However, the different allies were unable to coordinate and were defeated. This fight was won without the presence of Robert Clive, who was in Britain at that time. Major Hector Munro supervised the British soldiers. Following this combat, Shah Alam II surrendered. Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula ran to Rohilla and took refuge there. Mir Kasim also escaped and after a few years, he died.
After this war, Robert Clive returned to Bengal for the second time in 1765. and he signed a Treaty of Allahabad with Shah Alam-II.
According to the treaty of Allahabad
- The Mughal Emperor awarded the Diwani rights to the East India Company. it’s meant the power to manage the area and collect taxes in Bihar, Orrisa, and Bengal. As a result, the Company became ruler of the people of Orrisa, Bengal, and Bihar. All taxes were collected by the company now.
- In return, the Company paid the Mughals an annual payment of 2.6 million rupees.
- Allahabad and Kora districts returned to Shah Alam-II.
- Allahabad and Kora were seized from Shuja-ud-Dula, but Awadh was given back to Shuja-ud-Daulah.
- The Nawab of Awadh paid 53 lakh rupees to the British.
Robert Clive left India in 1767. There were various voices in Britain concerned about his involvement in corruption. Despite being cleared, he stabbed himself to death on November 22, 1774, with a knife.