From Trade To Territory

  • English East India company comes to India in 1600

    English East India company comes to India in 1600
  • The first English factory was set up on the banks of the river Hugli.

    The first English factory was set up on the banks of the river Hugli.
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    The conflict between the Company and the nawabs of Bengal intensified. After the death of Aurangzeb, the Bengal nawabs asserted their power and autonomy. Murshid Quli Khan was followed by Alivardi Khan and then Sirajuddaulah as the Nawab of Bengal. Each one of them was a strong ruler. They 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.
  • The Battle of Plassey

    When Alivardi Khan died in 1756, Sirajuddaulah became the nawab of Bengal. The Company was worried about his power and keen on a puppet ruler who would willingly give trade concessions and other privileges.So it tried, though without success, to help one of Sirajuddaulah’s rivals become the nawab. An infuriated Sirajuddaulah asked the Company to stop meddling in the political affairs of his dominion, stop fortification, and pay the revenues.

    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 Sirajuddaulah.After the defeat at Plassey, Sirajuddaulah was assassinated and Mir Jafar made the nawab.
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    The Company rarely launched a direct military attack on an unknown territory. Instead it used a variety of political, economic and diplomatic methods to extend its influence before annexing an Indian kingdom.
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    Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.

    Mysore had grown in strength under the leadership of powerful rulers like Haidar Ali (ruled from 1761 to 1782) and his famous son Tipu Sultan (ruled from 1782 to 1799).
  • Company officials become “nabobs”

    Robert Clive was appointed Governor of Bengal in 1764, he was asked to remove corruption in Company administration.

    When Mir Jafar protested, the Company deposed him and installed Mir Qasim in his place. 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. The Nawab had to pay Rs 500,000 every month but the Company wanted more money to finance its wars, and meet the demands of trade and its other expenses.

    Mir Jafar died in 1765 the mood of the Company had changed. Having failed to work with puppet nawabs, Clive declared: “We must indeed become nawabs ourselves.”
    Finally, in 1765 the Mughal emperor appointed the Company as the Diwan of the provinces of Bengal. The Diwani allowed the Company to use the vast revenue resources of Bengal.
  • The Battle of Plassey

    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 in 1757.
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    4 wars between Tipu And EIC

    Four wars were fought with Mysore (1767-69, 1780-84, 1790-92 and 1799). Only in the last – the Battle of Seringapatam – did the Company ultimately win a victory. Tipu Sultan was killed defending his capital Seringapatam, Mysore was placed under the former ruling dynasty of the Wodeyars and a subsidiary alliance was imposed on the state.

    Robert Clive was cross-examined in 1772 by the British Parliament which was suspicious of his vast wealth.

    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). Maulvis and Hindu pandits interpreted Indian laws for the European district collectors who presided over civil courts. The criminal courts were still under a qazi and a mufti but under the supervision of the collectors.
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    Warren Hastings (Governor-General) was one of important figures who played a significant role in the expansion of Company power. By his time the Company had acquired power in Bengal Bombay and Madras. 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.

    He committed sucide after the cross examination in which he was proven corrupt.
  • Export stopped by Tipu Sultan

    Mysore controlled the profitable trade of the Malabar coast where the Company purchased pepper and cardamom. 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. He also established a close relationship with the French in India, and modernised his army with their help. They saw Haidar and Tipu as ambitious, arrogant and dangerous rulers who had to be controlled and crushed.
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    The Company forced the states into a “subsidiary alliance”. According to the terms of this alliance, Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces. They were to be protected by the Company, but had to pay for the “subsidiary forces” that the Company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of this protection. If the Indian rulers failed to make the payment, then part of their territory was taken away as penalty.

    Under Lord Hastings (Governor- General from 1813 to 1823) a new policy of “paramountcy” was initiated. Now the Company claimed that its authority was paramount or supreme, hence its power was greater than that of Indian states. In order to protect its interests it was justified in annexing or threatening to annex any Indian kingdom. This view continued to guide later British policies as well.

    As warfare technology changed from the 1820s, the cavalry requirements of the Company’s army declined. This is because the British empire was fighting in Burma, Afghanistan and Egypt where soldiers were armed with muskets and matchlocks. The soldiers of the Company’s army had to keep pace with changing military requirements and its infantry regiments now became more important.
  • Rani Channamma arrested

    When the British tried to annex the small state of Kitoor (Karnataka), Rani Channamma took to arms and led an anti-British resistance movement. She was arrested in 1824
  • Rani Channamma Died

    Rani Channamma died in the prison
  • Rayanna, a poor chowkidar of Sangoli.

    Rayanna, a poor chowkidar of Sangoli in Kitoor, carried on the resistance. With popular support he destroyed many British camps and records. He was caught and hanged by the British in 1830.
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    East India Company became feared from Russia.

    In the late 1830s the East India Company became worried about Russia. It imagined that Russia might expand across Asia and enter India from the north-west. Driven by this fear, the British now wanted to secure their control over the north-west. They fought a prolonged war with Afghanistan between 1838 and 1842 and established indirect Company rule there.
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    After his death in 1839, two prolonged wars were fought with the Sikh kingdom. Ultimately, in 1849, Punjab was annexed.

    Sind was taken over in 1843. Next in line was Punjab. But the presence of Maharaja Ranjit Singh held back the Company.
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    The Doctrine of Lapse

    The final wave of annexations occurred under Lord Dalhousie. He introduced Doctrine of Lapse. The doctrine declared that if an Indian ruler died without a "MALE HEIR" his kingdom would lapse. Kingdoms were annexed: Satara (1848), Sambalpur (1850), Udaipur (1852), Nagpur (1853) and Jhansi (1854).Finally, in 1856, the Company also took over Awadh. This time the British had an added argument, they said they took over Awadh in order to free the people from the “misgovernment” of the Nawab!
  • The East India Company Was Transformed From A Trading Company To A Territorial Colonial Power.

    By 1857 the Company came to exercise direct rule over about 63 per cent of the territory and 78 per cent of the population of the Indian subcontinent. Combined with its indirect influence on the remaining territory and population of the country, the East India Company had virtually the whole of India under its control.
  • 1857 REVOLT

    Enraged by the humiliating way in which the Nawab was deposed, the people of Awadh joined the great revolt that broke out in 1857.