Causes of the Battle of Plassey (1757)
The Battle of Plassey has a particularly political significance in Indian history. This war brought a great change in the politics of the country. Following were the main causes of this war
1. Idea of establishing British rule in India
Although the British had come to India to do business, their views changed after seeing the political situation here. He thought of establishing his empire here. After defeating the French, he made a program to defeat the Indian rulers and started implementing his program from Bengal itself.
2. British terrorized from Siraj-ud-daula
Siraj-ud-daula was the ruler of Bengal at the time of the Battle of Plassey. He considered the British dangerous for the country. The British were also terrified of him. Before his death, his maternal grandfather Alivardi Khan had said – “Keep an eye on the strength of the European nations inside the country. If God had increased my age, I would have freed you from this fear too – now my son you will have to do this work.. ….”
Alivardi Khan also once told the British, ‘You people are merchants, why do you need forts? If you are under my protection then you cannot be afraid of any enemy. But now the British neither wanted to remain only merchants nor wanted to live under the rule of others, they wanted to establish their 10 kingdoms in India, that’s why they fought the battle of Plassey.
3. Achieving Bengal
The British wanted to get Bengal an important place from political and economic point of view in every situation. Therefore, they needed some excuse or the other to get this region, which they got quickly to fight the battle of Plassey.
Siraj-ud-daula’s maternal grandfather Alivardi Khan had given a clear warning to the British and the French not to fortify them, but as soon as he died, the fortifications started again. Siraj-ud-Daula also forbade the fortification, so the French Company ended the fortification, but the British did not pay attention to it. Due to this the relations between Siraj-ud-Daula and the British became bitter and it became necessary to fight between them.
5. British aid to opponents
The British merchants were helping Siraj-ud-Daulah’s opponents. The British used to give shelter to the disgruntled courtiers and other enemies, due to which Siraj-ud-Daula got irritated with the British. Against the wishes of the Nawab, the British also gave shelter to Krishna Ballabh, the son of Raj Ballabh, the Diwan of Dhaka, so that his anger remained undetected. In such a situation the war could not be avoided.
6. Improper use of facilities
They were misusing the facilities given to the British by the Mughal rulers. Along with his goods, he used to save the octroi by treating the goods of Indian merchants as his own and used to collect octroi from them himself. Due to this, mutual relations became bitter and the situation of war became clear.
7. Interference in Succession Matters
The British were leaning in favor of Siraj-ud-Daula’s rival successors. The British used to support Begum, the widow of the ruler of Dhaka, and Shaukat Jung, the son of her aunt. In such a situation, Siraj-ud-Daula became angry with him and decided to fight.
Siraj-ud-Daulah was furious and made a determined decision to expel the British from Bengal. In January 1756, he took over the English factory located at Qasim Bazar. Thereafter he proceeded towards Calcutta. On June 18, 1756, the Nawab captured Calcutta. Thereafter he proceeded towards Calcutta. On June 18, 1757, the Nawab invaded Calcutta and Siraj-ud-Daulah took possession of it. At the same time the incident of dungeon took place. As told by historians, 146 Englishmen were put to death in a cell. This event is popularly known as ‘Black Hall’. On January 2, 1757, due to the betrayal of Manik Chand, the British regained control of Calcutta. Now the British made a plan to defeat Siraj-ud-daula by joining the generals Mir Jafar and Seth Amichand on their side.
Meanwhile, Clive accused Siraj-ud-Daulah of breaching the Treaty of Alinagar and on June 22, 1757, with 3200 soldiers, reached Plassey near the capital. Siraj-ud-daula came to the field with his 50 thousand army. The war started on June 23, 1757. Mir Jafar and Rai Rare with their armies stood silently. Only Mohanlal and Meeramdan faced the enemies with full courage, but Siraj-ud-Daulah was heartbroken when he was betrayed by his chief allies. He was defeated in the field of Plassey. On June 24, 1757, he escaped with his wife by jumping from a window of the palace but was caught and murdered by Mir Jafar’s son Mir.
Consequences of the Battle of Plassey
- Nawabi of Bengal, Mir Jafar was found.
- Zamindari of 24 parganas was received by the company.
- Amichand had to remain disappointed in this war.
- The dominance of the British was established in Bengal.
- The British now became the ruler, not just a trader.
- The business of the Company spread throughout Bengal.
- The dynasty of Alivardi Khan came to an end.
Importance of the battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey has significance from many points of view. To understand its importance, it is necessary to study the following
1. Economic Importance of the battle of Plassey
Economically, this war was very important in the interest of the British. The British got a lot of money in loot. The British got huge wealth from the loot of Calcutta and Murshidabad. Now the Nawab of Bengal became indebted to the British. The income of the company increased from the octroi received in the twenty-four parganas district.
2. Military Importance of the battle of Plassey
From a military point of view, this war was not more important. In this, Clive did not play any important role and did not show any skill. According to Dr. R. C. Mazumdar, “The Battle of Plassey was hardly a skirmish, but the result was more than the important battles of the world.”
3. Ethical Importance of the battle of Plassey
From the moral point of view, the effect of war was that the British got into the practice of plundering and looting from other places. Seeing the dishonesty of Mir Jafar etc., in future, he sided with the British in greed from the people of many princely states.
4. Political Importance of the battle of Plassey
This war is of great importance from a political point of view. This can be understood on the basis of the following
(i) Economic benefits to the company– The company got the opportunity to make many types of political preparations due to the huge economic benefits from this war.
(ii) British authority over Bengal – Although the Nawabi continued to dominate Bengal, Bengal came completely under the control of the British. The British started making and destroying the Nawabs of their own accord. He replaced Mir Jafar and made Mirkasim the Nawab.
(iii) The company’s pride increased – the making and breaking of the Nawabs of the company as per their wish was also an effective step. This increased the respect and pride of the Indian kings in the company.
(iv) Influence on the South– The British turned their attention to the South, being sure of Bengal
and strengthened the economic side and defeated the French Company in the south.
(v) Impact on the North– This war had a great impact in the North as well. The British demonstrated their policy at other places as well. He was fully aware of the weakness of the Indian forces. He also came to know about the faith of Indian people. Later the British also got encouragement from this war to fight the battle of Buxar etc. The conquest of Plassey made the British the masters of Bengal. Now there was no one to rule over it. According to Dr. Ishwari Prasad, “The political significance of the Battle of Plassey is evident from the fact that the British became the masters of Bengal. After that he ruled here for 100 years.