UPSC History Expansion Company and Bengal Nawabs Short Notes - East India Company

Short Notes - East India Company

Category : UPSC


East India Company


  • Company rule in India effectively beganin l757afterthe Battle of Plassey.
  • In the Battle of Plassey, Nawab of Bengal surrendered his dominions to the Company.
  • Company was granted the diwani, or the right to collect revenue, in Bengal and Biharin 1765.
  • When the Company established a capital in Calcutta, Warren Hastings was appointed the first Governor General.
  • Company's rule lasted until 1858 after Indian rebellion of 1857.
    • Siraj-ud-Daula was   the   last independent Nawab of Bengal who succeeded Alivardi Khan to the throne.
  • The end of his reign marks the end of the independent rule in India and beginning of the company's rule that continued unabated over the next two hundred years.
  • Mir Jafar Ali Khan Bahadur, commonly known as Mir Jafar, [c. 1691-February 5,1765) was the first Nawab of Bengal under Company rule in India.
    • After Siraj decline Mir Jafar was installed as the Nawab in 1757 by the British East India Company.
  • Mir Qasim [ May 8, 1777) was the Nawab of Bengal from 1760 to 1763.
  • The Battle of Buxar was fought on 23 October 1764 between East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined army of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal: the Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal King Shah Alam II.


Governors of Bengal and Governor Generals of India

Name and Tenure

Well Known For

War fought

Robert Clive  

(1758-60) and(1765-67)

• Diarchy of Dual Goverment of Bengal from     1765-72

•   Considered as one of the creators of British power in India.

• Battle of Plassey (1757)

• Battle of Condore [1758)


Henry Vansittart


• Deposed Mir Jafar, the Nawab of Bengal,and replaced him with his  son-in-law Mir Qasim.

• Battle of Buxar

Harry Verelst


  • Increased tax revenue of the East India Company.
  • Exposed corruption within the company.



John Cartier


• The Great Famine of Bengal 1770 occured in his regime which claimed about two million lives



Warren Hastings


• Founding Asiatic Society of Bengal

• Auctioning the right to collect land revenue to its highest bid

  • Starting Diwani and Fauzdari Adalats in district level and Nizam Adalats at Kolkata
  • Rohilla war (1774)
  • 1st Anglo- Maratha war (1776-82)
  • 2nd Anglo-Mysore war(1780-84

Lord  Cornwallis 


  • Codifying laws in 1793 so as to separate the administration for revenue and justice
  • Abolition of all the superfluous posts.  
  • Creating the post of District judge.
  • Establishment of lower grade court.
  • Father of Civil Services in India.


·   3rd Anglo-Mysore  War against Tipu Sultan and signed  the  treaty  of Srirangapatnam in 1792


Sir John Shore


• 1st Charter of Act in 1793          

  • Battle of Kharda between

Nizam and Marathas in 1793

Lord Wellesley


• Started subsidiary alliance to achieve

British dominancy over India

• Forming Madras Presidency           

  • 4th Anglo-Mysore war in    1799 and with defeat and death of Tipu Sulatan

•              Treaty of Bassein in 1802

•              2nd Anglo-Maratha war

from 1803-1805 defeating

Scindia, Bhonsle and Holkar

Sir George Barlow   


  • Vellore Mutiny in 1806



Lord Minto   


• Concluding Treaty of Amritsar with Raja Ranjit    Singh

  • Charter of Act 1813 was passed


Lord Hastings


  • Adopting the Policies of intervention • Anglo-Nepalese war

•              Forceful implementation humiliating

treaties or Peshwas and Scindias.


  • Anglo – Nepalese war ( 1813-23)

Lord Amherst


  • Acquisition of Malayan Peninsular territories                          
  • Capturing Bharatpur

• First Burmese War ( 1824-26)

Lord William  Bentinck

( 1828-35)

  • Abolition of Sati and other cruel rites in 1829
  • Annexation of Mysore
  • Concluding a treaty of perpetual friendship with Ranjit Singh (1831)
  • He was also known as Father of Modern Western Education in India.
  • He was last Governor General of Bengal who later continued his service as the first Governor General of India from 1833 to 1835
  • Occupied Coorg and Central Cachar in 1834 on the plea of mis  governance


Sir Charles Metcaife 



•      Passed the famous Press Law which

         liberated the press in India


      Lord Auckland


  • Extended irrigation 
  • Inaugurated famine relief              

•     1st Anglo Afgan war


Lord Ellen  borough  


   •     Brought an end to Afgan war

Annexed Sindh in 1843

•     War with Gwalior (1843)

Lord Hardinge


  • Gave preference to English education
  • Treaty of Lahore in 1846

• 1st Anglo Sikh war (1845-46)

Lord Dalhousie


•  Abolished titles and pensions

  • Passed widow Re-marriage Act 1856

   •   Introduced "Doctrine of Lapse"

  • Annexed Punjab, lower Burma or Pegu and Awadh.
  • Started railway, post and telegraph service.
  • 2nd Anglo Sikh war


  • 2nd Anglo Burmese war,



Rule of the British Governors and Governor Generals


  • After the victory of the English in Buxar, Clive was appointed the governor and commander-in-chief of the English possessions in Bengal.
  • He settled relations with Oudh by the Treaty of Allahabad in 1765.
  • Warren Hastings was appointed the Governor of Bengal in 1772.
  • To bring forth a reform in the affairs of revenue Warren Hastings introduced a five year settlement of land revenue in 1772.
  • In 1773 the Regulating Act was passed which provided for the setting up of a supreme court to try all British subjects.
  • Warren Hasting faced an uphill task in dealingwith the Indian rulers. He faced stiff resistance from the Marathas in the North and Hyder Ali in the South.
  • The court of Directors sent Cornwallis in 1786 to carry out the policy of peace outlined in Pitts in India Act to reorganise the administrative set up of the country.
  • This Permanent Settlement was introduced by Cornwallis.
  • Other incidents:    Treaty    of
  • Seringapatam (1792], third Anglo- Mysore War - defeat of.Tipu Sultan (1790-92).
  • Sir John Shore succeeded Cornwallis and followed a policy of non- intervention in the affairs of the native states.
  • Lord Wellesley is considered to be one of the most brilliant Governor Generals of Bengal.
  • He introduced the Subsidiary Alliance system to undo with the French influence and bring the Indian states within the purview of the British power of Jurisdiction.
  • In 1805, Lord Cornwallis came back as the Governor General for the second time.
  • George Barlow was followed by Lord Minto who was the president of the Board of Control before he became the governor general of the Company.
  • Lord Minto-I (AD 1807-13) was followed by Lord Hastings who governed from 1813 to 1823.
  • His rule is famous for a treaty with Shah of Persia and Treaty of Amritsar (1809) with Ranjit Singh.
  • Marquess of Hastings (AD 1813 1823)- He was the first to appoint Indians to the highest posts of responsibility. The first vernacular newspaper Samachar   Patrika published during his time.        
  • Lord Amherst (AD 1823-1828)-His reign is known for the first Anglo Burmese War [1824-26) and mutiny of Barrackpur(1824).
  • Lord William Bentinck (AD 1828-35)- English accepted as the medium of instruction after the famous Macaulay's recommendation: Medical colleges at Calcutta in 1835: Charter Act of 1833 was passed and he was' made the first Governor General of India; Abolition ofsati in 1829.
  • Sir Charles Metcaife (AD 1835-36)- He removed the restriction on the vernacular press.
  • Lord Auckland (AD 1836-42)- Important events of his regime included the outbreak of first Afghan war and the signing of a Tripartite Treaty among the English, Ranjit Singh and Shah Shuja of Afghanistan.
  • Lord Ellenborough (AD 1842-44)- His period is known for the end of the first Afghan war, annexation of Sindh to the British Empire (1843).
  • Lord Hardinge (AD 1844-48)- The most important event of his tenure is the First Sikh War (1845-1846).
  • Lord Dalhousie (AD 1848-56)- Doctrine of Lapse, The Second Burmese war. The Second Anglo Sikh , War, Shimla made the summer capital,

First railway line was laid from Bombay to Thane, in 1853.

  • Lord Canning (AD 1856-58) - Annexation of Avadh, enactment of Hindu Widow Remarriage Bill, 1857,

establishment of universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, revolt of 1857.

  • Following the       Queen's recommendation in 1858, transferring the Government from the company to the British Crown, Lord Canning was made the first Viceroy of India.
  • Lord Elgin 1st (AD 1862) - Suppression of the Wahabi tribe.
  • Lord John Lawrence (AD 1864-69)- Two famines hit India; first in 1800 in Orisa and second in 1868-69 in Bundelkhand and Rajputana.
  • A Famine Commission was set up under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Campbell.
  • Lord Mayo (AD 1869-72)- Organised first census which was held in 1871 and started the process of financial decentralisation in India. Established the Department of Agriculture and commerce.
  • Lord Northbrook (AD1872-76)- The Kuka movement; visit of Prince of Wales, famine in Bihar and Bengal in 1873-1874.
  • Lord Lytton (AD 1876-80)- The Delhi Durbar, January 1, 1877 and the Vernacular Press Act,
  • Lord Ripon   (AD   1880-84)- First factory Act of 1881. Local Self-Government was introduced in 1882. Repeal of Vernacular Press act.
  • Lord Dufferin (AD 1884-88)- Third Anglo Burmese war, Establishment of Indian national congress in 1885.
  • Lord Lansdowne (1888-94)- Factory Act of 1891 granted weekly holiday and stipulated working hours for women and children.
  • Civil services were divided into imperial, Provincial and Subordinate Services. Indian Councils Act of 1892.
    • The Durand Commission defined the Durand Line between British India and Afghanistan [now between Pakistan and Afghanistan) in 1893.
  • Lord Elgin II (AD 1894-99)- Southern uprisings of 1899. Great famine of 1896-1897 and Lyall Commission on famine was established.
  • Lord Curzon (AD 1899-1905) - Famine Commission,  Agriculture Research Institute at Pusa, Partition of Bengal in 1905.
  • Lord Minto II (AD 1905-10)- Minto- Morley Reforms in 1909. Swadeshi movement (1905-08), foundation of Muslim League [1906), Surat session and split in the congress [1907).
  • Lord Hardinge II (AD 1910-16)- In the honour of King George V and Queen Mary of England, Coronation Darbar was held at Delhi.
    • Capital of country was announced to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.
    • The First World War broke out in 1914.
  • Lord Chelmsford   (1916-21)- Government of India Act 1919 [Montague-Chelmsford    Reforms), enactment of Rowlatt Act [1919), Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy (1919), beginning of the Non-co-operation Movement.
  • Lord Reading (AD 1921-26) - Repeal of Rowalatt Act, Chauri-Chaura incident; Moplah Rebellion [1921) took place Kakori Train Robbery; Communal Riots of 1923-25 in Multan,

Amritsar, Delhi, etc.

  • Lord Irwin   (AD   1926-31)- Appointment of Simon commission in 1928. Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1931; First Around Table Conference [1930).
  • Lord Willington (AD 1931-36)- The Second Around Table Conference 1931, The communal award, 1932, the Poona pact. Third Round Table

Conference, 1932.

  • Lord Linlithgow (AD 1936-43)- Beginning of the Second World War. Arrival of the Cripps Mission. Beginning of the Quit India Movement.
  • Lord Wavell (AD 1944-47)- Wavell Plan and Shimla Conference, Cabinet Mission [Lawrence,  Cripps  and Alexander), Direct Action Day" on

August 16,1946, Attlee's Declaration,

  • Lord Mountbatten, (March 1947- June 1948) Last Viceroy of British India and first-Governor general of free India. Partition of India in third week of June, 1947; Indian Independence Act, Partition of the country between two independent states of India and Pakistan. He was succeeded by C. Raiaeopalachari.


Some Important rulers in India (1720-1949)





1. Sadat Khan Burhan-ul-mulk



2. SafdarJung  



3.Shuj'a-ud- daulah



4. Asaf-ud-daulah



5. WazirAli    



6. Nizam-ul-Mulk AsafJah



7. NasirJung    



8. MuzaffarJung



9. SalabatJung 



10. Nizam All     



11. SikandarJah  



12.Nasir-ud-   daulah                             



13. Afjal-ud- daulah



14.MahabatAli     Khan



15.Osman Ali Khan



16. HyderAli    



17. Tipu Sultan   



18. Ranjit Singh   




Some important Nawabs of Bengal (1717-1772)




1. Murshid QuIi Khan     


2. Suf-ud-din             


3. Sarfraz Khan           


4. Alivardi Khan          


5. Siraj-ud-daulah         




8. Mir Jafar              


9. Najm-ud daulah        



Tribal Revolts








Raja Jagannath

Excess Revenue demand, Bengal famine




Agrarian hardship




British occupation of Singhbhum        



Chittur Singh, Pratap singh, Dattaraya PAtkar

British Rule




Dismantle of forestsI



Gomadhar Kunwar

British occupation



Tiruth Singh

British occupation



Buddha Bhagat

Land transfer to outsiders



Sidhu and kanhu

British Rule



Rup Singh

For Dharma Raj against ban joria Bhagat on grazing and timber

Bhuyan and Junag

1867-68 1891

Ratna Nayak

Installation of British protege on throne

Kacha Nagas



British intervention

Munda (Ulgulan)


Birsa Munda

Land system, Missionary activity and forced labour



Govind Guru

A temperance and purification movement

Oraons (Tana Bhagat)


Jatra Bhagat and other Bhagats

Religious Reason




British control of forests

Koyas/ Rampas


Alluri Sitaram Raju

British Rule



Jadunang ( 1905-31) and Rani Gaidinliu

A reformist movement later directed

and Rani Gaidinliu against excess of British rule.


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