Friday, April 29, 2011

Cornwallis and British Empire (contd-1)

The rise of the Second British Empire (1783-1815):During the 1760s and 1770s, Relations between the thirteen colonies of America and Britain became increasingly strained, primarily because of resentment of the British Parliament's ability to tax American colonists without their consent. Disagreement turned to violence and in 1775 the American Revolutionary war began. The following year,1776,  the colonists declared the independence of the United States, and with the assistance of France - would go on to win the war in 1783.
The loss of the United States, at the time Britain's most populous colony, is seen by historians as the event defining the transition between the 'first' and 'second ' empires in which Britain shifted its attention away from the Americans to Asia, The pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations', published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old merchantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion.           

Cornwallis (1738-1805)

Cornwallis was the eldest son of Charles Cornwallis, later 1st Earl Cornwallis, and was born in Grosvenor Square, London, England, even though his family's estates were in Kent.
Born into an aristocratic family and educatedat Eton and Cambridge, Cornwallis joined the British army in 1757, seeing action in the Seven Years War. Upon his father's death in 1762 he became Earl Cornwallis and entered the House of Lords. Promoted to colonel  1766, he next saw military actions in 1776 in the American War of Independence.
Active in the advance forces of many campaigns, in 1776 he notably made possible the battle of Princeton, an embarrassing British defeat, surrendered his army at Yorktown in Oct. 1781 after an extended campaign which was marked by disagreements between him and his superior , General Sir Henry Clinton, which became public knowledge after the war.
Despite this defeat, Cornwallis retained the confidence of successive British Governments and continued to enjoy an active career. Knighted in 1786, he was in that year appointed to the Governor General and Commander-in-chief in India, where he enacted numerous significant reforms within the East India Company and its territories, including the Cornwallis code , part of which implemented important land taxation reforms known as the Permanent Settlement. From 1789 to 1792 he led British and Company forces in the third Anglo-Mysore War to defeat the Mysorean ruler Tipu Sultan.           

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Warren Hastings (contd-5)

British East India Company. The British East India Company

controlled much of the Indian subcontinent by
 the early 1800's. The company had direct control
 over most of the northern part of the subcontinent
 and most of the coastal areas along the
 Bay of Bengal. The Indian states of Hyderabad,
 Mysore, Oudh, and Travancore were not directly
 held by the company but were allied states.
 Only the Maratha Confederacy in central
 India was not allied to the company
Hastings finslly left Indian in1785.But even before his retirement the allegations of Francis and the reports of warss, whether justly or unjustly undertaken, had damaged his reputation, and the passionate moral concern about the standards of the British in India felt by Edmund Burke, the great whig parliamentarian, had come to be focussed on Hastings. Mot historians, while recognizing Burke's absolute sincerity, now feel that Burke was attempting to pin the evils of a situation on one individualand that he had chosen the wrong one. But Hastings was vulnerable on episodes such as the execution of Nandakumar and his tratment of the Begums of Oudh and Chait Singh and even on some aspects of his personal finances, where he had acquired money  in excess of his official allownces. In 1786, when Burke introduced an impeachment process against him (  a prosecution by the House of Commons before the house of lords.), these blemishes were enough to persuade the House of Commons and in particular William Pitt the Younger, the Prime minister, Hastings ought to be sent to trial. The trial before the House of Lords lasted from 1788 to 1795, when he was acquitted.
As the first Governor-general of Bingal, Hastings was responsible for consolidating British control over the first major Inmdian province to be conquered

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

War in India-Warren Hastings (contd-4)

The death of Clavering in 1777 put Hastings once again in possession of full power, although Francis' opposition dragged on for another three years. It ended in a pistol duel between Hastings and Francis, the latter was wounded, and he returned to England. But by 1777 the energies of the Bengal Government  were becoming more and more absorbed in War.War against Indian states was always a likely consequence of the company's conquest of Bengal. As full participants in the unstable world created  in India by the fall of the Mughal Empire, the company now found it difficult not to be drawn into the rivalries of the powers that had set themselves up in the ruins of the empire. Hastings' policy was to avoid further conquest and war but to maintain peaceful relations with neighbouring states by a series of alliances . He had, however, already taken part in on war in 1774, when he helped the company's ally on the northwestern boundary of Bengal, the vizier of Oudh, to take over territory occupied by a people called the Rohillas; and in 1778 he became involved in war with the Marathas, a loose federation of Hindu peoples in western and central India. Rightly or wrongly, Hastings came to believe that it was necessary for the safety of the British in India to ensure that the Maratha leaders  were friendly to the company that he would be justified in applying military pressure to achieve this end.. After the entry of France into the American Revolution in 1778. he also confronted with French expeditionary forces in the Indian ocean. Finally in 1780, Hyder Ali, the ruler of the south Indian state of Mysore, attacked the British at Madras. War on several fronts brought out the best in Hastings, and his achievements in organising the company's military and financial resources to counter every threat was a remarkable one. The Marathas were brought to peace in 1782, as was Mysore in 1784, and the French were held in check until peace was made in Europe in 1783. But war stretched the company to the limit, disrupting its trade and thus antagonising opinion at home. War also forced Hastings into dubious acts to raise extra funds,. two of which - the demand for a subsidy to the company from Chait Singh, the Raja of Benaras, and the requisitioning of the treasurers of the Begums of Oudh (the mother and grandmother of the vizier)- were to count heavily against him later.              

Monday, April 25, 2011

Warren Hastings (contd-3)

Political rivalries
Hasting's period of undisputed power in Bengal came to an end in 1774 with changes in the company's government. He acquired the new title of governor-general an new responsibilities for supervising other British settlements in India, but these powers had now to be shared with a Supreme Council of four others, three of whom were new to India. The new Councillors, who were led by an army officer, Sir John Clavering, and included the immensely able and ambitious Philip Francis, immediately quarreled with Hastings
Hastings admirers have had little patience with Clavering and Francis ; but it is possible to see that Francis had a genuine point of view in his opposition to Hastings and that there was still much in Bengal,  even after Hastings' reforms , to shock men fresh from Britain . (Bribery, extortion and other abuses of power by English men, which had been so common since Plassey,   
undoubtedly continued). The quarrel between the new councillors and Hastings paralysed the government of Bengal and produced a number of squalid episodes in which the newcomers, to discredit Hastings at Home, encouraged Indians to bring accusations of malpractices against him, while his friends used various methods to deter such accusations. The most notorious of these episodes concerned one Maharaja Nandakumar, who made accusations against the governor-general but was in his turn accused of forgery and hanged for it. Hastings was certainly not guilty of procuring a judicial murder, but recent research does suggest that he knew in advance of the counter plot against Nandakumar.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Warren Hastings (contd-2)

Hastings saw himself in 1772 as Governor of what he regarded as a province now fully part of thde British Empire. He dismissed formal acknowledgements of Mughal authority over Bengal as harmful fictions. Hastings shared the view, universal among contemporary  Europeans, that Bengal was a naturally rich province with a highly productive agriculture and skilled manufacturers that had suffered from misgovernment under its later Indian rulers and during the British take-over.
Revenue was thecentral issue of early British Government in India. The British were uncertain as to how much they could extract from the province without inflicting damage on it. In 1772 Hastings decided that the bestway of finding out what Bengal  could afford to pay was to invite competition for the right to collect revenue for a period of five years . Where the existing zamindars or hereditary revenue managers, didnot make adequate offers, higher bids would be accepted. This so called 'farming' system was adjudged even by Hastings to have been a failure. For the rest of Hastings' administration the company negotiated revenue assessments year by year, usually within the zamindars.
As Governor of Bengal, Hastings had not only to direct the internal administrationof a huge province, but he had to contact complex diplomacy with Indian states and on occasions with other European power. hastings had no ambition to make new conquests, but he was strongly in favour of seeking influence by alliances. The Company was to be repeatedly drawn into war, beginning with a war against the Rohillas in 1774 fought to strengthenthe company's major ally in northern India , the nawab-wazir of Oudh in whose territory British troops were maintained.
In 1773 the national Government in Britain intervened to impose reforms on the East India Company. Authority in Bengal was to be concentrated in a governor general and a new Supreme Council of five. A Supreme Court, staffed by Royal jaudges, was also established in Calcutta. Hastings was chosen as the first Governor General, but three men, John Clavering, George Monson, and Philip Francis, were sent out to join the council directly from Britin.      

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Warren Hastings (contd-1)

In Britain Hastings sought to influence Indian policy and to secure his return with prestigious position. In 1768 he was appointed second in the council of the settlement at Fort St. George, Madras'
Hastings spent two successful years at Madras. His management of the company's commercial concerns was particularly commended. In 1771 the directors of the East India Company, looking for a new Governor of Bengal, Choose Hastings.He returned to Calcutta on 17 February 1772.
As a Governor;
As a Governor he dismissed formal acknowledgements of Mughal authority over Bengal and asserted the company's direct authority . He believed sovereignity, a concept that he frequently invoked, was vested in the 'British Nation' and that there must be no equivocation about that.
Hastings shared the view , universal among contemporary Europeans, that Bengal was a naturally rich province with a highly productive agriculture and skilled manufacturers that had suffered from mismanagement under its Indian rulers and during the British take over. It had been aflicted in 1770 by a severe famine.
The Bengal famine of 1770 (Bengali: ৭৬-এর মন্বন্তর, Chhiattōrer monnōntór; lit The Famine of '76) was a catastrophic famine between 1769 and 1773 (1176 to 1180 in the Bengali calendar) that affected the lower Gangetic plain of India. The famine is estimated to have caused the deaths of 10 million people (one out of three, reducing the population to thirty million in Bengal, which included Bihar and parts of Orissa). The Bengali names derives from its origins in the Bengali calendar year 1176. ("Chhiattōr"- "76"; "monnōntór"- "famine" in Bengali).
By early 1770 there was starvation, and by mid-1770 deaths from starvation were occurring on a large scale. There were also reports of the living feeding on the bodies of the dead in the middle of that year. Smallpox and other diseases further took their toll of the population. Later in 1770 good rainfall resulted in a good harvest and the famine abated. However, other shortfalls occurred in the following years, raising the total death toll.

As a result of the famine large areas were depopulated and returned to jungle for decades to come, as the survivors migrated in mass in a search for food. Many cultivated lands were abandoned—much of Birbhum, for instance, returned to jungle and was virtually impassable for decades afterwards. From 1772 on, bands of bandits and thugs became an established feature of Bengal, and were only brought under control by punitive actions in the 1780s.
East India Company responsibilities

Fault for the famine is now often ascribed to the British East India Company's policies in Bengal.

As a trading body, the first remit of the company was to maximise its profits and with taxation rights the profits to be obtained from Bengal came from land tax as well as trade tariffs. As lands came under company control, the land tax was typically raised fivefold what it had been – from 10% to up to 50% of the value of the agricultural produce.[7] In the first years of the rule of the British East India Company, the total land tax income was doubled and most of this revenue flowed out of the country.[8] As the famine approached its height in April of 1770, the Company announced that the land tax for the following year was to be increased by a further 10%.

Sushil Chaudhury writes that the destruction of food crops in Bengal to make way for opium poppy cultivation for export reduced food availability and contributed to the famine.[9] However, this claim has been disputed on the grounds that the total area under opium poppy cultivation in the Bengal region constituted less than two percent of all the land.[citation needed]

The company is also criticised for forbidding the "hoarding" of rice. This prevented traders and dealers from laying in reserves that in other times would have tided the population over lean periods, as well as ordering the farmers to plant indigo instead of rice.

By the time of the famine, monopolies in grain trading had been established by the company and its agents. The company had no plan for dealing with the grain shortage, and actions were only taken insofar as they affected the mercantile and trading classes. Land revenue decreased by 14% during the affected year, but recovered rapidly (Kumkum Chatterjee). According to McLane, the first governor-general of British India, Warren Hastings, acknowledged "violent" tax collecting after 1771: revenues earned by the Company were higher in 1771 than in 1768. [10] Globally, the profit of the company increased from fifteen million rupees in 1765 to thirty million in 1777.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Warren Hastings (1732-1818)

Warren Hastings (1732-1818) was appointed as Governor in 1772-1774 and Governor General (1774-1785).hastings abandoned the policy of hesitation of his predecessors about the question of establishing political dominance in India, and bringing about a series of reforms and waging wars against the challengers to his expansionist plan and conquering new lands.  Robert Clive laid the foundation stone of British India and Hastings erected British Power in India. But both the persons were not unquestionable in their home land.

Being born as a son of a clergyman of the Church of England, Hastings was abondoned by his father at an early age.He was brought up by an uncle who got the boy admitted into Westminister School in London. Hastings showed great promise as a school boy. But his school days were cut short due to his uncle's death in 1749.He was then taken away from school and granted a writership (as the junior appointments in the East India Company were called), and in 1750, at the age of 17, he sailed for Bengal.
Hastings first appointments was at Kassimbazar, a major centre for procuring silk. He was at Kassimbazar in 1756 when Nawab Siraj-Ud- Daulah was provoked to attack and storm Calcutta, rounding up the British at Kassimbazar in the process. On his release Hastings joined the British refugees from Calcutta. He married one of them, Mary, widow of an officer who had been killed at Calcutta. Neither the first Mrs. Hastings nor the two children that she bore her husband were to live long.    
From 1758, Hasting served as the Company's resident at Murshibad with the new Nawab, Mir Jafar, in whose favour the British have intervened at Palashi. In 1760 a coup engineered by the British brought down Mir Jafar and replaced him with another nawab, Mir Qasim. Hastings was next appointed as a council member of a Govt. headed by Vansittart.Vanshittart returned.
Hastings served as the company's representative at the court of the nawabs of Bengal from 1758 to 1761. and then on the company's council , the controlling body for its affairs in Bengal, from 1761 to 1764. Hastings resigned from the company's service and returned to England in 1765.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

John Cartier (1733-1802)

John Cartier (1733 – January 25, 1802) was a British colonial governor in India. He served as Governor of Bengal from 1769 to 1772.

1 Early career
2 Governor of Bengal
3 Notes
4 References
Early career
Cartier first arrived in India as a writer in the service of the British East India Company. He was expelled from Dacca in 1756 while serving there as an assistant. After fleeing with other fugitives to Fulta, he joined Clive of India and helped in the retaking of Bengal, for which he was praised by the Court of Directors of the British East India Company. Cartier's career accelerated after the Battle of Plassey. In 1761 Cartier became chief of the Dacca factory. By 1767 he was Second in the Calcutta Council.
Governor of Bengal
On December 26, 1769 Cartier succeeded Harry Verelst as Governor of Bengal. Cartier was governor at time of the Bengal famine of 1770, during which one-third of the populace died. Cartier was blamed for ignoring warnings about the impending disaster but was able to use a magazine of grain to feed fifteen thousand people every day for some months. In response to the crisis, the Court of Directors sent a three-person commission to Bengal to assess the situation. En route, however, the ship carrying the three members foundered at sea. The Court of Directors did not send a replacement and recalled Cartier. Warren Hastings was selected as his replacement; he took office on April 13, 1772.
Cartier became a High Sheriff of Kent in 1789. Unusually the previous encumbent, James Bond, continued from the year before and Cartier served only for the latter part of the year.
Cartier died in Bedgbury, Kent on January 25, 1802. He was eulogized by Edmund Burke for his government of Bengal. His wife, Stephana, survived him and died aged 80 also in Bedgbury on 22 August 1825.

Harry Verelst (1734-1785)

Harry Verelst (11 February 1734 – 24 October 1785) was a colonial administrator with thAccording to one source, Verelst came to Bengal in the service of the Company as early as 1749. Prior to the Battle of Plassey, he was taken prisoner by the ruler of Bengal Nawab Sirajuddowla. In June 1757, the Nawab was defeated at Plassey by the forces of Robert Clive, the event that marks the beginning of colonial rule in Bengal. Verelst was released from captivity once the battle was over. He served as a factor in e British East India Company and the governor of Bengal from 1767 to 1769.
Lakshmipur, and thereafter, in spite of his youth, he continued to achieve positions of responsibility. In 1758, he became a member of the Fort William Council. Two years later, he was sent to take control of the southern port of Chittagong, which had been ceded by the local ruler Mir Qasim.
Verelst ruled Chittagong for the next five years. His success in increasing tax revenues during this period was rewarded with further postings to Burdwan and Midnapur. In 1767, Robert Clive quit the governorship of Bengal. On 17 May of that year, the Company's Court of Directors chose Harry Verelst to replace him in Fort William. Verelst would occupy the post for the next two and a half years, until his resignation in December 1769.
Personal data
Name Verelst, Harry
Alternative names
Short description
Date of birth 11 February 1734
 Date of death 24 October 1785

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Henry Vansittart (1732- 1770)

Henry Vansittart (1732-1770), governor of West Bengal . burn on 3 June 1732 at his father's house in Ormond Street , London.
Henry Vansittart was educated at Reading Grammer School and at Winchester College . He was an unruly youth. His father, alarmed with his extravagances, compelled him at the age of thirteen to enter youth service of the East Indian Company on the Madras establishment. In the summer of 1745 he sailed for fort St. Davids, where he was employed as a writer , and in the winter of next year (1746-47)took part in the defence of the place when the French made an abortive attack on it. He was assiduous in his duties, and early mastered Persian , the tongue employed in Indian diplomacy. While at Ford St. Davids he made the acquiantance of Clive , and a close friendship sprang up between them. In 1750, Vansittart was promoted to the grade factor, and in the following year visited England. He had amassed a considerale fortune, which he soon dissipated in gambling and riotous living.     
In 1759, he took part in the defence of Madras against the French under Lally and on recommendation by Clive, he was appointed president of the Council and Governor of Fort William and the Company's settlements in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, but owing to the critical condition of affairs at Fort St George, where he was acting as Governor ad interim, he did not arrive in Bengal until July 1760. He arrived in Bengal at the end of July, 1760.
He acted as Governor of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa during 1760 to 1764.
Owing chiefly to his quarrel with Clive , he had to come back to England.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Robert Clive, Founder of British Empire

Rulers of Bengal

Nawabs of Bengal
Murshid Quli Khan (1717–1727)
Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan (1727–1739)
Sarfaraz Khan (1739–1740)
Alivardi Khan (1740–1756)
Siraj-ud-Daula (1756–1757)
Mir Jafar Ali Khan (1757–1760)
Mir Qasim (1760–1763)
Mir Jafar Ali Khan (1763–1765)
Najimuddin Ali Khan (1765–1766)
Najabut Ali Khan (1766–1770)
Ashraf Ali Khan (1770-1770)
Mubaraq Ali Khan (1770–1793)
Baber Ali Khan (1793–1810)
Zainul Abedin Ali Khan (1810–1821)
Ahmad Ali Khan (1821–1824)
Mubarak Ali Khan II (1824–1838)
Mansur Ali Khan (1838-1880 abdicated)
British Rulers of BengalChief Agents
  (1701-1756)1700–1701: Charles Eyre
1701–1705: John Bead
1705: Edward Littleton
1705–1710: Ruled by a council
1710–1711: Anthony Weltden
1711–1713: John Russell
1713–1718: Robert Hedges
1718–1723: Samuel Flake
1723–1726: John Deane
1726–1728: Henry Frankland
1728: Edward Stephenson
1728–1732: John Deane
1732–1739: John Stackhouse
1739–1746: Thomas Broddyll
1746–1748: John Forster
1748–1749: William Barwell
1749–1752: Adam Dawson
1752: William Fytche
1752–1756: Roger Drake
Governors (1757-1854)
1757–1760: Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive
1760–1764: Henry Vansittart
1765–1766: Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive
1767–1769: Harry Verelst
1769–1772: John Cartier
1772–1785: Warren Hastings
1786–1793: Charles Cornwallis, 2nd Earl Cornwallis
1797–1805: Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
1805: Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
1848–1854: James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie
(1854-1912)1854–1859: Frederick Halliday
1859–1862: John Grant
1862–1866: Sir Cecil Beadon
1866–1871: Sir William Grey
1871–1874: George Campbell
1874–1877: Sir Richard Temple
1877–1879: Sir Ashley Eden
1879–1882: Steuart Bayley
1882–1885: Sir Augustus Thompson
1885–1887: Horace Cockerell
1887–1890: Sir Steuart Bayley
1890–1893: Charles Elliot
1893–1895: Anthony MacDonnell
1895–1897: Alexander Mackenzie
1897–1898: Sir Charles Stevens
1898–1902: John Woodburn
1902–1903: James Bourdillon
1903–1906: Sir Andrew Fraser
1906: Lancelot Hare
1906–1908: Francis Slacke
1908–1911: Sir Edward Baker
1911–1912: Sir William Duke
Governors (1912-1947)
1912–1917: Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael
1917–1922: Lawrence Dundas, 2nd Marquess of Zetland as Earl of Ronaldshay
1922–1927: Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton
1927–1932: Sir Stanley Jackson
1932–1937: Sir John Anderson
1937–1939: Michael Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne
1939–1943: John Arthur Herbert
1944–1946: Sir Richard Casey
1946–1947: Sir Frederick Burrows

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Robert Clive (contd-2)

Second Journey to India (1755-1760)
He left Madras for home early in the year 1753 and came back again in July 1755 to act as deputy Governor of  Fort St. David, a small settlement south of Madras.During his journey he lost worth 33,000 pound enroute from England.
Clive was now promoted to Leiutenant Colonel in the King's army took part in the capture of the fortress of Gheriah, a strong hold of Maratha Admiral Tuloji Angre.Clive won the battle with few losses. It is noted that Cliverefused to takepart of the treasure divided among the victorious forces as was custom at that time.
The fall and Recapture of Calcutta.
Following this action Clive headed to his post at Fort St. David and it was there he received news of twin disasters for the English . Early in 1756, Siraj-Ud Daulah succeeded his frand father Alivardi Khan as Nawab of Bengal. In June Clivee received news that the new Nawab had attacked the English at Kassimbazar and shortly afterwards he had taken the Fort at Calcutta.The losses to the  East India Company because of the fall of Calcutta were estimated by investors at 2,000,000 pound.
Approximately a month later, on February 3, 1757, Clive encountered the army of the Nawab itself.Clive's force broke through the besieging camp and arrived safely at Fort William. During the assault, around one tenth of the British attackers were killed or wounded.While technically not a victory in military terms, the sudden British assault intimidated the Nawab so much that he sought to make terms with clive and surrendered controlof Calcuttaon 9 February by promising to compensate the East India Company for damages suffered and to restore privileges.
While capturing French settlement near Pondichery the combined forces prizes to the value of 140,000 pound, Clive made a gentleman's agreement in which it was agreed to give the office of viceroy of Bengal, Bihar and Orissato Mis Jafar, who was to pay a million sterling to the Company for its losses in Calcutta and the cost of its troops , half a million to the British inhabitants of Calcutta, 200,000 pounds to the native inhabitants, and 70,000 to its Armenian merchants.
In 1760, the 35-year old Clive returned to England with a fortune of at least 300,000 pounds and the quit rent of 27,000 pounds a year.
Third journey to India 
On 3 May 1765 Clive landed at Calcutta to learn that Mir Jafar had died, lleaving him personally 70,000 pounds. Mir Jafar was succeeded by his son Kasim Ali, though not before the Govt. had been further demoralised by taking 100,000 pound as a gift from the new Nwab
The Clive left India for the last time in February 1767.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Robert Clive- Austrian Succession (1740-48)

The war of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) also known as King George's War in North America, and incorporating the war of Jekins' Ear with Spain and two of the three Silesian wars  involved nearly all the powers of Europe, except for the Polish-Lithunian Commonwealth, Portuguse and the Ottoman Empire. The war began under the pretext that Maria Theresa of Austria was ineligible to succeed to the Habsburg thrones of her father, Charles VI, because Salic law precluded Royal inheritance by a woman, though in reality this was a convenient excuse put forward by  Prussia and France to  challenge Habsburg power.
Austria was supported by Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, the traditional enemies of France , as well as the Kingdom of Sardinia and Saxony. France and Prussia were allied with the electorate of Bavaria. The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Robert Clive (contd-1)

Clive was expelled from three schools, including Market Drayton Grammer School and Merchant Taylors School in London. Despite his lack of scholarship, he eventually developed a distinctive writing style, and a speech in the House of Commons was described by William Pitt as the most eloquent he had ever heard.
First Journey to India (1744-1753)
At the age of eighteen, Clive was sent out to Madras as a 'factor' or 'writer' in the civil service of the East India Company. But his ship was held by Brazil for nine months while repairs were completed. At this time East India Company had a small settlement at St. George near the village of Madraspatnam.
    On 4 Sept, 1746, Madras was attacked by French forces led by La Bourdonnais as part of the war of the Austrian Succession. After several days of bombardment the British forces surrendered and the French entered the city. 
Roman Britain
Battle of Medway
Norman Conquest
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100 Years War
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Battle of Poitiers
Battle of Agincourt
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First Sikh War
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Battle of Sobraon
Second Sikh War
Battle of Ramnagar
Battle of Chillianwallah
Battle of Goojerat
Crimean War
Battle of the Alma
Battle of Balaclava
Battle of Inkerman
Siege of Sevastopol
Second Afghan War
Battle of Ali Masjid
Battle of Peiwar Kotal
Battle of Futtehabad
Battle of Charasiab
Battle of Kabul 1879
Battle of Ahmed Khel
Battle of Maiwand
Battle of Khandahar
Zulu War
Battle of Isandlwana
Battle of Rorke's Drift
Battle of Khambula
Battle of Gingindlovu
Battle of Ulundi
First Boer War
Battle of Laing's Nek
Battle of Majuba Hill
Egypt and Sudan
Battle of Tel-El-Kebir 1882
Battle of El Teb
Battle of Tamai
Battle of Abu Klea
Great Boer War
Battle of Talana Hill
Battle of Elandslaagte
Battle of Ladysmith
Battles of Belmont and Graspan
Battle of Modder River
Battle of Stormberg
Battle of Magersfontein
Battle of Colenso
Battle of Spion Kop
Battles of Val Krantz & Pieters
Battle of Paardeburg
Siege of Mafeking
Siege of Kimberley
Siege of Ladysmith
The War of Austrian Accession
The War of the Austrian Succession, known in America as King George’s War.
In 1740 the deaths of two European monarchs plunged the continent into war. Frederick William I, the “sergeant major” King of Prussia, died on 31st May 1740. On his death the Prussian throne passed to his ruthlessly ambitious son, Frederick. With the crown, Frederick inherited the most advanced army in Europe supported by a state bureaucracy of unrivalled efficiency, institutions his father had spent a lifetime perfecting. The opportunity for Frederick, soon to be known as “The Great”, to use these instruments arose with the second death in that year.
Charles VI, Emperor of Austria, died on 19th October 1740, leaving his imperial throne to his daughter Maria Theresa. Charles feared that the powerful states of Europe would upon his death seize chunks of the empire, expecting that his daughter would be unable to defend her inheritance. He had spent the last years of his life devising the Pragmatic Sanction of Prague, a convention that guaranteed the integrity of Maria Theresa’s imperial dominions, and persuading the monarchs of Europe to subscribe to it.
On the death of Charles VI, Frederick tore up Prussia’s commitment to the Pragmatic Sanction and seized Silesia, marching his troops into the capital, Breslau, and annexing the rich Austrian province to Prussia.
If Frederick thought Maria Theresa would acquiesce in this outrage, he was mistaken. She declared war on Prussia and invaded Silesia, precipitating the wars that would rage for a quarter of a century. The conflict did not finally end until the Treaty of Paris in 1764 confirmed Prussia’s ownership of Silesia.
The first period of fighting from 1740 to 1748 was known as the “War of the Austrian Succession” or in England as “King George’s War”. Austria and Prussia fought in Silesia and Bohemia while French armies invaded Bavaria. In 1742 the French threatened Flanders, a region dominated by Austria and the Dutch Republic. A Pragmatic Army named from Charles VI’s Sanctions assembled to counter the French invasion, with troops from Austria and various German states including Hanover.
George II, King of England and Elector of Hanover, resolved to send English troops to join the Pragmatic Allies. Ostensibly the army was to fight for Maria Theresa, but George’s concern was that the French intended to pass through the Low Countries and invade his beloved Hanover.
The English force was dispatched to Flanders in mid-1742 and remained there until the end of the war in 1748, fighting the four battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy, Rocoux and Lauffeldt. There was one major interlude from late 1745 to 1746, when Prince Charles, the Young Pretender, landed in Scotland and invaded England with a highland army. This adventure, encouraged and resourced by France, brought the Hanoverian Crown to the brink of disaster and was retrieved only when the Flanders regiments returned to Britain and defeated the highlanders at Culloden Moor.
In 1742, England had not fought a European war since the time of the Duke of Marlborough. In the intervening twenty years of peace, the army had been neglected by governments reluctant to spend money on the armed services.
The first British commander in chief was John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair. He was hampered by the refusal of the Dutch, Austrian and British commanders to co-operate in a plan of campaign. An additional embarrassment was George II’s fear of provoking the French to outright war.
In 1743 the Pragmatic Army marched South to the Frankfurt region of Germany. There it was joined by George II and the battle of Dettingen was fought against the French Army of the Duc de Noailles.
The Pragmatic Army spent 1744 in idleness while the French Army under Marshal Maurice de Saxe overran areas of Flanders.
In early 1745 the young Duke of Cumberland, second and favourite son of George II, became commander in chief of the Pragmatic Army in time to march to the relief of the City of Tournai, under siege by Marshal Saxe in the South West of Flanders. This led to the Battle of Fontenoy.
In September 1745 Britain was rocked by the Jacobite invasion from Scotland led by Prince Charles. Most of the British troops were withdrawn to combat the rebellion.
Only in 1747 did the British troops return in numbers to the Flanders War. The pattern continued of the French under Saxe inexorably overrunning the province. The battles of Roucoux and Lauffeldt were fought and in 1748 peace came, although only as an interlude before the serious bludgeoning of the Seven Years War began in 1755.
Britain used the return of Louisburg, captured by the New England colonists, as the bargaining counter to persuade the French to give up their conquests

Monday, April 4, 2011

Robert Clive - (Murshid Kuli Khan, 1665-1727)

Murshid Kuli Khan (1665-1727 :
About his early life there are two opinions. The most believable version is that he was born, probably in 1665, a poor Oriya Brahmin in Decaan, bought by Haji Shafi Isfahani, a merchant from Isfhan, who converted and renamed him Muhammad Hadi/Mirza Hadi. He entered the service of haji Abdullah, Diwan of Berar, later trnsferring to Royal service under Emperor Aurangazeb.
Becoming Diwan :
Aurangazeb's choice fell upon him when he was searching for an honest and efficient Diwan for Bengal. In 1701, he was transferred to Bengal as Diwan and was honored wit the title of Khartalab Khan, meaning ' the seeker of challenges' in Persia.He was already holding the post of Subah of Orissa. After the death of Aurangazeb " the Peacock Throne" in Delhi became a 'Musical chair' between 1707 and 1719 as no less than eight Emperors took the throne.
 During the time of Aurangazeb and subsequently he showed efficiency as a revinue collector.He was appointed Deputy to the Prince  in the Nizam of the Subah of Bengal and Orissa, in addition to the office of Diwan, by the Emperor Aurangazeb. He was also given the title Murshid Quli Khan, andfurther received a valuable Khilat . Mis mansab wasn also raised.
On matters of land And Agrarian reform   
The amils (collectors of Revenue) under his orders , sent siqdars and amins to every every village of the parganas, measured cultivated and waste lands and leased them back to tenents, plot by plot, and advanced agricuktural loans, to the poorer tenantry and put forth exertios for increase in the produce of the lands.
In absence of a direct heir he nominated his maternal granson Sarfaraz Khan to succeed him.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Robert Clive (1725 - 1774)

Robert Clive, victor of the battle of Plassey (1757) and an opium addict. The decline of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century allowed The Honourable East India Company to consolidate a vast drug empire in India. Under the terms of its charter, the Company was permitted to acquire territory; exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction; raise and command armies; wage war; conclude treaties; and to issue its own currency. Many respectable British fortunes have their origin in the trade of Indian opium for Chinese tea.
Robert Clive was the British administrator and a military leader who cemented the economic power that allowed the British  to grow, as well as forging a colonial connections between India and Britain.
Major General Robert Clive  also known as Clive of India was born in Shropshire, England on 29 Sept. 1725.His father had practised law. Amongst his family members  there was an Irish chancellor of the exchequer under Henry VIII, and a member of the Long parliament. Robert's father, for many years, represented Montgomery shire in parliament. His mother was the daughter of Nathaniel Gaskell of Manchester. Robert was their eldest son of 13 children; he had 7 sisters and 5 brothers.
As a boy, Clive is reputed to have climbed the tower of St. Mary's Parish Church in Market Drayton and perched on a Gargoyle, frightening those down below.
 Clive was expelled from three schools, including market Drayton Grammer School and Merchant Taylors' School in London. Despite his lack of scholarship, he eventually developed a distinctive writing style, and a speech in the House of Commons was described by William Pitt as the most eloquent he had ever heard.
Political situation by mid-eighteen century :    
After the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the power of the emperor had gradually fallen into the hands of his Viceroys or Subahdars. Amongst which the three most powerful were Asaf Jah, the Nizam of the Hyderabad State, who ruled from Hyderabad in the Deccan region of south and central India,  the Nawab of Bengal, Murshid Kuli Khan, whose capital was Murshidabad, and the wazir or Nawab of Awadh, Sa'adat Ali Khan,  Burhan ul-Mulk. Moreover the relation between India and British were influenced by the wars of Europe involving British and other powers of Europe specially France.   

Friday, April 1, 2011

Battle of Swally,1612

The naval battle of Swally took place on 29-30 November, 1612 off the coast of Suvali (anglicised name Swally), a village near the city of Surat, Gujarat, India, and was a victory for four English East India Company galleons over four Portuguese naus and 26 barks ( rowing vessels with no armament).
This battle marked the begining of the end of Portugal's commercial monopoly over India, and the begining of the ascent of the English East India Company's presence in India.
This battle also convinced the English East India Company to establish a small navy to safeguard their commercial interests from other European powers and also frompirates. This small begining is regarded as the root of the modern Indian navy
The background to this battle also points to the main reason for the Dutch organised campaign in 1602.
This battle was the result of the Portuguese monopoly over trade withIndia in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Two English ventures, The Company of Merchant Adventurers (established in 1551) which became the Muscovy Company in 1555, and the English East India Company also known as "John Company", (established in 1600)  were desparately attempting to find the routes to the East Indies and the spice trade.
English East India Company defeated Portuguese in a naval battle at Swally.