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.