Battle of Plassey was the major reason for the consolidation of the British rule in India. This battle was fought between the East India Company headed by Robert Clive and the Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-ud-daulah) and his French Troop.
The major reason behind this battle was the non-payment of tax and duty by the workers of the British East India Company.
This article is about the Battle of Plassey and important facts related to the incident. This topic is of utmost importance for the UPSC and other government exams.
Background & Reason for the Battle of Plassey
The East India Company had a strong presence in India majorly at Fort St. George, Fort William, and Bombay Castle.
The British resorted to having an alliance with the Nawabs and princes in exchange for security against any form of external and internal attack and were promised concessions in return for their safety and protection.
The problem arose when the alliance was disrupted under the rule of Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-ud-daulah). The Nawab started seizing the fort of Calcutta and imprisoning many British Officials in June 1756. The prisoners were kept in a dungeon in Fort William. This incident is called the Black Hole of Calcutta since only a handful of the prisoners survived the captivity where over a hundred people were kept in a cell meant for about 6 people. The East India company planned an attack and Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab’s army, and also promised him to make him Nawab of Bengal.
The Battle of Plassey was fought at Palashi, on the banks of Bhagirathi river near Calcutta on June 23, 1757.
After three hours of intense fighting, there was a heavy downpour. The major reason for the defeat of Nawab was the lack of planning to protect their weapons during the heavy downpour which turned the table in favour of the British army.
Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army with 50,000 soldiers, 40 cannons and 10 war elephants was defeated by 3,000 soldiers of Robert Clive. The battle ended in 11 hours and Siraj-ud-daulah fled from the battle post his defeat.
According to Robert Clive, 22 men died and 50 were injured from the British troops. The Nawab army lost about 500 men, including several key officials and many of them even suffered several casualties.
Effects of Battle of Plassey
Post the battle, there were severe after-effects in various forms.
They are stated below:
- The Battle of Plassey resulted in the end of French forces.
- Mir Jafar was crowned as the Nawab of Bengal
- Mir Jafar was unhappy with the position and instigated the Dutch to attack the British in order to consolidate his foundation.
- Battle of Chinsura was fought between the Dutch and British forces on November 25, 1759.
- The British installed Mir Qasim as the Nawab of Bengal.
- The British became the paramount European power in Bengal.
- Robert Clive was titled “Lord Clive”, Baron of Plassey and also obtained a seat in the British House of Commons.
- The economy of India was affected severely.
- Post the victory, the British started imposing severe rules and regulations on the inhabitants of Bengal in the name of tax collection.