History-1998 -Set II

MODERN INDIA

Q.1. What was the impact of Nadir Shah’s invasion on the Mughal Empire? (2 marks)
Ans. Nadir Shah invaded India in 1793. AD. His invasion left a deep impact on Mughal Empire, which was under Muhammad Shah’s control. It destroyed the Mughal army, which gave opportunity to the Marathas and the Sikh to attack the central empire. The Mughal emperor was reduced to a mere shadow as different chiefs started to assert their independence. In short, Nadir Shah’s invasion accelerated the downfall of the Mughal Empire.

Q.3. Describe the developments that led to the battle of Buxar. What were the consequences of this battle. ( 5 marks)
Ans. The battle of Buxar was the most decisive battle of Indian history for it demonstrated the superiority of British arms over the Indian. It firmly established the British as masters of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. To trace the developments that led to the battle of Buxar, one has to review the developments of later half of 18th century. Bengal had emerged a s the most fertile and richest of the Indian provinces. The British East India Company had secured valuable privileges in 1717 under a royal farman by the Mughal emperor, which had granted the company the freedom to export and import their goods in Bengal without paying taxes and the right to issue passes and dastaks for the movement of such goods.

This Farman was a perpetual source of conflict between the Company and the Nawab of Bengal for it meant loss of revenue to the Bengal government. Also, the Company’s corrupt officers misused the distaffs. Matters came to head when the quick-tempered Siraj -ud – daulah succeeded the throne of Bengal. He demanded of English to that they should trade on the same basis as in the times of Murshid quli Khan. The English refused to do so and instead started building fortification in Calcutta without the permission of the Nawab. The battle of Plassey soon followed in 1757 in which the Nawab was defeated and British placed Mir Zafar, a puppet ruler in his place but in 1760 Mir Zafar was forced to abdicate in favour of his son -in -law Mir Qasim. It was Mir Qasim who belied the hopes of the British and instead of acting according to the British demands, he soon emerged as a major threat to their position and designs in Bengal.He was an able ruler who wanted to free Bengal from foreign rule. He started to replenish the treasury and built a strong army. All this was not to the liking of the British.

Most of all they disliked the Nawabs check on the misuse of the farman and the dastak. British issued these distaffs to their friendly traders who were thereby able to evade taxes. It not only deprived the nawab of revenue but also ruined the honest Indian trader. Mir Qasim took matters under his control by abolishing all duties on internal trade, thus giving his own subjects concessions that the English had seized by force. The British retaliated by war. Mir Qasim was defeated in a series of battle and fled to Awdh in 1763 where he formed an alliance with Shuja-ud-daulah, Nawab of Awadh and Shah Alam. The three allies clashed with the company’s army at battle of Buxar on October 1764 and were thoroughly defeated. The ruling power of Bengal was transferred from the Nawab to the Company. The Company also extracted 15 lakhs rupees from the Nawab as war compensation. The diwani of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa too passed in the British hands. Thus, the company’s control over Bengal was legalised and the revenue of this most prosperous of Indian provinces was placed at its command.

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