Nawabs of Bengal – Battle of Plassey

  • From 1717 three successive Islamic dynasties – Nasiri, Afshar and Najafi – ruled what was then known as Bengal.
Nasiri Dynasty (1717-40)
Murshid Quli Khan
  • Born a Hindu Brahmin in the Deccan Plateau
  •  Aurangzeb sent him to Bengal as the divan in 1700
  • In 1717, he was appointed as the Nawab Nazim of Murshidabad by Farrukhsiyar.
  • he changed the jagirdari system to the mal jasmani, which would later transform into the zamindari system
  • Aurangzeb gave him permission to rename the city Murshidabad
  • Maintained strict control over East India Company from abusing the privileges granted to the company by the Mughal farmans of 1691 (Aurangzeb’s) and 1717 (Farukh Siyar’s).
Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan
  • He was son-in-law of Murshid Quli Khan
  • His successor was Sarfaraz Khan
Afshar Dynasty (1740-57)
Alivardi Khan
  • Shuja-ud-Din promoted Muhammad Ali to Faujdar of Rajmahal and entitled him as Alivardi Khan
  • 1740 in the Battle of Giria, he defeated and killed Sarfaraz Khan
  • he also used titles Nizam
  • He is known to have introduced artillery on large movable platforms, which were driven by oxen.
  • At the Battle of Burdwan, he defeated Maratha forces, in 1747
Mirza Muhammad Siraj ud-Daulah
  • He became Nabab in April 1756
  • His charges against the company were mainly threefold.
    1. they strengthened the fortification around the Fort William without any intimation and approval
    2. abused the trade privileges granted to them by the Mughal rulers, which caused heavy loss of customs duties for the government
    3. they gave shelter to some of his officers who were against Nabab
  • Captured Kolkata and renamed as Alinagar from the British in June 1756
  • Black Hole of Calcutta was a small prison in Fort William where troops of Siraj ud-Daulah held British prisoners of war for one fatal night on 20 June 1756.
  • February 1757 the Nawab’s men were worsted by a small English force in a night attack under Robert Clive.
  • This  impelled the Nawab to come to under Treaty of Alinagar establish peace with the English
  • The treaty was violated by the conquest of Chandranagore(French), by the British in March,1757.
  • A conspiracy was started by Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh, Yar Lutuf Khan and Omichund (Amir Chand), Jagat Seth, Krishna Chandra, and several officers in the army.
The Battle of Plassey
  • The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies on 23 June 1757
  • Siraj-ud-Daulah was executed on 2 July 1757 by Mohammad Ali Beg under orders from Mir Meerun, son of Mir Jafar in Namak Haram Deorhi
  • Commanders and leaders
    • Robert Clive, Major Kilpatrick, Major Grant, Major Eyre Coote, Captain Gaupp
    • Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah, Diwan Mohanlal, Mir Madan, Mir Jafar Ali Khan (defector), Yar Lutuf Khan (defector), Rai Durlabh (defector), Monsieur Sinfray (France)
Najafi Dynasty
Mir Jafar Ali Khan ( 1757 – 1760 and 1763 – 1765)
  • 1st Najafi Nawab of Bengal with support from the British East India Company.
  • He granted the right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, and the zamindari of the 24 Parganas to the British, besides paying them a sum of Rs 17.7 million
  • His reign saw the beginning of the drain of wealth from India to Britain
  • He made futile efforts to replace the English by the Dutch, but the Dutch were defeated by the English in Battle of Chinsurah 1759.
Mir Qasim (1760-63)
  • He granted the zamindari of Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong to the British officials
  • He transferred his capital from Murshidabad to Monger (1762)
  • Abolished all duties on internal trade against British wishes in order to protect the Indian traders (1763)
  • Battle of Buxar (October 22, 1764) was fought between the British and the 3 allies Mir Qasim, Shuja-ud-daula of Awadh and Shah Alam Il
  • This battle ended in the defeat of the allies by the British forces under Major Hector Munro.
The Treaty of Allahabad
  • Robert Clive concluded two important treaties at Allahabad in August 1765
    1. with Nawab of Awadh
    2. with the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II
  • Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula agreed to surrender Allahabad and Kara to Emperor Shah Alam II;
  • Shah Alam II agreed to granting farman of diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company in lieu of an annual payment of Rs 26 lakh
  • military defence, police, and administration of justice power went to East India Company
Dual Government in Bengal (1765-72)
  • Robert Clive introduced the dual system of government in Bengal
  • Rule of the two Company and the Nawab
  • Collecting revenues and nizamat (police and judicial functions) came under Company
  • Company exercised diwani rights as diwan and nizamat rights through its right to nominate the deputy subahdar
  • Dual system led to an administrative breakdown and proved disastrous for the people of Bengal.
Najm-ud-daula (1765—72)
  • Najm, son of Mir Jafar, was made the nawab in 1765 and remained a puppet in the hands of the British during the period of ‘Dual System of Government’.
  • In 1772, he was pensioned off when the Company took over the direct charge of Bengal.