Nature Of Conquest : Understanding The East India Company 's Role Of Bengal

1246 Words Nov 7th, 2015 5 Pages
Nature of Conquest: Understanding the East India Company 's role in Bengal
A reassessment of the eighteenth century in Indian politics goes hand-in-glove with a discussion of the EIC 's intrusion. Before that, a few words are in order regarding Bengal during this period. Referred to as Subah Jannat-i-Bilad-Bangla by Aurangzeb, the province of Bengal proved to be one of the most successful experiments of successor states in eighteenth-century India.1 The efficiency in administration brought about by Murshid Quli Khan in his capacity first as the Diwan (civil and revenue administrator) and later, as the Nazim (governor) in 1717, on the one hand, met the needs of the decadent Mughal state for revenues, whilst on the other hand, laid the foundations of an almost independent rule with the city of Murshidabad as his capital, within formal imperial tutelage.2 In the meanwhile, the importance of Bengal in the EIC 's commercial nexus was on the rise, 60% of its Asian imports being Bengal goods. Apart from these direct transactions, the servants of the company were involved in covert, illegal private trade, using official rights to duty-free trade as already mentioned above, to personal ends thereby defrauding the Bengal nawabs of huge amounts of revenue.3 Problems mounted in 1756 with the British attempt to fortify Calcutta, the Presidency town in eastern India, in the wake of the Seven Years ' War in order to deter an anticipated French attack. The reigning nawab,…

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