24 important questions on Indian History! Answered

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Questions on Indian History

1. What were the relations of Ranjit Singh with English?

Ranjit Singh’s ambition to acquire the Cis-Sutlej territories brought him face to face with another expanding power in the Indian sub-continent, the English East India Company. As early as 1800, the English, fearing an Afghan invasion of India under Zaman Shah, had sent Munshi Yusaf Ali to the court of Ranjit Singh with the request that the Maharaja should not join Zaman Shah in case he invaded India.

Ranjit Singh at that time was busy in his plans of expansion towards the west and therefore did not think it prudent to incur the hostility of the English. The Maharaja read selfish motives in Holkar’s moves and would have nothing to do with him. He, rather, described Holkar as a pukka huramzada.

On January 1, 1806, Ranjit Singh signed a treaty of friendship with General Lake agreeing to force Jaswant Rao Holkar to leave Amritsar. General Lake, in turn, promised that the English would never form any plans for the seizure and sequestration of Ranjit Singh’s possessions and property. Alarmed by the prospects of joint Franco-Russian invasion of India in 1807, Lord Minto, the Governor-General sent Charles Metcalfe to Lahore to negotiate a friendly treaty with Ranjit Singh.

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The Maharaja offered to accept Metcalfe’s – proposal of an offensive and defensive alliance on the condition that the English would remain neutral in case of a Sikh-Afghan war and would recognise him the sovereign of the entire Punjab including the Malwa territories.

The negotiations did not fructify because Charles Metcalfe was not authorized by his Government to recognise the Maharaja’s plans on Cis-Sutlej states. Meantime, the Napoleonic danger somewhat receded and the English attitude stiffened.

The English Commander David Ochterlony made a show of force, marched an army to Ludhiana and finally in February 1809 issued a Proclamation declaring “the Cis-Sutlej states to be under British protection and that any aggressions of the chief of Lahore would be resisted with arms.” Fearing that the jealous Punjab chiefs might not transfer the allegiance to the British, the Maharaja agreed to sign the Treaty of Amritsar with the Company on the following terms:-

i. Perpetual friendship shall subsist between the British Government and the state of Lahore. The former shall be considered with respect to the latter to be on the footing of the most favoured powers. The British Government will have no concern with the territories and subjects of the Raja to the northward of the river Sutlej.

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ii. The Raja will not maintain in the territory which he occupies on the left bank of the river Sutlej more troops than are necessary for the internal duties of that territory nor commit or suffer any encroachments on the possessions or rights of the chiefs in its vicinity

iii. In the event of violation of any of the preceding articles or of a departure from the rules of friendship, this treaty shall be considered null and void The Treaty of Amritsar was important for its immediate as well as potential effects. In its immediate effects it checked one of the most cherished ambitions of Ranjit Singh to extend his rule over the entire Sikh nation living east or west of the river Sutlej.

By accepting the river Sutlej as the boundary line for his dominions and the Company’s, the Maharaja compromised his cherished political ideal besides suffering territorial and economic losses. In its ultimate affects the treaty showed the weak position of Ranjit Singh vis-a-vis the Company. The British were brought close to the frontier of the Lahore kingdom and this brought the danger of war nearer. Besides, the treaty gave the Company a degree of control over Ranjit Singh’s relations with the neighbouring states of Sind, Bahawalpur and Afghanistan.

The relations from 1809 to 1839 clearly indicate the weak position of the Maharaja. The Company forestalled the moves of Ranjit Singh on Sind. In 1831 Alexander Burnes was sent to the Court of Lahore. Burnes travelled via Sind to Lahore. In October 1831, William Bentinck met Ranjit Singh at Rupar and both parties professed friendship for each other. William Bentinck rejected all proposals of the Maharaja for the partition of Sind.

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At the time the Rupar meeting was being held, Colonel Pottinger the British Agent in Sind, concluded a commercial treaty with the Amir of Hyderabad and the Maharaja was told that the treaty was of a purely commercial nature Ranjit Singh could see the British game, but was not prepared for a showdown with the Company. Thus, Ranjit Singh was checked in the guise of material utilitarianism.

Towards the Russian intrigues in Afghanistan, the Company decided to remove from the throne of Kabul Dost Mohammad, the unfriendly Amir of Afghanistan and instead put Shah Shuja as the ruler. Ranjit Singh was asked to join in the project. The Maharaja himself was indifferent to the Russian danger. Rather he feared British designs and encirclement of his territories.

The threats of the British Agent, McNaughton, that the expedition would be undertaken whether Ranjit Singh joined or not brought Ranjit Singh round to the signing of the Tripartite Treaty on June 26, 1838. The Maharaja, refused to give passage to the British army through their territories.

Ranjit Singh’s relations with the English Company were characterised by an inferiority complex. The rising tide of British imperialism posed a serious threat to the Maharaja’s dominions. The Maharaja was conscious of his weak position, but took no step to organise a coalition of Indian princes or maintain a balance of power in the country.

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He just postponed the evil day by grudgingly yielding at every step. He proved to be a poor statesman in this respect. N.K. Sinha writes: “In the last decade of his career Ranjit Singh is a pathetic figure, helpless and inert…He feared to expose the kingdom he had created to the risk of war and chose instead the policy of yielding, yielding and yielding.”

2. How the Confederacies or misls did came up? What was their role in Sikh polity?

The Confederacies or misls The removal of the threat of Mughal and Maratha proved beneficial for the Sikhs.

The removal of the threat of Mughal and Maratha proved beneficial for the Sikhs. They took its advantage for the consolidation their base in Punjab. Therefore-their power saw an upward steady growth from 1765 onwards and culminated in the establishment of an autonomous state of Punjab in the early 19th century. Beside the 8 groups of Sikhs also regrouped in divided themselves 12 larger regional confederacies or misls, in the second half of the 18th century under various heads.

The misls were based on the principles of equality which meant that each of the members had equal say in the affairs of their respective misls including the election of the chief and other officials of the organisation. This gave misls unity and democratic character which withered away later after the removal of threat of Afghan invasion.

3. Explain the factor that helped England in becoming world’s first industrial nation

Benefiting from the exchange of second half of 18th century in British and society, the commercial groups came to dominate Parliament and initiated another round by enclosure aimed at increasing production through the successful application technological advancement. This however led to depeasantation, who were absorbed by the unique nature and structure of demand and market in England of 18th century.

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One of the most significant aspects of English economy was steady home market due to the versatility of British entrepreneurship that turned the landless peasants into wage earners and consumers leading to increase consumption hence demand of goods population growth provided the cheap labour. The real impetus however was provided by the export market.

Slave trade from Africa also benefited British slave traders who exported them to North America, South America and Brazil to be employed into plantation agriculture which constituted the bulk of trade besides the aggressive foreign policy to the extent of waging wars for the sake of economy also helped British.

In addition to it the seizing of the opportunity and utilising technological innovations for production to gain competitive advantages helped the British a lot. The society too got influenced by the scientific ideas and outlook which was marked of the hold superstitions, magic and ideas about the nature of universe human anatomy, caused and treatment of disease.

Thus, political stability, a growing demand and society equipped with the will to industrialize, capital entrepreneurship technology and above all the dynamism of the society to utilise the opportunity for betterment brought England on the threshold of Industrial Revolution.

4. Write short notes on the rise of the Dutch in India

When the Portuguese power wavered in the aftermath of the Spanish union, the Dutch came over from them by the mid seventeenth century. The Dutch had been adding to their commercial and naval superiority in sixteenth century by transporting eastern goods brought to Lisbon by the Portuguese, to Antwerp from which it reached others market of Europe. The Dutch has shown an innovative spirit in business organisations and techniques and in shipping.

Later the designed and produced fluitship which was considered the masterpiece of Dutch ship design of seventeenth century. It reduced the cost of operating. With the help of this ships they tried to enter in the market of Portuguese spice trade.

In 1602 the Dutch East India Company was formed and received a charted empowering it to make treaties. In starting Dutch were mostly interested in trade with Indonesia, but soon they discovered that Indian trade was necessary to carry on the trade of South-East Asia as there was great demand of Indian clothes and in return Indians need pepper and spices.

The Gujarat region in Western India and the coast of Caromandel in the East produced variety of cotton. Hendrick Brouwer the Governor General of Dutch settlements in the East India described Caromandel as the left arm of Moluccas Dutch was succeed in obtaining. Fireman from the king of Goiconda to set up a factory at Masulipatnam and then they establish the trading depots at Magapatnam in Madras, Cochin, Surat and also in Western, Northern India.

With the help of commodities like indigo, saltpeter opium, raw silk in addition to cotton and they have defeat Portuguese for this trade with the winning of Malacca (1641), Colombo (1656) and Cochin (1659-63). Portuguese were replaced by Dutch and became a great colonial power.

5. Write down the structure and pattern of the European trade

When European colonial powers started trading with India in the sixteenth century their main problem was that they had few goods to offer in return for Indian commodities. For nearly three centuries they had to struggle with the problem of financing an adverse balance of trade with Asia.

Apart from wine and oil their ships brought little from Europe. Gold and silver was being brought into Europe from the mines of South America in the sixteenth century. It is that which they used, albeit reluctantly to pay for their imports from the East.

Although exact figures are not available this can be illustrated with some estimates available regarding exports of East India Company. Between 1660 and 1699, the value of gold and silver exported to the East was always at least 66 per cent of the total exports. In the decade 1680-89 it was as much as 87 per cent.

In the first half of the eighteenth century the English sent silver worth 270 lakhs and other goods worth only 90 lakhs to India. With the advent of the industrial revolution in the later part of the eighteenth century the trend started reversing.

Between 1760 and 1809 silver worth 140 lakhs was exported while the value of other goods rose to 485 lakhs. Under the mercantilist belief the export of bullion out of a country was considered bad for the country’s economy and prosperity. The European companies were facing severe criticism for doing this and were under great pressure to find other ways of paying for their trade in Eastern goods.

A partial solution to the problem was found by capturing the intra-Asian trade. The Europeans made good profit by bringing Spice Islands cloves and Japanese copper to India and China. Indian cotton textiles to South East Asia and Persian carpets to India thereby paying for some of their imports from India in the later part of eighteenth century when the English after receiving Bengal revenues and by exporting of opium to China that a final solution to the problem of the deficit trade was found.

In the 16th and the 17th centuries the bulk of the profits of European companies came from the sale of commodities brought from Asia to the markets of Europe, Africa, and the American continents and to the Middle East. A triangular trade had developed between Europe, the Americans with their plantations on slavery and the West Coast of Africa. Trade with the East proceeded against this background.

From the start spices were very high on the list of commodities demanded y the Europeans. Among spices it was pepper alone which dominated the 16th and 17th centuries. In the end of the 17th century the commodity structure of trade started changing. Cotton textiles, silk and saltpeter steadily rose in importance in place of spices. Indian textiles were regularly demanded by the English and the Dutch companies from the second decade of the 17th century.

The importance of Indian textiles in the trade with other parts of Asia where it was demanded as barter commodity Indian textiles are famous for their range, variety and quality Gujarat, Coromandel and Bengal produced a large variety of plain, dyed, striped, chintz and embroidered cloth, Indian silks and muslin both fine and coarse found markets in Europe as well as in Africa and the West Indies.

The English Company’s demand stood at 12,000 pieces of textiles from Surat in 1614. In 1664, it imported a total of over 750,000 pieces and their value accounted for 73 per cent of the entire trade of the company. By the last decade of the century the share of textiles jumped to 83 per cent of the total value. By that time fine Bengal Muslims and Coromandel Chintz were in great demand among the upper classes in Europe.

The increase of imports alarmed indigenous English manufacturers who put political pressure on the government to prohibit import of Indian textiles. Protectionist regulations were therefore, passed in 1700, 1721 and further in 1735. Apart from this raw silk also established itself in the market in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Another commodity which was increasingly demanded by the French and the English was saltpeter. It was used as a necessary ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder. In addition to being strategic raw material saltpeter being a bulky and heavy commodity it could be used to stabilise the ships by acting as ballast material. Patna emerged as a major centre of saltpeter trade. Another article of import was indigo which was required as a dyestuff as it was cheap and easier to use compared to world which was traditionally used for blue coloring in Europe.

6. Write down the structure and pattern of the European trade

When European colonial powers started trading with India in the sixteenth century their main problem was that they had few goods to offer in return for Indian commodities. For nearly three centuries they had to struggle with the problem of financing an adverse balance of trade with Asia.

Apart from wine and oil their ships brought little from Europe. Gold and silver was being brought into Europe from the mines of South America in the sixteenth century. It is that which they used, albeit reluctantly to pay for their imports from the East.

Although exact figures are not available this can be illustrated with some estimates available regarding exports of East India Company. Between 1660 and 1699, the value of gold and silver exported to the East was always at least 66 per cent of the total exports. In the decade 1680-89 it was as much as 87 per cent.

In the first half of the eighteenth century the English sent silver worth 270 lakhs and other goods worth only 90 lakhs to India. With the advent of the industrial revolution in the later part of the eighteenth century the trend started reversing.

Between 1760 and 1809 silver worth 140 lakhs was exported while the value of other goods rose to 485 lakhs. Under the mercantilist belief the export of bullion out of a country was considered bad for the country’s economy and prosperity. The European companies were facing severe criticism for doing this and were under great pressure to find other ways of paying for their trade in Eastern goods.

A partial solution to the problem was found by capturing the intra-Asian trade. The Europeans made good profit by bringing Spice Islands cloves and Japanese copper to India and China. Indian cotton textiles to South East Asia and Persian carpets to India thereby paying for some of their imports from India in the later part of eighteenth century when the English after receiving Bengal revenues and by exporting of opium to China that a final solution to the problem of the deficit trade was found.

In the 16th and the 17th centuries the bulk of the profits of European companies came from the sale of commodities brought from Asia to the markets of Europe, Africa, and the American continents and to the Middle East. A triangular trade had developed between Europe, the Americans with their plantations on slavery and the West Coast of Africa. Trade with the East proceeded against this background.

From the start spices were very high on the list of commodities demanded y the Europeans. Among spices it was pepper alone which dominated the 16th and 17th centuries. In the end of the 17th century the commodity structure of trade started changing. Cotton textiles, silk and saltpeter steadily rose in importance in place of spices. Indian textiles were regularly demanded by the English and the Dutch companies from the second decade of the 17th century.

The importance of Indian textiles in the trade with other parts of Asia where it was demanded as barter commodity Indian textiles are famous for their range, variety and quality Gujarat, Coromandel and Bengal produced a large variety of plain, dyed, striped, chintz and embroidered cloth, Indian silks and muslin both fine and coarse found markets in Europe as well as in Africa and the West Indies.

The English Company’s demand stood at 12,000 pieces of textiles from Surat in 1614. In 1664, it imported a total of over 750,000 pieces and their value accounted for 73 per cent of the entire trade of the company. By the last decade of the century the share of textiles jumped to 83 per cent of the total value. By that time fine Bengal Muslims and Coromandel Chintz were in great demand among the upper classes in Europe.

The increase of imports alarmed indigenous English manufacturers who put political pressure on the government to prohibit import of Indian textiles. Protectionist regulations were therefore, passed in 1700, 1721 and further in 1735. Apart from this raw silk also established itself in the market in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Another commodity which was increasingly demanded by the French and the English was saltpeter. It was used as a necessary ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder. In addition to being strategic raw material saltpeter being a bulky and heavy commodity it could be used to stabilise the ships by acting as ballast material. Patna emerged as a major centre of saltpeter trade. Another article of import was indigo which was required as a dyestuff as it was cheap and easier to use compared to world which was traditionally used for blue coloring in Europe.

7. Comment on the Black Hole tragedy

Mention may be made here of the much propagated Black Hole Episode. Following the normal practices of war, English prisoners at Calcutta which included some women and children were locked in a prison room of the fort.

The number of prisoners is given out as 146 and the dimensions of the prison room as 18 feet long by 14 feet 10 inches wide. So the story goes, that out of the 146 white prisoners shut up on 20th June only 23 survived the next morning when the prison room was opened, the rest having trampled one other down for places near the window. Excessive heat and suffocation took a heavy tool.

Siraj-ud-daula has been painted as a monster of cruelty and directly responsible for the tragic happenings. J.Z. Holwell, one of the survivors of the Black Hole and the prime author of the story, did not mention the names of the victims. Probably the number of victims was far less. And they were kept in the guard, room or prison of Fort William itself. Further, it was a subordinate officer of the Nawab who had shut up English prisoners into that prison room, for which the Nawab himself was in no way directly responsible.

The casualties were thus, in no way due to malice or callous nature of the Nawab. The Nawab’s fault lay in that he did not punish the guard responsible for the tragedy. Nor did he show any tenderness to the survivors. The prisoners fell victims to the summer solstice.

The incident was considered so insignificant as not to deserve any mention at the hands of the contemporary Muslim historian Ghulam Hussain, the author of Siyar-ul-Mutakherin. The East India Company’s authorities used the episode as a propaganda device to malign the Nawab and won support of the British public opinion for the war of aggression which it was to wage almost uninterruptedly for the terrible retribution that followed it.

8. What was the significance of British success in Bengal?

British established their political supremacy in Bengal by winning two battles, one at Plassey and the other at Buxar. Apart from the overall significance of the British victory the two battles had certain specific significance of their own. The success of the British in the battle of Plassey had a significant impact in the history of Bengal.

(i) The victory of the British, whether by treachery or any means, undermined the position of the Nawab in Bengal.

(ii) Apparently there was not much change in the government and the Nawab still remained the supreme authority. But in practice the Nawab became dependent on the Company’s authority and the Company began to interfere in the appointment of Nawab’s officials.

(iii) Internal rivalry within the Nawab’s administration was exposed and the conspiracy of the rivals with the British ultimately weakened the strength of the administration.

(iv) Besides the financial gain, the English East India Company was also successful in establishing their monopoly over Bengal trade by marginalizing the French and the Dutch companies.

The battle of Buxar gave them the complete political control over Bengal. Actually, the process of transition started with the battle of Plassey and culminated in the battle of Buxar.

The battle of Buxar sealed the fate of the Bengal Nawabs and the British emerged as the ruling power in Bengal. Mir Kasim was successful in forming a confederacy with the Emperor Shah Alam II and Nawab Shuja-ud-daula of Awadh against the British. This confederacy failed before the British force.

The victory of the British in this battle proved the superiority of the British force and strengthened their confidence. This was a victory not against Mir Kasim alone, but against the Mughal Emperor and the Nawab of Awadh also success of the British in this battle gave a clear indication that the establishment of the British rule in other parts of India was not very far off.

9. Discuss the superiority of French in First Carnatic War

Despite their naval weakness, it was obvious that the French had performed better in the first Carnatic War. Had it not been for the quarrel between Dupleix and La Bourdaunairs, the English would have faced total ruin in India. P.E. Roberts, the British official historian for India feels that this is an exaggeration. He argues that the war on the Coromandel Coast affected only a single English Presidency and that too the weakest.

French military superiority was obvious not only to the English, but also to the Indian powers. Since the latter did not possess navies, they could not have a say at all in European conflicts in India. Even their land armies, though impressive in numbers were no match for European armies. In the heyday of the Mughal Empire Indian princes could expect assistance from the centre, but with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire that source of help was no longer available.

Dupleix had learnt his lessons well from the first Carnatic War. He was convinced that in any quarrel between the Indian princes his disciplined army would be very useful. In those days of political unrest, there was no dearth of Indian princes who would invite Dupleix’s assistance to turn the scales in their favour.

10. Comment on the Entry of British in India

The English felt that the initiative was slipping out of their hands. Hence, they now established friendship with Nasir Jang, the Nizam of Hyderabad and persuaded him to come and crush his enemies in the Carnatic and send some help to Muhammad Ali in Trichinopoly. But Nasir Jang’s attempts to crush his enemies only resulted in his own death in 1750. Muzaffar Jang was released from prison and proclaimed Subahdar of the Deccan. As a token of his gratitude the new subahdar amply rewarded the French.

Dupleix was appointed Governor of all the Mughal Dominions south of the river Krishna. Territories near Pondicherry were ceded to the French as also some areas on the Orissa coast, including the famous market-town of fylasulipatam. In return, at Muzaffar Jang’s request, Dupleix placed at his disposal the services of his best officer-Bussy, with a French army. He knew that this was the best way of ensuring French interests in the Hyderabad court and thereby its influence in the whole of the Deccan. It seemed as if the British position in Madras would be lost irrevocably.

The appointment of Saunders, a more dynamic Madras Governor in September 1750, changed the situation. He decided to go to the assistance of Muhammad Ali in 1751. In the meantime the French having realised that their seige of Trichy was not proving successful changed their tactics and were trying to woo Muhammad Ali. The latter wavered was even willing to give up his claims to the Nawabship of the Carnatic, provided the French persuaded the Nizam of Hyderabad to obtain a new appointment for him in any other part of the Deccan.

But the British proved to be better masters in the art of the diplomacy and persuaded Muhammad Ali not to give up his claim, but instead to bide his time. But he was further advised that the pretence of negotiations with the French be kept up, so that the letter may be fooled effectively. When the English had prepared a full-scale offensive; they sent a detachment to Trichy in May 1751. The idea was to help Muhammad Ali against the French. Later in the same year, the rulers of Mysore, Tanjore and the Maratha chief, Morari Rao, also gave help to Muhammad Ali and the English.

In the meantime Clive proposed an expedition against Arcot as the best means of preventing the fall of Trichinopoly. Chanda Sahib would have to divert an effective part of his army for the protection of the capital. Arcot was successfully occupied by Clive with the help of a small British force-consisting of 200 European and 300 Indian soldiers. The Nawab had to send relieving forces from Trichy and it was only after battling for 53 days that he managed to win back Arcot.

The seizure of Arcot demoralized the French so greatly that the French general Jacquer-francois Law, in charge of the siege of Trichy, abandoned his post and fled to Srirangam. The British pursued him and Law finally surrendered on 9 June 1752. Shortly thereafter a dispirited Chanda Sahib also surrendered to the English.

He was beheaded on the orders of the Tanjore generals. The English prestige was greatly enhanced by this incident and the French were in a sorry plight. But they were not willing to give up that easily and Dupleix was devising a fresh strategy. He won over Morari Rao, the Maratha chief and the ruler of Mysore and secured the neutrality of the Raja of Tanjore, the seige of Trichinopoly was renewed in December 1752 and continued for more than one year and both sides were successful alternatively.

11. Write the views about Battle of Wandiwash

The decisive battle of the third Carnatic War was fought at Wandiwash on 22 January 1760. General Eyre Coote’s army totally routed the French army under Lally. In the next three months all the minor French possessions in the Carnatic had been effectively reduced by Coote’s efforts.

The French were left with no possessions in the Carnatic except Jinje and Pondicherry. Finally, in May 1760, the English laid siege to Pondicherry. At this juncture Lally tried to retrieve the situation with a last-ditch attempt at alliance with Nawab Haidar Ali of Mysore. The latter even sent a contingent to the aid of the French. But the French and Haidar Ali’s contingent were unable to decide on a concerted plan of action and Haidar’s contingent ultimately returned to Mysore without fighting a single battle.

After more than six months of encirclement, the French capital of Pondicherry unconditionally surrendered on 16 January, 1761. The city was completely destroyed by the victors and its fortifications reduced to mere rubble. A contemporary account states that “In a few months not a roof was left standing in this once fair and flourishing city”.

Shortly thereafter, and Mahe, the two French settlements on the Malabar Coast also surrendered to the English leaving the French without even a toehold in India. More distressing was the face of the French general Count De Lally. After being detained as an English prisoner of war for two years, he was allowed to return to France at the end of the Seven Years War.

But far from receiving kindly treatment, he was imprisoned in the Bastille for more than two years and-afterwards executed. The Peace of Paris did restore the French factories in India to the French company but the French East India Company formally ended its career in 1769.

Thereafter the French Crown maintained the French factories in India for the benefit of private traders. It was a feeble effort and the French, like their Portuguese and Dutch counterparts in India, confined themselves to “country trade”. Their dependence on the English was revealed by the fact that both in Europe and in India their business transactions were in collaboration either with the English Company directly or with its officials or private English traders residing in India.

12. Comment on the reason of struggle between British and state of Mysore, Haider Ali, and Tipu Sultan

The state of Mysore under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan fought four wars against British over the latter’s objective to undermine the independent authority of the earlier. The Marathas, the Nawab of Carnatic and Nizam of Hyderabad entered into alliance with British from time to time to subdue Mysore ruler. In 1760 the Nizam and Marathas allied with British and attacked Mysore, but Haider Ali skillfully turned the tide against the British by persuading them to join hands with him against the British. Thus, launching on attack against the

British, he reached upto Madras and forced Madras council to sign peace on his terms in 1769, agreeing to help each other in case of a third party attack. When Marathas invaded Haider’s territories in 1771, the British didn’t come to – his help

The pretext of second Mysore war was provided by the British capture of Male in which latter won over Marathas and Nizams and defeated Haider Ali at Parto Navo in 1781. A year hence Haider died of cancer in the course of second Anglo-Mysore war. His successor, Tipu continued the war, but lack of resources, uncertainty of Maratha attitude, presence of French flut on Coromander coast etc. force the Madras Government to conclude the treaty of Mangalore in 1784.

This remained temporary Tipu’s attack on Travancore in 1790 commenced the war that continued for two years in which Tipu suffered setbacks and concluded the treaty of Sriangapatnam in 1792, surrendering half of his territory to the British and their allies. Later in 1798 in the quest for making Mysore ruler and defeated him in 1799.

Tipu died in course of war same year. Sriangapatnam was plundered and half of Tipu’s dominion was divided between British and Nizams. The Wondeyars were restored to Mysore kingdom and thus it became a dependency to the English.

13. Comment on the decline and fall of Awadh dynasty

Besides slowly annexing territories from the Awadh rulers the Company was also successfully building an alternative source of authority inside Awadh through the right of extending extraterritorial protection, the successive Residents tried to build a substantial constituency for the Company which extended from bottom to the top.

The sepoys from Awadh, enlisted in or retired from the Company’s armies represented the lowest rung of it. The Taluqdars who were displaced by the action of the Nawabs and who successfully appealed to the Company for the restoration of their lands formed the middle of the ladder.

The friends and relatives of the deposed or unsuccessful were the highest in order to which Company’s protection extended. British legitimacy had become so convincingly established by the turn of the 19th century that as high a person as Bahu Begum mother of Asaf-ud-Daula, appealed to it and made a will in Company’s name to the effect that all her property would go to the Company after her death, minus selected endowments for a tomb, dependents and the obligatory gift to the holy Shrine at Karbala. When the Nawab, Saadat Ali, objected to this indiscriminate use of protection, the Resident declared “that you’re Excellency’s denial of my title to intercede… is, in my judgement, totally inadmissible.”

By creating an alternative and superior political position for itself in Awadh, the Company undermined the legitimacy of the Awadh rulers. It further sought to denigrate the Mughal status by urging the empire’s constituent parts, the various regional rulers to assert their juridical as well as actual independence from him.

Although Awadh had now become virtually dependent on the Company, the latter still needed a show of independence on the part of its rulers for its own larger designs. The Company official encouraged Ghazi-ud-Din Haider to declare his independence and repudiate the sovereignty of the Mughal Emperor in 1819. By declaring formal independence the Nawab set an example.

He unwittingly cleared the coast for the British who were in a position to emerge as an alternative all-India source of authority replacing the Mughals. Now all I that remained for the Company was to down-grade and humiliate the Nawab emperor to prove its superiority. The imperial pretensions of the Awadh rules were only in name, but they were forced to retract even in these matters.

The latter title was also objected to and the ruler was allowed to use it only domestic correspondences. This way the Company kept on encroaching on the material and moral domains of the Awadh rulers so much so that the annexation of 1856 became a logical conclusion and finally the Resident took 0ver administration of Awadh as the Chief Commissioner.

14. Discuss the Nadir Shah’s invasion from the North-West

The general deterioration in the Mughal administration was visible in the neglect of the defence of the north-west frontier. Aurangzeb had kept a vigilant eye on the defence of the north-western frontier and the Mughal provinces in that region. The Mughal province of Kabul was very well-administered and the people regularly paid the taxes.

The tribal people in the North-West were pacified and regular subsidies were paid to them, the roads towards India were kept open and a constant and brisk communication of political intelligence had been maintained between Kabul and Delhi. After the departure of Prince Muazzam from Kabul in 1707 the administration of Kabul and Ghazni became careless.

The general rot that had sapped the vitality of the empire was visible in the helpless condition of the defenses of the frontier. The same robbery, corruption and carelessness which had exposed Gujarat and Malwa to the attacks of the Marathas, exposed the north-west frontier to the ambition of Nadir Shah of Persia.

Nadir Shah was greatly ambitious and sought extension of his dominions at the expense of his neighbouring countries. His first target was Kandhar. So long as Kandhar was not conquered it would remain a menance to the safety of Persia and constantly disturb the peace and prosperity of Khurasan.

Moreover, without the conquest of Kandhar the full heritage of the Safawids could not be said to have come into his possession. To isolate the Afghan rulers of Kandhar, Nadir Shah entered into correspondence with Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah soliciting those Afghan fugitives might not find shelter Kabul. Muhammad Shah gave assurances to Nadir’s envoy about that. When, however, Nadir Shah conquered Kandhar in March 1738, a number of afghan fugitives took shelter at Kabul and Ghazni.

Under Nadir’s strict mstnictions his soldiers did not violate Mughal territory and refrained from Pursuing the Afghan fugitives in Kabul and Ghazni. Notwithstanding the breach promises on the part of the Mughal government, Nadir had dispatched in an imperative emissary third of its kind towards Delhi. Nadir’s emissary as attacked and cut off at Jalalabad by the Mughal soldiers.

The indifference with which the Mughal emperor treated the envoys of Nadir Shah and the cruel treatment meted out to the last emissary was made an excuse by Nadir Shah to invade India. Besides, the Mughal emperor had insulted Nadir Shah by discontinuing the practice of exchange of ambassadors with the Persian court when Nadir ascended the throne.

However, the real causey of Nadir Shah’s invasion of India are to be found in the ambition of Nadir Shah on the one hand and the apparent weakness of the Mughal Empire on the other. Nadir had heard about the fabulous wealth of India and his greed was excited.

To top all, Nadir had received definite information about the wretched condition of the Mughal administration and the internal dissensions which had I sapped its vitality, which belief was fortified by the number of letters of goodwill and invitation he had received from Indian Amirs soliciting him to invade India.

Nadir Shah entered Ghazni on 11 June 1738 and captured Kabul on 29 June.1 Nadir Shah, who had created for himself a reputation as a merciful enemy and liberal master, held out inducements to deserters.

Nasir Khan, the Mughal Governor of Kabul, surrendered without resistance and was pardoned and restored to the viceroyalty of Kabul and Peshawar on profession of loyalty to his new master. Crossing the Indus at Attack, Nadir easily defeated the governor of Lahore and treated him kindly and the latter also like Nasir Khan joined the conqueror’s train on a rapid march towards Delhi.

15. Give a brief expansion of Britishers towards Afghanistan

Through the 1830s, the officers of the Company insisted that Afghanistan was important as a buffer against Napoleonic France and Tsarist Russia. In 1836, Dost Muhammad, the then ruler of Afghanistan offered his friendship to the English in return for English help in re-possessing the Peshawar valley which Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of Punjab had taken away from the Afghans.

Governor-General Auckland, however, refused to intercede with Ranjit Singii and instead proposed that the Afghans promise not to ally with any other country like Russia, France or Turkey. Dost Muhammad responded by showing signs of friendship towards Russia.

In the spring of 1841, a popular unrest against the English started. Open rebellion broke out at many points in September 1841. The English in Kabul town were killed and their cantonment besieged. The same happened at Ghazni, Jalalabad and Kandhar and the entire Gorkha battalion at Kohistan was done to death.

In December finally, the English were forced to accept the humiliating condition of evacuating Afghanistan within three days. The retreating forces were in turn attacked on the snow covered passes and substantially annihilated. By May 1842, the English forces were able to regroup and re-establish control over Jalalabad and Kandhar. Then with the help of reinforcements from India Kabul was re-taken in September.

The costs of this victory were, however, too high. Quite apart from the cost in men and money, the Afghan War proved that the British Indian armies were not invincible and could be defeated with suitable tactics as’ those used by the hill tribes of Afghanistan. Henceforth the English decided to confine themselves within the North-West Frontier and not venture into Afghanistan militarily.

16. What was the relation of Lord Hastings and the Indian states?

Before coming to India, the Earl of Moira had been a great critic of ‘forward policy’. In a debate in the House of Lords on 11 April 1791, he had questioned the wisdom of the policy of war aquarist Tipu Sultan of Mysore by observing that “a scheme of conquest, for the extension of territory, was not only held generally as an improvident act, but particularly so in India”.

He further described the Mysore war as ‘a subject of depreciation and regret’. He was equally vehement in criticizing the war policy of Wellesley. Although a critic of the ‘war policy’ of Wellesley, Hastings was essentially different in political outlook from men like Barlow. Commenting on the policy of his predecessors he observed, “Our first plan was to avoid meddling with the native powers.

The second was to control them all and we have since attempted partially to revert to the first after having taken one half of the powers of India under our protection and made the other half our enemies”. He proposed to anomalous and unsatisfactory state of affairs in India.

Further, he clearly saw the growing menance of the Pindaris and the necessity of maintaining peace in the country. He did not believe in an expensive system of defence against the Pindari raids. He desired their complete suppression.

If extirpation of the Pindari danger meant war with the Marathas, he would not desist from it. Hastings also realised that the existence of independent Maratha rulers like the Sindhia, the Bhonsle and the Holkar was inconsistent with British Position in India.

The independence of the Marathas must be destroyed if the Company was to become the arbiter of the destiny of India. In February 1814 Hastings noted in his Private Journal, “Our object ought to be to render the British Government paramount in effect, if not declaredly so. We should hold the other states vassals in substance if not in name”. Thus,’Hastings’ objective in India was three-fold:

(a) To suppress the Pindaris,

(b) To destroy the independence of the Maratha chiefs and make them accept Company’s supremacy and lastly,

(c) To bring under the Company’s protection all harmless states. The Pindaris: The etymology of the word Pindari is variously explained. The most popular explanation is that the word Pindari is of Marathai origin meaning ‘consumer of pinda’ a fermented drink. In the 18th and 19th centuries the word was used to describe the hordes of cruel marauders whose main occupation was loot and plunder.

17. Discuss the difference between Orientalist and Utilitarians

The group of people under the guidance of Jeremy Betham belied that a scientific and logical approach of law and landed property could create reforms which would satisfy the principal of greatest good of the greatest number. The Question of Law: The utilitarian ideas had a very fundamental influence in moulding the British attitude towards India.

The question of an instrument of change was mooted under Bentinck who believed it to change the Indian practices like sati and female infanticide. The coming James Mill to the East India Company’s office saw enacting of a series of laws and penal codes under Benthamite principles of a centrally logically and coherently evolved system which would go down to the grassroots and in the process give the direction to the Indian Government to function with a united purpose.

The Question of Land Revenue:

As regards land revenue, Mill wanted a direct contact with mass of cultivators as in Ryotwari settlement of Munro and taking the landlord along in such manner that the latter does not enjoy undue benefit at the coast of manufacturers and trade just by virtue of ownership of land. This meant that a land holder would give a certain proportion of net produce of state tax.

This policy used in Bombay by Pingle, but due to very high revenue demand, this was gradually abandoned and replaced by purely pragmatic and empirical methods from the tradition of taxation in respective areas, but the rent doctrine of utilitarian philosophy was not given up in theory and continued to be submitted to Munro like consideration Indian heritage and traditions.

The Emerging Vision of the Empire: The streak of authoritarianism in utilitarians like Mill developed into full fledged despotism who could never accept any form of representative Government in India. Dalhousie; took forward Mill’s vision in his policies towards native Indian states.

Again in Benthamile tradition, he created an all India departments with single heads thus giving fruition to the idea of efficient administration within the framework of unitary all India Empire. Dalhousie at the same time also took liberal stance by encouraging the development of his legislative council into a forum for representation of non-official opinion. He also agreed with Macaulay’s views of diffusion of English education and along with his colleague-

Thomson encouraged a system of vernacular education at mass level. However with the consolidation of law codes, the focus shifted to the efficiency of governance, when pragmatism with rationality and efficiency dominated the British administration. The utilitarian task of transforming India subsided in later years under the principle of an efficient and good Government held up by “steel frame” of British administration.

Orientalists:

Orientalists is the group of people who realise the need to have an organised effort to combine the scientific study with labour and knowledge of a group dedicated individuals. Some individuals like William Jones formed the famous Asiatic society with the task of unearthing knowledge about Asia both within outside.

This society received Warren Hastings full blessings and thus began the study of India within close quarters of social religious and political aspects which was a departure from early travellers who would normally record impression and go away.

This society contributed in major way by translating from Persian to Sanskrit. Hastings also do more practical reasons for promoting the Asiatic society. He was not in favour to introducing English laws and English rule in India as he didn’t wanted to reconcile British rule with Indian institutions.

This meant more intensive investigation into the manner and customs of the country and an in-depth analysis of literature and laws of Indians. This there was no special law and battle for the country’s progress. Their thinking was totally different from utilitarians as they don’t want to touch the culture of India and also not want to interrupt in the oriented policies of India.

18. What are the changes brought about by Industrial Revolution in the Company’s mercantile policy?

In England in 1750, about 40 to 45 per cent of national income originated in the agricultural sector. By 1851 agriculture’s share diminished to 20 per cent and by 1881 it came down to about 10 per cent. The contribution of foreign trade to England’s national income was 14 per cent in 1790; it increased to 36 per cent by 1880. This helps us to measure the rapid pace of industrialisation in England. That county was transformed in the last half of the 18th and early 19th century.

As a result industrial manufacture foreign trade in manufactures became the mainstay of the English economy. In particular the growth of English cotton textile industry obviously meant an end to the demand for Indian cloth in England. On the contrary, England was now seeking markets for her cotton textiles in among other counties.

Moreover, to make industrial goods, England needed now more raw material than before, for example, England now after their industrialisation would import raw cotton from other countries, i.e. India. Thus, the whole basis of economic relationship between England and India was different after the industrialisation of England compared to what it had been in the era of merchant capitalism.

The Indian empire acquired by the merchant company had to fulfil a different role after the transformation of England into the first industrial capitalist country. The merchant company and their empire slowly veered towards a new role in the new scheme of things. Till 1857, only the beginnings of a new imperialism can be seen. It is seen in the decline of the export of Indian manufactured goods to England. The value of cotton cloth exported from India to England declined from pound 1.3 million to only pound 0.1 million in the years 1815 to 1832.

The trade between India and Europe passed from the hands of the Company to private traders. The Charter Act of 1813 fully opened Indian trade to the private traders. It was the Company’s deliberate policy to divert the revenue it collected to commercial purposes.

This was a result of the Company being simultaneously part of the government in Bengal from 1765 and a merchant company. A substantial portion of the revenue of Bengal was used in the purchase for export to England, the so-called ‘investment’. As a Committee of the English House of commons put it in 1783, such ‘investment’ was not actually employment of trading capital brought into Bengal, but merely a means of “payment of a tribute”.

This was a major example of what the Indian economic nationalists later called ‘economic drain’. The territorial revenues also enabled the Company to raise money on credit (the so-called Territorial Debt) and to pay for military action for further territorial expansion.

19. What are the economic factors that motivated others to establish political powers in India?

In the beginning of European trade with India there were only voyages to India by one or more ships from time to time. It was not easy to procure large quantities of goods in India at short notice when a ‘voyage’ visited an Indian port. Therefore, it became necessary to set up factories in or near major sea ports or production centres. These were not factories of today where things are actually produced.

The word ‘factory’ in 17th and 18th century meant “foreign trading stations set up by a merchant Company”. After the decline of the Mughal empire set in, such protective fortification may have been needed in some regions and some local government tacitly or explicitly allowed acquisition of land and building of forts by East India Companies.

The Companies began to exceed the limits of legitimate self protection and fortified and militarized their trading stations as centres of armed power challenging local governments. Fort William of Calcutta and Fort ST. George of Madras were prominent instances of this kind. Thus, the fort provided a nucleus allowing the foreign merchants to spread their control over the neighbouring territory.

The territorial claims of the Company sometimes had a legal basis (e.g. the grant of zamindari rights, as in Bengal), but more often than not the real basis of the territorial claims in the last decades of the 18th century was the military strength of the company. The European Companies operated as one of the territorial powers from the middle of the 18th century.

The evolution of the English East India Company (EIC) from the Voyage system factory system, from that to forts and eventually to the position of a territorial power helped in business. It was not just a fit of absent mindedness and an aberration from the proper task of merchants that led to the political hegemony of the company that became the British Indian Empire.

It was useful to have military power to back up coercion on the artisans (e.g. the Bengal weavers) to produce goods at a cheap price, to bully the local merchants to make them subservient to English factors and private traders and of course eliminate other foreign merchants (particularly the French and the Dutch) from competing with the English.

Moreover, a military and territorial power could extract from the regional principalities and the local nobility “protection money”, bribes etc, not to speck of plunder that brought in. Finally, control over territories brought in revenue.

The classic example of this was the Dewani of Bengal from 1765. The Company’s share of the land revenue of Bengal enabled it to reduce for many years the remittance of billion from England. Bullion was needed to buy goods in India for export by the Company and it was of course, desirable to reduce bullion export from England by raising cash in India to pay for exports from India. Thus, the territorial ambitions of the East India Company made a lot of economic sense so far as English interests were concerned.

These are some of the reasons why we see the Company playing such a salient role in Indian political history in the 18th century to emerge as the largest territorial power by the beginning of the 19th century.

20. Write a brief description of Ryotwari System

Under this system every ‘registered’ holder of land is recognised as a proprietor of land and is held responsible for direct payment of land revenue to the State. He has the right to sub-let his land holdings, to transfer, mortgage or sell it. He is not evicted from his holdings by the Government so long as he pays the State demand of land revenue. In Madras Presidency, the first land revenue settlements were made in the Baramahal district after its acquisition by the Company in 1792.

Capt. Read assisted by Thomas Munro fixed the State demand on the basis of 50% of the estimated produce of the fields, which worked out to be more than the whole economic rent. The same system was extended to other parts. The first assessments were very severe and caused widespread misery. Thomas Munro realised the unfairness of the early settlements. He extended the ryotwari system to all parts of the province on the basis of 1/3rd of the gross produce of the holdings, which too unfortunately absorbed nearly the whole of the economic rental.

The State demand was fixed in money and had no connection with the actual yield of the holding or the prevailing prices in the market. Munro’s land settlements operated for nearly thirty years and caused widespread oppression and agricultural distress. The peasantry sank deeper in poverty’. He fell in the clutches of the chatty for payment of land revenue.

The machinery of collection was very oppressive and torture was normally resorted to for collection of State dues. In the British Parliament members asked questions about the vile practices of torture which included preventing defaulter from taking his meals or attending to calls of nature, tying a man down in a bent position, making a man sit with brickbats behind his knees, tying defaulters by their back hair or tying by the hair to a donkey’s or buffalo’s tail, placing a necklace of bones or other degrading materials round the necks etc. In 1855 an extensive survey and settlement plan was decided upon on the basis of 30% of the gross produce.

Actual work began in 1861. The Rule of !864 limited the State demand to 50% of the rental, but these instructions remained more on paper and never became actual facts of administration. The terrible Madras famine of 1867-78 revealed the real state of the Madras peasantry. In Bombay Presidency too the Company decided in favour of the Ryotwari system with a view to the elimination of landlords or village communities which could intercept their profits.

Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay 1819-27, submitted a detailed ‘Report on the Territories Conquered from the Peshwa’ in October 1819. He emphasised two important features of the Maratha Government, (a) the existence of village communities as units of local administration and (b) the existence ‘of mirasi tenure. Chaplain, the Commissioner of the Deccan, submitted two reports in 1821 and 1822, referring to the past practices in revenue settlements and making some valuable suggestions.

Regular survey of the land was conducted by Pringle during 1824-28. The State demand was fixed at 55% of the net produce. Unfortunately, most of the surveys were faulty and the estimate of produce of fields proved to be erroneous. All this resulted in over assessment and oppressions of the peasantry. In disgust many cultivators deserted their fields and large tracts of cultivable land went out of cultivation.

In 1835 Lt. Wingate of the Engineers Corps was appointed the Superintendent of Survey. He submitted a report in 1847 which was jointly signed by H.C. Goldsmid, Capt. Davidson and Capt. Wingate.

Broadly speaking, the State land revenue demand for a district was first determined on the basis of ‘the past history of the District’ and ‘past condition of the people’. Then the total district demand was distributed among the fields. The earlier system of equitable basis of field produce was substituted by a geological basis of assessment.

Further, the assessment was placed upon each field instead of the holdings of a cultivator; so that each cultivator could give up any field he liked or takes up other fields which might have remained unoccupied. The settlement was made for 30 years. The new assessment was more or less based on guess work and erred on the side of severity. Resettlement work began after 30 years.

It was taken up in 1866. Because of the American Civil War the demand for Bombay cotton temporarily pushed up the prices. This temporary boom gave an opportunity to the Survey officers to push up the assessment by 66% to 100%, without giving any right to the cultivators to appeal to a court of law.

The Deccan witnessed Agrarian riots in 1875. The Government responded by the enactment of the Deccan Agriculturists’ Relief Act, 1879 by providing relief against the moneylenders, but did nothing to restrain the excessive State demand – the root of all evils.

The two great evils of the Ryotwari system in Bombay were over assessment and uncertainty. Further, there was no provision for an appeal to the court of law against over assessment. The collector informed the cultivator of the rate at which his land had been accessed in future with the warning that if he chose to retain it on the new terms, he could. If he did not choose, he could throw it up.

21. What is Mahalwari System?

Under this system, the unit for revenue settlement of the village is the niahal. The village land belongs jointly to the village community technically called ‘the body of co-shares’. The body of co-shares is jointly responsible for payment of land revenue though individual responsibility is also there. If any co-sharer abandons his land it is taken over by the village community as a whole. The village community is the owner of village ‘common land’ including the forest land, pastures etc.

Land Settlements in North-Western Provinces and Oudh: The North­western Provinces and Oudh came under British rule at different times. In 1801 the Nawab of Oudh surrendered to the Company. The districts of Allahabad and adjoining areas called the ‘Ceded Districts’. After the Second Anglo-Maratha War the Company acquired the territory between the Jamuna and the Ganges called the ‘Conquered Provinces’. After the last Anglo Maratha War, Lord Hastings acquired more territories in Northern India.

Henry Wellesley, the first Lt. Governor of the Ceded Districts, made a land revenue settlement with the zamindars and farmers for three years fixing the State demand higher by 20 lakh rupees during the very first year over the Nawab of Oudh’s demand to which another burden of rupees 10 lakhs was added before the third year was out.

The incidence of the Company’s land revenue demand was still higher if we keep in view another factor. While the Nawab’s revenue collection varied according to the actual production in a year, the Company’s demand was realised with rigidity unknown in India before. Similar land revenue settlements were made for the conquered provinces.

Regulation VII of 1822 gave legal sanction to the above recommendations. The land revenue settlements were made on the basis of 80% of the rental value payable by the zamindars. In cases where estates were not held by (he landlords but by cultivators in common tenancy, the State demand was allowed to be fixed at 95% of the rental. The system broke down because of the excessive state demand and harshness in its working and collection of land revenue.

Regulation IX of 1833 and Land Settlements:

The Government of William antiknock made a thorough review of the scheme of 1822 and came to the conclusion that the scheme has caused widespread misery and failed under the Weight of its harshness. Prolonged consultations resulted in the passing of the Regulation of 1833 which provided for simplification of the procedure for preparing estimates of produce and of rents and introduction of the system of fixing average rents for different classes of soil. For the first time the use of field maps and field registers were prescribed.

The new scheme worked under the supervision of Merttins Bird, remembered as the Father of Land Settlements in Northern India. Under the new scheme land in a tract was surveyed, showing field boundaries arid the cultivated and uncultivated land. Then the assessment for the whole tract was fixed followed by setting down the demand for each village leaving to the mahal powers to make internal adjustments. The State demand was fixed at 66% of the rental value and the settlement was made for 30 years.

The Settlement work under the scheme begun in 1833 was completed under the administration of James Thomson.

Even the 66% rental demand formula proved to be harsh and unworkable. Consequently Lord Dalhousie felt the need for issuing fresh Directions to Settlement Officers. Under the revised Saharanpur Rules of 1855 the State revenue demand was limited to 50% of the rental value. Unfortunately, the Settlement officers evaded the new rules in practice.

They interpreted the 50% rental value to mean one-half to the “prospective and potential” rental of estates and not the “actual rentals”. Thus, the system fell heavily on the agricultural classes and created widespread discontent which found full vent during the Revolt of 1857-58.

22. What was the nature of Early Trade with Europe?

Early European trade with India was heavily balanced in India’s favour. The 17th century saw Indian cotton textiles rapidly displacing pepper and other spices to become the most important Asian import into the west. By 166.4, the English East India Company imported more than 750,000 pieces of cotton goods from India, which accounted for 73 per cent of the Company’s total trade. In the following two decades the figure further increased to 1.5 million pieces with cotton textiles now contributing to 83 per cent of the total import value.

The marked expansion of Indian cotton textile exports substantially accelerated the growth of the textile industry which probably provided employment to a sizeable section of the population’.

This unprecedented growth of Indian textile imports into Europe was accompanied by a steady inflow of bullion into India from the buyer nations, because India continued to enjoy a positive balance of trade vis-a-vis these nations. It has been suggested that the Indo European trade of this period, which has clearly tilted in favour of India could not have been sustained at the level for nearly three centuries without the discovery of American mines.

The ‘increased European liquidity became a vital prerequisite for permitting the Sustained financing of this trade with its highly adverse balance of payments. Contemporary Western observers who were influenced by mercantilist thinking attributed the instability in national finances of Western countries to their markedly negative balance of trade. The shipment of large quantities of treasure to Asia by the European companies made them the focus of criticism.

European trade with India up to the early years of the 19th century was based upon the price differential between Asia and the rest of the world. That is European merchants bought goods at a low price in India and sold them for a much higher price in the European, African and New World markets. The profits were based on the difference between the purchase price and selling price.

The main problem which the European companies faced in their trade with India was the financing of their Indian purchases. Since there was no demand for British or European exports in India the purchases of Indian goods had to be financed by bullion payments.

Although estimating the magnitude of bullion exports to India by European companies has proved to be problematic European trade by the first half of the eighteenth century appears to have had a significant impact on Indian foreign trade and industry.

23. What was the development of Indian languages in this period (18th century) uniform?

The process of development is broader sense in farfetched that takes time to fully emerge under different circumstances. Therefore the development of all Indian language couldn’t be uniform. But they indeed want through this Process in some part or the other at different times.

For example, Bengali is early 19th century, Marathi in mid 19th century; Urdu, Gujarati, Hindi, Oriya and also Tamil in late 19th century and Kannada, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Dongri m 20th century noticeable point throughout their development has been the emergence of polarisation between the new educated middle class represented in Bengal by the1971 the lower sectors of people whose mother didn’t attract the educated middle class of the society.

In Gujarati and Tamil Polarisation has invited the serious lamenting of Mahatma Gandhi and his differences which got flared of languages at Fort William College, who tried to distinguish between the language ‘Hindustani’ and ‘Hindu’ leading not only t0 the splitting of the language, but also of national life into two. The development of Indian language had a very significant impact on the growth of national movement in the following ways:-

i. It brought social leadership to the educated middle class, through which they could, seize the leadership of social and cultural movements of modern India and later on political movements as well.

ii. It led to the emergence of an educated middle class which was pan-Indian in its scope who made the new vernacular prose the medium of rational scientific thought. There also sprang up a prose and public and the growth of enlightened opinion through the medium of prose formed the essential background to the shaping of the modern nation.

24. The official policy of education in India during British rule

The beginning of English education can be traced only to the early 19th century. Before that the efforts made by the missionaries or by individuals were very limited in nature. In this connection Schwartzs schools in Tanjore, Ramnad and Shivganga, the Baptist Missionaries in Serampore, the London Mission Society, and the American Methodists in Bombay etc.

They had pioneering contribution in modern education. These missionary activities and the mounting Pressure by some Englishmen like Charles Grant and William Wilberforce compelled the Company to give up its policy of non-intervention in education, for the first time the British Parliament included in the Company’s charter a clause that the Governor-General in Council is bound to keep a sum of not less than one lakhs of rupees per year for education.

But the company used this fund mainly to promote and encourage Indian language and literature. The importance of the Charter Act of 1813 was that the Company for the first time acknowledged state responsibility for the promotion of education in India.

In 1823 a General Committee of Public Institution was set up to look after the development of education in India. Most of the members of this committee belonged to the Orientalist group and they strongly advocated the promotion of oriental learning rather than the promotion of Western education.

England and in India created mounting pressure on the Company to encourage Western education Macaulay, the President” of the General Committee of Public Instruction and Lord Bentinck, the Governor General, took the side of the Anglicists and Bentinck gave his ruling that “the great object of the British Government in India was henceforth to be the promotion of European literature and science among the natives of India and that all the funds appropriated for the purpose of education would be best employed on the Charles Wood dispatch of first step towards education.

“In 1857 three universities were established in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The establishment of universities and the opening of education departments in the provinces provided a basic structure to modern education in India; in fact Wood’s Dispatch provided the model for the further development in education in India.

Along with this official initiative to promote western learning in India, there was initiative by the missionaries and some individuals to promote Western education. In Bengal some of the important colleges were established by the Christian missionaries.

These missionary institutions did play a role in spreading western knowledge, though their basic object was to attract people to Christianity. Besides the missionaries some individuals played a significant role to promote English education in Calcutta.

The Native School and Book Society of Calcutta was established to open schools in Calcutta and to train up the teachers for the indigenous schools.

The establishment of Hindu College in Calcutta by David Hare and a group of local Hindu notables facilitated the promotion of secular education among Indians. David Hare was against the teaching of religious ideas and Sanskrit and Arabic languages. J.E.D. Bethune who was an ardent advocate of women’s education founded a girls’ school in Calcutta.

Among the Bengalis, Vidyasagar supported the promotion of women’s education. All these institutions obtained a positive response from the local people who strongly pleaded to the British for further expansion of educational opportunities. Similarly in Bombay and Madras also missionary schools were established.

Bombay notable developments were the Native Education Society and the Elphinstone Institution which played” a role similar to the Hindu College of Calcutta. In Madras the Christian College was founded in 1837 and the Presidency College in 1853. In Uttar Pradesh the first English-medium collect was founded at Agra in 1823. Thus, by 1850s we find that in most of the provinces in India the basis of modern education was laid down by the British’.

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