What were the causes and consequences of the Battle of Buxar?

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Mir Kashim fulfilled all his promises which he, made to the English and besides giving the Jagir of Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagaon to the company gave huge amount of wealth to the officers of the company.

He also fulfilled the promises made by Muzaffar to the company just to continue to receive the sympathy and co-operation of the English.

He took active part in the administration of, Bengal and endeavoured to prove himself as a capable ruler. He tried to improve to economy of the state. He crushed the rebel Jagirdars mercilessly and forced the officers of the company to deposit all the money in the royal treasury which they had embezzled.

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His administration, manufacturing of fire locks and guns, imposition of new .taxes, reduction in expenditure of administration, court and palace, regular payment of salaries an shifting of capital to Monghyar in place Murshidabad annoyed the nobles and officers alike.

He was also in favour of keep in his own power and prestige. He did not act as puppet in the hands of the English. The company and, its officers were not prepared to let him do things of his own accord, hence conflict arose between the company and the Nawab which, ultimately resulted in the outbreak of the Battle of Buxar.

Both the English and Mir Kashim wanted to establish their supremacy in Bengal. It was yet to be decided as to who was the supreme power in the province.

The English wanted take him a puppet Nawab and to hold the reins of the empire in their hands, while the Nawab, was preparing to grant them only the trade concession and no political power seeing the stem attitude of Mir Kasim, the English determined to change to Nawab for they did not need such a person as was not subservient to them.

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After the assassination of Alamgir II in 1960 A. D. His son, prince Shahzada who was in Bihar declared himself emperor and assumed the title of Shah Alam II. The English wrote various letters to him forthy wanted to get some concession after his enthronement. They also pressurised Mir Kashim to accept Shah Alam II as the Emperor of the Mughals but he did -not do so. It displeased the English no end.

Ram Narain’s case: Ram Narain, the Naik Diwan dismissed from service by Mir Kasim went over to the camp of the English and sought shelter there All of Mir Kasim’s requests to deliver the fugitive back to him fell flat with the English. However during governorship of Vansit art, the company handed over Ram Narain to the Nawab.

Although it was a minor event but indicated the change of policy which the company was adopting so far in the case of the fugitives. Now he felt his position to be quite safe and strong and he could gather courage to face the English.

The trading rights of the company and their misuse was the most significant reason of dispute between the company and the Nawab the English merchants did not pay any tax when they had trade in the vicinity of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The Nawab had to tolerate them for there was no other alternative before them.

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The English also began to help the Indian merchants by giving them passes to evade the taxes. The Nawab endeavoured his best to find a way out regarding the right of company’s free trade but he failed, hence being angry he totally abolished the trade tax.

Although this act of the Nawab, went against his Piterest and affected the royal treasury adversely, it put the English and the Indian traders on equal footing.

The company felt very much I inconvenienced by this order of the Nawab, so they pressurised the Nawab for reimposition of tax on the Indian merchants. As the Nawab did not agree to it, a conflict across between the two. Dodwell writes. “The war between the Nawab and the company was a war of circumstances rather than of intentions.” But as statement is not accepted by all the scholar’s. The fact is that the English were not prepared to give up their privileges, so the war broke out between the two.

Mir Kasim agreed to give eleven lakh rupees every day to the Nawab for the expenditure of the army. Shujauddaula in order increase his power in Bengal became ready to help Mir Kasim.

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Thus the united army of the three laid a siege to Patna and reached the field of Buxar before the beginning of the rains. The English also sent their army to Buxar under the commandership of Munroe and the famous battle of Buxar was fought between the two on 22nd October 1766 A D.

The Mughal emperor Shah Alam II did not help the Nawab with open heart. The English badly defeated the joint forces of all the three. Shah Alam joined hands with the English and Shujauddaula fled to Rohilakhand. Mir Kasim also saved his life by running away from me battle field. He passed the rest of his lie as a fugitive, breathing his last in 1777 A. D.

After the victory of Buxar the English armies advanced towards Avadh and established their control over Banaras and Allahbad. Nawab Shujauddaula tried to out the English with the help of Marathas and Rohillas but he could not succeed and had to surrender before the English army in 1765 A. D. A treaty was concluded between the two with the intervention of Maharaja Sitab Rai. The following were the significant terms of this treaty.

(a) Shujauddaula would pay fifty lakh rupees immediately to the company as war expenses and 25 lakh rupees in installments later.

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(b) The territory near Allahabad which was included in the province of Allahabad at that time was separated for the use of the mughal emperor. The fort of Allahabad was reserved for the residence of the emperor and an army of the company was kept there for the safety of the Emperor.

(c) Ghazipur and its adjacent area were handed over to the company.

(d) A vakil of the English would remain in the court of Shujauddaula but he was not authorised to intervene in the administration of the country.

(e) In future both the parties would regard the friend or enemy of each other to be one’s own friend or enemy.

The battle of Buxar was not a prolonged one but its consequence had far-reaching results. Bromme writes. “Thus ended the famous battle of Buxar on which depended the fate of India and which was a gallantly disputed one as was important in the results.” Actually, the objects which the battle of Plassey failed to achieve were gained by this war.

The supremacy of the English was established in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa after this war. Ramsay Muir remarks, “Buxar finally riveted the-shackles of company’s rule upon Bengal.” The existence of the Nawab of Avadh now fully depended on the mercy of the English.

They also a imprisoned the mughal emperor and extended the British territory towards north-west of Bengal. It curtailed the power of the Mughal emperor, yet the continued to have honour and prestige all over India. It also added to the power and prestige of the English. With the passage of time the English also established their control, over Avadh.

No doubt, the British won the battle of Plassey by their military power but in the battle of Buxar they showed their army’s prowess and achieved victory with an army numerically smaller than that of their enemies. It clearly indicates the superior quality of the arms and the war tactics employed by the English.

They once gain seated Mir Jafar on the masnad who again imposed tax on the Hindu merchants and ruled for two years. He breathed his last on 5th February, 1768 A.D. His minor none, Nijamuddaula was declared his successor and ascended to the Masuad of Bengal.

He surrendered some of his rights in favour of the English and fully became a puppet Nawab who depended on the English for all the affairs of the state.

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