From Trade to Territory Notes 8th Social Science

From Trade to Territory Notes 8th Social Science

8th Social Science Lesson 2 Notes in English

2. From Trade to Territory


  • In the 15th Century, Europe witnessed an era of geographical discoveries through land and sea routes.
  • In 1498, Vasco Da Gama of Portugal discovered a new sea route from Europe to India.
  • The main motive behind those discoveries was to maximize profit through trade and to establish political supremacy.
  • The rule of East India Company in India became effective after the conquest of Bengal.
  • The main interest of the company in India was territorial and commercial expansions.

Battle of Plassey (1757)

  • Alivardi Khan, the Nawab of Bengal died in 1756 and his grandson Siraj-ud-daula ascended the throne of Bengal.
  • The British taking advantage of the New Nawab’s weakness and unpopularity seized power.
  • So, Siraj-ud-daulah decided to teach them (British) a lesson by attacking over their political settlement of Calcutta.
  • The Nawab captured their factory at Kasimbazar.
  • On 20th June 1756, Fort William surrendered but Robert Clive recovered Calcutta. On 9th February 1757, Treaty of Alinagar was signed, where by Siraj-ud-daulah conceded practically all his claims. British then captured Chandranagore, the French settlement, on March 1757.
  • The battle of Plassey took place between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies. It was fought on 23 June 1757.
  • The English East India Company’s forces under Robert Clive defeated the forces of Siraj-ud-daulah.
  • After the collapse of Bengal, the company gained a huge amount of wealth from the treasury of Bengal and used it to strengthen its military force.
  • The beginning of the British political sway over India may be traced from the Battle of Plassey.
  • It was the most decisive battle that marked the initiation of British rule in India for the next two centuries.

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Establishment of Political Power by the English East India Company

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Battle of Buxar (1764)

  • After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the company was granted undisputed right to have free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • It received the place of 24 parganas in Bengal.
  • Mir Jafar (1757 to 1760) the Nawab of Bengal however fell into arrears and was forced to abdicate in favor of his son in law, Mir Qasim.
  • Mir Qasim ceded Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong. He shifted his capital to from Mursidabad to Monghur.
  • Mir Qasim soon revolted as he was angry with the British for misusing the destakes (free duty passes).
  • However, having been defeated by the British, he fled to Awadh, where he formed a confederacy with Shuja-ud-daulah and Shah Alam.
  • The Battle was fought on October 22, 1764 at Buxar, a “small fortified town” within the territory of Bihar, located on the banks of the Ganges river about 130 kilometers west of Patna.
  • It was a decisive victory for the British East India Company. Shuja–ud-daulah, Shah Alam and Mir Qasim were defeated by General Hector Munro. Mir Jafar was again placed on the throne.
  • On Mir Jafar’s death, his son Nizam-ud-daulah was placed on the throne and signed Allahabad Treaty on 20th February 1765 by which the Nawab had to disband most of his army and to administer Bengal through a Deputy Subahdar nominated by the company.
  • Robert Clive concluded two separate treaties with Shuja-ud-daula and Shah Alam II. Dual System of government started in Bengal.

Carnatic wars

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  • In the 18th century, three Carnatic wars were fought between various Indian rulers, British and French East Indian Company on either side.
  • Traditionally, Britain and France were rival countries in Europe.
  • Their rivalry continued in India over trade and territories.
  • It resulted in a series of military conflicts in the south known as the Carnatic wars which spanned from 1746 to 1763.
  • These wars resulted in establishment of political supremacy of British East Indian Company.

First Carnatic war

  • On the outbreak of the Austrian war of succession in Europe the English and the French were on opposite camps increased the hostility between these two forces.
  • The echo of this war was felt in India.

Battle of Adayar (1746)

  • The First Carnatic War is remembered for the battle of San. Thome (Madras) fought between the French forces and the forces of Anwar-ud-din, the Nawab of Carnatic, who appealed the British for help.
  • A small French army under Captain Paradise defeated the strong Indian army under Mahfuz Khan at San. Thome on the banks of the River Adayar.
  • This was the first occasion when the superiority of the well-trained and well equipped European army over the Indian army was proved beyond doubt.

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

  • The war was ended by the treaty of Aixla-Chapelle which brought the Austrian War of Succession to an end.
  • Under the terms of this treaty, Madras was returned back to the English, and the French, in turn, got their territories in North America.

Second Carnatic War

  • The main cause of this war was the issue of succession in Carnatic and Hyderabad.
  • Anwaruddin Khan and Chanda Sahib were the two claimants to the throne of Carnatic, whereas Nasir Jang and Muzaffar Jang were claimants to the throne of Hyderabad.
  • The French supported Chanda sahib and Muzaffar Jang, while the British supported the other claimants with the objective of keeping their interest and influence in the entire Deccan region.

Battle of Ambur (1749)

  • Finally Dupleix, Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jang formed a grand alliance and defeated and killed Anwar-ud-din Khan, the Nawab of Carnatic, on 3 August 1749 in the Battle of Ambur.
  • Muhammad Ali, the son of Anwar-ud-din, fled to Trichinopoly.
  • Chanda Sahib became the Nawab of Carnatic and rewarded the French with the grant of 80 villages around Pondicherry.
  • In the Deccan, too, the French defeated and killed Nasir Jang and made Muzaffar Jang as the Nizam.
  • The new Nizam gave ample rewards to the French. He appointed Dupleix as the governor of all the territories in south of the river Krishna. Muzaffar Jang was assassinated by his own people in 1751.
  • Salabat Jang, brother of Nasir Jang was raised to the throne by Bussy. Salabat Jang granted the Northern Circars excluding the Guntur District to the French.
  • Dupleix’s power was at its zenith by that time.

Battle of Arcot (1751)

  • In the meantime, Dupleix sent forces to besiege the fort of Trichy where Muhammad Ali had taken shelter.
  • Chanda Sahib also joined with the French in their efforts to besiege Trichy.
  • Robert Clive’s proposal was accepted by the British governor, Saunders, and with only 200 English and 300 Indian soldiers, Clive was entrusted the task of capturing Arcot. His attack proved successful.
  • Robert Clive defeated the French at Arni and Kaveripak.
  • With the assistance of Lawrence, Chanda Sahib was killed in Trichy.
  • Muhammad Ali was made the Nawab of Arcot under British protection. The French Government recalled Dupleix to Paris.

Treaty of Pondicherry (1755)

  • Dupleix was succeeded by Godeheu who agreed the treaty of Pondicherry.
  • According to it, both the powers agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the native states.
  • They were to retain their old positions.
  • New forts should not be built by either power.
  • The treaty made the British stronger. The second Carnatic war also proved inconclusive.
  • The English proved their superiority on land by appointing Mohammad Ali as the Nawab of Carnatic.
  • The French were still very powerful in Hyderabad. However, the predominant position of the French in the Deccan peninsula was definitely undermined in this war.

Third Carnatic War

  • The outbreak of the Seven Years’ War in Europe led to the third Carnatic war in India.
  • By this time, Robert Clive established the British power in Bengal by the Battle of Plassey which provided them with the necessary finance for the third Carnatic war.
  • Count de Lally was deputed from France to conduct the war from the French side.
  • He easily captured Fort St. David. He ordered Bussy to come down to the Carnatic with his army, to make a united effort to push the British out of the Carnatic.
  • Taking advantage of Bussy’s departure, Robert Clive sent Colonel Forde from Bengal to occupy the Northern Circars (parts of Andhraparadesh and Odhisha).

Battle of Wandiwash (1760)

  • The decisive battle of the third Carnatic war was fought on January 22, 1760.
  • The English army under General Eyre Coote totally routed the French army under Lally.
  • Within a year the French had lost all their possessions in India.
  • Lally returned to France where he was imprisoned and executed.

Treaty of Paris (1763)

  • The Seven Years’ War was concluded by the treaty of Paris.
  • The French settlements including Pondicherry were given back to the French.
  • But they were forbidden from fortifying those places. They were not allowed to gather armies. The French dominance in India practically came to an end.

Mysore and its Resistance to British Expansion

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  • The state of Mysore rose to prominence in the politics of South India under the leadership of Haider Ali (1760-82).
  • He and his son Tipu Sultan (1782-99) played a prominent role against the expansion of British Empire in India.
  • Both of them faced the English with undoubted courage. In 1761, he became the de facto ruler of Mysore.
  • He also proved to be the most formidable enemy of the English in India.

The First Anglo-Mysore War


  • Haider Ali’s growing power and his friendly relations with the French became a matter of concern for the English East India Company.
  • The Marathas, the Nizam and the English entered into a triple alliance against Haider Ali.


  • The Nizam, with the help of British troops under General Joseph Smith, invaded Mysore in 1767.
  • Haider Ali defeated English and captured Mangalore.
  • In March 1769, he attacked Madras and forced the English to sign a treaty on 4 April 1769.

Treaty of Madras (1769)

  • At the end of the war, the Treaty of Madras was signed between Haider Ali and British East India Company.
  • Both the parties returned the conquered territories and promised to help each other in case of any foreign attack on them.

The Second Anglo-Mysore War


  • The English did not fulfill the terms of the treaty of 1769, when Haider’s territories were attacked in 1771 by Marathas, Haider did not get help from the British.
  • British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider’s Jurisdiction.
  • It led to the formation of an alliance by Haider with the Nizam and Marathas against the English in 1779.


  • In 1781, the British General Sir Eyre Coote defeated Haider Ali at Porto Novo.
  • The Mysore forces suffered another defeat at Solinger.
  • Haider Ali died of cancer during the course of the war.
  • After the death of Haider Ali in 1782, his son Tipu Sultan, continued the war against the English.
  • Tipu captured Brigadier Mathews, the supreme commander of the British forces along with his soldiers in 1783. It was a serious loss to Tipu.

Treaty of Mangalore (1784)

  • On 7th March 1784 the treaty of Mangalore was signed between the two parties.
  • Both agreed to return the conquered territories and also the prisoners of war.
  • Thus, Warren Hastings saved the newly established British dominion from the wrath of powerful enemies like Marathas and Haider Ali.
  • When the British lost their colonies in America and elsewhere, Warren Hastings lost nothing in India.
  • Instead, he consolidated the British power in India.

The Third Anglo-Mysore War


  • Tipu was trying to seek alliance of foreign powers against the English and for that purpose he had sent his ambassadors to France and Turkey.
  • Tipu attacked on Travancore in 1789 whose ruler was an ally of the British.
  • The English, the Nizam and the Marathas entered into a “Triple Alliance” against Mysore.


  • Tipu fought alone which continued for two years. It was fought in three phases. The attack of the English under General Medows failed.
  • Therefore, in December 1790, Cornwallis himself took the command of the army.
  • Cornwallis captured all the hillforts which obstructed his advance towards Srirangapatam and reached near its outer wall.
  • Tipu felt desperate and opened negotiations with the English. Cornwallis agreed and the treaty of Srirangapatnam was concluded in 1792.

Treaty of Srirangapatnam (1792)

  • Tipu surrendered half of his kingdom to the allies.
  • Tipu agreed to pay 3.6 crore of rupees to the English as war indemnity and surrendered two of his sons as hostages to the English.
  • The English acquired Malabar, Coorg, Dindigul and Baramahal(Coimbatore and Salem).

The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

Tipu Sultan did not forget the humiliating treaty of Srirangapatnam imposed upon him by Cornwallis in 1790.


  • Tipu sought alliance with foreign powers against the English and sent ambassadors to Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan and the French.
  • Tipu was in correspondence with Napoleon who invaded Egypt at that time.
  • The French officers came to Srirangapatnam where they founded a Jacobin Club and planted the Tree of Liberty.


  • Wellesley declared war against Tipu in 1799. The war was short and decisive.
  • As planned, the Bombay army under General Stuart invaded Mysore from the west.
  • The Madras army, which was led by the GovernorGeneral’s brother, Arthur Wellesley, forced Tipu to retreat to his capital Srirangapatnam.
  • On 4th May 1799 Srirangapatnam was captured.
  • Tipu fought bravely and was killed finally. Thus ended the fourth Mysore War and the whole of Mysore lay prostrate before the British.

Mysore after the War

  • The English occupied Kanara, Wynad, Coimbatore, Darapuram and Srirangapattinam.
  • Krishna Raja Odayar of the former Hindu royal family was brought to the throne.
  • Tipu’s family was sent to the fort of Vellore.

Anglo-Maratha Wars

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  • The Marathas managed to overcome the crisis caused by their defeat at Panipat and after a decade recovered their control over Delhi.
  • However the old Maratha Confederacy controlled by the Peshwa had given way to five virtually independent states.
  • Peshwa at Pune, Gaikwads at Baroda, Bhonsle at Nagpur, Holkars at Indore, and Scindias at Gwalior.
  • The Peshwa’s government was weakened by internal rivalries, and the other four leaders were often hostile to one another.
  • Despite this, the Marathas were still a formidable power. The internal conflict among the Marathas was best utilized by the British in their expansionist policy.

First Anglo-Maratha War

  • In the case of the Marathas, the first British intervention was at the time of dispute over succession to the Peshwaship following the death of Narayan Rao.
  • After the death of Narayan Rao, Raghunath Rao (Raghoba) became the Peshwa, but his authority was challenged by a strong party at Poona under Nana Phadnavis.
  • The party recognised the infant born posthumously to Narayan Rao’s wife, Ganga Bai, as the Peshwa and set up a council of regency in his name.
  • Having failed in his bid to capture power, Raghunath Rao approached the British for help.
  • The Treaty of Surat between the English and Raghunath Rao was concluded in 1775.
  • However, the majority of the Supreme British Council in Calcutta was opposed to the Surat treaty, although Warren Hastings himself had no objection to ratifying the treaty.
  • The council sent Colonel Upton to Poona to negotiate a peace with the Poona regency.
  • Accordingly, Upton concluded the Treaty of Purandhar in 1776.
  • The treaty, however, did not take effect due to opposition from the English government in Bombay.
  • In 1781, Warren Hastings dispatched British troops under Captain Popham.
  • He defeated the Maratha chief, MahadajiScindia, in a number of small battles and captured Gwalior.
  • Later on 17th May 1782, the Treaty of Salbai was signed between Warren Hastings and MahadajiScindia.


  • RaghunathRao was pensioned off and MadhavRao II was accepted as the Peshwa.
  • Salsette was given to the British.
  • The Treaty of Salbai established the British influence in Indian politics. It provided the British twenty years of peace with the Marathas.

The internal affairs of the Marathas

  • The internal affairs of the Marathas deteriorated further after the close of the first Maratha War.
  • Nana Fadnavis grew fond of power, jealous of Mahadaji Scindia and became progressively inclined to seek the support of the English.
  • The young Peshwa, Madhava Rao II, tried to improve the affairs but could not check the rivalry of the Maratha chiefs.
  • Mahadaji Scindia died in 1794 and was succeeded by his grand nephew Daulat Rao Scindia. His death left Nana Fadnavis supreme at Poona and the English to expand their influence in north India.
  • Peshwa Madhav Rao II committed suicide in 1795, and BajiRao II, worthless son of RaghunathRao, became the Peshwa.
  • The death of Nana Phadnavis in 1800 gave the British an added advantage.
  • Jaswant Rao Holkar and Daulat Rao Scindia were fighting against each other. The Peshwa supported Scindia against Holkar.
  • The Peshwa and the Scindia agreed to help each other.Holkar marched against the Peshwa.
  • The combined forces of Scindia and the Peshwa were utterly defeated in 1802 and captured the city.
  • BajiRao II approached Lord Wellesley, the then Governor-General of India, for help. Lord Wellesley welcomed the Peshwa and made him sign the Treaty of Bassein, in other words, the Treaty of Subsidiary Alliance, accepting the status of a British subsidiary in 1802.
  • As an immediate to the Treaty of Bassein, the British troops marched under the command of Arthur Wellesely towards Poona and restored the Peshwa to his position.
  • The forces of Holkar vanished from the Maratha capital.

The Second Anglo-Maratha War

  • After accepted the subsidiary alliance by the Peshwa, DaulatRaoScindia and RaghojiBhonsle attempted to save Maratha’s independence.
  • But the well prepared and organised army of the English under Arthur Wellesely defeated the combined armies of Schindhia and Bhonsle at Assaye and Argaon.
  • The English forced them to conclude separate subsidiary treaties namely the Treaty of Deogaon and the Treaty of Surji-Arjungaon respectively in 1803.
  • But, YashwantRaoHolkar (also called as JaswantRaoHolkar) was yet undefeated. He had not participated in the war so far.
  • Holkar plundered the territory of Jaipur and, in 1804, the English declared war against him.
  • YashwantRaoHolkar made an attempt to form a coalition of Indian rulers to fight against the British. But his attempt proved unsuccessful.
  • The Marathas were defeated, reduced to British vassalage and islolated from one another.


  • The Maratha power was gradually weakened.
  • The English East India Company started becoming the paramount power in India.

The Third Anglo-Maratha War

  • The Third Anglo-Maratha War was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India.
  • It began with an invasion of the Maratha territory by British East India Company troops. The troops were led by the Governor General Hastings and he was supported by a force under General Thomas Hislop.
  • The  PeshwaBajiRao II’s forces, followed by those of Mudhoji II Bhonsle of Nagpur andMalharraoHolkar III of Indore, rose against the British.
  • DaulatraoScindia of Gwalior remained neutral.
  • The Peshwa was defeated in the battles of Khadki and Koregaon  and several minor battles were fought by the Peshwa’s forces to prevent his capture.
  • Bhonsle was defeated in the battle of Sitabaldi and Holkar in the battle of Mahidpur.


  • The Maratha confederacy was dissolved and Peshwaship was abolished.
  • Most of the territory of Peshwa BajiRao II was annexed and became part of the Bombay Presidency.
  • The defeat of the Bhonsle and Holkar also resulted in the acquisition of the Maratha kingdoms of Nagpur and Indore by the British.
  • The BajiRao II, the last Peshwa of Maratha was given an annual pension of 8 lakh rupees.

The British Administrative Organisation in India

The British Indian administration was run by four principal institutions – Civil Services, Army, Police and Judiciary.

Civil Services

  • The term ‘civil service’ was used for the first time by the East India Company to distinguish its civilian employees from their military counterparts.
  • Translating law into action and collecting revenue were the main jobs of the civil service.
  • The civil service was initially commercial in nature but later it was transformed into a public service.
  • In the beginning, the appointment to these services was the sole prerogative of the Court of Directors of the Company.
  • But the nominated civil servants indulged in corruption, bribery and illegal private trade. So, Cornwallis who came to India as Governor-General in 1786, enforced the rules against private trade.
  • He also raised the salary of the Company’s servants who became the highest paid civil servants in the world.
  • Lord Wellesley, who came to India as Governor-General in 1798, introduced the idea of suitable training for the civil servants in India.
  • In 1800, he established the College in Fort William at Calcutta to provide training in literature, science and languages.
  • However, the directors of the Company disapproved of his action and replaced it by their own East India College, established at Haileybury in England in 1806.
  • The idea of competition for recruitment was introduced first by the Charter Act, 1833.
  • But the system of competition was these not nominated by the Court of Directors were not eligible to write the competitive examination.
  • Hence, the system was called as nomination cum-competition system.
  • The system of recruitment on the basis of open competitive examination was introduced in 1853.
  • This system was confirmed by the Government of India Act of 1858. The maximum age for competitors was fixed at 23.
  • Subsequently, East India College at Haileybury was abolished in 1858, and recruitment to civil services became the responsibility of the civil service commission.
  • By the Regulation of 1860 the maximum age was lowered to 22, in 1866 to 21 and in 1876 to 19.
  • The Indian Civil Service Act of 1861 passed by the British Parliament exclusively reserved certain categories of high executive and judicial posts for the covenanted civil service which was later designated as the Indian Civil Service.
  • Due to the lowering of age limit and holding of examination in London it could be possible only for a very few wealthy Indians to appear at the I.C.S. examination.
  • In 1869, three Indians – Surendra Nath Banerje, Ramesh Chandra Dutt and Bihari Lal Gupta became successful in the I.C.S. examination.
  • Later on, the Indians demanded to increase the age limit and to establish centre for examination in India instead of England.
  • In 1892, the minimum age limit for appearing for the Civil Service Examination was raised to 21 and the maximum to 23.
  • In 1912, a Royal Commission on Public Service was appointed.
  • Chaired by Lord Islington, this commission had two Indian members – G.K. Gokhale and Sir Abdur Rahim – besides four Englishmen. The Commission published its report in 1917.
  • Islington commission’s recommendations partly fulfilled the demand for the Indianisation of Civil Service.
  • In 1918, Montague and Lord Chelmsford recommended that 33% Indian should be recruited in Indian Civil Services and gradually the number should be increased.
  • In 1923, a Royal Commission on Public Services was appointed with Lord Lee of Fareham as chairman.
  • This commission recommended that recruitment to all-Indian services like the Indian Civil Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service should be made and controlled by the Secretary of State for India.
  • The Lee Commission recommended the immediate establishment of a Public Service Commission.
  • The Act of 1935 also made provisions for the establishment of a Federal Public Service Commission at the Centre and the Provincial Public Service Commissions in the various provinces.
  • Provision was also made for a Joint Public Service Commission in two or more Provinces.
  • Although, the main aim of this measure was to serve the British interests, it became the base of the civil service system in independent India.


  • The army was the second important pillar of the British administration in India.
  • The East India Company started recruiting its own army, which came to be known as the sepoy (from sipahi or soldier) army.
  • That sepoy army was trained and disciplined according to European military standards and was commanded by European officers in the battlefield.
  • During the early stage of British rule, three separate armies had been organised in three Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras.
  • Army had a great contribution in the establishment and expansion of British rule in India.
  • Indian soldiers were given less salaries and allowances than English soldiers.
  • In 1857, the Indians constituted about 86 percent of the total strength of the Company’s army.
  • However, the officers of the army were exclusively British.
  • For example, in 1856, only three Indians in the army received a salary of 300 rupees per month.
  • The highest rank an Indian could ever reach was that of a subehdar.
  • After the revolt of 1857, the important changes were made in the Indian army services in 1858.
  • They increased British troops and reduced Indian troops. Also, only English were appointed in artillery.


  • When the East India Company took over the diwani in 1765, the Mughal police system was under the control of faujdars, who were in charge of their ‘sarkars’ or rural districts.
  • The kotwals were in charge of towns, while the village watchmen were paid and controlled by the Zamindars.
  • The police system was created by Lord Cornwallis. He relieved the Zamindars from police functions and established a regular police force in 1791.
  • Cornwallis established a system of circles or ‘thanas’ each headed by a ‘daroga’.
  • The authority of the daroga extended to village watchmen who performed the police duties in the villages. The hereditary village police became ‘chowkidars’.
  • In the big cities, the old office of kotwal was, however, continued, and a daroga was appointed to each of the wards of a city.
  • The daroga system was extended to Madras in 1802.
  • Before the post of district superintendent of police was created, all the thanas were under the general supervision of the district judge.
  • In 1808, a Superintendent of Police was appointed for each division.
  • Later, the district collector was entrusted with the task of controlling the police force in the districts.
  • The main task of the police was to handle crime and to prevent conspiracy against the British rule.

Judicial system

  • In 1772, the Dual Government was abolished and the Company took over the direct responsibility for the collection of revenue as well as the administration of justice.
  • Consequently a Diwani Adalat and Faujdari Adalat were established. By the Regulating Act of 1773, a Supreme Court was set up in Calcutta.
  • This court consisted of a chief justice and three puisne judges who were appointed by the Crown.
  • This court decided civil, criminal, ecclesiastical and admiralty cases. On the model of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, a Supreme Court was established in Madras in 1801 and in Bombay in 1823.
  • In 1832, William Bentinck started jury system in Bengal. A Indian Law Commission was established to compile the laws.
  • A rule of law was established for the whole empire.
  • According to the Indian High Courts Act, 1861, three High Courts were set up in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in place of the old Supreme Courts.

The Subsidiary Alliance

  • Lord Wellesley introduced the system of Subsidiary Alliance to bring the princely states under the control of the British.
  • It was the most effective instrument for the expansion of the British territory and political influence in India.
  • The princely state was called ‘the protected state’ and the British came to be referred as ‘the paramount power’.
  • It was the duty of the British to safeguard the state from external aggression and to help its ruler in maintaining internal peace.

Main Features of Subsidiary Alliance

  • An Indian ruler entering into this alliance with the British had to dissolve his own armed forces and accept British Forces.
  • A British Resident would stay in his capital.
  • Towards the maintenance charges of the army, he should make annual payments or cede some territory permanently to the Company.
  • All the non-English European officials should be turned out of his state.
  • The native ruler should deal with foreign states only through the English Company.
  • The British would undertake to defend the state from internal trouble as well as external attack.

Merits for the British

  • The British Company maintained a large army at the expense of the Indian rulers.
  • All Frenchmen in the service of native rulers were dismissed, and the danger of French revival was completely eliminated.
  • The British Company began to control the foreign policy of the Princely States.
  • Wellesley’s diplomacy made the British the paramount power in India. He transformed the British Empire in India into the British empire of India.

Defects of the Princely states

The Subsidiary Alliances made the Indian rulers weak, oppressive and irresponsible. Protected by British arms, they neglected their duty towards their subjects and even exploited them.

Doctrine of Lapse

  • Lord Dalhousie was one of the chief architects of the British Empire in India. He was an imperialist.
  • He adopted a new policy known as Doctrine of Lapse to extend British Empire.
  • He made use of this precedent and declared in 1848 that if the native rulers adopted children without the prior permission of the Company, only the personal properties of the rulers would go to the adopted sons and the kingdoms would go to the British paramount power.
  • This principle was called the Doctrine of Lapse.
  • It was bitterly opposed by the Indians and it was one of the root causes for the great revolt of 1857.

Factors for the success of the British

  • Greater naval power.
  • Development of textile. Scientific division of labour.
  • economic prosperity and skilful diplomacy of the British.
  • Feelings of insecurity among the Indian merchants.
  • The inequality and ignorance of the Indian kings.


  • The Battle of Plassey was the foundation of British dominion in India.
  • The company’s administration was not for the interests of people. It was imperialistic, expansionist and exploitative.
  • It brought more Indian territories under British domain through subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse.
  • This policy led to a South Indian rebellion (1800-01), Vellore Rebellion (1806) and the Great Rebellion (1857).

More to know:

1. Applying the Doctrine of Lapse policy, Dalhousie annexed Satara in 1848, Jaipur and Sambalpur in1849, Baghat in 1850, Udaipur in 1852, Jhansi in1853 and Nagpur in 1854.

2. The first Indian state to accept the Subsidiary Alliance was Hyderabad (1798). It was followed by Tanjore (1799), Auadh (1801), Peshwa (1802), Bhonsle (1803), Gwalior (1804), Indore (1817), Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur (1818).

3. Sir Elija Impey was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at Fort William in Bengal.

4. Sir Thiruvarur Muthusamy Iyyar was the first Indian Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.

5. Strength of British Army

  • Plassey war (1757): 1950 European infantry, 100 European artillery, 50 English sailors, and 2,100 Indian sepoys, an English army of 6000 troops was maintained in Bengal.
  • In 1857, the strength of the army in India was 3,11,400 of whom 2,65,900 were Indians. Its officers were British.

6. Satyendranath Tagore, the elder brother of poet Rabindranath Tagore, was the first Indian to pass the I.C.S. Examination in 1863.

7. The Black Hole tragedy (1756)

  • There was a small dungeon room in the Fort William in Calcutta, where troops of the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-ud-daula, held 146 British Prisoners of war for one night.
  • Next day morning, when the door was opened 123 of the prisoners found dead because of suffocation.

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