Decoding the Battle of Plassey of 1757!

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Battle of Plassey

The infamous Battle of Plassey of 1757 was a watershed moment in Indian history and led to the establishment of British rule in India. The battle took place between Robert Clive, who headed the East India Company, and Siraj-Ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal who had seized control of Calcutta with help of French troops. The battle between the two forces was a skirmish rather than a war, as the British army outranked Siraj’s army in terms of numbers, strategy, and experience. Keep reading to find out all the details about the Battle of Plassey!

Date 23 June 1757
Location Palashi, Bengal Subah
No. of People Killed  500+
Result British victory
Territorial changes Bengal annexed by the British East India Company

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What is the Battle of Plassey?

It is a war between Robert Clive’s East India Company and Siraj-Ud-Siraj-Ud-Siraj-Ud-Siraj-Ud- Daulah’s Daulah’s Daulah’s Daulah’s (Nawab of Bengal). Siraj was enraged by EIC officials’ widespread abuse of trade privileges. The battle of Plassey was fought in 1757 as a result of EIC’s continued mistreatment of Siraj-Ud-Daulah.

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What Led to the Battle of Plassey?

Siraj-Ud Daulah was the last independent Nawab of Bengal, he took the throne in 1755 by succeeding his maternal grandfather, Alivardi Khan. Two years into his reign, Nawab of Bengal decided to take back the control of Calcutta from the British forces with the help of the French East India Company. The strained relationship between Siraj-Ud Daulah and the British was a result of misuse of trade privileges and the fact that the latter openly supported the Nawab’s enemies and conspirators. This support and failure to comply with the trade rules angered Siraj-Ud-Daulah, which ultimately led to the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The Battle of Plassey was fought at Palashi, on the banks of the Bhagirathi river near Calcutta on June 23, 1757.

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Who Fought the Battle of Plassey?

The table below can help aspirants learn about the Battle of Plassey’s participants and their significance in the battle:

Participants of Battle of Plassey Role they Played in the Battle 
Siraj-Ud-Daulah or the Nawab of Bengal He was a part of the Black-Hole Tragedy (imprisoned 146 English persons who were lodged in a very tiny room due to which 123 of them died of suffocation). The East India Company’s flagrant abuse of trading privileges had a negative impact on him. He was also attacked and seized the English fort at Calcutta, which exposed their animosity.
Robert Clive of the East India Company He displeased Siraj-Ud-Daulah by giving political fugitive Krishna Das sanctuary and by abusing trade advantages to garrison Calcutta without the nawab’s approval.
Mir Jafar or the Commander-in-Chief of Nawab’s army The East India Company (EIC) bribed him because he wanted to be named Nawab by EIC for conspiring against Siraj-Ud-Daulah. During the Battle of Plassey, he cheated Siraj-Ud-Daulah.
Rai Durlabh (One of the Commanders of the Nawabs Army) He joined his army with Siraj-Ud-Daulah’s but did not participate in the battle but later on betrayed Siraj
Jagat Seth (Influential Banker) Involved in the plot that saw Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah imprisoned and eventually killed.
Omi Chand (Bengal Merchant) One of the main conspirators against the Nawab and a signatory to the treaty arranged by Robert Clive prior to the Battle of Plassey in 1757.
battle of plassey
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Causes of Battle of Plassey

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The most significant reasons that caused the Battle of Plassey were

  • Non payment of taxes by the East Indian Company.
  • Non performance of duties by East Indian Company.
  • Misuse of the trade privileges granted to East Indian Company by the Nawab of Bengal.
  • Fortification of Calcutta and Fort William by the East Indian Company without the permission of the Nawab of Bengal.
  • Extension of an asylum to Krishna Das, Nawab’s enemy, who had misappropriated government funds and fed the territory.
  • The infamous incident is popularly known as Black Hole of Calcutta. Many East India Company officials were killed in this incident as 100 were kept in one cell that was meant for 6 people. 

Angered by the increased fortification of Fort William and continuous betrayals of the British, the Nawab of Bengal captured the Calcutta Fort and imprisoned East India Company officials in a dungeon at Fort William. Following this incident, the East India Company sent Robert Clive from Madras to seize back British control of Calcutta and establish a British-friendly government in the province. Robert Clive meticulously planned an attack and bribed Mir Jafar, the commander in chief of Nawab of Bengal by promising to make him the next Nawab of Bengal. 

The Nawab lost the battle because of the treachery of Mir Jafar and lack of planning to protect their weapons in case of a downpour that happened on the day of the battle. Siraj-Ud-Daulah’s army of 50,000 soldiers, 40 cannons, and 10 war elephants was defeated in the battle by 3,000 soldiers of the East India Company headed by Robert Clive. After his defeat, Siraj-Ud-Daulah fled from the battle and was later killed by his own men. The Nawab’s army lost 500 men, most of them were key officials and severe casualties were also reported in the battle. 

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Effects of the Battle of Plassey

The effects of the Battle of Plassey of 1757 on the Indian continent are as follows:

Political Effects 

  • The French army were defeated at the Battle of Plassey.
  • The Nawab of Bengal, Mir Jafar, was crowned.
  • Mir Jafar was dissatisfied with his situation, so he incited the Dutch to attack the British in order to strengthen his position.
  • On November 25, 1759, the Dutch and British armies clashed in the Battle of Chinsura.
  • Mir Qasim was established as the Nawab of Bengal by the British.
  • In Bengal, the British became the most powerful European force.
  • Robert Clive was given the title “Lord Clive,” Baron of Plassey, and was elected to the British House of Commons.

Economic Effects 

  • India’s economy was severely affected.
  • Several rules and regulations were imposed by the British in Bengal.
  • The British ordered tax collection from the Bengal inhabitants. 
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Results and Outcomes of the Battle 

  • The direct result of the Battle of Plassey of the political growth of the East India Company and the political establishment of the British Empire in the state of Bengal. 
  • The Battle of Plassey is considered the start of British rule in India. 
  • After the defeat of the Siraj-Ud-Daulah, Mir Jafar was instated as the nawab of Bengal by Robert Clive.
  • The East India Company through Mir Jafar acquired Bengal’s trade and commercial control.
  • Major General Robert Clive was honoured by the British government for his victory in the Battle and conferred the title of a Lord in the year 1760 after his return to England.

A Short Note on Battle of Plassey

Battle of plassey
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The historic Battle of Plassey was fought in the year 1757 between the East India Company led by Major General Robert Clive and Siraj-Ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal. The strained relationship between Siraj-Ud Daulah and the British was the main cause of the battle. Britishers’ misuse of trade privileges and open support for Nawab’s enemies and conspirators angered Siraj-Ud-Daulah, who ultimately challenged the British by gaining control of Calcutta Fort and imprisoning the British officials. The battle was fought at Palashi, on the banks of the Bhagirathi river near Calcutta on June 23, 1757, and resulted in the defeat of the Bengal Nawab. 

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Best Books on the Battle of Plassey

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Battle of Plassey PPT

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Important Questions

Here are some important questions and answers on the Battle of Plassey:

What led to the Battle of Plassey?

The most significant reasons that caused the Battle of Plassey were –
Non-payment of taxes by the East Indian Company.
Non-performance of duties by East Indian Company.
Misuse of the trade privileges granted to East Indian Company by the Nawab of Bengal.
Fortification of Calcutta and Fort William by the East Indian Company without the permission of the Nawab of Bengal.
Extension of asylum to Krishna Das, Nawab’s enemy, who had misappropriated government funds and fed the territory.
The infamous incident is popularly known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. Many East India Company officials were killed in this incident as 100 were kept in one cell that was meant for 6 people. 

Who led the Battle of Plassey?

The Battle of Plassey was fought between Siraj-Ud-Daulah, Bengal Nawab and East India Company forces headed by Robert Clive.

In the course of history, when did the Battle of Plassey take place?

The Battle of Plassey occurred on 23rd June 1757.

Why is the Battle of Plassey considered to be historically famous?

The Battle of Plassey is said to be historically famous as it is the battle that led to the establishment of British Rule in India. 

Who fought the Battle of Plassey?

The Battle of Plassey was fought on 23 June 1757. Troops of the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive, came up against the forces of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last Nawab of Bengal, and his French allies.

What happened in the Battle of Plassey?

Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab’s army, and also promised to make him Nawab of Bengal. Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah at Plassey in 1757 and captured Calcutta. The battle was preceded by an attack on British-controlled Calcutta by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah and the Black Hole massacre.

Who was defeated in the Battle of Plassey and why?

The Nawab of Bengal, Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah was defeated by Robert Clive in the Battle of Plassey.

Who betrayed Sirajuddaula in the Battle of Plassey?

Sirajudduala was betrayed by Mir Jafar and was bribed by Robert Clive of East India Company

Is the Battle of Plassey and Buxar the same?

No, the two are not the same but are significant Indian battles. The battle of Plassey was fought in 1757 and the Battle of Buxar was fought in 1764.

This was all about the Battle of Plassey and the interesting facts about the most crucial event in Indian history. To know more about interesting historical legacies, events and facts, follow Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, and  Instagram!

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