Why Was The Battle Of Plassey Fought?

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why was the Battle of Plassey fought

The Battle of Plassey was fought between the East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal. In 1757, the East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-Ud-Daulah, engaged in the Battle of Plassey. The conflict arose from the East India Company’s abuse of trade privileges, which angered Siraj-Ud-Daulah. The ongoing misconduct by the East India Company against the Nawab ultimately led to the battle. Robert Clive led the East India Company forces in the battle against Siraj-Ud-Daulah.

Causes of the Battle

The Battle of Plassey was primarily caused by the misuse of trade privileges by the British East India Company and the non-payment of taxes and duties by its workers. 

  • Additionally, the British fortifying Calcutta without the Nawab’s permission, misleading him on several fronts, and providing asylum to one of his fugitives were other factors that contributed to the conflict.
  • The East India Company had a significant presence in India, particularly at Fort St. George, Fort William and Bombay Castle. 
  • To ensure their safety and protection, the British formed alliances with Nawabs and princes, who promised concessions in exchange for security.
  • The issue between the East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-Ud-Daulah, began when the Nawab disrupted their alliance by seizing the fort of Calcutta and imprisoning several British officials in June 1756. 

This incident, which became known as the Black Hole of Calcutta, resulted in the death of many prisoners who were kept in a tiny cell. The East India Company decided to retaliate, and Robert Clive, their leader, bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab’s army, promising him the position of Nawab of Bengal in exchange for his support. 

Also Read – Battle of Buxar: Significance, Causes and Aftermath

The Facts Of The Battle

The Battle of Plassey took place on June 23, 1757, near Calcutta at Palashi on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. The battle lasted for 11 hours, during which the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive, defeated the Nawab of Bengal’s army. One of the reasons for the defeat of the Nawab was their lack of planning to protect their weapons during a heavy downpour. 

Additionally, Mir Jafar’s betrayal played a significant role in the outcome of the battle. The British had 3,000 soldiers, while the Nawab had 50,000 soldiers, 40 cannons, and 10 war elephants. The battle resulted in the loss of about 500 men from the Nawab’s army, including key officials. On the other hand, according to Robert Clive, only 22 men died and 50 were injured by his troops. After the battle, Siraj-Ud-Daulah fled the battlefield.

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