NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2: From Trade to Territory YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2: From Trade to Territory
  • After Aurangzeb there was no powerful Mughal Ruler in India
  • In 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar was the emperor when revolt with British started
  • Bahadur Shah Zafar was arrested by Captain Hodson
  • Britishers came as small trading companies and were interested in acquiring territories
  • Later they become masters of powerful territory (emerging from latter half of 18th century)

East India Company

  • In 1600, acquired Charter from Queen Elizabeth I to trade with East, this meant that no other trading group in England could compete with the East India Company
  • Buy goods at low price and sell them at high price
  • Acquire new lands worldwide
  • Mercantile trading companies made profit primarily by excluding competition, so that they could buy cheap and sell dear
  • But it couldn՚t prevent others from entering India.
  • Portuguese established themselves much before in Goa. (Vasco De Gama explored India in 1498)
  • Dutch were exploring possibilities in early 17th Century and French also came

What Was in Demand?

All traders from different countries demanded same commodities

  • Fine Cotton & Silk
  • Pepper
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon

They reduced the profits and tried to remove rival competitors

Steps taken in 17 - 18th century

  • Sank each other՚s ships
  • Blockaded routes
  • Prevented rival ships from moving with supplies of goods
  • Trade was carried on with arms
  • Trading posts were protected through fortification

This led to rise in conflicts

Trade in Bengal – East India Company

  • 1st English Factory – Near Hugli in 1651
  • Company traders or factors operated
  • Factory had warehouse where goods for export were stored & also had offices where Company officials sat
  • Company asked merchants and traders to settle near factories
  • 1696: Fort was built around settlement
  • Bribed Mughals to give Company zamindari rights for 3 villages (one was Kalikata or Kolkata) . Aurangzeb issued a farman (royal order) giving the right to trade duty free (but pay duty)
  • Company refused to pay duty – led to loss in revenue

From Trade to Battle

  • Bengal: Murshid Quli Khan was followed by Alivardi Khan and then Sirajuddaulah – all refused concessions, denied right to mint coins and expand forts
  • Company said unjust demand of local officials was ruining the trade

Battle of Plassey

  • Name from Persian “Palashi” or palash tree that flowers (used in Holi)
  • After Alivardi Khan died in 1756, Sirajuddaulah became the nawab of Bengal
  • Company wanted a puppet ruler and his rivals as nawab
  • Sirajuddaulah asked company not to interfere in political dominion & pay revenue
  • He marched 30,000 soldiers to factory at Kassimbazar, captured the Company officials, locked the warehouse, disarmed all Englishmen, and blockaded English ships.
  • Clive in Madras sent naval fleets to Bengal & led the battle
  • Sirajuddaulah lost as troops under Mir Jafar never fought, as Mir Jafar was promised by Clive to become nawab
  • Battle was the first major victory of Company in India
  • After the defeat at Plassey, Sirajuddaulah was assassinated and Mir Jafar made the nawab
  • Company wanted role in administration for expansion of trade
  • Sometimes puppet nawabs were not giving all rights to maintain their dignity
  • When Mir Jafar protested, Mir Qasim was made nawab
  • Mir Qasim was defeated in Battle of Buxar (1764) & Mir Jafar was reinstalled
  • Nawab had to pay ₹ 500,000 every month
  • After death of Mir Jafar in 1765, Clive ordered we must indeed become nawabs ourselves
  • In 1765: Company as Diwan of Province of Bengal
  • Diwani allowed company to use revenue resources of Bengal
  • Now revenues from India could finance Company expenses – to purchase textile, maintain troops, and build forts and offices

Robert Clive

  • He had come to Madras from England in 1743 at the age of 18.
  • In 1767, when he left India his Indian fortune was worth
  • He was appointed Governor of Bengal in 1764 to remove corruption in Company administration
  • In 1772, he was cross-examined by the British Parliament which was suspicious of his vast wealth.
  • In 1774, he was acquitted & committed suicide
  • Those Britishers who amassed wealth in India and moved back to Britain to led good life were known as “nabobs” - anglicised version of the Indian word nawab.

Expansion of Company Rule

  • No direct military attack
  • Use of political, economic and diplomatic methods
  • After Battle of Buxar, company appointed residents in Indian states – political agents to serve company՚s interest
  • Company forced the states into a “subsidiary alliance” . Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces. They were to be protected by the Company, but pay for the “subsidiary forces” that the Company was supposed to maintain. If payment was not made, territory was taken as penalty.
  • When Richard Wellesley was Governor-General (1798 - 1805) , the Nawab of Awadh was forced to give over half of his territory to the Company in 1801, as he failed to pay for the “subsidiary forces” . Hyderabad was also forced to cede territories on similar grounds.

Tipu Sultan – Tiger of Mysore (Ruler in 1782)

  • Direct military confrontation occurred in Mysore
  • Mysore grew under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan
  • Mysore controlled profitable trade of Malabar coast
  • In 1785, Tipu Sultan stopped export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom
  • Tipu Sultan established relation with French and modernized his army
  • Four wars were fought with Mysore (1767 - 69,1780 - 84,1790 - 92 and 1799) .
  • In last war, Battle of Seringapatam (combined attack of Marathas, Nizam of Hyderabad & Company) , company ultimately win a victory. Tipu Sultan was killed defending his capital Seringapatam
  • Tipu was forced to sign a treaty with the British by which two of his sons were taken away as hostages
  • Tipu՚s toy tiger kept in Victoria and Albert Museum in London & was taken away in 1799

War with Marathas

  • 1761: 3rd Battle of Panipat – War between Marathas and Ahmed Shah Abdali
  • Under different dynasties as Sindhia, Holkar, Gaikwad and Bhonsle – chiefs were held together in confederacy under a Peshwa (Principal Minister)
  • In 18th Century: Mahadji Sindhia and Nana Phadnis as main statesman
  • 1st Anglo- Martha War – Treaty of Salbai (1782)
  • 2nd Anglo-Maratha War - (1803 - 05) – British gained Odisha & north of Yamuna (Agra & Delhi)
  • 3rd – Anglo- Maratha War – (1817 - 19) – Marathas were crushed


  • From early 19th Century – Company went on with aggressive territorial expansion
  • Under Lord Hastings (1813 - 1823) – Paramountcy (authority was paramount or supreme, hence its power was greater than that of Indian states) was introduced


  • Annexation of Kitoor (Karnataka) - Rani Channamma led an anti-British resistance movement, was arrested in 1824 and died in prison in 1829. However, Rayanna, a poor chowkidar of Sangoli in Kitoor, carried on the resistance, he was caught and hanged in 1830
  • Controlled whole of south
  • British got fear from Russia trying to annex Asia and slowly started moving NW
  • War with Afghanistan (1833 - 42) & established indirect company rule
  • In 1843, Sindh was annexed
  • In 1849, Punjab was annexed after death of Ranjit Singh in 1839

Doctrine of Lapse

  • Lord Dalhousie, Governor-General from 1848 to 1856
  • If an Indian ruler died without a male heir his kingdom would “lapse” , that is, become part of Company territory
  • Annexed Satara (1848) , Sambalpur (1850) , Udaipur (1852) , Nagpur (1853) and Jhansi (1854)
  • Awadh in 1856 – stating they were obliged by duty to remove misgovernment & Nawab was deposed.
  • War of 1857 broke out – Awadh joined
Maps of Expansion of British Territorial Power in India

New Administration

  • Under Warren Hastings
  • British territories divided into Presidencies under Governors (Bengal, Madras and Bombay)
  • Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General, introduced several administrative reforms mainly in justice
  • Each district was to have two courts – a criminal court (faujdari adalat) under Qazi and a civil court (diwani adalat) under Mufti.
  • Warren Hastings was impeached for 7 years when he went back to England in 1785. Edmund Burke accused him of being personally responsible for the misgovernment of Bengal.
  • Brahman pandits gave different interpretation to Hindu Laws.
  • In 1775,11 pandits were asked to compile Hindu laws.
  • N. B. Halhed translated this digest into English.
  • By 1778 a code of Muslim laws was also compiled for the benefit of European judges.
  • Regulating Act of 1773: New Supreme Court was established, while a court of appeal – the Sadar Nizamat Adalat – was also set up at Calcutta
  • Indian district had collector whose role was to collect revenue and maintain law and order and his office was called Collectorate

Company Army

  • Cavalry (sawars: trained soldiers on horseback)
  • Infantry or paidal (foot) soldiers: Trained in archery (teer-andazi) and the use of the sword.
  • 18th Century: Awadh and Benaras recruited peasants in army
  • East India company recruited sepoy army
  • After 1820, cavalry decreased as fighting with Burma, Afghanistan and Egypt who used Musket and matchlocks (guns)
  • Steam technology came in early 19th century
  • Steamships reduced journey of 6 to 8 months to 3 weeks
  • By 1857, Company directly ruled 63 % territory and 78 % population

Slave Trade in South Africa

  • Dutch reached Africa in 17th century
  • People were captured and sold in slave markets
  • Slavery ended in 1834
  • In 1834, there were 36,774 privately owned slaves in Cape

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