history of bengal during british rule

They succeeded in bringing Bengal under one ruler during the 12th century. The first European colonial settlement in Bengal was the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong. It was marked by extensive scientific and cultural advancements that crystallised the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture. [12] The capital Dhaka had a population exceeding a million people, and with an estimated 80,000 skilled textile weavers. From this suffix added to the Bung, the name Bengal arose and gained currency". Vijaya Sena, second ruler of the dynasty, defeated the last Pala emperor, Madanapala, and established his reign formally. The Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent absorbed Bengal into the medieval Islamic and Persianate worlds. By the 18th century, Mughal Bengal became a quasi-independent country under the nominal rule of the emperor in Delhi. Meghna Guhathakurta & Willem van Schendel (Edited) (2013) The Bangladesh Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers), Duke University Press Books, Pages: 568. However, the Indian National Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha forced the British viceroy Earl Mountbatten to partition Bengal along religious lines. Shashanka established a kingdom in the citadel of Gauda. [63], Bengal had a large shipbuilding industry. The largest seaport in British Bengal was the Port of Calcutta, one of the busiest ports in the erstwhile British Empire. The promotion of Bengali literature under the dynasty led to Bengali replacing the strong influence of Sanskrit in the region. For example, the Muslim sultan promoted the translation of Sanskrit epics like the Ramayana into the Bengali language. [86] Several rail companies were established in Bengal during the 19th century, including the Eastern Bengal Railway and Assam Bengal Railway. Last Updated: 11th January, 2020 23:31 IST History Written During British Rule, After Independence Overlooked Several Major Aspects: PM Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi said several important aspects of the country's history were overlooked by historians who wrote about it during the British rule and after Independence, and it seemed that the indigenous people of India did not exist at all. Dharmapala and Devapala were two great patrons of Buddhism, secular education and culture. During British rule, two devastating famines occurred costing millions of lives in 1770 and 1943. Their son, Maharaja Pratapnarayan, patronised literature and art, trade & commerce, as well as welfare of his subjects. The Company was no longer to merely trade with India, it was to use its control over the Nawab of Bengal to drain the wealth of the province. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers act as a geographic marker of the region, but also connects the region to the broader Indian subcontinent. The Nawab was forced to flee and was captured and put to death by Mir Jafar’s son Miran. In addition, he paid large sums as ‘gifts’ or bribes to the high officials of the Company. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased social and religious renewal and reform across his society, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism has been said to have been the foundation of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across the subcontinent. After permission from Mughal viceroy Shaista Khan in 1692, the French set up a settlement in Chandernagore. After India's independence in 1947, a referendum in Chandernagore gave a mandate to end colonial rule. They met for battle on the field of Plassey, about 30 km from Murshidabad, on 23 June 1757. [5] The Sultans exerted influence in the Arakan region of Southeast Asia, where Buddhist kings copied the sultanate's governance, currency and fashion. His wife Maharani Bhavashankari defeated the Pathan resurgence in Bengal[65] and her reign brought power, prosperity and grandeur to Bhurishrestha Kingdom. [75], During their occupation, the Marathas perpetrated a massacre against the local population,[76] killing close to 400,000 people in western Bengal and Bihar. This amounted to a direct challenge to the Nawab’s sovereignty. The first settlement of the Danish East India Company in Bengal was established in Pipli in 1625. Privacy Policy3. [70] There were also many Turkic immigrants. Under the Mughal Empire, Bengal was an affluent province with a Muslim majority and Hindu minority. [27], Stone Age tools found in the region indicate human habitation for over 20,000 years. The province was also well-known for its textiles, silk and saltpetre. The Marwaris migrated from Rajasthan in western India. The subedar was elevated to the status of a hereditary Nawab Nazim. The empire reached its peak under Emperor Dharmapala (770–810) and Devapala (810–850). Society: Few centuries of Muslim rule in India before the establishment of British rule, did not contribute to close social rela­tionship between the Hindus and the Muslims, nor was the relation between these two major communities based on social give-and-take. [36] Roman geographers also noted the existence of a large natural harbour in southeastern Bengal, corresponding to the present-day Chittagong region.[37]. An independent Bengal Sultanate was formed in 1352 and ruled the region for two centuries, during which a distinct form of Islam based on Sufism and the Bengali language emerged and the region was known as a major trading nation in the world. It had acknowledged the British government’s right to control all its activities; it had quietly accepted restrictions on its trade and power imposed in Britain by the British government; its right to trade with the East had been extinguished by the Parliament in 1693 when its Charter was withdrawn; it had paid huge bribes to the King, the Parliament, and the politicians of Britain (in one year alone, it had to pay £80,000 in bribes). The Prime Minister of Bengal, supported by Hindu and Muslim politicians, proposed a United Bengal as a sovereign state. W. W. Hunter, “Annals Of Rural Bengal,” vol. The French transferred sovereignty in 1952. Nationalism emerged in 19th-century British India both in emulation of and as a reaction against the consolidation of British rule and the spread of Western civilization. The Partition of Bengal in 1947 divided Bengal into the two separate entities of West Bengal belonging to India, and East Bengal belonging to Pakistan.This was part of the Partition of India and officially took place during August 14-August 15, 1947. He ordered both the English and the French to demolish their fortifications at Calcutta and Chandernagore and to desist from fighting each other. After the Conquest of Sylhet in the 14th century, the region was absorbed into Shamsuddin Firoz Shah 's independent principality based in Lakhnauti, Western Bengal. Thus, its control over Bengal was legalized and the revenues of this most prosperous of Indian provinces placed at its command. Maurer, Maurer. Britain also encouraged the formation of the Muslim League of India in 1907. The death of Devapala in 850 ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala dynasty and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. Militarily, they served as bulwarks against Portuguese and Burmese attacks. The first traces of West Bengal's history are recorded to belong to the Vedic era when the state was inhabited by myriads of people of varying origin and ethnicity. This Farman was a perpetual source of conflict between the Company and the Nawabs of Bengal. The Sylhet region in Assam joined East Bengal after a referendum on 6 July 1947. While Mir Qasim believed that he was an independent ruler, the English demanded that he should act as a mere tool in their hands, for had they not put him in power? For one, it meant loss of revenue to the Bengal government. Moreover, the two signed an alliance by which the Company promised to support the Nawab against an outside attack provided he paid for the services of the troops sent to his aid. The Koch Bihar Kingdom in the northern Bengal, flourished during the period of 16th and the 17th centuries as well as weathered the Mughals and survived till the advent of the British. The assembly was elected on the basis of the so-called "separate electorate" system created by the Communal Award. [57][58], The Adina Mosque was India's largest mosque. M. Mukerjee, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II, India Penguin, 2018. [35] The archaeological sites of Wari-Bateshwar and Chandraketugarh are linked to the Gangaridai kingdom. The Bengal renaissance refers to a social reform movement during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the region of Bengal in undivided India during the period of British rule. Garrett, have remarked: To engineer a revolution had been revealed as the most paying game in the world. The Governor of Bengal, who was concurrently the Governor-General of India, often sat on the council. A later ruler of the dynasty Ariraja-Danuja-Madhava Dasharatha-Deva extended his kingdom to cover much of East Bengal. The Portuguese eventually came under the protection of the Kingdom of Mrauk U as the Bengal Sultanate lost control of the Chittagong region. The three allies clashed with the Company’s army at Buxar on 22 October 1764 and were thoroughly defeated. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. A centre of rice cultivation and the world's main source of jute fibre; Bengal was one of India's largest industrial centers. Siraj-ud-Daulah had the statesmanship to see the long-term implications of the English designs. The battle of Plassey was of immense historical importance. The Islamic conquest of Bengal began with the capture of Gauda from the Sena dynasty in 1204. The French took the side of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah during the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The Nawab of Awadh, Shuja-ud-Daulah, was made to pay a war indemnity of five million rupees to the Company. Vanga was described as a thassalocracy with colonies in Southeast Asia. It includes modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Karimganj district, located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, at the apex of the Bay of Bengal and dominated by the fertile Ganges delta. The territories of the geopolitical divisions expanded and receded through the centuries. The history of Bengal is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal—a state of India—and East Bengal—a part of the newly created Dominion of Pakistan that later became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971. All the Nawabs of Bengal, from Murshid Quli Khan to Alivardi Khan, had objected to the English interpretation of the Farman of 1717. He expanded the empire beyond Bengal into Bihar, Assam, Odisha and likely Varanasi. West Bengal went to India, and East Bengal formed the eastern wing of Pakistan, which was bisected by a vast tract of northern India. The Company thus gained supreme control over the administration (or nizamat) of Bengal. In all, the English lost 29 men while the Nawab lost nearly 500. These kingdoms contributed a lot to the economic and cultural landscape of Bengal. They had compelled the Company to pay lump sums to their treasury, and firmly suppressed the misuse of dastaks. To read Bengal famine and Responsibility for Holocaust. He, therefore, took the drastic step of abolishing all duties on internal trade, thus giving his own subjects a concession that the English had seized by force. They are Bengal, Madras, and Bombay. Bengali ports were often free trade ports which welcomed ships from across the world. The battle was about to begin again. 9, p. 102, Om Prakash, "Empire, Mughal", History of World Trade Since 1450, edited by John J. McCusker, vol. Bengal was also the fostering ground for several prominent revolutionary organisations, the most notable of which was Anushilan Samiti. [28] Remnants of Copper Age settlements, including pit dwellings, date back 4,000 years. Early Hindu numerals had only nine symbols, until 600 to 800 CE, when a symbol for zero was developed for the numeral system. The first representative of the Danish crown was appointed in 1770. Most of all they disliked the Nawab’s attempts to check the misuse of the Farman of 1717 by the Company’s servants, who demanded that their goods whether destined for export or for internal use should be free of duties. Today our topic is resistance to the British in Bengal and consequences of such opposition. At the same time, the British stoked rivalries between Hindus and Muslims, which had lain dormant during the previous 500 years of Muslim rule. The Japanese aborted a planned invasion of Bengal from Burma. Calcutta became a profitable base. The advancement of civilisation in Bengal dates back four millennia. It was also understood that British merchants and officials would no longer be asked to pay any taxes on their private trade. The first European colonial settlement in Bengal was the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong. The directorate later became a colony of the Dutch Empire in 1725. Hindu nationalists in Bengal were determined to make Hindu-majority districts a part of the Indian dominion. Maharaja Rudranarayan consolidated the dynasty and expanded the kingdom and converted it into one of the most powerful Hindu kingdom of the time. The Bengal Legislative Council was the principal lawmaking body in the province. The English refused to comply as they felt strong after their victory over the French in south India. The lessons learnt there were profitably applied in Bengal. The East India Company and its servants had highly profitable trading interests in the province. Here they waited for aid from Madras and, in meantime, organised a web of intrigue and treachery with the leading men of the Nawab’s court. [59] Following the collapse of the Bengal Sultanate in the Battle of Raj Mahal in 1576, the Bengal region was brought under Mughal control as the Bengal Subah. At times, the region was unified into a single realm; while it was also ruled by pan-Indian empires. It also received the zamindari of the 24 Parganas near Calcutta. [74] The Marwari community continues to be influential in West Bengal's economic sectors. Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar issued a farman, allowing East India Company a dury-free trade in Bengal. English factories were established throughout Bengal. In 1877, when Victoria took the title of "Empress of India", the British declared Calcutta the capital of the British Raj. Here is a list of some major famines during British rule in India. The Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The reign of Ashoka ushered an era of social harmony, religious transformation, and expansion of the sciences and of knowledge. In 1955, Chandernagore became part of the Indian state of West Bengal. During the second half of the nineteenth century, particularly after […] In contrast to the Pala dynasty who championed Buddhism, the Sena dynasty were staunchly Hindu. Under Regulating Act, the Bengal Presidency gained control over the other two presidencies. The discovery of Gupta era coins across Bengal point to a monetised economy.[45]. [82] It received an official permission to trade from Mughal viceroy Shah Shuja in 1651. One of the sultans, Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah, kept a correspondence with the renowned Persian poet Hafez. Under the leadership of Robert Clive, British troops and their local allies captured Chandernagore in March 1757 and seriously defeated the Nawab on 23 June 1757 at the Battle of Plassey, when the Nawab's soldiers betrayed him. [10], Following the decline of the sultanate, Bengal came under the suzerainty of the Mughal Empire, as its wealthiest province. The citadel of Gauda served as capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Sen Empire (11th–12th century). And so, in October 1760, they forced him to abdicate in favour of his son-in-law, Mir Qasim, who rewarded his benefactors by granting the Company the zamindari of the districts of Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong, and giving handsome presents totaling 29 lakhs of rupees to the high English officials. British Rule in Bihar After the Battle of Buxar, 1764, the Mughals as well as the Nawabs of Bengal lost effective control over the territories then constituting the province of Bengal, which currently comprises the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Bangladesh. Bengal received many immigrants from West Asia, Central Asia, the Horn of Africa and North India during the sultanate and Mughal periods. An Afghan dynasty was the last royal house of the Bengal Sultanate. The Bengal Presidency had the highest gross domestic product in British India. He recovered control over all of Bengal and expanded the empire. The fourth Sena king, Lakshmana Sena, son of Ballala Sena, was the greatest king of his line. The area around Fort William eventually grew into the city of Calcutta. Control over Bengal played a decisive role in the Anglo-French struggle. The city is housed on the east bank of the Hugli (Hooghly) River, which was once the main channel of the Ganges (Ganga) River, about 96 miles (154 km) upstream from the head of the Bay of Bengal. From the 1850s, industry was centered around the capital Calcutta. Second, the power to issue dastaks for the Company’s goods was misused by the Company’s servants to evade taxes on their private trade. [53] Gradually, eastern Bengal was absorbed into Muslim rule by the 14th century, such as through the Conquest of Sylhet. [13] Its wealth and economic developments are believed to have waved the period of proto-industrialization.[14]. At the peak of its prosperity in the 18th century, the estate extended to around 5,000 square miles (13,000 km2) of territory[67] and even up to the early 20th century paid an annual revenue to the government in excess of 3,300,000 rupees. Provincial roots of Indian nationalism, however, may be traced to the beginning of the era of crown rule in Bombay, Bengal, and Madras. The property was sold to Bengali aristocrats, who exchanged the property several times until it became the property of the Dhaka Nawab Family. [19][20] Other accounts speculate that the name is derived from Venga (Bôngo), which came from the Austric word "Bonga" meaning the Sun-god. The 1886 famine in Orissa state killed over a million people and galvanised Indians into fighting against British colonial rule, writes historian Dinyar Patel. The centre of Indian culture and trade shifted from Delhi to Calcutta when the Mughal Empire fell. British rule in Bengal simultaneously promoted the forces of unity and division in the society. Modern education began in India under British rule. In 1352, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah unified the three small sultanates in Bengal into a single government. A Portuguese missionary published the first book on Bengali grammar. [87] Bengal hosted the most advanced cultural centers in British India. Ashoka sponsored the spreading of Buddhist missionaries to various parts of Asia. The Roman Catholic Church was established in Bengal by the Portuguese in Chittagong, when the first Vicar Apostolic was appointed in the port city. He came to power in 750 through an election by chieftains in Gauḍa. The Mughals built the provincial capital in Dhaka in 1610 with fortifications, gardens, tombs, palaces and mosques. There was extensive shipping with British Burma. The city-based Hindu middle classes became the fiery champions of All-India based nationalism. He crushed the Varendra Rebellion and tried to extend his empire farther to Kamarupa, Odisha and northern India. Fort William continued to be the capital of British-held territories in India. The British in Bengal were not unopposed. The battle of Plassey was followed, in the words of the Bengali poet Nabin Chandra Sen, by “a night of eternal gloom for India”. In 1666, the Mughal conquest of Chittagong resulted in the expulsion of Portuguese and Arakanese forces in the port city. The Bengal famine of 1943 occurred during World War II and caused the death of an estimated 2.1–3 million people. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in the expansion of Western education, culminating in development of science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali Renaissance. These abuses ruined the honest Indian traders through unfair competition and deprived the Nawab of a very important source of revenue. It was the most fertile and the richest of India’s provinces. The All India Muslim League was created during a conference on liberal education hosted by the Nawab of Dhaka in Eastern Bengal and Assam. Subedars were the Mughal viceroys in Bengal. Ibn Battua also visited the Sufi leader Shah Jalal in Sylhet, who had earlier defeated the Hindu ruler Govinda. It was either under Magadh or under Kalinga Rules except few years under Pals. Governors of Fort William in Bengal (1757-1772) 1. Seats were reserved for different religious, social and professional communities. The Deva dynasty was a Hindu dynasty of medieval Bengal that ruled over eastern Bengal after the collapse Sena Empire. Bengal once accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from Asia, particularly in terms of silk and muslin goods. Initially an advisory council with mostly European members, native Bengali representation gradually increased in the early 20th-century. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. The railway was created in Britain in 1825. But owing to strong Hindu agitation, the British reunited East and West Bengal in 1912, and made Bihar and Orissa a separate province. According to Sri Lankan history, the first king of Sri Lanka was Prince Vijaya who led a fleet from India to conquer the island of Lanka. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism. The dynasty was founded by the first Nawab of Bengal Murshid Quli Khan. His reign lasted between 590 and 625. According to economic historian Indrajit Ray, it was globally prominent in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding. Chief among these were Mir Jafar, the Mir Bakshi, Manick Chand, the Officer-in-Charge of Calcutta, Amichand, a rich merchant, Jagat Seth, the biggest banker of Bengal, and Khadim Khan, who commanded a large number of the Nawab’s troops. The zamindars included Muslims and Hindus. Lastly, the victory of Plassey enabled the Company and its servants to amass untold wealth at the cost of the helpless people of Bengal. Bengal was brought under the control of the short-lived Suri Empire. British Rule In India MCQ is important for exams like IBPS, SCC, UPSC, NET etc. The Danish company later gained permission from Nawab Alivardi Khan to establish a trading post in Serampore in 1755. This can be seen in the sculptures and architectural style of the Sailendra (present-day Malay Peninsula, Java and Sumatra). Eventually, the French presence in Bengal was only restricted to the colony of Chandernagore, which was administered by the governor in Pondicherry. By this treaty the Nawab was to disband most of his army and to administer Bengal through a Deputy Subahdar who was to be nominated by the Company and who could not be dismissed without its approval. The Company had been compelled to accept the authority of the Nawabs in the matter, but its servants had taken every opportunity to evade and defy this authority. [73] Many Manipuris settled in eastern Bengal during the 18th century after fleeing from conflict-ridden areas in Assam. Under the patronage of Sultans like Alauddin Hussain Shah, Bengali literature began replacing the strong influence of Sanskrit in the region. During theBritish rule in India there were approximately 25 major famines spread through states such asTamil Nadu in South India, Bihar in the north, and Bengal in the east; altogether, between 30and 40 million Indians were the victims of famines in the latter half of the 19th century (Bhatia1985). China responded by sending envoys, including the Treasure voyages; and mediating in regional disputes. [21][22][23], The term Bangalah is one of the precursors to the modern terms Bengal and Bangla. Sirajul Islam (edited) (1997) History of Bangladesh 1704–1971(Three Volumes: Vol 1: Political History, Vol 2: Economic History Vol 3: Social and Cultural History), 2nd Edition (Revised New Edition), The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Pages: 1846. [ 40 ], Bengal 's economic sectors well as secular learning promoted in the Fort Allahabad... 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