British Conquest of India

British conquest of India

During the heyday of Mughal rule a number of europeans came to India gor trading. The Europeans were well organized as joint stock companies and set up their trading centres called factories in different regions of India. The Anglo-French trade rivalry and their subsequent attempt to interfere in the political affairs of India culminated into thw Carnatics qars. By the end of third carnatic the French were no longer a threat to the British.
           In the meanwhile the political situation was undergoing drastic changes in another important region of India,viz Bengal, which was one of the most fertile and prosperous parts of India. Siraj-ud-Daula, the Bengal nawab decided to take actions against the British and the Battle of Plassey (1757) took place with latter as victor. The subsequent activities of the British led to a final showdown in the form of their victory in Battle of Buxar (1764) , making them the real masters of Bengal , though formal authorities still remained with the Nawab.
With the victory of the British in the Carnatic wars and more importantly in the Bengal battle began the process of their conquest of India. By 1765 the British had not become the virtual rulers of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, buf also begun to dictate terms to the Nawabs of both Carnatic and Awadh. The British however had to conted with the Marathas for another half a century and also had to overcome the resistance of Hyderabad and Mysore states. Thus was a gradual process by the end of which, all parts of India came under British control .

Also read : The Civil Rights Movement

What do you know about the following?

(1) Arhar Movement
(2) Ghadr Party
(3) Red Shirts Movement 
(4) Aligarh Movement
(5) Lucknow Pact 
(6) Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
(7) Rowlatt Act 
(8) Poona Pact 

Ans. (1) Arhar Movement -

It was founded under the leadership of Maulana Mohammad Ali Hasan Imam, Hakim Ajmal khan, Maulana zafar Ali Khan and Mazhar-ul - Haq. It was a millitantly nationalist movement. They disliked the loyalist politics of Aligarh school. Moved by modern ideas of self government,they advocated active participation in militant Nationalist Movement.

Also read : The Revolt of 1857

(2) Ghadr Party -

It was formed by Lala Hardyal in San Fransisco, U.S.A in 1913. It's aim was to wage revolutionary war against British in India. It planned to start an uprising and fixed 21st February, 1915, as the date of an armed revolt in the Punjab. Plan unfortunately failed. It was the first democratic, secular and revolutionary upsurge aiming to free India from alien rule.

(3) Red Shirts Movement -

Under the leadership of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan , popularly known as the ' Frontier Gandhi' , the Pathans of North West Frontier organised the society of Khudai khidmatgars which popularly came to known as Red Shirts . They were influenced by the Civil Disobedience movement. The movement was pledged to Non - Violence and the freedom struggle .

(4) Aligarh Movement- 

Sayed Ahmad Khan liberalised Indian Islam and took upon the task of education, social reform and religious interpretations. He made Aligarh the centre of Muslim politics in India. His ideas and range of his activities and those of his followers are indicated by the term ' Aligarh Movement'. It was fully backed up by the British authorities.

(5) Lucknow Pact -

 The simultaneous annual sessions of the Muslim League and the Congress were held in Lucknow in December 1916. A joint scheme for political reforms was accepted by both the organizations. The agreement is generally known as the Congress -League Scheme or the 'Lucknow Pact '. It was the first and the last attempt to give India a system of government based on agreement between the Hindus and the Muslims.

(6) Jallianwala Bagh Massacre -

At this place in Amritsar General O ' Dwyer ordered firing on an unarmed peaceful crowd without warning , killing nearly 1000 people. This tragedy brought Gandhi into the fore front of Indian politics. Tagore renounced his knighthood and Congress boycotted the official committee of inquiry headed by Hunter .It introduced a dramatic change In the Indian political situation.

(7) Rowlatt Act -

The committee was headed by Sydney Rowlatt to investigate the native and extent of revolutionary activities . One bill  " The Anarchial and Revolutionary Crimes  Act " was passed in March 1919. It provided for :
(a) speedy trails of of offences by a special court.
(a) There was no appeal for this court .
(c)  Provincial Governments were empowered to search a place and arrest suspected person without warrant.

(8) Poona Pact -

 Gandhi 's fast unto death opposing the Communal Award of British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald resulted into Poona Pact by the efforts of Malviya, Ambedkar was brought to an agreement on 25 September 1932. A common electorate of all the Hindus were agreed upon . Firstly 148 seats were reserved for the Depressed Classes in Provincial Legislature. Secondly the reservation in Central Legislature went upto 18 percent.

Also read : The Battle of Buxar


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