The Facts about the Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey occurred on 23rd June 1757 between the British and the Indians in Bengal. It took place in Palashi which was a small village between Calcutta and Murshidabad. This battle is regarded as one of the most decisive wars in India because it eventually sealed the rule of British East India Company in Bengal and the defeat of Indian troupes against colonialism in this region.
What triggered the Battle of Plassey?
The Battle of Plassey was triggered by two major things. The leader of Bengal, Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah sent a warning to the British to cease their rule over Calcutta. This is because the British rulers in Calcutta allowed free trade to flourish and gave tax waivers leading to losses for Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah.
When the British rulers failed to heed to this warning, the Nawab decided to attack them and he took captives from the British camp. These captives were held in a small prison called the Black Hole. Ideally the Black Hole was supposed to host six prisoners at a time, yet the Nawab miscalculated and ordered for all the 146 prisoners captured in the raid to be held in the small prison. This led to the death of most of these captives with only 23 surviving the ordeal. The British upon hearing this, decided to attack Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah and capture Bengal.
What happened during the Battle of Plassey?
One of the advantages that Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah had over his British enemies was his military prowess. He had a large army of over 50,000 soldiers. In addition to this, the Nawab had also solicited help from the French who were the archrivals of the British in India. The British were thus compelled to use a different tactic in order to win against this Nawab.
The leader of the British troupe, Colonel Robert Clive decided to bribe some of the discontent men in Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah’s camp. Amongst these included one of the demoted commanders in chief of the Nawab’s army, Mir Jafar and the Jagat Seths.
When the Battle of Plassey began, the bribed soldiers did not fight against the British as expected. Instead, some stood and watched while others abandoned their weaponry and ran away. Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah’s army thus suffered during this battle. The acts of the traitors greatly troubled the Nawab and he, too fled during the battle. This led to the British winning the Battle of Plassey and subsequently occupying the Bengal territory.
What were the consequences of the Battle of Plassey?
After the Battle of Plassey, Mir Jafar was instituted as the new Nawab of Bengal. He helped the British in capturing his predecessor, Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah who was later killed. Apart from taking over Bengal, the British also signed a treaty that required the Indians to pay them for any previous losses in terms of trade gains. The amount signed for was more than 2million pounds. However, Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah’s wealth was not enough to pay the British off hence this debt was split into two. The traitors who helped the British were not paid anything and one of them, Ochimund, went insane upon learning about their fate. The defeat and subsequent rule of Bengal by the British also thwarted any hopes of the French gaining authority in India.
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