Murshid Kuli Khan

Murshid Quli khan was appointed as Bengal’s diwan by Aurangzeb as naib subedar and later as subedar in 1717 by Farukh Siyar.He was also granted the governorship of Orissa b.y the Emperor Farukh Siyar in 1719.The capital was shifted from Dacca to Murshidabad.He gradually assumed autonomy though he continued to pay tribute to Mughal Emperor.

He carried out reorganization of the finances through transfer of large parts of jagir lands into khalisa lands.He introduced the system of revenue farming.

He granted Takkavi loans to peasants for personal use,improved agriculture and for paying land revenues in times of famines. He reorganized administration giving equal opportunities of employment to Muslims and Hindus.

His policy of appointing local Hindu zamindars and moneylenders as revenue farmers led to the rise and growth of a new landed aristocracy in Bengal.

He gave impetus to the expansion of trade and commerce by encouraging Indian and foreign merchants providing security to them on roads and rivers checking private trade by officials.

He maintained strict control over the activities of foreign trading companies ;preventing the servants of East India Company from abusing the privileges granted to the company by the Mughal farmans of 1691 and 1717. He established law and order in the province by suppressing the rebellious zamindars.

Treaty of Alinagar (1757)

The treaty comprised:

  • A list of demands made by the Company
  • An agreement affirming to return to status quo
  • A number of farmans and dastaks issued by the nawab
  • As long as nawab shall observe his agreement,English will continue to support him.

All the trade privileges held earlier by the Company stood confirmed.Additionally the English were authorized to fortify Calcutta against possible French attack and issue their own coins.

Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757)

The treaty was violated by conquest of Chandannagore by the British in 1757.Siraj ud –Dhaula protested by offering protection to the French. The British decided to remove him through conspiracy. The battle of Plassey took place on June 23 ,1757.This battle saw the treachery of Mir Jafar and Rai Durlabh,bravery of small force and desertation of Nawab’s army.Siraj-ud –Dhaula was captured and executed by son of Mir Jafar.

Mir Jafar (1757-60)

Mir Jafar granted the right to free trade in Bengal and Bihar and Orissa and zamindari of the 24 parganas to the British besides paying them a sum of Rs 17.7 million as compensation.His period saw the beginning of the drain of wealth from India to Britain.He tried to replace the English with the Dutch but the Dutch were defeated by the English at Bedara in 1759.

Mir Qasim (1760-63)

Mir Qasim granted the zamindari of Burdwan,Midnapore and Chittagong to the British officials .he also paid them Rs 2.9 million.He introduced several revenue and military reforms to strengthen his position.His period saw the beginning of the conflict between the Nawab and the British for sovereign power.He transferred his capital from Murshidabad to Mongher.He stopped the misuse of the dastaks or free passes allowed to the company and abolished all duties on internal trade against British.

Battle of Bauxr

Mir Qasim fought against the British along with three allies – Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh and Shah Alam II.This battle led to their defeat by the British forces under Major Hector Munro.