Test: The East India Company And The Bengal Nawabs - 1


30 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | Test: The East India Company And The Bengal Nawabs - 1


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QUESTION: 1

When did Calcutta become the seat of a Presidency under the name of Fort William?

Solution:

In 1700 Calcutta became a separate presidency (administrative unit) accountable to London; until 1774 its governors, and thereafter until 1834 its governors-general, were given the added title “of Fort William in Bengal.” In 1756 the fort was taken by Sirāj al-Dawlah, nawab of Bengal.

QUESTION: 2

Which was the earliest instance of bitterness between the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah, and the East India Company?

Solution:

Colonel Robert Clive against Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal. Robert Clive of the British East India Company was actually the one who was declared victor of the Battle of Plassey, which took place 70 miles north of Calcutta in 1757.

QUESTION: 3

In 1756 Siraj-ud-daulah attacked a British factory at a place which produced silk. The place was

Solution:

On June 1, Siraj Ud Daulah's Army attacked the British factory of Cossimbazar (present-day Kasim Bazar), which was situated within a few km of Murshidabad, and garrisoned by some 50 men only, the defences being altogether inefficient.

QUESTION: 4

In 1756 Siraj-ud-daulah forbade the English and the French from strengthening their fortifications. The French agreed but the English didn’t. Why?

Solution:

When the newly enthroned nawab learned of the new fortifications, he immediately ordered them to halt their work and to raze any new construction, promising to protect both foreign enclaves from attack as his grandfather had before him. The French, realizing just how tenuous their position in Bengal really was, meekly replied that they were not building foreign fortifications, merely repairing their existing structures.

The British reacted differently. Roger Drake, the 35-year-old acting governor general of Calcutta, stated that they were only preparing for their own protection-strongly implying that the nawab would be powerless to provide it.

*Multiple options can be correct
QUESTION: 5

Which is TRUE about the attack on Calcutta by Siraj-ud-daulah in 1757?

Solution:

The correct option is Option A,C.

The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, aimed to seize Calcutta to punish the Company for the unauthorised construction of fortifications at Fort William. Siraj ud-Daulah caught the Company unprepared and won a decisive victory.

Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab's army, and also promised him to make him Nawab of Bengal. Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah at Plassey in 1757 and captured Calcutta. The battle was preceded by an attack on British-controlled Calcutta by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah and the Black Hole massacre.

QUESTION: 6

The Black-Hole Tragedy supposedly took place at

Solution:

The Black Hole of Calcutta was a dungeon in Fort William, Calcutta measuring 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet), in which troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, held British prisoners of war the night of 20 June 1756. John Zephaniah Holwell, one of the British prisoners and an employee of the East India Company, said that, after the fall of Fort William, the surviving British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers, and Indian civilians were imprisoned overnight in conditions so cramped that many people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion, and that 123 of 146 prisoners of war imprisoned there died.

QUESTION: 7

Chandernagar was the only French settlement in Bengal. It was captured in 1757 by the

Solution:

In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain, and Colonel Robert Clive of the British East India Company and Admiral Charles Watson of the Royal Navy bombarded and captured Chandernagore (Chandannagar) on 23 March 1757.

Lying ten miles up river from Calcutta, Chandernagore was the administrative centre of the French East India Company. Clive, "determined to eliminate" Siraj ud-Daulah Nawabs of Bengal, chose the capture of the French Fort d'Orleans and Chandernagore, as a first step. The French had a total of 16 guns against the Watson's HMS Kent (1746), HMS Tiger (1747), and HMS Salisbury (1746), and Clive's land forces. Though "the guns of the fort did a great deal of damage", including 37 killed and 74 wounded on the Tiger, the attack was successful.

In order to take the Fort d'Orleans guarding the town, Kent and Tiger managed to edge up the Hooghly river, although the French had tried to block it with sunken ships, booms and chains. When they were close to the fort, they opened fire with all guns, but took a great punishment from the French in the process.

The battle there was one of the many fought between the French and English on the sub-continent during the Seven Years' War. It gave the East India Company effective control of Calcutta and the Bengal hinterland. The French who escaped took shelter with the Nawab, whom Clive shortly afterwards defeated at Plassey. Britain finished the war as the dominant European power in India, and was well-placed to take advantage of the weakening political and economic power of the Moghul Empire. Chandernagore's capture was the first step in the British driving the French from Bengal.

QUESTION: 8

Which one of the following sided with the English against Siraj-ud-daulah, despite being one of the commanders of the latter’s forces

Solution:

Mir Jafar Ali Khan, a close associate of Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah, decided to support the company and Commander Khadim Khan also joined the league. These rivalries caused the Battle of Plassey that was fought in 1757 and due to his close acquaintances’ betrayal Siraj-Ud-Daulah was defeated, imprisoned and then killed.

QUESTION: 9

In 1757 the English had re-captured Calcutta from Siraj-ud-daulah. This was mainly due to the help from the enemies of the Nawab and the aid that came from

Solution:

The battle took place at Palashi (Anglicised version: Plassey) on the banks of the Hooghly River, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north of Calcutta and south of Murshidabad, then capital of Bengal (now in Murshidabad district in West Bengal). The belligerents were the Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and the British East India Company. Siraj-ud-Daulah had become the Nawab of Bengal the year before, and he ordered the English to stop the extension of their fortification. Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab's army, and also promised him to make him Nawab of Bengal. Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah at Plassey in 1757 and captured Calcutta.

The battle was preceded by an attack on British-controlled Calcutta by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah and the Black Hole massacre. The British sent reinforcements under Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Charles Watson from Madras to Bengal and recaptured Calcutta. Clive then seized the initiative to capture the French fort of Chandernagar.

QUESTION: 10

Which is TRUE about the treaty of 1757?

Solution:

The Treaty of Alinagar was signed on 2nd January 1757 between Robert Clive of the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, Mirza Muhammad Siraj Ud Daula. Based on the terms of the accord, the Nawab would recognize all the provisions of Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar's farman of 1717. Moreover, all British goods that passed through Bengal would be exempt from duties. In other tenets of the agreement, the British would not be hindered from fortifying Calcutta, as well as mint coins in Calcutta. The signing of the treaty was one of the events leading up to the famous Battle of Plassey.

QUESTION: 11

Siraj-ud-daulah was betrayed by some of his associates. Match these officials with the positions/status they enjoyed:

Solution:

The correct option id B.
They are correctly matched.

QUESTION: 12

Who was chosen to act as mediator between the English and Siraj-ud-daulah and later was fooled by Robert Clive?

Solution:

History records the broker of Plassey’s treachery as another trader in Bengal, a Punjabi Khatri called Amin Chand. He is said to have cemented the deal between Clive and Mir Jafar, but then blackmailed the British saying he would tell Siraj ud Daulah unless he was paid Rs 30 lakh. 

Clive went along, but duped him with a fake signature on their agreement, and Amin Chand is said to have fainted in shock on finding out. But later books show that Amin Chand was back in British favour and doing business with them.

QUESTION: 13

The Battle of Plassey was fought on

Solution:

The Battle of Plassey was fought in north-eastern India on 23 June 1757. Troops of the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive, came up against the forces of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last Nawab of Bengal, and his French allies.

QUESTION: 14

The major part of Siraj-ud-daulah’s army was led by two traitors who took no part in the Battle of Plassey. They were

Solution:

C is the correct option.The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in 1757. Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, commander-in-chief of Siraj-ud-daulah of making him the next Nawab which resulted in betrayal from Mir Qasim and victory of the British.

QUESTION: 15

What happened to Siraj-ud-daulah after the Battle of Plassey which the English won?

Solution:

A is the correct option.Siraj-ud-Daulah was executed on 2 July 1757 by Mohammad Ali Beg under orders from Mir Meerun, son of Mir Jafar in Namak Haram Deorhi as part of the agreement between Mir Jafar and the British East India Company. Siraj-ud-Daulah's tomb is located at Khushbagh, Murshidabad.

QUESTION: 16

What was the significance of the Battle of Plassey?

Solution:

The victory in the Battle of Plassey was important for the British East India Company because it gave it a foothold in Bengal that it used to expand throughout the rest of India. For example, Clive is credited with expanding the military capabilities of the British East India Company in the region around Bengal.

QUESTION: 17

 After the Battle of Plassey, the East India Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in

Solution:

The beginning of British political influence over India may be traced to the battle of Plassey in 1757, when the English East India Company's forces defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal.
As result of the Battle of Plassey, the English proclaimed Mir Jafar the Nawab of Bengal and set out to gather the reward i.e. the company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa.

QUESTION: 18

Mir Jafar, the new Nawab of Bengal, repented his bargain with the English, because the latter soon drained his treasury.

Who remarked “the single aim of the Company’s officials was to grasp all they could; to use Mir Jafar as a golden sack into which they could dip their hands at pleasure”?

Solution:

As Colonel Malleson has put it, the single aim of the Company's officials was “to grasp all they could; to use Mir Jafar as a golden sack into which they could dip their hands at pleasure”.

QUESTION: 19

Who ordered that Bengal should pay the expenses of the Bombay and Madras Presidencies and purchase out of its revenue all the Company’s exports from India?

Solution:

Battle of (1764) marked the final ascendancy of the English in Bengal. After the battle of palashi (I757), the English east india company was seized with bottomless greed, believing that the wealth of Bengal was inexhaustible. The Directors of the company, therefore, ordered that Bengal should pay the expenses of the Bombay and Madras Presidencies and purchase out of its revenue all the company's exports from India. The company was bent upon using its control over the nawab of Bengal to drain the wealth of the province. mir jafar, the new nawab of Bengal, soon discovered that it was impossible to meet the full demands of the company and its officials who, on their part, began to criticise the nawab for his incapacity in fulfilling their expectations. Therefore, they forced him to abdicate in favour of his son-in-law, mir qasim, who rewarded his benefactors handsomely. He, however, belied English hopes, and soon emerged as a threat to their position and designs in Bengal. He believed that since he had paid the company and its servants adequately for putting him on the throne, they should now leave him alone to govern Bengal.

QUESTION: 20

In 1759 Mir Jafar was forced to seek the help of a power against the English. It was the

Solution:

The correct option is C.

Jafar initially showed loyalty to Alivardi Khan's successor Siraj Ud Daulah, but betrayed him to the British in the battle of Plassey. ... Mir Qasim formed an alliance to force the British East India company out of East India. The Company soon went to war with him and his allies.

QUESTION: 21

In October 1760, Mir Jafar was abdicated in favour of his son-in-law, Mir Qasim who gave the Company the zamindari of

Solution:

Mir Qasim was the Nawab of Bengal from the year 1760 till 1764. The British East India Company made him the Nawab of Bengal by replacing Mir Jafar, the father-in-law of Mir Qasim, who was also installed by the British in reply to his treachery in the Battle of Plassey. Since Mir Jafar engaged himself with the Dutch East India Company to assert independence, the British finally defeated Mir Jafar and the Dutch forces at Chinsura and made Mir Qasim the new Nawab of Bengal. Mir Qasim gave Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong districts to the company.

QUESTION: 22

Mir Qasim was deposed. Mir Jafar was again made the Nawab of Bengal in

Solution:

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764 between the forces under the command of the British East India Company led by Hector Munro, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim the Nawab of Bengal, Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh, and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. With the defeat in Buxar, Mir Qasim was eventually overthrown. Mir Jafar managed to regain the good graces of the British; he was again installed Nawab in 1764 and held the position until his death in 1765.

QUESTION: 23

 Mir Qasim was an efficient ruler. Which action of his was disliked most by the East India Company?

Solution:

Mir Qasim and his attempts to curb the misuse of the Firman of 1717, caused unrest in the British EIC. He refused to levy disadvantageous tarrifs on the native trades and craftsmen of bengal. He refused to give the British goods a free pass and tried to make the indian traders more efficient and competitive. He also introduced a set of agricultural reforms. This he was an efficient ruler who was not particularly liked by the English.

QUESTION: 24

The Company’s servants illegally sold the dastaks or free passes to friendly.

Solution:

The Company's servants illegally sold the dastaks or free passes to friendly Indian merchants who were thereby able to evade the internal customs duties. These abuses ruined the honest Indian traders through unfair competition and deprived the Nawab of a very important source of revenue.

QUESTION: 25

Which drastic step of Mir Qasim greatly angered the Company?

Solution:

Mir Qasim nawab of Bengal (1760-1763). He was put on the throne of Murshidabad by the east india company, replacing his father-in-law Mir Jafar, on 20 October 1760. During the time of his reign, the Calcutta Council revolted against a modest 9 percent duty on European traders' private goods as against a duty of 40 percent for the Indians, and refused to admit the right of the local faujdars or police officers to adjudge disputes. Though the duty was reduced from 9 percent to 2 1/2 percent on salt, the company rejected the right of the nawab's officers to interfere. Mir Qasim's attempt to enforce discipline through his faujdars was one of the immediate causes of the company's breach with him. The nawab retaliated, decided to abolish customs duties on internal trade altogether, thus giving his own subjects a concession that the English had seized by force. But the alien merchants were no longer willing to tolerate equality between themselves and the Indians. They demanded the re-imposition of duties on Indian traders. Thus, there could be no compromise between the company's servants, who were determined to assert their supremacy in Bengal, and the nawab's resolve to be master in his own house, and therefore, war was inevitable.

QUESTION: 26

The new capital of Mir Qasim was

Solution:

After the Battle of Chinsura, the British deposed Mir Jafar and placed his son in law Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal. Mir Kasim, soon began to show a will of his own, and to cherish dreams of independence. He eventually shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger in Bihar where he raised an independent army.

QUESTION: 27

Mir Qasim formed an alliance with

Solution:

C is the correct option.Mir Qasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the Resident. Mir Qasim allied with Shuja-ud-Daula of Avadh and Shah Alam II, the itinerant Mughal emperor, who were also threatened by the British. However, their combined forces were defeated in the Battle of Buxar in 1764.

QUESTION: 28

The Battle of Buxer was fought between Sirajud-daulah and his allies and the English on

Solution:

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company, led by Hector Munro, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal till 1763.

QUESTION: 29

Which of the following fled from the battlefield at Buxer?

Solution:

Although Oudh ruler Shuja-ud-Daula was the one of the allies of Mir Qasim in the Battle of Buxar, Robert Clive did not want to annex Oudh. Rather he wanted to impose obligation upon Oudh through friendly relations, as there were threats of attack from the two strong power of the time- the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Abdali and the Marathas.

QUESTION: 30

The English won the Battle of Buxar. The state of which Shuja- ud-daulah was the ruler was a their mercy after the battle. The state was

Solution:

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company, led by Hector Munro, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal till 1763. Mir Jafar was made the Nawab of Bengal for a second time in 1763 by the Company, just after the battle. After being defeated in 4 battles in Katwa, Giria and Udaynala, the Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, accompanied by Raja Balwant Singh of Kashi made an alliance with Mir Qasim. The battle was fought at Buxar, a "small fortified town" within the territory of Bihar, located on the banks of the Ganga river about 130 kilometres (81 mi) west of Patna; it was a decisive victory for the British East India Company. The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Allahabad in 1765.