With the advent of Europeans in India, the British East India Company gradually conquered Indian territories. The Battle of Buxar is one such confrontation between the British army and their Indian counterparts which paved the way for the British to rule over India for the next 183 years.
BATTLE OF BUXAR
It was a battle fought between the English Forces, and a joint army of the Nawab of Oudh, Nawab of Bengal, and the Mughal Emperor. The battle was the result of misuse of trade privileges granted by the Nawab of Bengal and also the colonialist ambitions of East India Company.
BACKGROUND OF THE BATTLE OF BUXAR
Before the battle of Buxar, one more battle was fought. It was the Battle of Plassey, that gave the British a firm foothold over the region of Bengal. As a result of the Battle of Plassey, Siraj-Ud-Daulah was dethroned as the Nawab of Bengal and was replaced by Mir Jafar (Commander of Siraj’s Army.) After Mir Jafar became the new Bengal nawab, the British made him their puppet but Mir Jafar got involved with Dutch East India Company. Mir Qasim (son-in-law of Mir Jafar) was supported by the British to become the new Nawab and under the pressure of the Company, Mir Jafar decided to resign in favour of Mir Kasim. A pension of Rs 1,500 per annum was fixed for Mir Jafar.
A few reasons which were the key to the Battle of Buxar are given below:
- Mir Qasim wanted to be independent and shifted his capital to Munger Fort from Calcutta.
- He also hired foreign experts to train his army, some of whom were in direct conflict with the British.
- He treated Indian merchants and English as same, without granting any special privileges for the latter.
- These factors fuelled the English to overthrow him and war broke out between Mir Kasim and the Company in 1763.
COMBATANTS OF THE BATTLE OF BUXAR
The table below will inform the participants of the battle of Buxar and their significance on the battle:
COURSE OF BATTLE OF BUXAR
When the battle broke out in 1763, English gained successive victories at Katwah, Murshidabad, Giria, Sooty and Munger. Mir Kasim fled to Awadh (or Oudh) and formed a confederacy with the Shuja-Ud-Daulah (Nawab of Awadh) and Shah Alam II (Mughal Emperor). Mir Qasim wanted to recover Bengal from the English. Read the course of battle in the points below:
- Mir Qasim fled to Oudh.
- He planned a confederacy with Shuja-Ud-Daula and Shah Alam II in a final bid to overthrow the English from Bengal Mir Qasim’s soldiers met the English army troops directed by Major Munro in 1764.
- The joint armies of Mir Qasim were defeated by the British. Mir Qasim absconded from the battle and the other two surrendered to the English army.
- The battle of Buxar ended with the Treaty of Allahabad in 1765.
RESULT OF BATTLE OF BUXAR
- Mir Qasim, Shuja-Ud-Daula and Shah Alam-II lost the battle on October 22, 1764.
- Major Hector Munro won a decisive battle and Robert Clive had a major role in that.
- English became a great power in northern India.
- Mir Jafar (Nawab of Bengal) handed over districts of Midnapore, Burdwan and Chittagong to the English for the maintenance of their army.
- The English were also permitted duty-free trade in Bengal, except for a duty of two per cent on salt.
- After the death of Mir Jafar, his minor son, Najimud-Daula, was appointed nawab, but the real power of administration lay in the hands of the naib-subahdar, who could be appointed or dismissed by the English.
- Clive made political settlements with Emperor Shah Alam II and Shuja-Ud-Daula of Awadh in the Treaty of Allahabad.
TREATY OF ALLAHABAD (1765)
Two important treaties were concluded in Allahabad between Robert Clive, Shuja-Ud-Daulah & Shah Aam-II. The key-points of the treaty of Allahabad are given below:
Treaty of Allahabad between Robert Clive & Shuja-Ud-Daulah:
- Shuja had to surrender Allahabad and Kara to Shah Alam II
- He was made to pay Rs 50 lakh to the Company as war indemnity; and
- He was made to give Balwant Singh (Zamindar of Banaras) full possession of his estate.
Treaty of Allahabad between Robert Clive & Shah Alam-II:
- Shah Alam was commanded to reside at Allahabad which was ceded to him by Shuja-Ud-Daulah under the Company’s protection
- The emperor had to issue a Farman granting the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company in lieu of an annual payment of Rs 26 lakh;
- Shah Alam had to abide by a provision of Rs 53 lakh to the Company in return for the Nizamat functions (military defence, police, and administration of justice) of the said provinces.
KEY - FACTS ABOUT BATTLE OF BUXAR
- After the Battle of Buxar, English did not annex Awadh even after Shuja-Ud-Daulah was defeated because it would have placed the Company under an obligation to protect an extensive land frontier from the Afghan and the Maratha invasions.
- Shuja-Ud-Daulah became a firm friend of British and made Awadh a buffer state between English and foreign invasions.
- The treaty of Allahabad with Mughal Emperor Shah Alam-II made emperor a useful ‘rubber stamp’ of the Company. Besides, the emperor’s Farman legalised the political gains of the Company in Bengal.