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From Trade To Territory
What attracted European trading companies to India?
The fine qualities of cotton and silk produced in India had a big market in Europe. Pepper, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon too were in great demand and thus attracted European traders to India
What were the areas of conflict between the Bengal nawabs and East India Company?
Through the early 18th century the conflict between the Company and the nawabs intensified. The nawabs refused to grant the company concessions and demanded large tributes for the company’s right to trade.
They denied its right to mint coins and stopped it from extending its fortifications.
Accusing the Company of deceit, they claimed that the company was depriving the Bengal government of huge amount of revenue and undermining the authority of the nawabs.
The company on its part declared that the unjust demands of the local officials were ruining the trade of the company and the trade could flourish only if they were removed.
How did the assumption of diwani benefit the East India Company?
Earlier East India Company had to buy most of the goods in India with gold and silver coins imported from Britain. Now revenues from India could finance company’s expenses. These revenues could be used to purchase cotton and silk textiles in India, maintain company troops and meet the cost of building company’s forts and offices at Calcutta.
Who were the Nabobs?
Nabobs were those who managed to return to England leading flashy lives and flaunted their riches. They were called Nabobs or Anglicized version of the Indian term nawabs. They were often seen as upstarts and social climber in British society and were ridiculed or made fun of in plays and cartoons.
Explain the Doctrine of Lapse
The final wave of annexation occurred under Lord Dalhousie. He devised a policy came to be known as the Doctrine of Lapse. The Doctrine declared that if an Indian ruler died without a male heir his kingdom would lapse i.e become a part of company territory .One kingdom after another was annexed simply by applying this doctrine.
Explain the system of Subsidiary Alliance
Sometimes the company forced the states into a subsidiary alliance. According to the terms of this alliance Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces. They were to be protected by the company but had to pay for the forces maintained for the purpose of this protection. If the Indian ruler failed to make the payment the part of their territory was taken away as penalty.
In what ways the administration of the company was different from that of Indian rulers?
In earlier times India was ruled in accordance with local customs and traditions. There were no uniform laws for the whole country. Under the British a set of uniform rules was made for the whole country. This was written down and codified and the country was ruled accordingly to this.