Battle of Buxar | The Battle of Buxar (22-23 October 1764) : UPSC Notes


 After the Europeans, especially the British, came to India and after some stability, conflict started between the British and the local kings in India and in this sequence, the Battle of Buxar (1764) was also fought.  The importance of the Battle of Buxar is more than other wars, hence let us understand it in detail-

Battle of Buxar :

Battle of Buxar

It was fought between Hector Munro of the East India Company and the armies of the Mughals and Nawabs around the city of Buxar on 22-23 October 1764.  The combined forces of Nawab Mir Qasim of Bengal, Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh, and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II were fighting the British Company. The British won the battle and as a result, the civil and revenue of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bangladesh were captured.  The rights passed into the hands of the British company.

Background of war

 Mir Jafar, who was defeated after the Battle of Plassey, was dependent on the East India Company for his protection and position.  He raised money with open arms, but the administration could not manage it, the situation was worsening due to army expenses, rebellions of landlords, revenue collection had declined, and company employees had started misusing Dastak.  

He used to sell it for a few rupees.  Due to this, the inflow of octroi sales tax was going on.  The treasury of Bengal was becoming empty.

The Company brought Mir Qasim, Jafar's son-in-law, to power. To this end, Henry Bannistott of Clive's heirs concluded a treaty with Mir Qasim on 27 September 1760, in which Qasim gave 5 lakh rupees and the districts of Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong to the company. Jaffar was then removed from power and Mir Qasim came to power. This event is called the Kanti of 1760. 

Mir Qasim solved the pressing problems like empty kingdom, rebel army, rebellious landlords and recovered the outstanding expenses.  Fulfilled the demands of the company and showed efficiency in every field.  Left his capital Munger, so that he could escape from the ill effects of the company.  Started modernization of army and administration.  

To stop the misuse of knock pass, he removed the octroi.  In March 1763, the company considered it a violation of its privileges and started pursuing it. 

 Even before the 1764 war, Nawab had lost to Major Adams in the battles of Katwa, Giriya, Udonala, and he got dozens of terrorists killed.

See also : Modern history detailed syllabus for UPSC

Opposition alliance of Awadh, Mir Qasim, Shah Alam- 

Mir Qasim appealed to the Nawab of Awadh for help, Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula being the most powerful at this time. The Marathas did not recover from the Third Battle of Panipat (1761), until the Mughal emperor, a refugee, befriended Ahmad Shah Abdali. Mir Qasim met him in January 1764. He bought his support in exchange for money and the province of Bihar, and Shah Alam joined them.

Result of war

 After the defeat in the Battle of Aksar, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam, who was already allied with the British, made a treaty with the British and took refuge in them.  There was a fight between Nawab of Awadh, Shuja-ud-Daula, and the British for a few days, but due to continuous defeats, Shuja-ud-Daula was also forced to surrender before the British and had to make a treaty with the British.

 Treaty of allahabad

After the end of the Battle of Buxar, Clive signed the First and Second Treaty of Allahabad with Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula respectively.  

First Treaty of Allahabad (12 August, 1765 AD)

◆ The company received the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from the Mughal Emperor ShahAlam II. 

◆ The company took the districts of Kara and Allahabad from the Nawab of Awadh and gave them to the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. 

◆ The company accepted to pay an annual pension of Rs 26 lakh to the Mughal emperor. 

Second Treaty of Allahabad (16 August, 1765 AD)

 This treaty was concluded between Clive and Shuja-ud-Daula. The terms of this treaty were as follows-

◆ The remaining territory of Awadh except Allahabad and Kara was returned to Shuja-ud-Daula.

◆ For the security of Awadh, an English army was kept in Awadh by the Company at the expense of the Nawab.

◆ The company got the facility to do tax-free business in Awadh.

◆ Shuja-ud-Daula was given the right to collect revenue from Raja Balwant Singh of Banaras as before.

Dyarchy in Bengal (1765-1772 AD)

The First Treaty of Allahabad was a landmark event in the history of Bengal as it set the background for the administrative changes that laid the foundation of the British administrative system. The Nawab's power came to an end and a system was born that was free from the responsibility of governance.

Dual rule means dual policy or dual governance. Robert Clive established dual rule in Bengal in which the Company had the right to collect 'Diwani' i.e. land revenue but the burden of administration was on the shoulders of the Nawab.

  The specialty of this system is also authority without responsibility and accountability without authority. Under this scheme, the company took the management of military protection, foreign trade policy and foreign trade in its hands and Indian officers were appointed for collecting revenue and justice. To collect revenue, Muhammad Raza Khan was made the Diwan of Bengal and Shitab Rai was made the Diwan of Bihar.

 Under this arrangement, out of the revenue collected by the Company, every year Rs. 26 lakhs were to be given to the Emperor and Rs. 53 lakhs to the Nawab of Bengal for carrying out the administrative work, the Company was free to keep the remaining amount with itself.

Questions on the Battle of Buxar : 

Mains question on the battle of Buxar : 

Q.1. Of all the battles fought by British in India, the Battle of Buxar paved the way for expansion and consolidation of British Empire in India. Examine. (250 words)

Q.2. The political and military importance of the battle of Buxar was more than the battle of Plassey.  Comment. (150 words)

MCQ. on the Battle of Buxar : 

1. The Treaty of Allahabad was signed between ?

a. Mir Qasim and Shah Alam

b. Mir Qasim and Shuja-Al-Daulah

c. Mir Jafar and Shah Alam

d. Shuja-Al-Daulah and Shah Alam

2. Which of the British governor established a dual system of government (Dyarchy) in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.

a. Lord Curzon

b. Lord Clive

c. Shuja- ud-Daulah

d. Shah alam

Answer the following questions on Battle of Buxar : 

1. What were the causes of the Battle of Buxar?

2. What were the key outcomes of the Battle of Buxar?

3. How did the Battle of Buxar impact British rule in India?

4. Who were the key leaders on the British, Mughal, and Nawab sides in the battle?

5. What role did the East India Company play in the Battle of Buxar?

6. How did the Battle of Buxar shape the course of Indian history during the colonial period?

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