download (21)

How did the British Empire take over India?  Fall of Mughal Empire

A historical journey that begins with the foundation and early challenges faced by the British East India Company during its rise to power in India

In the year 1600, the British East India Company embarked on its journey with the intention of initially engaging in commerce in the Spice Islands of Southeast Asia. In order to counteract the fierce competition that they faced from the Dutch, they refocused their efforts on India. Their early attempts in Indonesia were unsuccessful due to the Dutch’s dominance, despite the fact that they were successful. With the intention of achieving better opportunities, the Company shifted its focus to India and established its first factory in Surat in the year 1608.

Finding Your Way Through Political Terrains

While the Company was operating under the influence of the vast and powerful Mughal Empire, it encountered difficulties in obtaining trading permissions. Their initial efforts to establish a foothold in Surat were unsuccessful because the Portuguese, who were in favour with the Mughal rulers, were able to achieve their goals. After this, strategic shifts were implemented, which resulted in the establishment of important factories in areas that were not directly under Mughal control. One such region was Machlipatnam, which is located in Andhra Pradesh.

Strategic Engagements and Expansion

Through diplomatic manoeuvres in the year 1615, Sir Thomas Roe was finally successful in securing trading rights from Emperor Jahangir, which was a significant step forward. The establishment of numerous factories in a variety of cities in India led to the flourishing of the Company’s trade in a variety of commodities, including cotton, indigo, silk, and other goods.

The Acquiring of Power and Authority by the Company

An unprecedented grant of rights from the English monarchy in the vicinity of the year 1670 provided the East India Company with political, economic, and military authority. This granted the company the ability to acquire territories, form alliances, and even wage wars, which was a monumental step for a corporate entity. Nevertheless, their unfortunate conflict with the Mughals in 1686 proved to be disastrous, resulting in defeat, fines, and the reinstatement of trading privileges.

The Mughal rule was fragmented, which led to the consolidation of control.

An Era of Internal Supplications

Following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, the Mughal Empire struggled with internal strife and power struggles, which paved the way for the rise of regional powers such as the Marathas. Both the external dangers posed by Persia and the instability of the financial system further weakened the central authority, which ultimately led to the establishment of local sovereign control.

The Company’s Operations and Strategies for Growth and Expansion

By strategically establishing Residents in various regions, enforcing Subsidiary Alliances on local rulers, and expanding its territorial control, the East India Company was able to capitalise on the weakened Mughal Empire. This was accomplished through the utilisation of alliances, political manipulations, and military might.

Transition to British Hegemony: The Intricacies of the Political Landscape

The Treaty of Allahabad, which was signed in 1765, was a momentous occasion that marked a turning point. It granted the Company the authority to govern Bengal and established its position as the de facto ruling entity. As a result of the Doctrine of Lapse, the British government was able to annex a number of territories, which ultimately led to the assumption of control by the British government in the year 1858.

The End of an Era: From the Rule of Companies to the British Raj and Their Legacy and the Impact Made After 1857

The First War of Independence, also known as the Revolt of 1857, ultimately led to the establishment of the British Raj and marked the end of the rule of the Company. By the year 1874, the British East India Company had ceased to exist, which marked the end of the company’s significant influence over the Indian subcontinent.

Alteration of the Political System in India

After the year 1857, the decline of the Mughal Empire and the establishment of the British Raj reshaped the socio-political landscape of India. This marked the end of a significant chapter in the history of the region.