The early period of Modern India witnessed the growth of Company Rule in India. The Company Rule in the Indian sub-continent is also referred to as Company Raj. It was the rule of the British East India Company that extended to many parts of India. It is believed to have begun in the year 1757 after the end of Battle of Plassey. The Nawab of Bengal gave up his powers to the company, making it strong and powerful.
The Battle of Buxar took place on the 22nd of October in 1764 between the British East India Company troops under the leadership of Hector Munro and an army alliance of Mir Qasim, Mughal King Shah Alam II, and the Nawab of Awadh. The victory of the British East India Company in the battle proved to be a crucial and decisive win.
The Anglo-Mysore Wars occurred in the final three decades of the 18th century. They were a series of wars between the British East India Company, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Maratha Confederacy on the one hand, and the Kingdom of Mysore on the other.
The First Anglo-Mysore War was fought between 1767 and 1769. Hyder Ali, the Sultan of the Mysore Kingdom, achieved some measure of victory over the British, nearly gaining control of Madras. The Treaty of Madras came into being at the request of the government of Madras when Hyder organized an attack towards it. During the first war, the Nizam of Hyderabad entered into an alliance with the British.
During the second Anglo-Mysore War that took place between 1780 and 1784, the stakes were higher and the war bloodier. The Mysore troops were under the command of Tipu Sultan. The war came to an end in 1784 with the signing of the Treaty of Mangalore.
The Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-1792) was set off when Tipu, the ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, attacked Travancore, a British-allied state. The war lasted for three years with the Mysore Kingdom suffering a heavy defeat. The signed treaty, known as the Treaty of Seringapatam, brought the war to an end. According to the treaty, Tipu Sultan had to give up about half of his empire to the British East India Company together as well as its allies.
The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War was fought in 1799 and resulted in the death of Tipu, the Sultan of Mysore. It also caused a further decline of the kingdom’s territory. The Mysorean kingdom’s alliance with the French was its greatest undoing because it made the kingdom seem like a threat to other territories.
The Anglo-Maratha Wars were fought between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire. They were a series of three wars that started in 1775 and ended in the year 1818.
The First Anglo-Maratha War began in 1775 and ended in 1782. It started with the Surat Treaty and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Salbai. The Second Anglo-Maratha War took place between 1803 and 1805. TheThird Anglo-Maratha War also referred to as the Pindari War was fought from 1817 to 1818. It was during this war that the British East India Company achieved a decisive victory. It was left with the control of large parts of the Indian sub-continent.
These were wars fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. The First Anglo-Sikh War occurred between 1845 and 1846 and resulted in the Sikh Kingdom’s partial subjugation. The Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849) ended in 1849.
The Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856 is an act that legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows. It was enacted during the rule of the British East India Company and was observed in all of the company’s jurisdictions. It is one of the most notable laws of the company.
The Great Indian Rebellion of 1857 was primarily a protest against the reign of the British East India Company. It posed a real threat to the powers of the company in the Indian sub-continent. The revolt was important because it led to the dissolution of the company in 1858. It was also through this revolt that the Indian natives began to fight for self-rule.
The Indian sub-continent was directly governed by the British monarch after the dissolution of the British East India Company. The colonial government made efforts to strengthen its rule by using the courts and legal frameworks to deal with dissent. It is by this strategy that the Indian Penal Code was established. The British Raj also made significant investments in infrastructures such as roads, telecommunication, railways, and irrigation systems.
In 1905, the Province of Bengal was partitioned into a western portion that was mostly made up of Hindus and an Eastern side that was largely Muslim. It was viewed by the population as a strategy to divide and rule.
The Non-Co-operation Movement that started in 1919 led by Mahatma Gandhi played a vital role in the fight for independence. It was caused by oppressive colonial laws such as the Rowlatt Act. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was also a factor that led to the movement.
The Khilafat Movement (1919-1924) took place simultaneously with the Non-cooperation Movement. It was focused on improving Hindu-Muslim unity as well as pressurizing the colonial government not to do away with the Ottoman Caliphate. It collapsed when Turkey moved towards secularism. Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha of 1930 was also another civil movement organized to protest the monopoly of the colonial government over salt production.
The three round-table conferences were organized by the British government to discuss requests for constitutional reforms in India and self-rule. There were major points of disagreement during the series of conferences. During the last session, the reforms proposed were reflected in the Government of India Act, 1935.
The All India Forward Bloc was formed by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939 after he resigned from the India National Congress. The movement favored complete Indian independence.
Quit India Movement was launched on the 8th of August, 1942. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi. The movement demanded an end to the British rule. The peaceful movement, however, was not making meaningful gains. While in exile, Subhas Chandra Bose organized the Indian National Army in 1942 the help of Japan and waged a guerrilla war against the colonial government.
The UK Cabinet Mission to India in 1946 aimed to resolve the transfer of power from the British government to the leadership of India. The Indian Independence Act, 1947 gave the British-Indian territories independence. It partitioned the territories into India and Pakistan.
Major events in the post-independence history of India include the India- Pakistan War (1948), the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi (30th January 1948), the India-China War (1962), the Second war with Pakistan (1965), the Third war with Pakistan (1971), the Nuclear device test by India (1974), and Economic Reforms in India (1991).
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