History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2002: Q.1 (a)
Q.1 (a) “The verdict at Plassey was confirmed by the English victory at Buxar.” Comment.
The seeds of British imperialism sown at Plassey flowered after the Battle of Buxar, a fact that makes the latter battle historically more important. It finally consolidated British rule in Bengal, the Nawab was reduced to a mere figure-head, the Company started an unchecked plundering of the wealth of Bengal, the Nawab of Oudh turned to a submissive ally and the Mughal emperor was reduced to thriving on an allowance from the Company.
The Battle of Plassey is important because of the events that folllwed it and most important among those events was the Battle of Buxar, which confirmed the verdict of the Battle of Plassey. This is because of the following reasons:
(1) The Battle of Plassey was hardly important from the military view-point. It was a mere conflict. No military superiority was shown by the English army. The battle was won by conspiracy, deceit, bribery and immoral acts. The victory of British in Plassy was confirmed in the Battle of Buxar.
The Battle of Buxar proved the military superiority of the English and exposed the inherent weakness of the native force. It was militarily more important than Battle of Plassey as Battle of Buxar was won by military might not deceit.
(2) The Battle of Plassey made possible for the British to attempt the conquest of whole India. It added to the company’s prestige and a single stroke raised them to the status of major contender for the Indian Empire.
But it was the Battle of Buxar which resulted in the establishment of British sovereignty in Bengal.
(3) If Plassey saw defeat of the Nawab of bengal, Buxar saw defeat of Mughal Emperor and powerful Oudh also.
The Battle of Buxar brought out the political weaknesses and military shortcomings and the hollowness of the Mughal Empire.
(4) The Treaty of Allahabad heralded the establishment of the rule of the East India Company in one-eighth of India with a single stroke.
While the Battle of Plassey secured a foothold for the British East India Company in India, the Battle of Buxar made them the dominant force in India. Buxar war completed the work of Plassey.
(5) The battle of Plassey helped in strengthening the financial position of the English East India Company. The company had got the monopoly over the trade of Bengal. The battle of Plassey followed the subsequent plunder of Bengal as Bengal was placed at the disposal of the English vast resources, which got confirmed after the battle of Buxar.
The East India Company, after the battle of Buxar, gained dominance over entire Bengal. The Mughal emperor came fully under the control of British. All duties and revenues from the most prosperous Indian province (Bengal, Bihar and Orissa) went to the company. It also gained administrative power by controlling the army, finances, and revenues.
(6) After the battle of Buxar, with the wealth of Bengal, the British could conquer other regions of India. The supremacy of the British was established in the Eastern parts of India. Buxar finally riveted the shackles of company’s rule upon Bengal.
Hence, the verdict of Plassey was confirmed by the English victory at Buxar.
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