[Topic wise IAS Modern Indian History Question Bank (1979-2015)]: (2) British Expansion in India

[Topic wise IAS Modern Indian History Question Bank (1979-2015)]: (2) British Expansion in India

British Expansion in India: Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.
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(i) Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar

1.”Buxar takes rank amongst the most decisive battles ever fought.” Comment. [1982, 20m]

2. “Thus ended the famous battle of Buxar, on which depended the fate of India and which was as gallantly disputed as was important in its results.” Comment. [1985, 20m]

3. “The revolution of 1760 (Bengal) was really no revolution.” Comment. [1987, 20m]

4. “By certain of his actions Clive has marred both the glory and usefulness of his work.” Comment. [1995, 20m]

5. “The verdict of Plessey was confirmed by the English victory at Buxar.” Comment. [1996, 20m]

6. After 1757 there grew up a State of Bengal which was a ‘sponsored state” as well as a “plundered state”. [1999, 20m]

7. “The verdict at Plassey was confirmed by the English victory at Buxar.” Comment. [2002, 20m]

(ii) Mysore

1. Why was Mysore considered a threat by the British to their possessions and mercantile interests in the south? Do you think that Tipu Sultan’s posturing became his undoing? [2009, 30m]

2. Examine the circumstance which led to the third Mysore War. Could Cornwallis have avoided it? [2006, 60m]

(iii) The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars

1. “The Treaty of Bassein, 1802 was‚ a step which changed the footing on which we, the English stood in western India. It trebled the English responsibilities in an instant.” Comment. [1983, 20m]

2. Trace the course of the Anglo-Maratha relations in the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Account for the ultimate defeat of the Maratha power by the British. [1984, 60m]

3. “Upon the whole, then, I conclude that the treaty of Bassein was wise, just and a politic measure.” Comment. [1986, 20m]

4. “……. the hunt of the Pindaris became merged in the Third Maratha War.” Comment. [1989, 20m]

5. “Anglo-Maratha War covering nearly nine years from the murder of Narayan Rao to the Treaty of Salbai emphatically discloses the vitality of the Maratha nation which had not been exhausted either by the disaster of Panipat or the death of their great Peshwa Madhavrao.” Comment. [1991, 20m]

6. “The treaty of Bassein, by is direct and indirect operations, gave the Company the Empire of India.” [1993, 20m]

7. How did the British establish their control over Maharashtra in the first two decades of the 19th century? Why did the Maratha challenge ultimately collapse? [1994, 60m]

8. The British “fought the First Maratha War in a period when their fortunes were at the lowest ebb”. Comment. [1998, 20m]

9. “The Treaty of Salbai (1782) was neither honorable to the English nor advantageous to their interests.” Comment. [2004, 20m]

10. “Upon the whole, then, I conclude that the treaty of Bassein was wise, just and a politic measure.” Comment.[2005, 20m]

(iv) Punjab

1. “Punjab’s fate after Ranjit Singh was foredoomed as the impulse of neo-Victorian Imperialism was bound to overwhelm it”. Elucidate [2010, 20m]

2.“Annexation of Punjab was part of a broad north-west frontier policy set in motion after the exit of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.” Critically examine [2015, 10 Marks]

(v) Others

1. Explain the British policy of ‘Subordinate union’ of Indian States with British India from 1858 to 1905. How did the Government of India implement this policy during this period? [1993, 60m]

2. “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so and a very advantageous, useful, humane piece of rascality it will be.” Comment. [1984, 20m]

3. “If we could States without political power, but as royal instruments, we should exist in India as long as our naval supremacy was maintained.” Comment. [1984, 20m]

4. “The British endeavored as far as possible to live within a Ring-Fence and beyond that they avoided intercourse with the chiefs.” Comment. [1987, 20m]

5. “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so, and a very advantageous, useful and human piece of rascality it will be.” Comment. [1990, 20m]

6. “No native state should be left to exist in India which is not upheld by the British power or the political conduct of which is not under the absolute control.” [1992, 20m]

7. “The British conquest of Sind was both a political and moral sequel to the first afghan war.” Comment. [1995, 60m]

8. “The British policy towards Indian States in 1818-1858 was one of isolation and noninterference tempered by annexation.” Comment. [1996, 20m]

9. The British conquered India‚ “in a fit of absent minded-ness”. [1997, 20m]

10. Sir Charles Napier said, “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so, and a very advantageous, useful, humane piece of rascality it will be.” Comment. [2000, 20m]

11. Towards the Princes, Canning adopted a policy of “punishing resistance and rewarding obedience.” Comment. [2000, 20m]

12. “Dalhousie changed the map of India with speed and thoroughness no campaign could equal.” Comment. [2001, 20m]

13. “The rise and expansion of British empire was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate policy and design.” Critically examine this statement. [2002, 60m]

14. Examine the essential principles of the Subsidiary Alliance system. How far did it contribute in making the British Company the supreme sovereign authority in India? [2005, 60m]

15.  How did the East India Company became the dejure power in India? [2009, 30m]

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