india

The Dutch were like the Phoenicians, an empire without colonies, the lords of the seas and controlled the world market of spices, pepper was worth what gold and they decided to speculate with its price; with this situation of despair, the English decided to go by themselves to look for it; private shareholders with the support of Queen Elizabeth raised a capital of 68,373 thousand pounds, founding the British East India Company.

The Crown gave a period of 2 years to verify the profits and return of investment. The expeditions of the Company were regulated by a royal charter, whose internal management was regulated by a «private council», a governor, a committee of 24 people and the Crown, it was the perfect type of a regulated company.

When the British arrived in India, other European powers had already occupied it, however the British Company expanded rapidly and over time had a strong presence located in three main stations: Fort St. George, Fort William and the Castle of Bombay , the stations were under the orders of a board of directors appointed in England.

The British allied with the Nawabs in exchange for security against the rebels and any form of external and internal attack. The Nawabs would give a concession in exchange for their safety and protection, however they had competition at home, the French Company of the East Indies which had become a threat to their interests.

The nawabs were the provincial rulers of the Mughal Empire, before the death of the heir, the two companies clashed to place a puppet that served their interests, the French candidates usurped the office with a Siraj through manipulations and assassinations. The British Company knew that the only way to ensure their survival was to replace Indian power with a monarch who served their interests, so they decided to send their army under Robert Clive.

Robert Clive despite not being a strategist of great talent, nor a particularly experienced soldier combined his military skills with an innate gift for administration and politics and decided to face the French at dawn on June 23, 1757.

The nawabs army consisted of 40,000 war elephants and more than 50 cannons and 50 French artillerymen, this one was commanded by Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal and Mir Jafar, legitimate heir of the kingdom of Bengal, who was also commander, and had as his lieutenant Omichund, who had been bought by the English to agree with Mir Jafar.

Clive had bribed Mir Jafar via Omichund who betrayed Siraj and put himself on his side, the French artillery fired the first shot that served as a signal for Nawab’s army to participate in a heavy and continuous fire. The British forces refused to respond to the attack at the beginning and after three hours of fighting the British army withdrew to restructure their strategies

It was the time of the monsoon storms in Plassey and the English protected their artillery in an attempt to prevent gunpowder and ammunition from being damaged by rain. On the other hand, the nawabs were not so foresighted and could not preserve their ammunition and armament from the incessant rain. After the storm the exchange of gunfire continued, but English superiority began to become evident.

The water ruined Siraj’s artillery and gunpowder, but much of the army rebelled against its General and laid down its arms at the most critical moment, encouraged by the bribes of Mir Jafar who had betrayed his own kingdom, with the promise of power and wealth.

The victory in Plassey was due in part to the tenacity, discipline and high morale of the British troops that were decisive factors in the outcome of the battle, although they were supported by the nature of the environment and the vile nature of men, because the promises, bribes and pacts made by the British Company helped the army commanded by Clive not to suffer considerable losses.

The Company placed puppet governments in various parts of India and signed a treaty with Mir Jafar, legitimate heir of the kingdom of Bengal, who abdicated in favor of the British East India Company, thanks to the support of Omichund, who was no longer needed and was relegated by the English, from whom he never obtained any benefit, and when he realized the deception, he went mad.