Battle of Buxar

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Battle of Buxar
Shah-alam-ii-mughal-emperor-of-india-reviewing-the-east-india-companys-troops-1781-1894 1247854.jpg
The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, as a prisoner of the
British East India Company
Date 22 October 1764
Location Near Buxar
Result British East India Company Victory
Participants
Flag of the Mughal Empire.svg [1] Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg British East India Company
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Mughal Empire.svg Shah Alam II [1] Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg Hector Munro of Novar
Strength
40,000
140 cannons
7,072
30 cannons
Casualties and losses
10,000 killed or wounded
6,000 captured
1,847 killed or wounded

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 23 October 1764 between the forces of the British East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined army of Mughal rulers.

The Mughal forces were drawn from three princely states, whose rulers were Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh, and the Mughal King Shah Alam II.[2]

The battle fought at Buxar, then within the territory of Bengal, a town located on the bank of the Ganges river about 130 km west of Patna, was a decisive victory for the British East India Company.

The combined Mughal forces numbered about 40,000 men, and Monroe's forces numbered about 10,000 men, of whom 7,000 were regular British Army men seconded to the East India Company. Reports of the battle say that lack of co-ordination between the various Mughal forces was the main reason for their defeat.[1]

Result[change | edit source]

The fate of the three defeated Mughal leaders varied. Shah Allam was forced to pay a fine of five million rupees. After negotiation, the Treaty of Allalabad was signed. All his pre-war possessions were returned except for the districts of Karra and Allahabad. He became a pensioner, with a monthly pension of 450,000 rupees. The Company later restored Allalabad to him. The Company got revenue authority (Diwani rights) for almost 100,000 acres of land in the modern states of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as in the neighbouring areas of Bengal. The Company's main aim was not to rule India, but to make money. Taxes were collected for them by a Company-appointed deputy-nawab.

Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula was restored to Oudh, with a subsidiary force and a guarantee of defence. Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, was ruined by the defeat. He had been the prime mover in the war, but afterwards he was deposed by the Company and rejected by Shuja-ud-Daula.

Consequence[change | edit source]

These arrangements made the British East India Company the virtual ruler of Bengal, since it already possessed decisive military power. All that was left to the Nawab was the control of the judicial administration. But he was later forced to hand this over to the Company in 1793. Thus the company's control was virtually complete.

In spite of all this the East India Company was again on the verge of bankruptcy, which stirred the British to make a fresh effort at reform. On the one hand Warren Hastings was appointed with a mandate for reform; on the other an appeal was made to the British state for a loan. The result was the beginnings of state control of the Company, and Warren Hastings was appointed Governor-General of Bengal from 1772 to 1785.

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sailendra Nath Sen, History of the freedom movement in India (1857-1947), p.2. New Delhi, India : New Age International (2009). ISBN 8122425763
  2. Parshotam Mehra 1985. A dictionary of modern history (1707–1947). Oxford University Press. ISBN 19-561552-2, 1985 ed., Oxford University Press