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Question 1

What were the reasons for the decline of the Mughal Empire?

The reasons for the decline of the Mughal Empire were:-
  • Local Subadars and zamindars began asserting their authority and establishing regional kingdoms.

  • Powerful regional kingdoms emerged in various parts of India.

  • There was no effective control over the entire region in the centre.

  • The British started emerging as a political power.

Question 2

How and when did the British East India Company set foot in India?

In 1600, the East India Company acquired a licence to trade, from Queen Elizabeth I, of England. The company got the sole right to trade with Eastern countries. No other company in England was given the right to trade.
Question 3

Which were the other trading Companies that came to the Indian shores?

The Portuguese traders landed in the western coast of India, and established themselves in Goa. Later during the 17th century the Dutch also started trading in India. Soon after the Dutch the French entered the Indian shores.
Question 4

What were the commodities that these companies traded in?

The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British companies traded in:-
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Pepper
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon


Question 5

What was the result of the competition between the trading companies from different European countries?

This competition resulted in fierce clashes between the trading companies and the sinking of each others ships. They blocked routes and prevented rival ships from moving with supplies of goods.
Question 6

How did the East India Company establish trade in India and enter the political scene?

East India Company started its first factory in West Bengal, on the banks of the River Hugli, in 1651. As trade developed, the Company asked local merchants, who acted as middle 'men for them, to come and settle near the 'factory'. By 1696, the Company built a fort around the settlement of merchants. In 1698, the company got zamindari rights for 3 villages, from the Mughal ruler. Thus they entered the political scene in India.
Question 7

Give a brief note on the Battle of Plassey.

The battle of Plassey took place on 23 June 1757 at Palashi, West Bengal, India, on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. The opponents were Siraj Ud Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, and the British East India Company.

The French East India Company sent a small contingent to fight against the British East India Company. The British East India Company used Siraj-ud-Daulah's deposed army chief - Mir Jafar, to defeat Siraj-ud-Daulah. Siraj-ud-Daulah was captured and executed.
The Company won the battle and took the entire province of Bengal and appointed Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Bengal.
Question 8

What were the rules followed by the British East India Company while occupying the Indian States?

The Company did not launch an attack on a territory or state it did not know. It appointed its Residents in the Indian states. These Residents were their agents and they had to serve in the best interest of the Company and were used to interfere in the internal affairs of the state.

States were not allowed to have an independent army; they were protected by the Company's army. The states had to pay for the maintenance of the army and if they failed to do so, a part of their territory was confiscated in lieu of the payment.
Question 9

What were the powers enjoyed by the Residents appointed by the Company?

Residents appointed by the Company were very powerful. The Indian Nawabs were expected to agree to every rule laid down by the Resident. The Nawabs should be submissive to the British Government and this was ensured by the Resident. If any Nawab acted against the Resident, it resulted in war.
Question 10

What did Tipu Sultan do that resulted in wars against the Company?

In 1785 Tipu Sultan stopped the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through the ports of his kingdom and barred local merchants from trading with East India Company.

Tipu Sultan then started trading with the French Merchants. He also took the help of the French to modernise his army. This enraged the British and they waged wars against Tipu Sultan.
Question 11

When and between whom did the 3rd Battle of Panipat take place?

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on January 14, 1761 at Panipat between the Marathas and the Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Abdali
Question 12

Give a brief note on the wars between the Marathas and the British East India Company?


Three wars were fought between the British and the Marathas.

First Anglo-Maratha War: - The first war ended with the Treaty of Salbai. There was no decisive victory after this war.

Second Anglo-Maratha War: - The second war resulted in the British gaining Orissa, Agra and Delhi.

Third Anglo-Maratha War: - The third war broke the power of the Marathas. The Company now had complete control over the territories south of the Vindhyas.
Question 13

Give a brief description of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the most able administrators and rulers in India. He was the founder of the Maratha Empire in India. With his flawless warrior skills and unlimited courage, he ruled the Deccan region, parts of central India and parts of modern day Pakistan with a firm hand. It was due to his efforts that the Mughals faced a decline in their empire. Using guerrilla warfare techniques, he was successful in annexing a major portion of the Mughal Empire.
Question 14

Describe the policy of "paramountcy".

Lord Hasting introduced the policy of "paramountcy" in India. Under this policy the Company claimed that its authority was paramount or supreme, hence its power was greater than that of Indian states.
Question 15

What was the 'doctrine of lapse'?

Lord Dalhousie devised a policy that was known as the Doctrine of Lapse. The doctrine declared that if an Indian ruler died without a male heir his kingdom would "lapse", that is, become part of Company territory. One kingdom after another was annexed simply by applying this doctrine.

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