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  • The Mughal Empire was an imperial power which ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries.
  • After the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in the year 1707, the Mughal Empire began to decline.
  • In 1600, the East India Company acquired a licence to trade, from Queen Elizabeth I, of England.
  • The Company started importing spices from the East Indies and became prosperous and it slowly conquered India and finally it governed India.
  • The company started taking more and more liberties from the Mughal rulers. This soon led to conflicts with the Nawab of Bengal.
  • The Nawabs had many demands against the East India Company.
  • These demands and accusations turned the company against the Nawabsand finally resulted in the Battle of Plassey.
  • The Battle of Plassey was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing British rule of India for the next 190 years.
  • After the defeat at Plassey, Sirajuddaulah was assassinated and Mir Jafar was made the Nawab.
  • As the Company flourished the Officials also made huge fortunes.
  • The British East India Company occupied many Indian states from the year 1757 to 1857.
  • In 1785 Tipu Sultan stopped the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through the ports of his kingdom and the barred local merchants from trading with East India Company.
  • The East India Company waged 4 wars against Tipu Sultan from 1767 to 1799 and during the last war at Seringapatam, Tipu Sultan was killed, and the State of Mysore was handed over to the Wodeyars, who had ruled Mysore before Tipu Sultan.
  • The British believed in the policy of ‘divide and rule’. This was evident in the way they destroyed the might of the Marathas.
  • Lord Hasting introduced a new policy of "paramountacy under which the Company claimed that its authority was paramount or supreme, hence its power was greater than that of Indian states.
  • Many Indian rulers protested against this and were killed as a result of it.
  • The spurt of annexations took place under Lord Dalhousie who was the Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.

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