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  • Shah Alam suffered the invasion of Ahmed-Shah-Abdali in 1761 and consequently granted the 'Diwani' of Bengal to the British East India Company, in 1765.
  • During the rule of the Mughal Empire, the Diwan served as the chief revenue officer of a province.
  • The East India Company was primarily a trading company and its interests lay basically in trading.
  • In 1770 a terrible famine killed ten million people in Bengal, so the Company had to resort to new policies to improve agriculture.
  • In 1786, Charles Cornwallis became the Governor-General of India (1786-1793). He made reforms in the civil and military service and personally led the campaigns that won British victory in the Third Mysore War. He distinguished himself in campaigns against Tipu Sultan.
  • A new system of revenue collection was introduced by the Company. This was necessary as the Company needed more revenue for trading.
  • To increase their revenue the British decided to cultivate in the Indian soil, crops that were in demand in Britain.
  • During the late eighteenth century the British started cultivating opium and indigo.
  • Indigo cultivation can be classified into two, The ‘Nij’ System of Cultivation and the ‘Ryoti’ System of Cultivation.
  • Indian farmers rebelled against being forced to grow indigo plants. In March 1859, thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow indigo. This was known as the ‘Blue rebellion’.

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