- In 1498, Vasco da Gama successfully discovered a new sea route from Europe to India, which paved the way for direct Indo-European commerce.
- He reached Calicut (Kerala) on May 17, 1498, where he was received by king Zamorin.
- The Portuguese established their trading centre at Calicut, Cochin and Cannore.
- Cochin was the earlier capital of Portuguese in India. Later Goa replaced it.
- Francisco Almeida was the firstViceroy of the Portuguese in India.
- Alfonso Albuquerque succeeded Almeida as governor in 1509.
- He captured Goa from the ruler of Bijapur in 1510.
- Governor Nino da Cunha transferred the capital from Cochin to Goa (1530).
- The Portuguese lost Surat to the English.
- The Portuguese king presented Bombay to his son-inlaw Prince Charles II of England as dowry.
- After Albuquerque, the Portuguese began to decline and, in the end, they were left only with Goa, Diu and Daman, which they retained till 1961.
- In 1602, the Dutch East India company was established by a charter of Dutch parliament with a power to make war, acquire territory and build fortress.
- The Dutch East India company established their factories at Machlipatnam (1605), Pulicat (1610), Surat (1616), Bimilipatnam (1641), Baranagar, Patan, Balasore , Nagapattnam (all in 1658) and Cochin (1663).
- Pulicat was the Dutch’s main centre in India till 1690, after which Nagapattnam replaced it.
- The Dutch conceded to English after their defeat in the Battle of Bedara in 1759.
- The East India Company established its first factory in Surat.
- Captain William Hawkins arrived at Jahangir’s court (1609) to seek permission. A farman was issued by Jahangir permitting the English to build a factory at Surat (1613).
- Sir Thomas Roe came to India as ambassador of James I to Jahangir’s court and established factories in different parts of the Empire.
- The first French factory was established at Surat by Francois Caron in 1668. The French had their factory at Masulinpatnam also.
- They also occupied Mahe in the Malabar, Yanam in Coromandel and Karikal in Tamil Nadu.
- They eventually established at Chandranagar and Pondicherry.
- The British East India company had very humble beginning in India. By 1623, the British established their factory at Surat, Broach, Ahmedabad, Agra and Masulipatnam.
- The conditions in South India were favourable for the British because the strong kingdom of Vijaynagar had been overthrown and the region was ruled by petty and weak rulers.
- The English opened their first factory in South at Masulipatnam in 1611. But they soon shifted the centre of their activity to Madras, the lease of which was granted to them by the local rajah in 1639. The English built a small fort around the factory called Fort St. George.
- On 11 May 1661, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal, placed Bombay in possession of
the British Empire, as part of dowry of Catherine to Charles.
- The island of Bombay was acquired by the East India Company from the British Government in 1668.
- In 1717, the company secured from emperor Farrukh Siyar a firman confirming the privileges granted in 1691 and extending them to Gujarat and Deccan.
- Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula sieged the English factory at Kasim Bazar on 20th June 1756. Fort William was surrendered but Robert Clive recovered Calcutta in Jan 1757.
- The Battle of Plassey was fought on 23rd June 1757. Owing to a conspiracy, the Nawab was defeated.
Mir Jafar (1757-60)
- The Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It received the Zamindari of 24 Parganas.
- Mir Jafar, however, fell into arrears and was forced to abdicate in favour of his son-in-law Mir Qasim.
- He was again placed on the throne.
Mir Qasim (1760-64)
- Mir Qasim ceded Burdwan, Midnapore and Chittagong. He shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Monghyr.
- Mir Qasim soon revolted as he was angry with the British for misusing the dastaks (free duty passes). However, having been defeated by the British, he fled to Awadh, where he formed a confederacy with Shuja-ud-Daula and Shah Alam II.
Battle of Buxar (1764)
- Shuja-ud-Daula, Shah Alam II and Mir Qasim were defeated by Munro.
- On Mir Jafar’s death, his son Nizam-ud-Daula was placed on the throne.
- Nizam-ud-Daula signed a treaty on 20th February, 1765, by which the Nawab was to disband most of his army and to administer Bengal through a Deputy Subedar nominated by the company.
- Clive concluded two separate treaties of Allahabad with Shuja-ud-Daula and Shah Alam II.
- Dual system of government started in Bengal. The Company acquired both Diwani and Nizamat rights from Nizam-ud-Daula, the new nawab of Bengal. But the company did not take over direct administration and revenue collection.
- Warren Hastings ended the dual system of government in 1772.
First War (1767-69)
- Haider Ali defeated the British. The Treaty of Madras (1769) was signed.
Second War (1780-84)
- Warren Hastings attacked the French port at Mahe, which was in Haider Ali’s territory.
- Haider Ali led a joint front with the Nizam and Marathas and captured Arcot.
- In 1781, Haider Ali was defeated at Porto Novo.
- The Treaty of Mangalore (1784) was signed by Tipu Sultan.
Third War (1790-92)
- The Marathas and the Nizam aided the British in this war. Cornwallis captured Bangalore. Tipu ceded half of his territories by the Treaty of Seringapatnam (1792) .
Fourth War (1799)
- Lord Wellesley attacked and Tipu died.
First War (1746-48)
- The first Carnatic War was the fallout of the Austrian war of succession, in which France and England were in opposite camps. The English navy under Barnett captured a few French ships. The French Governor, Dupleix, besieged Madras, in 1746 both by land and sea.
- Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle (1748): By this treaty the war of Austrian succession ended.
Second War (1750-54)
- Dupleix aligned with Muzaffar Jung (Hyderabad) and Chanda Sahib (Carnatic).
- After initial victories for the French, Robert Clive finally emerged victorious.
Third War (1758-63)
- War of Wandiwash (1760): It was a war between the French under Conte de Lally and the British under Sir Eyre Coote. It was the decisive battle in Anglo-French struggle.
- The French surrendered in 1761.
- Pondicherry was returend to the French by the Treaty of Paris.
Permanent Settlement (1793)
- Permanent Settlement introduced by Cornwallis on the basis of an enquiry conducted by Sir John Shore.
- Introduced in Bengal, Orissa and district of Banaras and northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
- It declared the Zamindar the owner of the land. They had to fix the rate of land revenue. They kept for themselves 1/11 of the collected revenue and 10/11 was provided to the British.
Ryotwari System (1820)
- It was introduced in Bombay, Madras and Assam.
- It was recommended by Thomas Munro (Governor) and Charles Read Elphinstone.
- In this system, direct settlement of land revenue was made between government and ryot (cultivator).
- The revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years, on the basis of quality of land nature of crops.
- The position of cultivator became more secure but the rigid system of revenue collection often forced him into the clutches of the moneylender.
- The government retained right to increase the rate of land revenue and cultivators were left to the wishes of Government officers.
Mahalwari System (1822)
- It was recommended by Holt Mackenzie.
- This modified version of Zamindari System was introduced in the Ganga Valley, the North West Frontier Province, parts of central India and Punjab.
- Revenue settlement was to be made by village or estate owners. In western UP a settlement of Mahal consisted of a group of villages.
- Revenue was periodically revised.