Context: On June 23, 1757, the Battle of Plassey led to the unlikely conquest of Bengal by Robert Clive’s army. 

About the Battle of Plassey:

  • Parties involved: The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud Daulah and his French allies on 23 June 1757.
  • It was fought under the leadership of Robert Clive. British won the war due to the defection of Mir Jafar Ali Khan, who was Siraj-ud-Daulah's commander in chief.
  • Location: The battle took place at Palashi (Anglicised version: Plassey) on the banks of the Hooghly River, about 150 kilometres north of Calcutta and south of Murshidabad, then capital of Bengal  
  • Causes: 
    • The rampant misuse of the trade privileges given to British by the Nawab of Benal.
    • Non-payment of tax and duty by the workers of the British East India Company.
    • Fortification of Calcutta by British without Nawab’s permission.
  • Trigger factor: Siraj-ud-Daulah had become the Nawab of Bengal the year before the battle took place. 
    • He ordered the English to stop the extension of their fortification
    • Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab's army, and also promised him to make him Nawab of Bengal.
  • Outcome of the battle: The battle helped the Company seize control of Bengal. Over the next hundred years, they seized control of the entire Indian subcontinent and Myanmar - and briefly Afghanistan. 
  • Effects of Battle of Plassey: The battle marked the beginning of the political supremacy of the British on the Indian subcontinent.



  • The free trade and revenue from Bengal provided the company resources to expand their rule.
  • British were able to install a puppet nawab ‘Mir Jafar’ who gave them 
    • A large sum of money as war compensation which was used by the British in their future conquests.
    • Zamindari rights of Bengal parganas which upheld the taxing rights of British.
  • Sovereignty of British over Calcutta was recognized and established.
  • Mir Jafar allowed the British to maintain their army at the expense of Bengal - which later developed into a subsidiary alliance by Wellesley.
  • Robert Clive controlled the political affairs of Bengal who appointed a resident to assist Mir Jafar in administration.
  • It resulted in the ousting of the French from Bengal and left British without any rivals in economic exploitation of Bengal.
  • It displayed the military supremacy of the British which helped in subsequent diplomatic efforts in expansion of British empire.
  • Robert Clive started to introduce the political administration of British in India. 
  • This later evolved into regulating acts of 1773 and so on. 


Image Source: TH