IGNOU HISTORY NOTES : India History From Mid 18th to Mid 19th Century - Bengal and Awadh

IGNOU HISTORY Study Notes for IAS, UPSC Exams

History India From Mid 18th to Mid 19th Century

Bengal and Awadh


2.0 Objectives
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Bengal kind Awadh: under the Mughals
2.3 Bengal ! Towards Autonomy
2.3.1 Murshid Kuli Khan and Bengal
2.3.2 Sh~ja-ud-din and Bengal
2.3.3 Alivardi Khan and Bengal
2.4 Bengal : Towards Subjection
2.4.1 Plqssey and After
2.4.2 Buaar and After
2.5 Awadh : Towards Autonomy
2.5.1 Shadat Khan and Awadh
2.5.2 Safdar Jang and Awadh
2.5.3 Shuja-ud-daula and Awadh
2.6 Awadh : Towards Subjection
2.6.1 Awadh : 1764-1775
2.6.2 AWadh : 1775-1797
2.6.3 Awladh: 1797-1856
2.7 Nature af the Regional Polity
2.8 Let Us Sum Up
2.9 Key Words
2.10Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


The eighteenth century is marked by the rise of regional state systems. After reading
this Unit you will:

  • have an idea about the system of administration prevailing in Bengal and Awadh before autonomy,
  • learn about the process of transformation of Bengal and Awadh into autonomous states,
  • understand the context in which they were absorbed into the British imperial system, and
  • learn about the nature and functioning of the regional polity in Awadh and Bengal.


Recent historical writings on eighteenth century India have tended to focus on the
emergence and experience of regional political systems as a central theme, rather than
highlight the decline of the Mughal Empire as a process dominating the century. In
Unit 1 you have read about the nature of polity in general in the mid-18th century. In
this Unit we shall try to identify the elements and processes that enabled erstwhile
imperial provinces to transform themselves into autobomous states. Our focus here is
on Bengal and Awadh. In spite of differences in some respect, the regimes of Bengal
and Awadh in their early years of inception and organisation shared features in
common, an analysis of which could pgvide useful insight into the features and
processes that characterised eighteenth eentury polities at la~e. This Unit first takes
into account the transition of Bengal and Awadh from Mughal Subas into autonomous
states and then their subordination to the British imperial system, in this context we
have also taken into consideration the nature and functioning of the regional polity. 

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