This GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 1 Arrival of Europeans in India covers all the important topics and concepts as mentioned in the chapter.
Arrival of Europeans in India Class 8 GSEB Notes
→ Merchants from various countries came to India for trade from the northwest by land route. For years Arab traders used this land route for their trade.
→ However by the mid-15th century trade via land route stopped due to changed situations. This increased the demand of Indian products like silk and cotton cloth, muslin, spices like cloves, pepper, etc. in European countries.
→ Taking advantage of this situation many adventurous sailors from European countries tried to find a sea route to India.
→ Columbus an Italian explorer made the first attempt at finding the sea route to India in 1492. Columbus started his journey to come to India but co-incidentally reached America. He considered himself to be the discoverer of India. Therefore, native inhabitants of America are called Red Indians and the island group in the Caribbean is known as the West Indies.
→ In 1498, Vasco-da-Gama a Portuguese sailor, discov¬ered the sea route to India. He went round ‘Cape of Good Hope’ and reached the port of Calicut on 22nd May, 1498. Zamorin, the King of Calicut permitted the Portuguese to undertake trade.
→ Within a span of 100 years, the Portuguese had taken control over Mangalore, Cochin, Diu, Daman, Goa, Mumbai and the island of Lanka.
→ In the beginning of the 17th century, the Portuguese expanded their trade to Bengal. The Subedar of Bengal complained about Portuguese activities to the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan who ruled India from Delhi. As per the Emperor’s orders Hugli fort was demolished and Portuguese ships were burnt. In this way the Portuguese rule came to an end with the exception of Diu, Daman and Goa.
→ At the end of 16th century, the Dutch of Holland (now The Netherlands) came to India for trade. They established forts at Pulicut, Madras (Chennai) and a trade centre at Agra.
→ Meanwhile the British arrived in India. The Dutch could not withstand competition against British.
→ In 1600 C.E. the British established the ‘East India Company’. The first ship of this company arrived at the port of Surat in 1608 C.E. W. Hawkins, the captain of this ship and the first Englishman to set foot in India met Emperor Jahangir but did not get permission to trade. It was Sir Thomas Roe who obtained permission to set up a trade centre at Surat and trade had started for the first time in Surat itself and then the British obtained permission from Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to trade in Bengal in 1651 C.E.
→ In 1664 C.E. the French established ‘French East India Company for trade purposes. They established factories for trade-in Surat, Machhalipatnam and Puducherry (Pondicherry). There was innumerable disputes and battles between the British and the French (led by Joseph Francois Dupleix). The British emerged victoriously; however the French retained their supremacy over Chandranagar, Mahe and Pondicherry.
→ The British started trade in 1651 C.E. in Bengal on the banks of river Hugh. Forts were garrisoned to protect their factories. They got permission from Aurangzeb to trade without paying taxes against annual payment.
→ Only the British East India Company could avail the benefit of tax-free trade as per the order passed in Bengal. But officials of the company who engaged in personal trade, did not pay tax. As a result the income generated from tax in Bengal reduced and this was opposed by Murshid Quli Khan the Nawab of Bengal. This dispute intensified first with Ali Verdi Khan and then with Siraj-ud-Daulah which finally resulted in a major battle with the British.
→ Siraj-ud-Daulah became the Nawab of Bengal in 1756 C.E. He had an overwhelming influence over the British and was against them. The British were ordered to pay taxes and when they disobeyed the order Siraj-ud-Daulah attacked their fort defeated them and succeeded in expelling them from Calcutta.
→ The British counter-attacked the Nawab under the leadership of Robert Clive who bribed Mir Jafar, Siraj-ud-Daulah’s commander-in-chief. Siraj-ud-Daulah was defeated and murdered due to this betrayal in the Battle of Plassey with the British.
→ The defeat at Plassey marked the beginning of British rule in India. Thus, this war was to be the turning point in the history of India.
→ As promised the British appointed Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Bengal. However, with time Mir Jafar became hostile towards the British. The company replaced him with his son-in-law, Mir Qasim as the Nawab. Mir Kasim was an efficient, disciplined and clever ruler and he opposed the British for non-payment of taxes.
→ The forces clashed with the British East India Company in the Battle of Buxar. The company emerged victorious. Mir Jafar was reinstated as Nawab of Bengal.
→ Robert Clive returned to India and became the Nawab of Bengal himself.