Robert Clive - History, Achievements, UPSC PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : November 17th, 2022

Robert Clive was the first Governor of the Bengal Presidency(during British rule in India). He was known for his exceptional military practices. His techniques and ideas helped establish EIC’s rule in Bengal. Robert Clive was called various names such as Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey, Governor of the Bengal Presidency, or even called corrupt 'nabob'.

Robert Clive was also called the Clive of India. Warren Hastings and Clive are remembered for creating a strong base of British rule in India. Check out the impact of Robert Clive’s activities in India and the upliftment of British rule because of his work.

Table of Content

Who was Robert Clive?

Robert Clive was born on 29 September 1725. In his early days, he started as a writer for EIC. He joined Fort St. David after coming to India in 1744. Robert Clive in Fort St. David was assigned as the representative legislative leader.

  • Robert Clive was allowed to recover Calcutta alongside Admiral Watson from Siraj Ud Daulah, the Nawab of the Bengal province.
  • And with the victory in the Battle of Plassey, the British army took control over the Bengal. Mir Jaffar was introduced as the Nawab after the triumph.
  • Robert Clive was then called Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey. The battle of Plassey made the British army the stronger armed force.

Robert Clive Governor of Bengal

Robert Clive became the Governor of Bengal twice. He was assigned as Governor from 1757 to 1760, after which he returned back to Britain. After returning, he became the Governor from 1765 to 1767 along with Commander-in-Chief. He decreased the value of a currency which became uncontrolled. The laborers were economically harmed by his rule.

  • Robert Clive is also known for his immense collection of fortune from India, which he took back to Britain. He made various changes, such as prohibiting the private Exchange of goods for the organization's representative. He started the “General public of Trade,” which was later banished.
  • After Mir Jaffer, Mir Qasim became the ruler of Bengal. He wanted to take control away from the British rulers. He joined forces with Shiraj-Ud-Daulah and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II to fight against the Britishers in the Battle of Buxar. As a result of this battle, Diwani of the following was given to the British as a trade-off along with Allahabad and Kora: Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha.

Robert Clive did an exceptional thing in utilizing the Awadh as a cradle state for the relations between Marathas and Britishers.

Robert Clive Battle of Plassey

The Battle of Plassey was fought in West Bengal in the Plassey area on 23 June 1757. Robert Clive led the British army against Bengal’s Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daula. The French troops supported the Nawabs.

  • The Battle of Plassey is one of three pioneer battles that shaped the fate of British rule in India. Military supremacy was established after this battle.
  • The Indian scholars regard this battle as the event that helped the Britishers lay their roots of dominance in India. Robert Clive's army was outnumbered in the Battle of Plassey, but the support of Mir Jafar(betrayal against Siraj-ud-daula), Rai Durlabh, etc., led to the victory of the British army.

Political Settlements by Robert Clive

Robert Clive did various settlements after his return to India in 1765. He took the rule of Bengal as the son of Mir Jafar, Najim-ud-daulah, who was a minor. After this, he arranged different settlements with the various Nawabs. Some important settlements by Rober Clive are:

  • Settlement with the Emperor
  • Settlement with the Nawab of Awadh
  • Settlement with the Nawab of Bengal or the Dual government of Robert Clive

Settlement with the Emperor

Important settlements with the Emperor are as follows which were affected by the mercy of the English as they helped in Battle of Buxar:

  • Diwani of Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar was taken by the British. And 26 Lakhs were paid to Emperor in return.
  • Kara and Allahabad were given to Emperor.
  • Jagir of Northern Sarkar was given to the British.

Settlement with the Nawab of Awadh

The settlement with the “Nawab of Awadh” was a bit surprising. He neither gave the control of Awadh to the Mughal emperor nor took it for company. Rather he did the settlement with Shuja-ud-Daulah that has been under-noted herein.

  • Awadh was ruled by Shuja-ud-daulah.
  • Nawab had to pay 50 Lakhs.
  • English did trade without paying tax in Awadh.

Dual Government of Robert Clive

The Bengal settlement consisted of the Diwani rights taken by Britishers. But the Nizamat was not taken from the Mughals. This was the reason the Mughals paid a fixed amount. This was known as the dual government of Robert Clive.

Robert Clive's Death

Robert Clive faced various allegations on his first return to England after 1760. He was denounced as a corrupt 'nabob' in British Parliament. Despite all this, he returned to India and ruled till 1767.

He was politically attacked for taking a huge fortune with him and for corrupt policies. Various British generals accused him of the same.

British parliament resolved the decision in his favor. But on 24 November 1774, he died from suicide amidst various illnesses and depression. It was evaluated that his collected fortune was £500,000.

Robert Clive UPSC

Robert Clive came to India in 1744 as the organization specialist for EIC. When he entered India, he served at Fort St. George for two years. Indian scholars highly criticized the work of Robert Clive. The unethical work of Robert Clive led to the starvation of Indian farmers and the production of money crops. He was blamed later on for taking his fortune with him to England.

Important Notes for UPSC
Integration of Princely StatesNon-Proliferation Treaty
Nicknames of Freedom FightersOctober Revolution
Social Movements in IndiaHarappan Sites
Most IAS from which StateAll India Services
National Calendar of IndiaKhilji Dynasty


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FAQs on Robert Clive

  • Robert Clive was known as Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey. He was the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency. He governed Bengal twice from 1757-1760 and 1765-1767. He was also called the corrupt 'nabob' in British Parliament.

  • The Battle of Plassey was fought between the British and the Nawab of Bengal. The battle was fought in West Bengal in the Plassey area. The date on which the Battle of Plassey took place is 23 June 1757. In this battle, the British army was led by Robert Clive against Siraj-Ud-Daulah.

  • Robert Clive died at the age of 49 by committing suicide. Depression is said to be the main reason for his demise. It was known that he fell sick after going back to England. He was alleged of many corruption-related issues. He was set free of all allegations by the Parliament.

  • Robert Clive winning the Battle of Plassey was one of the biggest turns of events in British-India history. His army was outnumbered by the army of the Mughals, but with the help of Mir Jafar and other Mughals, they won the battle.

  • The Clive of India, Robert Clive, after 1767, went back to England with an alleged load of fortune. He was later trailed in the Parliament for corruption but was set free of all allegations. He died at the age of 47 from committing suicide.

  • Robert Cliver came to India as a writer but became the Governor of Bengal. He leads the British army to victory in the famous battle of Plassey. He was known for his battle tactics and different approach, such as establishing a Dual government in Awadh, etc. He took more than £500,000 with him to England.

  • Robert Clive went back to England in January 1767. He served twice as the Governor of Bengal before returning with a huge fortune to England. He was accused of various corruption allegations after going back. He was even apprehended of an immense fortune, which he took with him from India.

  • The first time Robert Clive became the Governor of Bengal was in 1757. He remained governor for three years(1757-1760) before returning to England. He again returned back to India after various corruption allegations and again became the Governor in 1765 for 2 years till 1767.

  • Here are a few of the achievements of Robert Clive in India:

    • He made exceptional contributions by winning the Battle of Plassey.
    • He helped in making various settlements with Nawabs and Emperors.
    • Robert Clive started Dual Government in Awadh.
    • He took Diwani's rights from Nawabs.

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