SSC GK Medieval History Notes: Bengal & Awadh

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Read GK Medieval History Notes related to Bengal and Awadh (transition period to Modern India). We have discussed it in detail. These notes are useful for all SSC & Railways exams. Students are suggested to revise these and make notes. 

Read GK Medieval History Notes related to Bengal and Awadh (transition period to Modern India). We have discussed it in detail. These notes are useful for all SSC & Railways exams.

SSC GK Medieval History Notes: Bengal

Murshid Kuli Khan:

  • Murshid Quli Khan was appointed as Bengal’s diwan by Aurangzeb as naib subedar and later as the subedar in 1717 by Farukh Siyar.
  • He gradually assumed autonomy though he continued to pay tribute to Mughal Emp
  • He carried out the reorganization of the finances through the transfer of large parts of jagir lands into khalisa lands.
  • He introduced the system of revenue farming.
  • He granted Takkavi loans to peasants for personal use, improved agriculture and for paying land revenues in times of famines.
  • He reorganized administration giving equal opportunities of employment to Muslims and Hindus.
  • His policy of appointing local Hindu zamindars and moneylenders as revenue farmers led to the rise and growth of a new landed aristocracy in Bengal.
  • He maintained strict control over the activities of foreign trading companies; preventing the servants of East India Company from abusing the privileges granted to the company by the Mughal farmans of 1691 and 1717. He established law and order in the province by suppressing the rebellious zamindars.

Alivardi Khan:

  • Alivardi Khan came to the throne after murdering the heir to the throne in 1740.
  • He legalized his usurpation by receiving a farman from emperor Muhammad Shah after paying him Rs 2 crore.
  • During his reign, there were continuous incursions of the Marathas into Bengal.
  • He agreed to their demands of revenues from part of Orissa and an annual payment of Rs 12 lakh as the chauth of Bengal in exchange for peace. 
  • He prevented the English form misusing their privileges and prohibited them and French from fortifying their factories at Calcutta and Chandannagore.

Siraj-ud–Daula :

  • Siraj-ud Daula came to power in 1756.
  • Calcutta was renamed Alinagar after its capture by Siraj-udDaula.
  • He tried to control the activities of the East India Company.
  • He wrote letters to the British governor of Calcutta to demolish additional fortifications and also to stop unlawful activities against him.
  • The British refused to comply with his orders and he seized the English factory at Kasimbazar and then Calcutta.
  • In 1757, his men were attacked by the English army led by Robert Clive. This forced the nawab to come to an understanding and establish peace with the English.

Treaty of Alinagar (1757)

The treaty comprised:

  • A list of demands made by the Company
  • An agreement affirming to return to status quo
  • A number of farmans and dastaks issued by the nawab
  • As long as nawab shall observe his agreement, English will continue to support him.
  • All the trade privileges held earlier by the Company stood confirmed.
  • Additionally, the English were authorized to fortify Calcutta against possible French attack and issue their coins.

Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757)

  • The treaty was violated by the conquest of Chandannagore by the British in 1757.
  • Siraj ud –Dhaula protested by offering protection to the French.
  • The British decided to remove him through conspiracy.
  • The battle of Plassey took place on June 23, 1757. This battle saw the treachery of Mir Jafar and Rai Durlabh, bravery of small force and desertation of Nawab’s army. Siraj-ud –Dhaula was captured and executed by son of Mir Jafar.

Mir Jafar (1757-60)

  • Mir Jafar granted the right to free trade in Bengal and Bihar and Orissa and zamindari of the 24 parganas to the British besides paying them a sum of Rs 17.7 million as compensation.
  • His period saw the beginning of the drain of wealth from India to Britain.
  • He tried to replace the English with the Dutch but the Dutch were defeated by the English at Bedara in 1759.

Mir Qasim (1760-63)

  • He introduced several revenue and military reforms to strengthen his position.
  • His period saw the beginning of the conflict between the Nawab and the British for sovereign power.
  • He transferred his capital from Murshidabad to Mongher.
  • He stopped the misuse of the dastaks or free passes allowed to the company and abolished all duties on internal trade against British.

Battle of Buxar (1764)

Mir Qasim fought against the British along with three allies – Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh and Shah Alam II.This battle led to their defeat by the British forces under Major Hector Munro.

GK Medieval History Notes: Awadh

Shuja-ud-Dhaula :

  • Shuja-ud-Dhaula ascended the throne of Awadh as well as wazirship of Mughal Empire in 1754.
  • He had fought against the British in the Battle of Buxar in 1764 but has to concede Allahabad and Kara. He had to pay a huge indemnity to the British.
  • Under Lord Hastings, he was forced to sign the Treaty of Benaras in 1773.
  • In this treaty, the British got the right to station their armies in Awadh for his protection.
  • He defeated Rohillas with the help of British and annexed Rohillakand to Awadh in 1774.


  • Asaf-ud-Dhaula signed Treaty of Faizabad with British in 1775. Under this treaty, they will not encourage their peasants in committing hostilities.
  • Nawab would not entertain Mir Qasim.
  • Nawab gave British authority over all the districts.
  • Nawab would pay 6 lakh per month for maintaining the British army.

Wajid Ali Shah:

  • Lord Dalhousie annexed Awadh in 1856 and pensioned off the Nawab to Calcutta.



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