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British-India Armies from 1740 to 1849

Kaushik Roy

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online February 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0025
British-India Armies from 1740 to 1849

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The British, in the guise of East India Company (EIC; also referred to as “the Company”) came to India (South Asia/subcontinent) as traders during the mid-17th century. They established small fortified enclaves at Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. At that time, the EIC had neither the intention nor the capability to establish a large land empire in South Asia. In the occasional skirmishes between the “native” powers and the EIC’s forces, the latter were always worsted. However, the scenario started changing in the 1740s. The pan-Indian Mughal Empire broke up, and several indigenous powers started fighting against each other to establish their independent domains. The power vacuum and the prospect of acquiring economic concessions from the indigenous potentates encouraged the French and the British to intervene in local politics and penetrate inland into the interior of the subcontinent. By the 1750s, the French East India Company (Compagnies des Indies) was defeated by the EIC. Between the 1760s and 1849, the EIC fought and destroyed the three large indigenous powers—Mysore, Maratha Confederacy, and Khalsa Kingdom—and established subcontinental hegemony.

Article.  9779 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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