Contact Us

Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

ETD Help

Policies and Procedures

Copyright and Patents

Access Restrictions

Search ETDs:
Advanced Search
Browse by:
Browse ProQuest
Search ProQuest

Laney Graduate School

Rollins School of Public Health

Candler School of Theology

Emory College

Emory Libraries

New ETD website is now LIVE and located here: etd.library.emory.edu

Forging the Conqueror's Sword: How Two Indias Created One Empire

Welsch, Christina Caroline (2010)
Honors Thesis (193 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Andrade, Tonio
Committee Members: Beardsley, Kyle ; Diakite, Dianne M
Research Fields: History, Asia, Australia, and Oceania; History, Military; History, European
Keywords: English East India Company; Carnatic Wars; Bengal Presidency; Madras Presidency; Battle of Plassey; Sirajuddaula; Robert Clive; military revolution; interperipheral imperialism; Fort William
Program: College Honors Program, History
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/7t96n

Abstract

Abstract
Forging the Conqueror's Sword
How Two Indias Created One Empire
By Christina C. Welsch

Historians have long argued that the English East India Company's empire was
made by employees working in South Asia. For early historians seeking to distance
London from the act of conquest and for modern scholars following Gallagher and
Robinson's peripheral theory of empire, the active agents of expansion were those "on the
spot". But few investigations examine why these servants adopted imperial ambitions in
the first place. Traditional explanations focus on "great" individuals or on hostilities
exported to South Asia from Europe. Neither analysis, though, can explain the location
and timing of the Company's first conquests in Bengal in 1756. Scholars should shift
away from the Eurocentric lens of Anglo-French warfare to examine the Company more
explicitly in the South Asian political fabric. The subcontinent's early-eighteenth-century
regionalism gave the Company's localized administrative presidencies new autonomy as
each interacted with a unique local reality. This divergent milieu allowed imperial
ambitions to develop in some of these settlements. Myriad small wars in the south
provided militaristic servants in the Madras Presidency experience in limited warfare,
while trade profits in the north funded this militarization. In 1756, the Nawab of Bengal's
attack on Company servants stationed in Calcutta gave the Madras Presidency the excuse
to extricate its military from those indecisive conflicts and to conquer a region previously
isolated from the Company's gradual military development. I argue that the Company's
initial conquests were not just a function of the periphery, but rather through interactions
among peripheries-an empire made in two distinct Indias.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
A NOTE ABOUT SPELLING ............................................................................................................................ 1
INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................... 2
CHAPTER ONE: THE EMERGENCE OF MULTIPLE INDIAS................................................................................... 15
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 15
Pictures of Delhi at Dusk ............................................................................................................... 20
Rise of the Regions ...................................................................................................................... 27
The Company in the Mix ................................................................................................................ 33
Interperipheral Imperialism ............................................................................................................. 40
CHAPTER TWO: THE FIRST INDIA: CONFLICT IN THE KARNATIK ........................................................................ 46
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 46
Europe's Eastern War ................................................................................................................... 53
The First Steps towards Militarism ................................................................................................... 59
The Carnatic Wars Become Karnatik ................................................................................................ 64
The Madras Military Revolution ....................................................................................................... 77
CHAPTER THREE: THE SECOND INDIA: BUSINESS IN BENGAL ............................................................................ 89
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 89
A "Failure" to Militarize .................................................................................................................. 94
"The Paradise of Provinces" .......................................................................................................... 101
The Bengal Presidency as Bengali .................................................................................................. 107
The Balance Breaks .................................................................................................................... 114
CHAPTER FOUR: WAR BETWEEN THE INDIAS ................................................................................................. 122
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 122
The Military Revolution and the Deccan ........................................................................................... 125
The Winners of the Revolution ....................................................................................................... 135
1756: A Year of Opportunity ......................................................................................................... 142
A Step into Empire........................................................................................................................ 146
Victory in Bengal ......................................................................................................................... 155
An Empire between Peripheries ....................................................................................................... 159
CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................................. 163
APPENDIX: POLITICAL MAPS OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY SOUTH ASIA ............................................................... 174
WORKS CITED ............................................................................................................................................. 179

List of Figures


Table 1: Comparison of Military and Mercantile Expenses in the Madras and Bengal Presidencies (1755)......................43

Fig 1: Regional Map of South Asia in the Mid-Eighteenth Century........................................................................175

Fig 2: The Presidencies of the English East India Company.................................................................................176

Fig 3: Map of the Karnatik...........................................................................................................................177

Fig 4: Map of Bengal...................................................................................................................................178

Files

application/pdf Honors Thesis 193 pages (1.1 MB) [Access copy of Honors Thesis]
Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.