Seven Years War

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1757 Jun 23

Seven Years' War in India

Palashi, West Bengal, India

William Pitt the Elder, who entered the cabinet in 1756, had a grand vision for the war that made it entirely different from previous wars with France. As prime minister, Pitt committed Britain to a grand strategy of seizing the entire French Empire, especially its possessions in North America and India. Britain's main weapon was the Royal Navy, which could control the seas and bring as many invasion troops as were needed.


In India, the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in Europe renewed the long running conflict between the French and the British trading companies for influence on the subcontinent. The French allied themselves with the Mughal Empire to resist British expansion. The war began in Southern India but spread into Bengal, where British forces under Robert Clive recaptured Calcutta from the Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah, a French ally, and ousted him from his throne at the Battle of Plassey in 1757.


This is judged to be one of the pivotal battles in the control of Indian subcontinent by the colonial powers. The British now wielded enormous influence over the Nawab, Mir Jafar and consequently acquired significant concessions for previous losses and revenue from trade. The British further used this revenue to increase their military might and push the other European colonial powers such as the Dutch and the French out of South Asia, thus expanding the British Empire. In the same year, the British also captured Chandernagar, the French settlement in Bengal.


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Last Updated: : Tue Nov 01 2022