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Title : The Prelude to Empire: Plassey Revolution of 1757
Author : Sushil Chaudhury
Edition : HardBack
ISBN : 9788173043017
Pages : 192
Year of Pub : 2020
Price : Rs 995.00
The book puts forward a completely new explanation for the Plassey revo­lution of 1757. It dispels the received wisdom that the Plassey conspiracy was an ‘Indian-born’ conspiracy, that the British had no ‘calculated plotting’ behind it that it was the ‘internal crisis in Bengal which inevitably brought in the British’ and that the British conquest was almost ‘accidental’. By making an in-depth analysis of the genesis of and the circumstances leading to the Plassey conspiracy and revolution, the volume discounts the ‘collaboration thesis’ as well and shows conclusively that it was the British who not only engineered and encouraged the con­spiracy but tried their best till the last moment before the battle to persuade the Indian conspirators to stick to the British ‘project’ of a revolution.
It has been shown that the conspiracy took the final shape only under the aegis of the British and that without their active involvement it would not have matured enough to bring about the downfall of the nawab. It has been argued on the basis of both qualitative and quantitative evidence that the British conquest of Bengal became an imperative for them for the retrieval of the battered private trade fortune of the Company servants which was facing a severe crisis in the late 1740s and early 1750s.
Based mainly on the manuscript records preserved in various European and Indian archives, the volume will be of great interest not only to students and teachers of history and allied subjects but the lay reader as well. It will certainly lead to a fair amount of debate and discussion on the subject
and help in the proper understanding of the growth and development of colonialism in India and elsewhere.
Sushil Chaudhury, who passed away in December 2018, was a former University Chair Professor of Islamic History and Culture, Calcutta University, and a National Research Fellow, Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi (January 2014-December 2015). He did his Ph.D. from the University of London as a Commonwealth Scholar. Since 2002
he was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, U.K.


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