What did warriors wear in ancient India?

The Seven Years War in India 67 faced a situation similar to that of the French in the previous year. The French general Lévis approached Quebec and was received by Murray at the gates of the city for battle. After heavy losses, the British were forced to hide in the city and hope for relief, which also arrived on May 16. After Lévis' unsuccessful action in Quebec, all attention turned to the last great French-owned city in Canada: Montréal. In the face of an army of around 18,000 British regulars and colonial troops, Governor Vaudreuil and his 4,000 soldiers surrendered on September 8, 1760 without a fight. Within a few weeks, the entire province came under British rule. On the Canadian-North American arena, the Seven Years War as the French and Indian War was over. V. Princes, Warriors and Merchants The Seven Years' War in India After the death of the Mughal Mughal Aurangzeb in 1707, the Indian Mughal Empire was marked by a profound reorganization of the structures of rule, which the older historiography usually interpreted less as a transformation than a crisis. In the course of a deterritorialization of the Mughal Empire towards the territorialization of individual provinces, a large number of actors who ruled more or less independently of Delhi established themselves on the entire subcontinent at the beginning of the 18th century: the Nawabs of Bengal, the Nawab Wazirs of Awadh or the Nizams of Haiderabad and the Peshwa of the Marathas in the hinterland of Surat. In order to understand why the local population of India had little resistance to the external interventions of the East India Company, the situation of the ruling aristocratic class of the Mughal empire of the Umara and their individual war entrepreneurs, the Mansabdari, must be taken into account. The Seven Years War in India68 Nawabs gradually separated from central power in Delhi and established their own capital in Murshidabad in Bengal. Initially united in the face of permanent attacks by the Marathas, the accession of Siraj ud-Daulah to the throne in 1756 led to a dissolution of the consensus at the court of Murshidabad. Various rival factions made Bengal an easily vulnerable target. In addition to the various Hindu groups and the Muslim Mughal rulers, there have been a number of European trading establishments on the coasts of India since the beginning of European expansion. After the Portuguese had initially dominated trade, the Dutch and English followed, and then, from the late 17th century, the French. How the military developments in Europe could influence the economic development in India is shown, inter alia. the saltpetre trade. Saltpetre was added to gunpowder in order to improve its effectiveness, which, in view of the ongoing rearmament and warfare in Europe, increased the demand in India, one of the most important mining areas for saltpetre, enormously and thus also had an effect on the trade relations of European trading companies with local traders. From around 1720 the balance of power among the Europeans gradually changed when the French government took over the “Compagnie des Indes” and began to develop it into a powerful means of colonial expansion. In the course of the Austrian War of Succession, the European conflicts between England and France were also carried to India from 1744 onwards. Up to this point the English with their four branches - Bombay on the west coast, Fort St. George and Fort St. David on the south-east coast and Fort William (Calcutta) on the north-east coast - had essentially developed a pure trading activity in India. In the so-called three “Carnatic Wars” (1746–48, 1749–54, 1757–63) there were clashes between local rulers, in which the British and the French became allies. The Seven Years' War in India 69 How the different arenas of the two trading empires could be related was already shown at the end of the Austrian War of Succession (here Carnatic was the first), when in the Peace of Aachen in 1748 the South Indian Madras conquered by the French against that of Canadian Louisbourg captured by the British was exchanged. However, soon after 1748 the French began again successfully to intervene in the Indian balance of power and to develop into the real rulers of South India. By contrast, the "East India Company" largely ignored the complex political structures outside of its trading establishments in its concentration on trade and soon found itself behind again with weak military leadership and a small number of troops. While the British, French and local rulers initially looked like a peaceful coexistence in south-east India, a new constellation of conflicts was brewing in north-east India's Bengal that would change the fate of the subcontinent. The young Siraj ud-Daulah, a man who in older historiography was usually described as the epitome of the oriental despot: cruel, hungry for power and endowed with an insatiable sexual greed, recently ruled Bengal as Nawab. Beyond stereotypes, the young Nawab will have had a less dazzling Mogul rulers' sense of power, and the British played their part in the eventual violent confrontation. After the company made various of its demands - i.a. Siraj ud-Daulah attacked British Fort William in 1756 when the expansion of the British fortifications had been stopped in view of a French threat from Chandernagore and the imprisonment of a merchant who allegedly stole treasures from the palace of the Nawab. Within the branch there were only 300 Europeans capable of weapons, made up of soldiers from the company, mercenaries of various nationalities and armed civilians. After the Seven Years War in India70 Governor Roger Drake fled with some older officers and the most important merchants and their families, the rest of the people who remained defended the fort for three days and were ultimately overrun after a Dutch sergeant opened an entrance. The Nawab had a number of the remaining Europeans - the estimated numbers fluctuate between 39 and 146 - detained around 7 p.m. in a small, dark guard room of the fort. Locked in a confined space in the heat, many of the prisoners died in the notorious “Black Hole of Calcutta”. Research continues to argue about the exact numbers to this day. More recent estimates assume around 48 dead and 23 survivors. The "black hole", a term generally used to describe the sobering cells of the British Army, became a national myth in British imperial history. The Fort Williams case was not only one of the first defeats of a British settlement against the Indians, it was also a drastic violation of current manners with the Europeans. The inglorious figure that the British leadership under Drake had made here was largely obscured by the myth of the cruel death in the black hole. When news of the capture of Calcutta reached Madras, the Company's council there was busy planning new operations against the French under Marquis Charles de Bussy. However, it should not stop with a restoration of the status quo; the power of the Nawab and the French should be broken permanently. The Council now faced the dilemma of dividing the troops and having to act simultaneously in the north and south. After a debate between the regular British Army and the East India Company about the leadership skills of the expedition to recapture the possessions in Bengal, Robert Clive was finally given command of an expeditionary force of around 2500 men as "Commander-in-Chief". The sea route to Bengal or the trip across the rivers turned out to be more difficult than expected due to the monsoons, sand banks, diseases and other adversities, so that they - moreover, separated from some ships and some of their troops - did not arrive until December 15, so only four months later, near Calcutta on the Hugli River. But the troops of the Nawab under Manik Chand withdrew further and further, so that all forts and finally Calcutta could be captured by the British more or less without a fight. The real conflicts were now taking place among the Europeans themselves. The commanders of the Navy and the regular infantry refused to recognize Clive's authority, and bitter rivalries ensued, which escalated for the first time in the dispute over the right to occupy Fort Williams. The Nawab reacted to the provocations of Clive and approached Calcutta with his troops. During one of the typical commandos of Clive into the middle of the enemy camp - with the aim of kidnapping Siraj ud-Daulah - he was lucky. The action failed, but caused such chaos in the Nawab's camp that the Nawab eventually withdrew and concluded a peace treaty with the British. It was only at this point in time, i.e. at the beginning of 1757, that news of the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in Europe reached India and made the hitherto rather latent confrontation with the French manifest. In mid-March 1757, Robert Clive began an attack on Chandernagore, France. The balance of power was almost even: 250 regular French soldiers, 170 sepoys, 400 irregulars and 2,000 Indians of the Nawab faced around 2,500 men, including 700 Europeans, on Clive's side. The forms of intercultural cooperation with the Indians at the military level sometimes differed considerably on both sides. The French had started to set up the so-called sepoy regiments relatively early on, i.e. units that were recruited from locals, but trained and armed according to the European model, a procedure that should prove to be groundbreaking, as it repeatedly turned out to be The Seven Years War in India72 European troops proved difficult to bring into India. The English later adapted this method and set up sepoys for their part. In view of the heavy shelling of Chandernagore by the British, the Indian troops of the Nawab quickly came to the conclusion that it was a purely European conflict and left the fort. Clive also relied on psychological warfare and had arrows shot inside the fortress, on which there were notes promising a reward to every French soldier who ran over. Indeed, the French's only trained artillery officer, Lieutenant Terraneau, soon defected. On March 23rd, Chandernagore fell under heavy British fire. As a result, there were attacks that were officially condemned, similar to those in the European theater of war, but which are seen as a feature of the delimitation of violence associated with the use of mercenaries. Clive's land troops discovered a magazine of arrack as they entered the fortress, made extensive use of them, and began to loot everything, including the local church. Although the British were not spoiled for choice, the loss of Chandernagore was a heavy blow to the French. They lost Bengal as an area of ​​influence and the access to the Indian subcontinent, which was important for the French settlement on Mauritius, was lost. A conspiracy began on the Indian side that would eventually culminate in a coup which, somewhat misleadingly, has entered history as the "Bengali Revolution". A group of large landowners, powerful merchants and the military decided, with the help of the British, to make Mir Jafar, the son-in-law of Siraj ud-Daulah's uncle Alivardi Khan, the new Nawab of Bengal. Two different interest groups came together here: the traditional local elites, who were eager to preserve their privileges, and the East India Company, which endeavored to extend their influence to all of Bengal and to this end sought to control the future Nawab. The test case for the resulting secret alliance was to be the The Seven Years War in India 73 cannonade of Palashi, later known as the Battle of Plassey, on June 23, 1757. The event in which Mir Jafar's troops on the side of the Nawab did not intervene in the battle, but waited to see who would prevail, can basically hardly be described by European standards of a field battle. Clive faced around 3,000 men, made up of 900 European soldiers, 200 topaz and 2,100 sepoys, a superior force of the Nawab of 35,000 infantry and 18,000 cavalry, supplemented by heavily armored war elephants. In addition, the French supported the Indian prince with a contingent of artillery. At 8 a.m. the battle began with an artillery duel that lasted until around 11 a.m. As a result, the Indians faced massive problems. Their powder, unlike that of the British, had gotten wet from the heavy rain that set in around noon, and two of the three main commanders of the Nawab were killed early in the battle. Though outnumbered, the Indians had nothing to counter the disciplined fire of the British line infantry. The "battle" was over at around 5 p.m. in the afternoon. The British had only 25 killed and 50 wounded to mourn, the losses of the Nawab were put at around 500 men. As these figures suggest, Plassey was basically less of a real battle than of a test case of the alliances in which the British plans worked. The English had conspired with one of the followers of Nawab Mir Jafar against Siraj ud-Daulah and internally tried to bring about his removal through a kind of palace revolution. Mir Jafar appeared on the battlefield on the side of the Nawab, but until the last minute it was not clear whether he would remain neutral - as agreed with the British - or intervene in the battle on the side of the Nawab. Ultimately, he broke his loyalty to Siraj ud-Daulah and did not intervene when he asked for help. One of the greatest beneficiaries of the victory was Mir Jafar, who was welcomed by Clive as the new «Nawab of Bengal». In the spirit of a divide et impera-lo, Clive henceforth supported both the new Nawab and his opponent, thereby weakening his rule and securing British supremacy in Bengal. In the cultural memory of India, Mir Jafar has become a synonym for betrayal, while Siraj ud-Daulah has developed as a tragic hero into a national identification figure. With the Plassey victory, Clive now had a huge empire at his feet. In Murschidabad, the capital of Siraj ud-Daulah, from where he had fled immediately, Mir Jafar was installed as the new nawab, and the British under Clive received their financial tribute from the treasures of the palace of Siraj ud-Daulah, who was soon captured was taken and killed. Clive got around £ 230,000 from the new nawab. Each member of the Council in the Calcutta Company received £ 27,000, the subaltern of the Army £ 3,000 each, and the Navy a total of £ 400,000, which, given their small involvement in the crucial operation, almost led to a riot. In total, Mir Jafar paid the British the enormous sum of around 3,000,000 pounds during his rule. In the meantime, however, the French had taken Fort St. David again in the south and were preparing to besiege Madras and Fort St. George in mid-December. Clive sent an expeditionary army under Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Forde to the northern Circars (in the middle of the east coast between Bengal and Karnataka) to attack the French there under the Marquis de Conflans, which was also successful. The British under Stringer Lawrence were able to hold Fort St. George against the French for several months until February 1759. At Chinsurah there was a battle on November 25, 1759 between troops of the East India Company and troops of the Dutch V. O. C., which was mobilized against the British by Mir Jafar. The British under Francis Forde defeated the Dutch without actually involving them in the war. Rather, the Netherlands retained their neutrality. Mir Jafar was subsequently deposed and replaced by his son-in-law, Mir Kasim Ali Khan. Eyre Coote was named British Commander-in-Chief, and British victories piled up. The French fleet was driven out, Wandiwash was victorious in a decisive land battle in 1760, and Pondicherry was razed to the ground in 1761. In the north, Clive defended Bengal with massive violence against the offensive of the son of the Grand Mogul from Delhi. In the period that followed, the East India Company rose to become an important economic and political power in India.Three events are decisive for this, with which the almost 100-year rule of the Company began until 1858, when the British government was to take control of India with the Government of India Act: first the Battle of Plassey in 1757, with the Nawab of Bengal lost his dominion to the Company, then the transfer of the Diwani - and thus the right to levy taxes in Bengal - to the Company in 1765 and, thirdly, the establishment of a main office in Calcutta in 1772 with the installation of Warren Hastings as governor. The interpretation and evaluation of the assumption of power by the East India Company in India is quite controversial between different representatives of British imperial historiography and post-colonial Indian historiography. While some assume that an ailing Mughal empire will gain more by chance, others advocate a consciously planned colonization policy. Both interpretations are likely to fall short. On the part of the London management of the company there was probably no long-term plan to rise to a political power in India, but it was not a purely coincidental development. The soldiers of the company, especially Clive, were driven by individual pursuit of property and a hunger for booty and always sought battle with their immediate rivals without seeing themselves as the spearhead of imperial expansion. A similar contrast concerns the related relationship with the Indian power elites: while some see the British Raj as the result of a negotiation process between local interest groups and the East India Company, British-Spanish conflicts76 others tend to emphasize the coercive nature of a violent conquest. Overall, both aspects should be understood as two complementary dimensions of a colonial state-building process. Effective and lasting rule could not be established without cooperation with the local elite, which also gave space to their interests, as without pressure from the British cannons. From the perspective of Indian history, the effects of the Seven Years' War are of epoch-making importance. The representatives of the trading companies who came to the country as traders paved the way for a sustainable redistribution of political power that would shape India into the 20th century. VI. "Britannia rule the waves" British-Spanish conflicts from the Caribbean to the Philippines In addition to Canada and India, the French colonial possessions with high economic value included a few Caribbean islands such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Domingue (today Haiti) . Primarily sugar was produced on these islands, which was an important factor in the triangular trade between France, Africa and the Caribbean. The population of the densely populated islands consisted of almost 90 percent slaves: 80,000 people lived on Martinique, around 60,000 on Guadeloupe and around 190,000 on St. Domingue, whose exports of goods to France in 1754 amounted to around 75 million livres. Militarily, the islands were almost defenseless. In 1755, a British fleet of three ships of the line approached, bringing up merchant ships but not carrying troops. The Caribbean has been a difficult region for military operations since