"Lord Clive"

an essay by Thomas Babington Macaulay (January 1840)

*Indian Routes*

*India on the Eve of the British Conquest: A Historical Sketch, by Sidney Owen, 1872*
*Bengal in 1756-57, by Samuel Charles Hill, 1905*
*Maps of India as Clive found it, by Bellin*

"From his first visit to India dates the renown of the English arms in the East.... From Clive's second visit to India dates the political ascendency of the English in that country.... From Clive's third visit to India dates the purity of the administration of our Eastern empire." ( --from the conclusion)


Text with annotations by
*Vincent A. Smith*
(and FWP)

*[1 -- Introduction: we know too little about our Indian empire]*

*[2 -- Clive's background and early life: his "desperate audacity"]*

*[3 -- Clive begins his military career: French competition, Mogul degeneration]*

*[4 -- Dupleix's remarkable success becomes the model for the future]*

*[5 -- Against all odds, Clive seizes and holds Arcot]*

*[6 -- With Lawrence's support, Clive extends his conquests in the South*

*[7 -- A less than satisfactory interlude in England]*

*[8 -- Appointed Governor of Fort St. David in 1755, Clive soon turns his attention to Bengal]*

*[9 -- The seizure of Fort William, and above all the "Black Hole of Calcutta," must be avenged]*

*[10 -- Military success is easy, but Clive also plays unscrupulous political games]*

*[11 -- The battle of Plassey, in 1757, is his triumph alone]*

*[12 -- The fruits of such a victory, both unhealthy and sweet]*

*[13 -- A losing gamble by Shah Alum, a vain foray by the Dutch]*

*[14 -- Another interlude in England: wealth, fame, and politics]*

*[15 -- Back to Bengal, in 1765, to put an end to appalling corruption and misrule]*

*[16 -- Home to England in 1767, where enmity awaits him both from the "Nabobs," and as a "Nabob"]*

*[17 -- He is charged in Parliament with corruption and malfeasance, but is largely vindicated]*

*[18 -- Clive's life ends in melancholy, sickness, opium, and suicide at the age of 49]*

Source: Thomas Babington Macaulay, Critical and Historical Essays — Volume 1, Ed. A. J. Grieve, 1907; etext of this volume from Project Gutenberg: #2332. Originally published: Edinburgh Review LXX (January 1840). Numbers and all headings  in square brackets, and all editorial annotations in square brackets, have been inserted by FWP for convenience in classroom use. Text and punctuation then have been adjusted according to the *Vincent A. Smith edition*, with only a very few small changes involving the placement of commas. The annotations also come from Smith's edition (though they have been slightly edited to suit online presentation) except for those by FWP, which are in square brackets.

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