Robert Clive Quotes

By God, Mr. Chairman, at this moment I stand astonished by my own moderation.

1st Baron Clive. Clive went to India as a military accountant and clerk of the British East India Company which had its own Army intended for protection of Company staff and property. Clive worked his way up the military and company ladder and then commanded all the British (company) troops. Under his command the Company, in the name of the British Government actually began to rule territory at first buying that right from the Indian ruler for English pounds of silver. Then Clive used the Army to deal with disorder and banditry and took over new territory where local leaders had aided those who were harassing the British. Soon, he had control of more land than the rest of Britain together with many more people. In the process, his accounting skills served him well and the British East India Company had made a fortune larger than anything in British history and Clive himself became the richest man in England. There was a famine in India and Clive and the Company did little to alleviate the suffering. They continued to make huge profits while many of the people were dying, hence the nickname. The inquiry was called to see of Clive and the Company had been escessive in their rule and had taken too much profit.

Robert Clive, 1725-1774 British General & Governor of Bengal, India, Commander-in-Chief of British India, Founder of the British East Indian Empire, Member of Parliament, Testifying at a Parliamentary Inquiry into his rule in India, 1773

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Robert Clive
Robert Clive
  • Born: September 29, 1725
  • Died: November 22, 1774
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession:

Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, KB, FRS (29 September 1725 – 22 November 1774), also known as Clive of India, Commander-in-Chief of British India, was a British officer and privateer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. He is credited with securing a large swath of South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan) and the wealth that followed, for the British East India Company. In the process, he also turned himself into a multi-millionaire. Together with Warren Hastings he was one of the key early figures setting in motion what would later become British India. Blocking impending French mastery of India, and eventual British expulsion from the continent, Clive improvised a military expedition that ultimately enabled the East India Company to adopt the French strategy of indirect rule via puppet government. Hired by the company to return a second time to India, Clive conspired to secure the Company's trade interests by overthrowing the locally unpopular heir to the throne of Bengal, the richest state in India, richer than Britain, at the time. Back in England, he sat as a Tory Member of Parliament in London.

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