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Speech in Commons on India,  1772

Speech in Commons on India,  1772 -...

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Back to Modern History SourceBook Modern History Sourcebook: Robert Clive: Speech in Commons on India, 1772 Clive's victory Plassey in 1757 enabled the East India Company established its rule over large areas of India. Clive here recounts some of the consequences in a speech to the House of Commons. : . . Indostan was always an absolute despotic government. The inhabitants, especially of Bengal, in inferior stations, are servile, mean, submissive, and humble. In superior stations, they are luxurious, effeminate, tyrannical, treacherous, venal, cruel. The country of Bengal is called, by way of distinction, the paradise of the earth. It not only abounds with the necessaries of life to such a degree, as to furnish a great part of India with its superfluity, but it abounds in very curious and valuable manufactures, sufficient not only for its own use, but for the use of the whole globe. The silver of the west and the gold of the east have for many years been pouring into that country, and goods only have been sent out in return. This has added to the luxury and extravagance of Bengal. From time immemorial it has been the custom of that country, for an inferior never to come into the presence of a superior without a present. It begins at the nabob, and ends at the lowest man that has an inferior. The nabob has told me, that the small presents he received amounted to 300,000 1 . a year; and I can believe him; because I know that I might have received as much during my last government. The Company's servants have ever been accustomed to receive presents. Even before we took part in the country troubles, when our possessions were very
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