History of our capital, Kolkata
The records of the history of Kolkata begin from the year 1690 when the East India Company arrived in India. The company was that time consolidating its trade business in Bengal. The founder of the city Kolkata is Job Charnock, who was an administrator of the East India Company. He was traditionally credited for this reason. But, however according to the new high court decision of 2003, it has been declared that there was no particular Founder of the city, Kolkata.
Bengal was under the rule of Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah,in the 17th century. At that time it was comprised of three villages Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti. In the year 1698 these villages were transferred to the East India Company. These villages earlier were a part of the khas mahal or imperial jagir or an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor himself. The jagidari rights were held by Sabarna Roy Choudhury family. The family did no wish to pass the administration to the East India company and they protested too but the result was at last in the favour of the East India Company.
In the late 17th century the British wanted to build a fort near Gobindapur in order to consolidate their power over other foreign powers. They wanted to consolidate to the powers of The Dutch, The Portuguese and The French. The construction of the old Fort William was completed in the year 1702. This fort was used as a regional base by the British people.
Calcutta was declared as a Presidency City and later on it became the Headquarters of Bengal Presidency.
In the year 1756 Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah captured the Fort William but it was re captured by the British sepoys in the same year.
Calcutta was named as the capital of British India in the year 1772. During the year 1864 the capital of British India was temporarily changed to Shimla.
The governor general of the Kolkata between 1797-1805 was Richard Wellesley. He was responsible for the growth of the city and the architecture of the city and so Calcutta was called as the "City Of Palaces" in India which was a great honour for the city. This city was a centre for Trade of the British East India company during the period of 18th and 19th century.
By the time of 1850 Calcutta was divided into two parts one known as White Town, Chowringee, and the North Calcutta. From the year 1850 there was a rapid industrial growth in the city specially in the jute and textile industries. This widespread business and industrialization in Calcutta caused the British to develop the infrastructure of the city. So new facilities like the Howrah railway station and telegraph connections were build. Due to the coalescence of the British class and the Indian culture a new Babu class of people came into the society. These people usually belonged to upper-class Hindu society. During the 19th century there was a socio-cultural reform in West Bengal which is also known as Bengal Renaissance. These reform resulted in the general uplift of the people.
In the year 1883, Surendranath Banerjee organised a national conference. These was a first kind of national conference during the 19th century. This is how many conferences and meetings took place in Calcutta and this is how Calcutta became the center of the Indian Independence movement.
During the year 1905 Partition of Bengal took place which had a great effect on the City of Calcutta. All British goods and British people were boycotted. The two movements of Swadeshi and Boycott took place in Kolkata which brought a huge success for the Indian Independence movement. During this time only the capital was moved to New Delhi due to the disadvantageous location of Calcutta.
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