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History of Kolkata
The History of Kolkata dates back to late seventeenth century. While the archaeologists believe that the area has been inhabited for over two thousand years, the documented history of Kolkata, however, starts from the arrival of the British East India Company in 1690. The company, headed by Job Charnock, decided in view of spreading its business in Bengal, to establish a city.
The British constructed Fort William in 1702 so as to station its troops and use it as a regional base. Kolkata was declared as a Presidency city and later became the headquarters of Bengal presidency. The British faced frequent skirmishes with the French forces and spread their military base. The Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daula protested against this militarization. When his pleas went unheeded he attacked and captured Fort William. In the following year, Robert Clive recaptured the city defeating and killing Siraj-Ud-Daula.
In 1772, the city was declared the capital of British India. Richard Wellesley, the Governor General took special interest in the development of city and its architecture which won the city the description "City of Palaces." In early nineteenth century, the city was split into two areasóBritish (known as White Town) and Indian (known as Black Town). Kolkata went under rapid industrial growth from the 1850s. The coalescence of British and Indian culture gave rise to a new Babu class of urbane Indians belonging to upper caste Hindu communities, well-qualified, professionals, bureaucrats and Anglophiles.
A sociocultural reform often referred to as Bengal Renaissance led to general uplifting of people. This resulted into many reform movements. Gradually Kolkata became the center of Indian Independence Movement. In 1905, the partition of Bengal resulted in widespread public protest and boycott of British goods. These activities, forced the British to move their capital to New Delhi in 1911.
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