South Asia Seminar: Defending British India Against Napoleon: The Foreign Policy of Governor-General Lord Minto (1807-13)
Convener: Dr Faisal Devji
Speakers: Aditya Das, Huw Bowen, Faisal Devji
The book launched at this event outlines the diplomatic and external policies of Gilbert Elliot, the first Earl of Minto, who held the office of Governor-General of Bengal from July 1807 to October 1813. Minto’s period of office coincided with the last years of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, which had their inevitable repercussions in the colonial sphere, and influenced the shaping of Minto’s foreign policy. Napoleon’s treaty with Russia at Tilsit (July 1807), the treaty of Finkenstein (May 1807) with Persia, and the predominance of French influence in Turkey and Persia, created a short-lived alarm for the security of British interests in India. The main aims of Minto’s foreign policy were the defence of the Company’s trade and territories in India, and the expulsion of the French from the neighbouring states of Asia and from bases of operation in the Indian Ocean.
The edited and updated publication is based on the doctoral thesis in Modern Indian History earned by Amita Das (née Majumdar) from Oxford University in 1962 under the supervision of Cuthbert Colin Davies. The work has recently been edited and updated by her son Aditya Das and published by Boydell and Brewer.
This seminar series is organised with the support of the History Faculty.