Annexation of Assam after Treaty of Yanbadu
It’s worth note that Assam was ruled by Ahom kingdom from 1228 to 1826 and it was sovereign even in the Mughal era.
But in 1817, it was attacked by the Burmese and thus Ahom Kingdom went into the control of Burmese till 1826.
- The Assamese call this 7 year period as Manor din and the Manipuris call it Chai Taret Khuntakpa which means 7 years of devastation.
The independent and powerful Ahom dynasty ended with the Burmese invasion. But, after the First Anglo Burmese War, the Burmese lost control over Assam in 1826 by Treaty of Yandabu. Lower Assam was now a part of British India. Later Cachar Kingdom was annexed in 1832 and in 1833 Upper Assam came under British Protection. By 1838-39, whole of today’s Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram was annexed by the British.
- The immediate impact on British annexation of Assam was that its Tea manufacturing flourished.
In 1839 Assam Company was established but it lost in obscurity soon. At that time, the wasteland rules did not allow tea cultivation but in 1854, there was a rush when these rules were relaxed.
- The result was that British people started “importing” labor for tea plantations from China and central India.
- The people from central India were virtually ‘captured’ and exported to Assam to work in these plantations.
- The transportation of these people was so dreadful that only 1 out of 10 people survived.
- This was the height of a new kind of slavery in North East India sponsored by the British
The result was rebellions. But all rebellions were cruelly subdued.
Lord Amherst abandoned all claim of Burma to Assam, and ceded to the British the provinces of Arakan. Now British Empire was touching Rangoon, but during this war, there was another mutiny in the British armed forces known as Barrackpur mutiny.