Clive, Robert (1725-1774), was the British administrator and military leader who brought India into the British Empire. Clive was born in Shropshire, England. He joined the English East India Company, Britain's trading company in India, in 1743. In 1747, he received a commission in the company's armed services. The British and French were struggling for control of India, and Clive won several important victories over the French and their Indian allies.
In 1757, he led 3,200 troops to victory over 50,000 enemy troops at the Battle of Plassey, giving Britain control of the rich province of Bengal. Clive returned to England in 1760 and entered Parliament. He was created Baron Clive of Plassey in 1762.
In 1773, some of Clive's enemies persuaded Parliament to investigate his career in India. The investigation showed that Clive had made a fortune, but that he had also rendered "great and meritorious service to his country." Sickness during the last year of his life caused Clive to become an opium addict. He committed suicide in 1774.
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