The British took full advantage of
this. By the 1780s they had a lot of influence over all of
the rulers of the southeast coast of India. They also ruled
Bengal. Bengal's large population and wealthy princes offered
tremendous opportunities for the British East India Company
and they built up their wealth and their military power there.
By the 1780s the Company employed 15,000 British troops and
over 70,000 Indian troops.
There is a lot of debate about how the British were able
to gain the power and influence they did, because many of
the Indian states were extremely well organised and powerful.
Britain simply did not have the resources to invade India
and conquer it by force. However, British leaders were very
effective in choosing which princes they allied with, and
which ones they fought.