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Subjects /Indian History / Modern History / Anglo-Maratha Wars

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INTRODUCTION
07 Aug 2021

Thought the Marathas had recovered from the Panipat War and even recovered their control over Delhi.

But the Maratha Confederacy was divided into independent states, namely:

  • Peshwa at Pune
  • Gaikwada at Baroda
  • Bhonsle at Nagpur
  • Holkars at Indore
  • Sindhias at Gwalior

The Peshwa’s government was weakened by internal rivalries and the other leaders were also hostile to each other.

As a result, British waged a war against the Marathas.

1st ANGLO-MARATHA WAR

  • The first Anglo-Maratha war was fought from 1775-1782.
  • The Bombay British Government hoped to set up in Maharashtra the type of Dual Government.
  • The mutual differences between the Maratha leaders gave scheme to the company to interfere in their matters.
  • The 4th Peshwa Madhav Rao died in 1772 and was succeeded by his son Narayan Rao. But he was opposed by Raghunath Rao (Raghoba). Soon Narayan Rao was murdered by the conspiracy of his uncle Raghunath Rao (Raghoba).
  • But Nana Phadnav is proclaimed Narayan Rao’s posthumous son as Peshwa. This droves Raghunath Rao to the point of desperation and in 1775, he signed the ‘Treaty of Surat’ into the Bombay British with the hope to gain the throne.
  • The British declared the war against the Marathas, but all the Marathas chiefs were united against British East India Company. British were defeated at many places.
  • Finally, The ‘Treaty of Salbai’ was signed in 1782. The terms of the treaty were:
    • Exchange of war prisoners
    • Mutual restitutions of conquest
    • Raghunath Rao was pensioned off by the Poona Government.
    • The neighbouring islands around Bombay, Salselte were allowed to remain in English possession.

2nd ANGLO MARATHA WAR

  • The second Anglo-Maratha war was fought from 1803-1806.
  • Lord Wellesley, who came to India as the Governor General in 1798, wanted the Marathas to accept the subsidiary alliance.
  • The Marathas refused to accept it.
  • In 1801 Bithuji Maharaj (younger brother of Jaswant Rao Holkar, the chief of Holkar Kingdom) was killed by Baji Rao II.
  • In 1802, Jaswant Rao Holkar attacked on Poona and captured it.
  • Baji Rao escaped from  there and signed the  subsidiary treaty known as the ‘Treaty of Bassein’ (1802).
    • A subsidiary force consisting of not less than 6000 regular infantries, the usual proportion of field artillery and European artillery men.
    • For the maintenance of subsidiary force Rs.26 Lakh were to be kept.
    • Not to entertain any European hostile to the English and subjected his relations with other states to the control of English.
    • Peshwa surrendered the city of Surat.
  • The national humiliation was too much for the Marathas. The Proud Maratha chiefs could not surrender their great tradition of independence without struggle.
  • All the Maratha chiefs united against the British. But the British army, led by Wellesly, defeated the combined armies of Scindia and Bhonsle and finally they signed on subsidiary alliance system.
  • The Treaty of Deogaon- Signed by Bhonsle.
  • The Treaty of Surji-Arjun-Gaon—Signed by Scindia.
  • Finally, all other Maraths chiefs were defeated and one by one they signed on subsidiary alliance system.

3rd ANGLO-MARATHA WAR

Causes: 

  • Rigid control exercised by the British resident on the Maratha chief.
  • Baji Rao II declared war against British East India Company and attacked on British Residency at Poona. But he was defeated by Lord Hastings.
  • It was fought from 1817-1819.

NOTE:

The post of Peshwa was abolished and Baji Rao II was pensioned off to Bithur near Kanpur.