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Last updated on December 14, 2022 by ClearIAS Team
Three Anglo-Maratha wars took place between the late 18th and early 19th centuries between the British and the Marathas.
Table of Contents
- One of the Mughal Empire’s most tenacious adversaries, the Marathas, got the chance to rise to power as the empire was overthrown.
- They had control over a sizable portion of the continent and were paid tribute by nations who were not directly under their rule.
- They were in Lahore by the middle of the 18th century and were considering ruling the North Indian empire and serving as king-makers at the Mughal court.
- Although Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated them in the Third Battle of Panipat (1761), which altered the situation, they were able to regroup, regain their strength, and take control of India within a decade.
- The most renowned Peshwa of all time, Bajirao I (1720–40), founded a coalition of prominent Maratha chiefs to oversee the rapidly expanding Maratha power and, to some extent, appease the Kshatriya faction of the Marathas, led by Senapati Dabodi.
- Each prominent family under a chief was given a sphere of influence within the Maratha confederacy’s organisational structure, which he was expected to subdue and rule over in the name of the then-Maratha monarch, Shahu.
- Under Bajirao I to Madhavrao I, the confederacy ran smoothly, until the Third Battle of Panipat (1761) changed everything.
- Although the confederacy’s leaders occasionally united, such as when fighting the British (1775–82), they usually fought among themselves.
Peshwa Bajirao (1720–40)
- Shrimant, the seventh Peshwa Peshwa the Maratha Empire was expanded by Baji Rao I, also known as Bajirao Ballal, to include a major portion of present-day India.
- On August 18, 1700, Balaji Vishwanath and his wife Radhabhai Barve had a son named Baji Rao.
- Baji Rao I directed the Maratha’s focus away from Deccan and toward the north.
- He is recognised as the first Indian to see the Mughals’ weakness and waning power. He was well aware of Delhi’s vulnerability to the Mughal emperors.
- The idiom “Attock to Cuttack” refers to the Maratha Kingdom that Baji Rao-I imagined and wanted to raise the Saffron Flag above the ramparts of Attock.
- Baji Rao-I participated in 41 wars and never suffered a defeat.
- This astute Maratha Prime Minister was successful in uniting the Marathas who had scattered after Shivaji’s demise.
- The Scindias, under the leadership of Ranoji Shinde of Gwalior, the Holkars, under Malharrao of Indore, the Gaekwads, under Pilaji of Baroda, and the Pawars, under Udaiji of Dhar, are all members of the Confederacy.
- He was able to acquire one-third of Bundelkhand upon the passing of Maharaja Chhattrasal.
- Mastani, his half-Muslim sweetheart from Bundelkhand, was not accepted into Maratha culture.
- He moved the Marathas’ administrative centre from Satara to Pune.
- Balaji Baji Rao succeeded his father Baji Rao-I when the latter passed away in 1740 due to sickness.
Marathas versus British
The English finally prevailed in three battles between the Marathas and the English for governmental hegemony during the latter quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century. These conflicts resulted from the English’s great ambition and the Marathas’ split house, which gave them a reason to believe their endeavour would succeed.
The English in Bombay planned to establish an administration resembling that of Clive in Orissa, Bihar, and Bengal. The Marathas’ disagreement over succession provided the English with a long-awaited opportunity.
Causes of the Conflicts
The Great Maratha Wars or the Anglo-Maratha Wars refer to the three conflicts fought in India between the British East India Company and the Maratha confederacy or the Maratha Empire.
- The Maratha Empire in India was destroyed along with the British victory in the wars, which started in 1777 and ended in 1818.
- The third Peshwa, Balaji Baji Rao, passed away on June 23, 1761, the day after the Marathas were beaten at the Battle of Panipat.
- After his death, his son Madhav Rao took over as ruler.
- He was a capable and competent commander who kept his nobles and chiefs united and swiftly succeeded in regaining the lost power and dignity of the Marathas.
- As the Marathas’ authority increased, the British grew more cautious of them and worked to prevent their restoration.
- The British were free to assault the Marathas after Madhav Rao’s death in 1772.
Anglo-Maratha War I (1775–82)
- The British’s increasing intervention in Maratha internal and external matters, as well as the rivalry for power between Madhav Rao and Raghunath Rao, were the primary causes of the first Maratha war.
- When Peshwa Madhav Rao passed away, his younger brother Narain Rao succeeded him as Peshwa, but Raghunath Rao actually wanted the position.
- So, in exchange for Salsette and Bessien as well as income from the Surat and Bharuch provinces, he asked the English to help kill him and make him Peshwa.
- Raghunath Rao received help from the British, who also provided him with 2,500 troops.
- The Peshwa was invaded and defeated by the English and Raghunath Rao’s combined force.
- The Pact of Surat was signed on March 6, 1775, but it was not approved by the British Calcutta Council. Colonel Upton, who abandoned Raghunath’s sovereignty and only promised him a pension, revoked the contract in Pune.
- Raghunath was given shelter notwithstanding the Bombay administration’s denial of this.
- Nana Phadnis gave the French a port on the west coast in 1777, breaking the agreement with the Calcutta Council.
- As a result, fighting broke out between British and Maratha forces at Wadgaon, just outside of Pune.
First Anglo-Maratha War’s outcome
- The East India Company held Salsette and Bessien.
- The Marathas also gave it a guarantee that they would get their Deccan holdings back from Hyder Ali of Mysore.
- In addition, the Marathas swore not to give the French any other provinces.
- Every year, Raghunathrao was to receive a pension of Rs. 3 lakh.
- Following the Purandar Treaty, the British handed over to the Marathas all areas they had taken by force.
- Madhavrao II, Narayanrao’s son, was recognised as the Peshwa by the English.
Anglo-Maratha War II (1803–05)
- The British East India Company and the Maratha Empire engaged in combat in Central India between 1803 and 1805 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War.
- The second Maratha war was primarily sparked by the Holkars, one of the major Maratha clans, defeating Peshwa Baji Rao II.
- As a result, Peshwa Baji Rao II signed the Treaty of Bassein in December 1802, requesting British protection.
- Other Maratha kings, such as the Gwalior-based Scindia rulers and the Nagpur and Berar-based Bhonsle rulers, would not accept this and attempted to fight the British.
- As a result, in Central India, the second Anglo-Maratha war broke out in 1803.
Second Anglo-Maratha War’s outcome
- In these battles, the Maratha army was completely routed by the British.
- An infant was installed on the throne under British guidance.
- The Peshwa gave up in 1818.
- After being removed, he withdrew to a small estate in Bithur (near Kanpur). The Bombay Presidency took over most of his territory.
- His adopted son, Nana Saheb, served as the revolt’s leader in Kanpur in 1857.
- The Central Provinces of British India were created from the Pindaris’ territories.
- The outcome of this fight was the demise of the Maratha Empire. The Maratha kingdoms were all seized by the British.
- An unidentified Chhatrapati Shivaji ancestor was appointed as the Maratha Confederacy’s ceremonial leader in Satara.
- The British were given the territory of Rohtak, Ganga-Yamuna Doab, Gurgaon, the Delhi-Agra region, Broach, numerous Gujarati districts, portions of Bundelkhand, and the Ahmednagar fort when the Scindias signed the Surji-Anjangaon Treaty in 1803.
- The Treaty of Deogaon, which was signed by the Bhonsle in 1803, gave the English control over Cuttack, Balasore, and the area west of the Wardha River.
- In 1805, the Holkars agreed to the Treaty of Rajghat, which gave the British Tonk, Bundi, and Rampura.
- The British took over substantial portions of central India as a result of the conflict.
Anglo-Maratha War III (1817–19)
- The rising Maratha desire to restore their lost territory and the British’s oppressive rule over Maratha nobles and chiefs were the two main factors that led to the third and final conflict between the British and the Marathas.
- The British dispute with the Pindaris, who the British thought was being protected by the Marathas, was another factor in the war.
- During the years 1817 and 1818, the conflict took place in Maharashtra and the neighbouring areas.
- The Peshwa defeated the Maratha chiefs in places like Ashti, Nagpur, and Mahidpur when they invaded the British Residency in November 1817.
- On November 5, 1817, the Treaty of Gwalior was signed, and Sindia was relegated to the role of a bystander in the fight.
- Malhar Rao Holkar and the British agreed to the Treaty of Mandsaur on January 6, 1818, which led to the deposition of the Peshwa and his pension.
- The British seized more of his holdings, thus solidifying their control over India.
Third Anglo-Maratha War’s outcome
- Despite not taking part in the war, Sindia and the British signed the Treaty of Gwalior in 1817.
- In accordance with the conditions of this treaty, Sindia gave the British Rajasthan.
- The Rajas of Rajputana retained the Princely States until 1947 after consenting to British rule.
- The Treaty of Mandsaur was drafted and signed by the British and the Holkar kings in 1818.
- Causes of Marathas’ Demise: Inept Leadership
- There was a dictatorial element to the Maratha state. The state’s activities were greatly influenced by the personality and character of the ruler.
- However, later Maratha leaders like Bajirao II, Daulatrao Scindia, and Jaswantrao Holkar were useless and egotistical.
- Against English authorities like Elphinstone, John Malcolm, and Arthur Wellesley, they had little hope (who eventually led the English to victory against Napoleon).
Reasons for Maratha’s defeat
- The cohesiveness of the Maratha state’s populace was constructed and accidental rather than organic, making it unstable.
- Since Shivaji’s reign, no attempt has been made to put together a well-planned effort to develop the community, spread knowledge, or bring the populace together.
- The religious-national movement helped the Maratha state to rise to power.
- This shortcoming was exposed when the Maratha kingdom was placed against a European force constructed after the best Western models.
- The Chhatrapati and the Peshwa were in charge of the loose confederation known as the Maratha empire.
- While giving lip service to the Peshwa’s authority, strong rulers like the Gaikwad, Holkar, Scindia, and Bhonsle carved out established semi-independent kingdoms for themselves.
- In addition, the various parts of the confederacy were at constant odds with one another.
- The Maratha chief regularly sided with one or the other side.
- The Maratha kingdom suffered from the lack of cooperation among the Maratha leaders.
- Despite their power and bravery, the Marathas fell short of the English in terms of effective leadership, troop organisation, and military equipment.
- Many of Maratha’s defeats were caused by the centrifugal tendencies of fragmented leadership.
- The Maratha army was weakened by treason within the ranks.
- The Marathas’ application of modern military techniques was insufficient.
- The Marathas disregarded the vital importance of artillery. An artillery department was set up by the Poona administration, although it was ineffectual.
- The Maratha leadership was unable to create a sound economic strategy to satisfy the period’s changing demands.
- There were no businesses or chances for international trade.
- Because of this, a stable political system was not supported by the Maratha economy.
- The English were better at using diplomacy to gain allies and isolate their enemies.
- The division among the Maratha leaders made the work of the English simpler.
- The English were able to attack the goal right away thanks to their superior diplomatic position.
- The English maintained a well-oiled spy network to gather information regarding their adversaries’ potentialities, strengths, vulnerabilities, and military strategies, in contrast to the Marathas’ ignorance and lack of information about their opponent.
- The forces of the Renaissance raised the English from the dead, releasing them from the Church’s control.
- They focused their efforts on colonial conquest, lengthy ocean voyages, and scientific discoveries.
- On the other hand, medievalism, which was characterised by antiquated dogmas and beliefs, was still rife among Indians.
- The day-to-day administration of the state didn’t worry the Maratha chiefs.
- Imperial merging was rendered impossible by the insistence on preserving the social stratification that existed due to the influence of the priestly class.
The Anglo-Maratha Wars I, II, and III all played significant roles in Indian history. The Mughal Empire was already under British rule at the time. However, despite their best efforts, the British were unable to seize control of the southern regions, which were governed by Maratha chieftains.
As a result of treaties with princely states, the British gained substantial holdings and territory in India, and India was unquestionably the crown jewel of the British Empire. These wars led to the collapse of the Maratha Empire. India was entirely governed by the British.
In truth, after the battles, India was claimed by the British, who defined it in an Orientalist fashion and mapped it according to their own concepts.
Article Written By: Atheena Fathima Riyas
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Maratha Wars , (1775–82, 1803–05, 1817–18), three conflicts between the British and the Maratha confederacy , resulting in the destruction of the confederacy.
The first war (1775–82) began with British support for Raghunath Rao ’s bid for the office of peshwa (chief minister) of the confederacy. The British were defeated at Wadgaon ( see Wadgaon, Convention of ) in January 1779, but they continued to fight the Marathas until the conclusion of the Treaty of Salbai (May 1782); the sole British gain was the island of Salsette adjacent to Bombay (now Mumbai ).
The second war (1803–05) was caused by the peshwa Baji Rao II ’s defeat by the Holkars (one of the leading Maratha clans) and his acceptance of British protection by the Treaty of Bassein in December 1802. The Sindhia and the Bhonsle families contested the agreement, but they were defeated, respectively, at Laswari and Delhi by Lord Lake and at Assaye and Argaon by Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). The Holkar clan then joined in, and the Marathas were left with a free hand in the regions of central India and Rajasthan.
The third war (1817–18) was the result of an invasion of Maratha territory in the course of operations against Pindari robber bands by the British governor-general, Lord Hastings . The peshwa ’s forces, followed by those of the Bhonsle and Holkar, rose against the British (November 1817), but the Sindhia remained neutral. Defeat was swift , followed by the pensioning of the peshwa and the annexation of his territories, thus completing the supremacy of the British in India.
Anglo Maratha Wars – History Study Material & Notes
Balaji Baji Rao was the third Peshwa who died after the defeat of Marathas in Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. He was succeeded by Madhav rao, his son. While Raghunath Rao, brother of Balaji Baji Rao was in lookout to become Peshwa himself. After death of Madhav Rao in 1772, British caused the first war with Marathas.
First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82):
The immediate cause for first Anglo Maratha War was English interference in the internal affairs of Marathas. The then Maratha Peshwa, Narayan Rao died without an heir. The birth of a posthumous son to Narayan Rao then drove Raghunath Rao to desperation and he eventually signed the Treaty of Surat in 1775 with the Bombay government with hopes to gain the throne with the help of English troops.
By the treaty of Surat, Raghunatha Rao had promised to cede Salsette and Bassein, and also refrain from forming an alliance with the Company enemies. In the First Anglo Maratha war that followed, none of the two parties were gaining ground and finally realized the futility of the struggle. The treaty of Salbai in 1782 which ended the first Anglo Maratha War.
By the Treaty of Salbai , there was peace between with the Marathas. In this treaty the British began exerting pressure on Mysore with help from Marathas for recovering their territories from Haider Ali.
The Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-1806):
In Poona, with death of two shrewd statesmen Mahadji Sindhia and Nana Fadnavis there began a fierce rivalry for power between the successor of Mahadji Sindhia, Daulat Rao Sindhia and Jaswant Rao Holkar. Both of them tried to secure the throne at Poona. Thereafter, Baji Rao II fled to Bassein and then signed a subsidiary alliance with the British. Under the treaty of Bassein, the Peshawa surrendered the city of Surat and to gave up claims for chauth on Nizam’s dominions. He also agreed to not take up arms against the Gaekwar.
The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818):
The third and the final battle of the Anglo-Maratha struggle began after coming of Lord Hastings as the Governor-General in year 1813. The Peshwa had to sign the Treaty of Poona in 1817, under which he gave up the headship of the Maratha confederacy and he also had to conduct relations with other states through British Resident. The Peshwa also ceded the Konkan along with his rights in Malwa, and Bundelkhand.
The Treaty of Gwalior (1817) was concluded by Lord Hastings with Daulat Rao Sindhia as part of preparations for campaign against Pindaris. Consequently, the Pindari war was merged in the Third Anglo- Maratha War.
All Maratha opposition to the British power ended after yet another attempt by the confederacy against British. A new settlement was made with the Maratha Chiefs. The Peshawa surrendered his name and authority forever in lieu of eight lakhs rupees as pension and retired to Bithur near Kanpur. A small district Satara was reserved for descendant of Shivaji as the Raja of Satara. All the remaining Peshawa’s territories were annexed to the Presidency of Bombay.
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1st ANGLO-MARATHA WAR
2nd anglo maratha war, 3rd anglo-maratha war.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 .
The post of Peshwa was abolished and Baji Rao II was pensioned off to Bithur near Kanpur.
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Brief Note on First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–1782)
Sansar Lochan September 11, 2019 History of India 1 Comment
As we all know the British East India Company, which was originally a trade organisation, rapidly grew into an imperialistic institution. It fort several wars through the width and length of India. However, towards the end of the 18th century, it faced a great challenge from the Marathas who were very strong in the western and central flanks of the country. Hence it was but natural that the company could make an attempt to tackle the Maratha power. As the fate would have it, there were waged three big wars between the two forces. The first such military engagement is known in Indian history as the First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782).
First Anglo-Maratha War – NCERT Notes in Brief
Raghunath Rao had concluded the treaty of Surat with the English in 1775, agreeing to cede Salsette and Bassein in return for British help to secure for himself the post of Peshwa. Warren Hastings disapproved of his treaty, and sent Colonel Upton from Bengal to conclude the treaty of Purandar on March 1, 1776. Under this treaty, the English withdrew from the side of Raghunath Rao, but retained Salsette and Bassein. But the Court of Directors was still in favour of the old treaty of Surat. Hence the English decided to fight against the Marathas. For this purpose the army at Bombay was ordered to proceed for a fresh war.
The Bombay army advanced towards Poona, but was faced by a large Maratha force. A retreat before a Maratha army was considered difficult, and the enterprise ended with the convention of Waragon , by which British promised to restore their recent conquests. This action was condemned, the commanders were dismissed, and Hastings sent Goddard from Bengal to prosecute the war. Goddard took Ahmadabad, Captain Poham distinguished himself by taking the hill-fort of Gwalior, and the war was at last concluded by the treaty of Salbai in 1782. Madhu Rao II was recognised as Peshwa, Raghunath Rao retired on an allowance, and Salsette and some other islands were retained by the British.
Primary Cause of this war
The primary cause of the first Maratha war was the interference of English government at Bombay in the internal affairs of the Marathas. Peshwa Madhav Rao died in 1772. He was succeeded by his son, Naryan Rao. His uncle, Raghunath Rao got him murdered in August, 1773 and himself became the Peshawa . But many Maratha nobles disliked him and thought of him as a usurper. It was, afterwards, found that Raghunath Rao was certainly guilty of the murder of his nephew. This infuriated them and, in 1774, they declared the posthumous child of Narayan Rao, Madhav Rao Narayan, as the Peshawa.
Raghunath Rao fled away for his safety and found shelter with the British at Surat. There he signed the treaty of Surat with English government at Bombay on March 7, 1775. By this treaty, the British agreed to provide military assistance to Raghunath Rao and help in aking the Peshawa in return for their expenses. Besides, Raghunath Rao agreed to cede the islands of Salsette and Bassein to the British and promised that the Marathas would not attack the territories of Karnataka and Bengal. This treaty resulted in the beginning of the war against the Marathas.
Points to remember
- The first Maratha war (1775-82) was forced on Hastings by the interference of the Bombay government in the internal affairs of the Marathas.
- Raghunath Rao got his nephew, Peshwa Narayan Rao, murdered but, when opposed by Maratha nobles, fled from Poona and sought the assistance of the English in getting the gaddi of Peshwa.
- The English government at Bombay agreed to help him on condition that Salsette and Bassein would be ceded to it.
- The English took the offensive and defeated a Maratha army at Arra.
- Hastings, however, did not like this adventure of Bombay government and signed the treaty of Purandhar with the Poona Durbar in 1776 agreeing that the English would give up the cause of Raghunath rao if only Salsette was handed over to them.
- The treaty of Purandhar was rejected by the Directors which resulted in the beginning of fresh fighting among the two parties.
Source used : NCERT, Tamil Nadu Board, IGNOU Modern History, NIOS textbooks. Wikipedia notes for UPSC exam.
Tags : PDF for UPSC exam notes.
Do read this article after reading first Maratha War > Treaty of Salbai
Read also about
- Second Maratha War
- Third Maratha War
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One Comment on “Brief Note on First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–1782)”
https://www.sansarlochan.in/en/first-anglo-maratha-war/ In the section “ Primary Cause of War” you have mentioned that Narayan Rao is the son of Madhavrao. As per my knowledge, Narayan Rao was the brother of Madhavrao 1. Can you please check and confirm this piece of information with me. Thank you.
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Anglo Maratha War – Causes, History of First Anglo Maratha War
Updated on: March 1st, 2023
The Anglo-Maratha wars took place in three phases in India and were fought between the British East India Company and the Indian Maratha Empire. The war started with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai . The first Anglo-Maratha war was fought between 1775 and 1782. Lastly, the Marathas won the first Anglo-Maratha war with the Treaty of Salbai.
The implication of the first Anglo-Maratha war was that the British returned back the territories occupied by them to the Marathas. The Anglo-Maratha war is part of modern Indian history. The aspirants must be well-versed in all the information related to these wars while preparing for the upcoming exam.
Table of content
What is Anglo-Maratha War?
The Anglo-Maratha Wars were fought between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India between 1775 and 1818. The Maratha Empire consisted of some legendary rulers and warriors who fought against the British East India Company and other foreign invaders. The Anglo-Maratha war was fought over territorial disputes, political dominance, and control over resources.
The British wanted to establish a strong hold on the Maratha region, just like they had in Orissa, Bihar, and Bengal . Since the Marathas disagreed and fought back, the British got the opportunity to attack their territories. Hence, there were a series of three Anglo-Maratha wars that are significant in the history of India , as they marked the decline of the mighty Maratha Empire and the solidification of British power in India.
Causes of Anglo-Maratha war
As mentioned above, the Anglo-Maratha wars were a series of multiple wars that shaped the history of India. There were several causes for these wars that we have discussed below.
- Territorial disputes: The Maratha Empire controlled a vast territory in India, and the British East India Company wanted to expand its territorial control. This led to conflicts over disputed territories that caused the wars.
- Other Alliances: The Marathas had formed alliances with other Indian powers, such as the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Mysore Kingdom. These alliances were seen as a threat to British rule in India, which led to the Anglo-Maratha wars.
- Political dominance: The British wanted to establish political dominance over India. The Marathas were seen as a major obstacle to British domination, which led to further conflicts.
History Of Anglo Maratha War
The third Peshwa of the Maratha empire, Balaji Bajirao, died in 1761 due to the shock of losing the third battle of Panipat . After his death, his son Madhavrao succeeded him and was able to successfully bring back some of the territories of the Maratha empire that they had lost in the battle of Panipat.
- After the death of Madhavrao, there was a strong tassel in the Maratha empire for the ownership of the throne.
- There was a constant struggle between Narayan Rao and his uncle as both wanted to become the Peshwa. However, Narayan Rao became a Peshwa, and his uncle tried to seek help from the Britishers.
- In 1775, the Surat agreement was signed, and Raghunath Rao considered the Bassein to the Britishers and returned it.
- The British army under Raghunath Rao attacked Peshwa Narayan Rao, had a battle with him, and won the battle.
- The British Calcutta Council cancelled the agreement under Warren Hastings , and a new treaty was signed in 1776, which was the agreement between the Calcutta Council and the Minister of Maratha.
- As part of his agreement with the Calcutta Council, Nana Fadnavis approved a French port on the West Coast in 1777. As a result, the Britishers sent their soldiers to Pune and held a battle at Wadgaon in which the Marathas, led by Mahadji Shinde, won the battle of Wadgaon near Pune decisively.
- After the English lost the battle in 1779, the British were forced to sign an agreement with the Indians called the Wadgaon agreement.
First Anglo-Maratha War
The first of three Anglo-Maratha wars fought in India between the Maratha Empire, and Great Britain was known as the first Anglo Maratha War. The treaty of Salbai marked the end of the war, which started with the Treaty of Surat.
- The demise of Madhavrao Peshwa in the year 1772 and the conspiracy killing by Raghunath Rao of his nephew made Raghunath the Peshwa, even though he was not a legal descendant.
- When the question of an infant, Narayana Raos’ child, to be named the next year arose, Nana Phadnis and 12 other Maratha chiefs were in favour of this decision.
- Reluctant to surrender his position of authority, Raghunath Rao sought assistance from the British in Bombay and, on March 7, 1777, signed the treaty of Surat.
- In accordance with the terms of the treaty, the Salsette and Bassein regions, as well as a portion of the earnings from the Surat and Bharuch districts, were transferred by Raghunath Rao to the British.
- In exchange, the British provided 2500 soldiers to Raghunath Rao. On the other side of India, the British Calcutta Council denounced the Surat treaty and dispatched Colonel Uttan to Pune to void it.
- Nana Fadnavis violated the treaty in 1777. In response, the British sent forces in the direction of Pune. After being cornered, the Maratha cavalry attacked the British by adopting a “scorched earth strategy”.
- The British started to retire to Talegaon, forcing them to flee to Wadgaon. The British finally gave up by signing the treaty of Wadgaon which required the Bombay administration to cede all lands it had won since 1775.
- Warren Hastings, the British governor-general in Bengal, rejected this pact and dispatched an army.
- In August 1780, a second Bengali force under the command of Captain Popham took Gwalior. Maharaj Shinde was pursued by yet another troupe dispatched by Hastings.
- The British eventually beat Shinde at Sikri in February 1781. Following the loss, Shinde suggested the treaty of Salbai between the Peshwa and the British, which would acknowledge the young Madhava Rao as the Peshwa and provide Raghunath Rao with a pension.
- This treaty was signed in May 1782 and ratified in June 1782 by Hastings and in February 1783 by Phadnis.
Second Anglo-Maratha War
The United Kingdom and the Maratha empire in India engaged in battle once more during the second Anglo Maratha war (1803 to 1805). On September 23, 1803, the British crushed the Maratha rebels on behalf of Bajirao, who they restored to power in accordance with the treaty of Bassein.
- The Bhosale rulers of Nagpur and Berar, as well as the Sindhia kings of Gwalior, resisted the agreement and were overthrown by Sir Arthur Wellesley. When they finally entered the battle, the Holkar rulers of Indore were defeated as well.
- Following the signing of the peace treaty in 1805, the British took possession of Orissa as well as portions of western Gujarat and Bundelkhand from the Marathas who continued to rule freely over most of central India.
- A large portion of Rajasthan was still ruled and dominated by Sindhia maharajas.
Third Anglo-Maratha War
The third Anglo-Maratha War from 1817 to 1818 was the one that engaged the British against the Maratha empire in India, and the UK gained control of the majority of the country .
- As part of operations against Pindare robber groups, the British governor-general, Lord Hastings, invaded Maratha territory to start all. Although the soldiers of the Sindhia of Gwalior rose out against the British, despite losing control of Rajasthan, British diplomacy was able to persuade him to remain neutral. His region was mostly included in the Bombay presidency.
- Despite this, the Maharaja of Satara continued to rule a princely state until 1848, when it was annexed by the Bombay state.
- The Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, which included the Peshwas possessions in Bundelkhand in the northern section of the Nagpur Bhosale dominion, were ceded to British India.
- The Maratha kingdoms of Indore Gwalior, Nagpur, and Jhansi accepted British rule by becoming princely states.
- The British had practically complete authority over modern-day India South of the Sutlej river following the third Anglo-Maratha War.
Central India And Deccan In Anglo Maratha War
Goddard marched towards Pune after conquering Bassein. He was defeated in the battle of Bhor Ghat in 1781. Mahadji challenged Camac at Malwa in Central India. At first, he was supported by the British, but Camac was later harassed, and he had to return to Hadur.
- In late March, the British made a desperate raid capturing both their supplies as well as weapons and elephants after defeating Shinde of the town of Sipri in February 1781.
- After that, Shinde forces were then less likely to pose a military threat to Britain and hence the contest was equally balanced.
- The victory of Mahadji over Camac was significant, but they had to pay for it in 1781 in the battle of Durdah.
- After that, in April 1781, a new force led by colonel Murre aided Pophem and Camac.
- Mahadji Shinde became enlarged following his defeat, and finally, he successfully defeated the forces of Murai on the first of July 1781.
- From that time, Mahadji became a powerful leader who was difficult to defeat.
Anglo-Maratha War Treaty
The treaty of Salbai played an instrumental role in the Anglo-Maratha wars. Check here the features of the Treaty of Salbai.
- The agreement of Salbai was signed and approved by Hastings on May 17th, 1782, and it was signed by Nana Fadnavis on June 1782.
- This treaty ended the first Anglo-Maratha war, followed by restoring the status and establishing fees among both parties for two decades.
Results of Anglo Maratha War
The British East India Company preserved Salsette and Broach, and they also obtained a promise from Maratha to take their precessions from Hyder Ali. The Marathas agreed to their point of view and agreed not to share their land with the French. Raghunath Rao decided to be given a pension every year.
All the territories that were captured by the British were surrendered back to the Marathas after the Treaty of Purandhar. The East India Company accepted Madhavrao as Peshwa of the Marathas.
Reasons For Fall Of Marathas
The Marathas’ fall was due to numerous incompetencies and defects in the structural system. The following were the reasons for the fall of the Maratha empire:
- Incompetent leadership.
- Inadequate political vision.
- The Jagirdar system.
- Weakness in the Marathas’ social structure.
- The Marathas were weak in the military.
- Economic affairs were neglected by the Marathas.
Anglo-Maratha Wars And Subsidiary Alliances
Under the subsidiary alliance formed between the Indian state and the British, the Indian rulers would be protected by the British from attacks from other rulers. In return, the British required their army to be kept in the capital of these states, provided with money or some land, and take British personnel as a resident in their capitals who would be the participant in all the decisions and would act as intermediate between other rulers and the state. In 1782, the “Treaty of Salbai was ratified. The agreements conditions were as follows:
- Prisoners of war or treated
- Raghunath Rao received a pension from the Poona government in exchange for mutual restitution of conquest.
- The surrounding islands of Bombay and Salselte were allowed to stay under English control.
Bajirao made his getaway and ratified the treaty of the basin in 1802. A subsidiary forces with:
- A minimum of 6000 regular infantrymen,
- An equal number of field and artillery and European artilleryman.
- Rs.26 lakh was to be set aside for the upkeep of the army.
Anglo-Maratha War UPSC
The Anglo-Maratha war is the topic covered in the UPSC Syllabus under the modern Indian history section. Modern Indian history is important to learn for the exam as at least 3 to 4 questions are definitely expected in the prelims paper. The aspirants preparing for IAS Exam can download the notes for preparing comprehensively.
Anglo-Maratha War PDF
Additionally, candidates must choose the right recommended books to prepare for other topics from the Indian History section. Candidates are recommended to go through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to learn more about the types of questions being asked in prelims and mains.
Anglo-Maratha War Sample Question
The candidates must prepare comprehensively for the exam and solve the questions on regular basis. The questions pertaining to the topic “Anglo Maratha war” are essential for the Prelims and Mains syllabus. Check here the sample questions of the UPSC Anglo Maratha war as provided here-
Question . In which year did Peshwa Bajirao 2 sign a subsidiary Treaty?
FAQs for Anglo Maratha War
What was the first anglo maratha war.
The first Anglo Maratha war was between the British Empire and the Maratha Empire. The Treaty of Surat embarked on the war and the Treaty of Salbai marked the end of the war. The Marathas embarked on success in the first Anglo-Maratha war . Shinde lost the war with the Britishers which lead to the signing of the Treaty of Salbai. It was agreed that Madhava Rao will be the Peshwa and Raghu Nath Rao will be provided with a pension.
What was the second Anglo Maratha war?
The Marathas regained and restored their power with the aid of Treaty of Bassein. During the second Anglo-Maratha war, the Marathas were defeated by the Britishers. As the treaty was signed the Britishers got control over the territories and portions of western Gujarat, Bundelkhand. The second Anglo-Maratha war was won by the British, who defeated the Maratha under the guidance of Arthur Wellesley.
What is the outcome of the Anglo Maratha war?
The Britishers surrendered the land to the Marathas. It was agreed that the Marathas will not be sharing the land with the French. In accordance with the Treaty of Parundhar, the land was returned to the Marathas. The Britishers agreed to provide a pension to Raghunath Rao and entitle Madhav Rao as Peshwa of the Marathas.
What are the reasons for the fall of Marathas?
The Marathas witnessed a fall due to numerous defects and incompetence in their structural system. The reasons were incompetent leadership, inadequate political vision, weakness in the Marathas empire, the Jagirdar system, and the weak military system of the Marathas .
How many wars happened between Marathas and the East India company?
Three major Wars happened between Maratha and the British East India company. The first war happened between 1775 to 1782, the second Anglo-Maratha war happened between 1803 to 1805, and the third war happened from 1817 to 1818.
Is the topic “Anglo-Maratha war” essential for UPSC exam?
Yes, the Anglo-Maratha war frames an essential segment of the modern History syllabus. The aspirants preparing for the exam must be well-versed with the pertinents of the syllabus. The aspirants can download the Anglo-Maratha war UPSC notes PDF.
What were the consequences of Anglo-Maratha war?
The consequences of the Anglo-Maratha War were as follows:
- The decline of the Maratha Empire along with the consolidation of British power in India.
- The annexation of Maratha territories by the British East India Company.
- The establishment of British political and economic control over India.
What was the main reason for second anglo-maratha war?
The second Anglo-Maratha war was mainly sparked due to the conflict between the Holkars and Peshwa Baji Rao II . The Holkars defeated the Peshwa, which resulted in him signing the Treaty of Bassein, which was a request for British protection.
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The first, second, and third Anglo-Maratha wars were fought between the army of the British East India Company , which after 1757 was de facto ruler of Bengal and of other provinces in North East India , and the Maratha Empire, or confederacy, in the south of India. The Moghul Empire was already effectively under British control but its power had never extended far into the South, where the French —defeated in the North at the Battle of Plassey (1757)—still vied with the British for dominance. The wars started in 1777 and ended with British victory in 1818. This left the British in control, directly or indirectly via treaties with Princely states, of a vast proportion of India, making India the jewel in the crown of the British Empire . Typically, the British divided and ruled by benefiting from conflict between different Indian rulers, such as that between the ruler of Indore, and the Maratha overlord, or Peshwa and by neutralizing others. What had started as a commercial enterprise was now a full-blown imperial project. Making a profit for the mother-land was still the bottom line but the concept of the British race as destined to rule others, for their eventual benefit, was now rapidly developing. As Rudyard Kipling , the India-born novelist and poet of Empire would put later it, it was ‘the white man’s burden’ to shed light into dark places to ‘seek another’s profit and work another’s gain.’  though the more cynical Mary Henrietta Kingley, the African explorer, described empire as the ‘blackman’s burden’ for its often wonton destruction of other cultures.
- 1 First Anglo-Maratha War
- 2 Background
- 3 Battle of Wadgaon
- 4 British Response
- 5 Treaty of Salbai
- 6 Second Anglo-Maratha War
- 7 Background
- 9 Third Anglo-Maratha War
- 11 References
- 12 External links
India’s cultures were never quite as despised as those of Africa but they were regarded as decadent and immoral, and thus in need of correction. If at the start of the Maratha wars men such as Warren Hastings ( Governor-General 1773-1785) valued Indian culture and thought more of partnership than domination, at the end of the Maratha wars, India was ready to be possessed, mapped, defined and ‘owned’ in its entirety in true, full bodied Orientalist style.  This feeling of ownership was further consolidated after the failure of the 1857 First War of Indian Independence or Mutiny when governmental responsibility was transferred to Westminster, and was finally sealed (May 1, 1876) when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.
First Anglo-Maratha War
The First Anglo-Maratha War was the first of three Anglo-Maratha wars fought between the Great Britain and Maratha Empire in India . The war began with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai.
After the death of Madhavrao Peshwa in 1772, his brother Narayanrao Peshwa ascended the position of Peshwa of the Maratha Empire . However, Raghunathrao, Narayanrao’s uncle, had his nephew assassinated in a palace conspiracy that placed Raghunathrao as the next Peshwa, although he was not a legal heir. However, the late Narayanrao’s widow, Gangabai, gave birth to a son after her husband’s death. The newborn infant was named ‘Sawai’ (“One and a Quarter”) Madhavrao and legally was the next Peshwa. Twelve Maratha chiefs, led by Nana Phadnis directed an effort to name the infant as the new Peshwa and rule under him as regents. Raghunathrao, unwilling to give up his position of power, sought help from the British at Bombay and signed the Treaty of Surat on March 7, 1777. According to the treaty, Raghunathrao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British along with parts of revenues from Surat and Bharuch districts. In return, the British were to provide Raghunathrao with 2,500 soldiers. The British Calcutta Council, on the other side of India, condemned the Treaty of Surat and sent Colonel Upton to Pune to annul it. The Colonel was also sent to make a new treaty with the regency that renounced Raghunath and promised him a pension. The Bombay government rejected this and gave refuge to Raghunath. In 1777 Nana Phadnis violated his treaty with the Calcutta Council by granting the French a port on the west coast. The British replied by sending a force towards Pune.
Battle of Wadgaon
The British and the Maratha armies met on the outskirts of Pune. The Maratha army reportedly numbered 80,000 soldiers while the British consisted of 35,000 with highly superior ammunition and cannons. However, the Maratha army was commanded by a brilliant General named Mahadji Shinde (also known as Mahadji Sindia). Mahadji lured the British army into the ghats (valleys) near Talegaon and trapped the British. Once trapped, the Maratha cavalry harassed the enemy from all sides and attacked the British supply base at Khopoli. The Marathas also utilized a scorched earth policy, burning farmland and poisoning wells. As the British began to withdraw to Talegaon, the Marathas attacked, forcing them to retreat to the village of Wadgaon. Here, the British army was surrounded from all sides by the Marathas and cut off from food and water. The British finally surrendered by mid-January 1779 and signed the Treaty of Wadgaon that forced the Bombay government to relinquish all territories acquired by the British since 1775.
The British Governor-General in Bengal, Warren Hastings , rejected this treaty and sent a large force of soldiers across India under Colonel Goddard. Goddard captured Ahmedabad in February 1779, and Bassein in December 1780. Another Bengal detachment led by Captain Popham captured Gwalior in August 1780. Hastings sent yet another force after Mahadji Shinde. In February 1781, led by General Camac, the British finally defeated Shinde at Sipri.
Treaty of Salbai
After the defeat, Shinde proposed a new treaty between the Peshwa and the British that would recognize the young Madhavrao as the Peshwa and grant Raghunathrao a pension . This treaty, known as the Treaty of Salbai, was signed in May 1782, and was ratified by Hastings in June 1782 and by Phadnis in February 1783. The treaty also returned to Shinde all his territories west of the Yamuna. It also guaranteed peace between the two sides for twenty years, thus ending the war .
Second Anglo-Maratha War
The Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803 - 1805) was the second conflict between the United Kingdom and the Maratha Empire in India .
The overweening ambition of Raghunath Rao, Peshwa Baji Rao II's father, and the latter's own incompetence since coming into his inheritance, had long occasioned much internecine intrigue within the Maratha confederacy; Peshwa Baji Rao II no longer commanded the deference his predecessors had.
In October 1802, Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by one of his own nominal subordinates, the Holkar ruler of Indore, at the battle of Poona.
Baji Rao II fled to British protection, and in December the same year concluded the Treaty of Bassein with the British East India Company , ceding territory for the maintenance of a subsidiary force and agreeing to not to enter treaties with any other power.
At the Battle of Assaye (the fictional venue of Richard Sharpe's triumph  ) on September 23, 1803—the British led by the future 1st Duke of Wellington in what was his first major military success defeated the Maratha rebels on behalf of Baji Rao, whom they restored to power in terms of the Treaty of Bassein.
This act of craven expediency on the part of the Peshwa, their nominal overlord, horrified and disgusted the Maratha chieftains, who wanted least of all to see an extension of British power; in particular, the Sindhia rulers of Gwalior and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur and Berar contested the agreement. They were defeated, respectively, at Laswari and Delhi by Lord Lake and at Assaye and Argaon by Sir Arthur Wellesley. The Holkar rulers of Indore belatedly joined the fray and were also defeated by the British .
Peace was concluded in 1805, with the British acquiring Orissa and parts of western Gujarat and Bundelkhand from the Marathas, who were left with a free hand in much of central India. The Scindia Maharajas retained control and overlordship over much of Rajasthan.
Third Anglo-Maratha War
The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817 - 1818) was a final and decisive conflict between the British and the Maratha Empire in India , which left the U.K. in control of most of India.
It began with an invasion of Maratha territory by the British governor-general, Lord Hastings, in the course of operations against Pindari robber bands. The Peshwa of Pune's forces, followed by those of the Bhonsle of Nagpur and Holkar of Indore, rose against the British, but British diplomacy convinced the Sindhia of Gwalior to remain neutral, although he lost control of Rajasthan. British victory was swift, and resulted in the breakup of the Maratha empire and the loss of Maratha independence to the British. The Peshwa was pensioned off, and most of his territory was annexed to Bombay Presidency, although the Maharaja of Satara was restored as ruler of a princely state until its annexation to Bombay state in 1848. The northern portion of the Nagpur Bhonsle dominions, together with the Peshwa's territories in Bundelkhand, were annexed to British India as the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories. The Maratha kingdoms of Indore, Gwalior, Nagpur, and Jhansi became princely states, acknowledging British control.
The Third Anglo-Maratha War left the British in control of virtually all of present-day India south of the Sutlej River.
- ↑ Rudyard, Kipling, “Take up The White Man’s Burden” (Modern History Sourcebook, Fordham University, 1899) Take up the White Man’s burden Or, as Arthur James Balfour (Lord Balfour) put it, ‘it is our business to govern, with or without gratitude’, cited by Said, 1978, 33.
- ↑ As defined by Said, 1978, Orientalism is a ‘corporate institution for dealing with the Orient—dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it’ (3) with little interest in what its people say about it or about themselves. In contrast to his successors, Hastings valued Indian culture and institutions, commissioned a translation of the Bhagavad Gita and thought that Indians should be ruled by their own, not by British, law. See Said, 78.
References ISBN links support NWE through referral fees
- Athale, Anil A. Struggle for Empire Anglo-Maratha Wars 1679-1818 . New Delhi: Reliance, 2001. ISBN 9788175101203
- Cornwell, Bernard. Sharpe's Triumph Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Assaye , September 1803. New York: HarperCollins Pub, 1998. ISBN 9780061012709
- Rogers, Franklin R. When the Fight Was Done A Novel of the Maratha Wars . New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2002. ISBN 9780143028802
- Said, Edward. Orientalism . NY: Pantheon, 1978. ISBN 9780394428147
- Thapar, Romila, and Thomas George Percival Spear. A History of India . Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1965; 1990. ISBN 9780140138351
All links retrieved June 19, 2021.
- Athale, Anil. Anil Athale of Joffe’s Invaders
- Beck, Sanderson. Marathas and the English Company 1701-1818
- Indian History – British Period
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Anglo-Maratha Wars · The Maratha Empire in India was destroyed along with the British victory in the wars, which started in 1777 and ended in
Anglo-Maratha Wars. Venue: Pune, Central India, Maharashtra and neighboring areas. Year: 1775-82, 1803-05, 1817-18. The three conflicts or wars fought
Maratha Wars ; war (1775–82) began with British support for ; Raghunath Rao's bid for the office of peshwa (chief minister) of the confederacy. The British were
Anglo Maratha Wars – History Study Material & Notes ... Balaji Baji Rao was the third Peshwa who died after the defeat of Marathas in Third Battle of Panipat in
The First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–1782) was the first of three Anglo-Maratha Wars fought between the British East India Company and Maratha Empire in India.
Anglo-Maratha Wars may refer to: First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–1782); Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805); Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1819)
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
The primary cause of the first Maratha war was the interference of English government at Bombay in the internal affairs of the Marathas. Peshwa
The Anglo-Maratha wars took place in three phases in India and were fought between the British East India Company and the Indian Maratha
The First Anglo-Maratha War was the first of three Anglo-Maratha wars fought between the Great Britain and Maratha Empire in India. The war began with the