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Anglo Maratha Rivalry



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Baji Rao The third Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao could not withstand the shock of the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat and died on June 23, 1761. He was succeeded by his son Madhav Rao. He kept in check the ambition of his brother Raghunath Rao, maintained unity among the Maratha chiefs and nobles and very soon recovered the power and prestige of the Marathas which they had lost in the Third Battle of Panipat. The English became conscious of the growing power of the Marathas and wanted to crush their re-establishment. They got this opportunity very soon after the death of Madhav Rao in 1772.

The First Anglo Maratha War (1775-1782) : The primary cause of the first Maratha war was the interference of the English in the internal affairs of the Marathas. Peshwa Madhav Rao was succeeded by his younger brother, Narain Rao. His uncle, Raghunath Rao, wanted to become the Peshwa and got him murdered. The great Maratha chiefs took up the cause of Madhav Rao Narain, the posthumous son of Narain Rao, Raghunath Rao, approached the English for help.

Raghunath Rao or Raghoba concluded with the Bombay council, the Treaty of Surat in March 1775. Under this treaty Raghoba promised to hand over Bassein and Salsette and a few islands near Bombay to the British. This treaty was not approved by the Calcutta Council and a new treaty - Treaty of Purandar - was signed in 1776. This treaty accepted Madhav Rao II as new Peshwa. This was followed by the Treaty of Salbai (1782) and the Treaty of Bassein

Treaty of Salbai: This treaty was signed between Warren Hastings and Majadji Scinida. Under this treaty Salsette and Bassein were given to the British. Raghunath Rao was pensioned off. The treaty established the British influence on Indian politics.

Treaty of Bassein: is regarded as a very important step towards the establishment of the English dominance over India. This treaty was made between the last Peshwa of the Marathas, Baji Rao II and the English on December 31, 1802. The main provisions of this Treaty were the recognition of Peshwa's claim in Poona, acceptance of Subsidiary Alliance by Baji Rao II and relinquishing of all rights to Surat by Baji Rao to the British.

The Second Anglo Maratha War (1803-1805): For Marathas, Treaty of Bassein was nothing short of surrender of national honour. Holkar and Scindia stopped fighting. Scindia and Bhonsle combined but Holkar and Gaikwad remained aloof. Scindia and Bhonsle were asked by the English to withdraw their troops to the north of the Naramada River but they refused. It led to war. Both Scindia and Peshwa had accepted the sovereignty of the English. The Scindia and the Bhonsle entered into the subsidiary alliance by concluding the Treaty of Surje-Arjangaon and the Treaty of Deogaon respectively. Now Holkar alone was left in the field who still avoided their supremacy. Wellesley, now turned his attention towards Holkar, but Yeshwant Rao Holkar proved more than a match for the British. The company made peace with Holkar in January 1806 by the Treaty of Rajgat giving back to the latter the greater part of his territories.

The Third Anglo Maratha War (1817-1818): Marathas made a desperate last attempt to regain their independence and old prestige in 1817. This led in organising a united front of the Maratha chiefs and was taken over by the Peshwa who was smarting under the rigid control exercised by the British Resident. However, once again the Marathas failed to evolve a concerted and well-though out plan of action. The Maratha confederacy was altogether destroyed. Now the British Government became the supreme and paramount authority in India.

Anglo Maratha Treaties At a Glance
Treaty of Surat,1775 was signed by Raghunath Rao wherein he promised to hand over Bassein and Salsette and a few islands near Bombay to the British.
Treaty of Purandhar,1776 was signed by Madhav Rao II. The company got a huge was indemnity and retained Salsette.
Treaty of Wadgoan,1779 was signed by British and Bombay government to relinquish all territories acquired by the Bombay office of the East India Company since 1773.
Treaty of Salbai,1782 was signed by Mahadji Scindia whereby the British influence in Indian politics and mutual conflicts increased amongst the Marathas.
Treaty of Bassein,1802 was signed between Baji Rao II. This treaty gave effective control of not only Maratha but also Deccan regions to the Company.
Treaty of Deogaon,1803 by Bhonsle assured British supremacy over the Maratha Kingdom.
Treaty of Surji-Arjangaon,1803 by Daulat Rao Scindia assured the same.

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