Anglo-Maratha Wars

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Anglo-Maratha Wars


predatory wars waged by the British East India Company against the Maratha principalities in India. The first Anglo-Maratha War (1775–82) began with the actions of a British military unit that had been presented by the British to their protégé Raghunath Rao, whom they supported in his struggle for the peshwa throne. Exploiting the internal conflicts between the Maratha princes, the British formed an alliance with the rulers of Gwalior and Nagpur and bound the Marathas on May 17, 1782, to the Treaty of Salbai. By this treaty, the company received Salsette Island and the Bassein area but renounced its support of Raghunath Rao. The refusal of the Marathas to recognize the 1802 Treaty of Bassein, signed by the peshwa Baji Rao and the British and by which the Marathas in effect lost their independence, served as grounds for the start of the second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–05). By 1805 the resistance of the Marathas was broken. They lost part of their territory—in particular, Delhi, which up to this time had been dependent on the Gwalior principality—and acknowledged themselves as vassals of the company. During the third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–18), some Maratha princes submitted to the British without resistance. Other resisted strongly, but by the end of 1818 they had been defeated. As a result of the war, much of Maratha territory was annexed by the company; the Maratha vassal princes were left with only small holdings.


Duff, J. G. History of the Mahrattas, vols. 1-2. London, 1921.
Sardesai, G. S. New History of the Marathas, vols. 1–3. Bombay, 1946–48.


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