Anglo Maratha War Date and Year | All You Need To Know About Anglo Maratha War | History, Significant & 5 Major Chiefs of Anglo Maratha War

Anglo Maratha War:  A total of three wars were fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company.

  1. First War (1775)
  2. Second War (1803-05)
  3. Third War (1817-18)

The first war began in 1775 when the Britishers supported Raghunath Rao’s bid for the office of the chief minister or Peshwa of the Maratha confederacy. The Britishers continued to fight after suffering defeat at Wadagaon in 1779, until the conclusion of the Treaty of Salbai in May 1782.

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The second war took place in 1803-05 when the Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by one of the leading Maratha clans, the Holkars. Baji Rao II accepted British protection by the Treaty of Bassein in December 1802. The Sindhia and the Bhonsle families were defeated at Laswari and Delhi by Lord Lake, and at Assaye and Argaon by Sir Arthur Wellesley respectively. After the Holkar clan joined in, the Marathas were left with a free hand in the central regions of Central India and Rajasthan.

The third war (1817-18) took place when the British Governor-general, Lord Hastings invaded the Maratha Territory in the course of the operations against Pindaris. The Peshwa’s, Holkars, and the Bhonsle rose against the British but suffered defeat. The Sindhia remained neutral during this war. After the third Anglo-Maratha war, the British cemented their supremacy in India

  • What is the date & year of the Anglo-Maratha war?
  • Who won the Anglo-Maratha war?
  • How many Anglo-Maratha wars were fought?
  • What is the history of the Anglo-Maratha war?
  • What are some of the significant phases of war?
  • Who were the 5 major chiefs of the Maratha Confederacy?
  • What were the various treaties that were signed during the Anglo-Maratha wars?
  • Who were the Pindaris?

Anglo-Maratha War Date and Year | What is the Date & Year Of The Anglo-Maratha War?

A total of three Anglo-Marathas wars took place between 1775-1818.

The first Anglo-Maratha war took place from 1775-1782 with the signing of the Treaty of Surat between the then Peshwa Raghunath Rao and the British empire and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Salbai in 1782 which restored the status quo and brought peace in the region for 20 years. According to the Treaty of Surat, the regions of Salsette and Vasai were ceded to the Britishers and in return, the Britishers promised to provide 2500 soldiers.

The second war started in 1803 and continued till 1805. The combined armies of Peshwa Baji Rao and Scindia were defeated by the Holkars, the rulers of Indore at the Battle of Poona. Baji Rao fled to the British for protection and signed the treaty of Bassein which would later become the death knell of the Maratha empire.

The third and final war ended in 1818 and paved the way for British supremacy in India. The British victory came swift as more and more territories became princely states and acknowledged the British rule.

Anglo Maratha War - Maratha Empire and British East India

Who Won The Anglo-Maratha War?

Although the Britishers suffered defeat in the first Anglo-Maratha war in 1775, they captured almost all of the Maratha region by the third Anglo-Maratha war in 1818. After the war, the British supremacy in the entire country was established. The territories previously under the control of five major Maratha chiefs were now converted into princely states.

How Many Anglo-Maratha Wars Were Fought?

A total of three Anglo-Maratha wars were fought between 1775 and 1818.

  • The first war was fought between the Maratha empire and the Britishers after the Peshwa, Raghunathrao signed the treaty of Surat on 6 march 1775 to seek help from the Britishers. After the Britishers suffered defeat in the battle of Wadgaon they retaliate as Colonel Goddard took control of Ahmedabad and later Bassein. Warren Hastings also send forces after Mahadji Shinde who was finally defeated by General Camac at Sipri in February 1781.
  • The second war was fought between 1802-05. After 20 years of peace, in October 1803, the armies of Peshwa Baji Rao II and Scindia attacked the ruler of Indore, Yashwant Rao Holkar and were defeated at the Battle of Poona. After the signing of the Treaty of Bassein, the Britishers defeated the Sindhia rulers of Gwalior at Laswari and Delhi and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur at Aragaon. The Holkars joined but were also defeated by the British.
  • The third war started in 1817 after the Britishers had control of most of India. They started operations against the Pindaris and the Marathas in Central India. The Peshwa’s forces in Pune, the Holkars and the Bhonsle of Nagpur rose against the British, but the Scindia remained neutral as a result of British diplomacy. The battles were swift and by 1818, the Britishers had control over the entire region.

First Anglo Maratha War

What is the History of the Anglo-Maratha War?

The Maratha empire was founded by Chatrapati Shivaji of the Bhonsle Dynasty in 1674. The citizens of the Maratha empire had some common elements such as the Marathi language, a strong sense of belonging and a national feeling. The empire was successfully defended after the attacks from the Mughal empire and later the Maratha empire went on to defeat the Mughals and take their place as the premier power in India. A key feature of the Maratha empire was the council of eight ministers and the senior-most was called the Mukhya Pradhan or the Peshwa.

The Marathas grew beyond the Indus. The Peshwa was busy in the south therefore the responsibility to manage the marathon empire in the north was given to Holkar and Shinde. The two leaders failed to work in harmony with each other as they alienated the Hindu forces of the regions such as Rajputs, the jats and the Rohillas and failed to influence the Muslim leaders.

A serious blow to the Marathas came in the battle of  Panipat against a combined Muslim force on 14 January and 1761. The Maratha’s internal disputes were the reason for this huge loss and all the gains were undone due to the contradicting policies of Holkar and Shinde. This internal strife led to the murder of the Peshwa, Narayanrao in 1773. Raghunath Rao, his uncle was ousted from the seat of the Peshwa and joined hands with the Britishers by signing the Treaty of Surat in 1775 which gave him military assistance in exchange for the Salsette region and Bassein fort.

What Are Some Of The Significant Phases of the War?

  • Battle of Wadgaon: After the Britishers failed to enter Poona in 1775 after defeats by the hand of Haripant Phadke at Ada’s on May 18, 1775. Warren Hastings calculated that direct attacks on Pune would not be the right decision. But after the signing of a treaty between France and the Poona government in  1776, the Britishers invaded Raghoba in order to reinstate it. The Britishers made their way through the Western ghats while being under Maratha attacks and reached Karla on 4 January 1779. The Marathas had strength in numbers but the Britishers were equipped with highly superior ammunition and cannon. The Maratha forces of 80,000 soldiers were led by Mahhadji Shinde who destroyed the Britishers by pushing them towards the ghats and attacked their supply chains. They were forced to retreat back to Wadgaon but were surrounded. The Britishers surrendered and signed the Treaty of Wadgaon on 16 January 1779.
  • Battle of Poona: Yashwant Rao Holkar moved towards Pune to solve disputes. On 25th October 1802, the combined armies of the Peshwa and the Scindia were defeated by the Holkars. Maharaja Yashwant Rao Holkarhad ordered his army to attack only after 25 cannonballs were fired from the other side and not to harm any civilians during the battle. After facing defeat, the Peshwa fled and on 1st December 1802 reached Bassein. The Peshwa then signed the treaty of Bassein after the Britishers offered him enticements for his throne.
  • The signing of the Treaty of Bassein: After the Baji Rao II faced defeat at the hands of Yashwant Rao Holkar he fled to Bassein where he eventually signed the Treaty of Bassein which gave the Britishers control on the throne of Peshwa. The Britishers restored Baji Rao II as the Peshwa but he realised that he was just a tool for the British East India Company, The treaty granted the Britishers to dissolve the entire Maratha empire.

Second Anglo Maratha War

Who Were The 5 Major Chiefs of the Maratha Confederacy?

The Maratha empire was a confederacy made up of five major chiefs. These were- the Peshwa at Poona, the Gaikwad chief of Baroda, the Scindia chief of Gwalior, the Holkar chief of Indore, and the Bhonsale chief of Nagpur. The Maratha chiefs of these regions were engaged with internal quarrels and problems with each other.

What Were The Various Treaties That Were Signed During The Anglo-Maratha Wars?

  • Treaty of Surat: The treaty signed on 6 March 1775, by the then Peshwa, Raghunathrao gave control of the regions of Salsette and Bassein fort to the British in favour of helping the Peshwa to regain control of the Poona government. The Britishers faced defeat and then nullified this treaty.
  • Treaty of Purandhar: The treaty was signed on 1 March 1776 between Lord Hastings and Nana Phadnavis recognising Sawai Madhav Rao as the new Peshwa. The Britishers were able to secure the state of Salsette.
  • Treaty of Wadgaon: After the Britishers suffered defeat in the battle of Wadgaon, they were forced to sign the treaty of Wadgaon on 16 January 1779 but the governor-general rejected the treaty stating that the Bombay officials had no legal power to sign the treaty.
  • Treaty of Salbai: The war was equally balanced as both parties emerged as victorious in some battles and faced defeat in others. The war continued till the treaty of Salbai was signed on 17 May 1782 which restored the status quo and brought peace in the region between the two parties for 20 years.
  • Treaty of Bassein: The treaty which was signed on 31st December 1802 between the British East India Company and Baji Rao II gave the Britishers control over the throne of the Peshwa. The Britishers restored Baji Rao II as Peshwa on 13 May 1803 and this agreement was contested by the other Maratha chieftains which led to the Second-Anglo Maratha War. The Treaty of Bassein was a decisive step that led to the dissolution of the Maratha empire.
  • Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon: The treaty was signed between the British and Daulat Rao Sindhia on 30 December 1803 after the battle of Assaye and the battle of Aragaon. Under this treaty regions of Gujarat, part of Bundelkhand, Ganga-Yamuna doab, Haryana, Delhi-Agra region, and the for to Ahmednagar came under British control.
  • Treaty of Rajghat: The treaty of Rajghat was signed between Yashwant Rao Holkar and the Britishers on December 24, 1805, which forced the Holkars to give up the regions of Tonk, Rampura and Bundi.

Third Anglo Maratha War

Who were the Pindaris?

The Pindaris were war mercenaries who accompanied the Mughal Army and later the Maratha army. After the second Anglo-Maratha war. Many regions of the Maratha empire were lost to the Britishers. Shinde and Holar encouraged the Pindaris to raid these British territories. The Pindari were often cavalry armies and they often raided the villages in Central India. They were unpaid warriors and their compensation was the war loot. In 1814, the strength of the Pindaris rose to 33.000.

They then fought for themselves in the Pindari war of 1817-18 before being eliminated. They were surrounded by British forces and then were attacked giving them no means of escape. The Britishers drove them beyond the Narmada river where the army of Governor-General was waiting for them. The Pindari forces were then broken up and they scattered towards different parts of the country. The routes to Central India were also occupied by the Britishers. One by one the Pindari leaders surrendered and the Pindari system was brought to a close by the Britishers.

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