Anglo Sikh War (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) | Victory, Events, Causes and Consequences of Anglo Sikh War

Anglo Sikh War: Expansion of British Power in Punjab and The Conquest of Punjab. The tenth and the last Guru of Sikhs was Guru Gobind Singh who had transformed into a military brotherhood from the religious sect of Sikhism.

After the invasion of Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali, the Sikhs consolidated their military strength amid disorder and confusion after the invasion. This led to the emergence of Sikh power aided by a strong military.

Want to know how many wars and conflicts took place in History and changed the world? Check out this available List of Wars and Battles.

Who Was Maharaja Ranjit Singh?

He founded Sikh rule in Punjab and is considered the greatest Indian ruler in his time. In 1799, he occupied Lahore to make Lahore his capital. After that, he conquered Kangra, Multan, Kashmir, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Attock, Hazara, Bannu, Peshawar and Derajat. After laying a strong foundation of the Sikh rule in large parts around Punjab, he died in 1839, leading to a struggle for succession.

Anglo Sikh War Consequences

What Happened After The Death Of Maharaja Ranjit Singh?

After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, there was anarchy in Punjab. The Sikh Kingdom saw the beginning of the process of disintegration when Kharak Singh, the successor of Ranjit Singh and the eldest son and his only son Naunihal Singh or grandson of Ranjit Singh were also killed in 1840. After that, another son of Ranjit Singh, Sher Singh in proclaiming himself the Maharaja in January 1841, was successful with the help of the Sikh army but he too was assassinated in 1843.

Who Took The throne After Maharaja Ranjit Singh Death?

In September 1843, Duleep Singh had proclaimed the Maharaja of the Sikh Kingdom being the youngest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with Hira Singh Dogra as Wazir (who was murdered later) and Rani Jindan as Regent.

How was the First Anglo-Sikh War (1845-1846)?

Since the British had their eyes on the fertile plains across the other side of Sutlej and were closely watching Punjab’s developments, they began engaging with Sikh troops. In 1843, with the appointment, Major Broad as Company’s Agent at Ludhiana for Sikhs affairs then actually worsened Anglo-Sikh relations.

Under Governor-General Lord Ellenborough and his successor, Sir Henry Hardinge, the British’s actions and attitudes are disputed. Most British accounts’ main concern was that the Sikh army, to restrain them without strong leadership, was serious intimidation to British territories along the border.

The British preparations and moves alarmed the Sikh troops which crossed the Sutlej in December 1845 and took an offensive position against the English forces. Henceforth, the battles were fought at Mudki, Aliwal and Ferozeshah. To settle the risen issue, the final battle of Sobraon on 10 Feb 1848, proved decisive in first Anglo Sikh War.

Anglo Sikh War Victory

What Happened After The Victory At Sobraon?

After the victory at Sobraon, the English army occupied Lahore and dictated peace terms. Therefore, the First Anglo-Sikh Battle ended with the Treaty of Lahore (1846). Dalip Singh was recognised as Raja in the treaty of Lahore, and the British territory added the Jullandur Doab. It was also limited to a specified number of Sikh army, and most importantly, Sir Henry Lawrence, who was British Resident, was appointed to assist the Sikh Council of Regency. The British imposed quite a heavy war indemnity amounting to one and a half crores rupees on the Lahore durbar. Out of this, in place of the balance war indemnity, half a crore was paid, and Lahore durbar offered to cede the territory of Kashmir.

What Events Of The Anglo Sikh War Occur Between The Years 1801 And 1839?

  • Maharaja Ranjit Sigh, in Pakistani Punjab, was born in 1780 to the leader of the Sukerchakiamisl of the Sikh confederacies.
  • United 12 Sikh subjugated and misls and other local kingdoms to become the ‘Maharaja of Punjab’.
  • Successfully resisted many Afghan captured and invaded areas under them like Multan, Lahore, and Peshawar.
  • Earned the title ‘Sher-i-Punjab’ or Lion of Punjab.
  •  In 1799, after occupying Lahore, it became Maharaja’s capital.
  • To the north of the River-Sutlej and land from South of the north-western Himalayas, was his Sikh Empire. His Empire included major towns like Srinagar (Kashmir), Attock, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Amritsar, Kangra, Jammu, and Sialkot.
  • He maintained quite friendly relations with the British people.
  • He had men from different religions and races in his army.
  • He maintained an army very efficiently in infrastructure, warfare and logistics.
  • After he died in 1839, among his many relatives, there was a struggle for succession. This also marked the process of disintegration of the Sikh Empire.
  • He was succeeded by Kharak Singh, his eldest legitimate son.

What Events of the Anglo Sikh War Happened Between 1845-1846?

  • In 1843, major broad was placed in Amritsar as the East India Company’s agent.
  • The British closely watched the Punjab political front developments and had territorial ambitions in other parts of the Asian subcontinent.
  • The Sikh forces in December 1845, crossed the Sutlej and against the English troops took offensive positions.
  • Subsequently, the English victory consequent of battles was fought in different places, and at Sobraon led to the signing of the famous Lahore Treaty in 1846, which ended the war.

What Happened In The Year 1846?

  • Maharaja Duleep Singh, who was Punjab’s ruler, was to remain its ruler along with his mother Jindan Kaur as Regent.
  • The Sikhs had to cede to the British, the Jalandhar Doab.
  • A huge war indemnity to the English was also asked to pay to the Sikhs. Since the Sikhs could not spend all of it at once, part of it was paid and to make up for the remaining with Kashmir, Hazaras, and the Indus Rivers and all territories between the Beas were given to the English.
  • The Sikhs were to limit their army to a certain number.
  • Also, a British Resident, Sir Henry Lawrence, was appointed to the Sikh court.

Anglo Sikh War Events

The Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849)

After a few months later the treaty of Lahore, Rani Jindan and Lai Singh realised the English Company’s true intentions.

In the second Anglo Sikh War, Lord Gough’s command with a large army under him fought an indecisive battle at Ramnagar in November 1848. Next, in January 1849, at the battle of Chilianwala, with glory the Sikh soldiers won. The decisive and final fight in 1849, at Gujrat near Chenab, was won by the English. This war resulted in the immediate annexation of Punjab.

What Were the Major Causes for the Second Anglo Sikh War?

  • The humiliation caused by the British East India Company from the first Anglo-Sikh war wherein the Sikh Empire had lost some territories to them.
  • Maharani Jindan Kaur, the Sikh Regent, was actually not treated properly by the British people.
  • On conspiracy charges, She was removed against the British Resident from Lahore.
  • Multan was considered a part of the Sikh Empire in 1818 when Maharaja Ranjit Singh had captured it.
  • Dewan Mulraj governed Multan. He resented the Lahore Court’s which was the capital of the Sikh Empire and since the first Anglo-Sikh war but controlled by the British Resident and demand for increased revenues and tax assessment.
  • At that time, the British Resident was Sir Frederick Currie. He imposed and undermined Mulraj another governor Sardar Kahan Singh.
  • In 1848, Vans Agnew and in Multan to take charge were murdered by Mulraj’s troops with another officer.
  • This news led to unrest many Sikh soldiers and in Punjab, joined the rebel forces against the British.

What Was The Course of the Second Anglo-Sikh War?

  • Battles were fought in Chilianwala and Ramnagar.
  • The Sikhs won at Chilianwala whereas the battle at Ramnagar was indecisive.
  • The final battle was fought at Gujrat in 1849 near Chenab (not the present Indian state Gujarat). The British forces actually won this.
  • Under Dost Mohammad Khan, the Afghan forces had joined the Sikhs’ side.

In March 1849, annexed by Lord Dalhousie, pensioned off Dalip Singh to England and Punjab under the Treaty of Lahore and along with Dilip Singh’s mother, Rani Jindan.

The first Chief Commissioner of Punjab was Sir John Lawrence who looks after the administration of Punjab. Therefore, Punjab became a British province. However, Patiala and some other small states retained their rulers after recognising the sovereignty of the British. The second Anglo Sikh War ended with the British conquest of Punjab.

What Were The Outcomes of the Second Anglo-Sikh War?

  •  In March 1849, Punjab was annexed by the British and under Lord Dalhousie and as per the Treaty of Lahore.
  • Duleep Singh, the eleven-year-old Maharaja, was pensioned off to England.
  • Jind Kaur was taken to Firozpur and was separated from her son the Maharaja. Her jewels and money confiscated and her allowance was reduced to a meager amount.
  • The first Chief Commissioner of Punjab in order to take care of the administration was Sir John Lawrence appointed.
  • Dalhousie was made a Marquis and was recognised for his role in Punjab’s annexation to the British.
  • The famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was in possession of Maharaja and who had willed it to the Puri Jagannath Temple of Odisha, Ranjit Singh but the British did not execute his will went into British hands. After the second Anglo-Sikh war, they say it was acquired as part of the Treaty of Lahore.

What Were The Consequences of the Anglo-Sikh War?

At the end of the war, the East India Company forced Sikh Empire was forced to cede some valuable territory (the Jullundur Doab) and Gulab Singh, the ruler of Jammu, was allowed to acquire the entire Jammu and Kashmir from the Sikh Empire by a large cash payment to the East India Company. Some of the Sikh Army were forced to make an expedition to oust the Governor of Kashmir in favour of Gulab Singh.

The infant Maharaja Duleep Singh of the Sikh Empire was allowed to retain his throne, but a British Resident, Sir Henry Lawrence, controlled the Durbar’s policy. Duleep Singh’s mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, continually tried to regain some of her former influence as Regent and was eventually exiled by Lawrence.

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