Brief Note on First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782)

First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782)

Background and course

  1. The third Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao died in 1761 due to shock after his defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat.
  2. His son Madhav Rao I succeeded him. Madhav Rao I was able to recover some of the Maratha power and rerritories which they had lost in the Battle of Panipat.
  3. The English were aware of the growing Maratha power.
  4. When Madhav Rao I died, there was a tussle for power in the Maratha camp.
  5. His brother Narayan Rao became the Peswa but his uncle Raghunath Rao wanted to become the Peshwa. For this, he sought the help of the English
  6. So, the Treaty of Surat in 1775 was signed according to which Raghunath Rao ceded Salsette and Bassein to the English and in return he was given 2500 soldiers.
  7. The British and army of Raghunath Rao attacked the Peshwa and won.
  8. The British Calcutta Council under Warren Hastings annulled this treaty and a new treaty, the Treaty of Purandar was signed in 1776 between the Calcutta Council and Nana Phadnavis, a Maratha minister.
  9. Accordingly, Raghunath Rao was given a pension only and Salsette was retained by the British.
  10. But the British establishment at Bombay violated this treaty and Sheltered Raghunath Rao.
  11. In 1777, Nana Phadnavis went against his treaty with the Calcutta Council and granted a port on the west coast to the French.
  12. This led the British to advance a force towards Pune. There was a battle at Wadgaon near Pune in which the Marathas under Mahadji Shinde secured a decisive victory over the English.
  13. The English were forced to sign the Treaty of Wadgaon in 1779.
  14. There was a series of battles at the end of which the Treaty of Salbai was signed in 1782. This ended the first Anglo-Maratha war.

Results of War

  1. The East India Company retained Salsette and Broach.
  2. It also obtained a guarantee from the Marathas that they would retake their possessions in the Deccan from Hyder Ali of Mysore.
  3. The Marathas also promised that they would not grant any more territories to the French.
  4. Raghunath Rao was to receive a pension of Rs 3 lakh every year.
  5. All territories taken by the British after the Treaty of Purandar were ceded back to the Marathas.
  6. The English accepted Madhav Rao II (son of Narayan Rao) as the Peshwa

Treaty of Salbai Signed (May 17, 1782)

The Treaty of Salbai, which ended the First Anglo-Maratha War, was signed on 17 May 1782 between the British East India Company and the Marathas. Salbai is situated in Gwalior District, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The First Anglo-Maratha War started in 1775 effectively after the signing of the Treaty of Surat between the East India Company at Bombay and Raghunath Rao, uncle of the newly-crowned Peshwa Narayan Rao. Raghunath Rao had nurtured ambitions to become the Peshwa for which he sought British help.
  • However, the Calcutta Council of the company supported Narayan Rao and his able minister Nana Phadnavis, who between themselves had signed the Treaty of Purandar (1776) which nullifield the Surat Treaty.
  • This new treaty gave the British possession of Salsette and also pensioned off Raghunath Rao.
  • But, the Bombay Council’s sheltering of Raghunath Rao and Nana Phadnavis’s granting of a port to the French deteriorated the already strained relations between the English and the Marathas.
  • The Battle of Wadgaon followed in which the Marathas, ably led by Mahadji Shinde defeated the English. The English were forced to accept the Treaty of Wadgaon.
  • However, more battles ensued between the rivals, and finally, the Treaty of Salbai was signed which effectively ended the hostilities.
  • This treaty was signed after a lot of negotiation between the warring groups. As per the treaty, the areas of Salsette and Broach were to be retained by the Company.
  • The Marathas, for their part, were to guarantee that they would defeat Mysore’s Hyder Ali and retake the former Maratha Possessions in the Carnatic.
  • They also promised not to allow any French settlements in their regions.
  • The British, in turn, accepted Narayanrao’s son Madhavrao II as the rightfull Peshwa and pensioned off Raghunathrao.
  • They also acknowledged Mahadaji Shinde’s territories west of the River Jumna. All the territories acquired by them after the Treaty of Purandar were given back to the Marathas.
  • However, the peace was temporary as the Second Anglo-Maratha War broke out in 1802, twenty years after the Salbai Treaty.

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