Third Anglo-Maratha War

 Main Reason for the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-19)

Third Anglo-Maratha War - Wikipedia

Lord Hastings’ imperialistic plan was to impose British supremacy. The East India Business’s monopoly on trade in China (save tea) expired with the Charter Act of 1813, and the company sought more markets. The Pindaris, who came from a variety of castes and classes, served as mercenaries in the Maratha forces. The Pindaris were unable to find regular work when the Marathas became weak. As a result, they began looting nearby lands, including the Company’s. The English accused the Marathas of harboring the Pindaris. Amir Khan and Karim Khan, two Pindari chiefs, surrendered, while Chitu Khan fled into the jungles. Other Maratha leaders were hurt by the Treaty of Bassein, which was regarded as “a treaty with a cipher (the Peshwa).” They viewed the treaty as a complete loss of independence. Lord Hastings’ efforts against the Pindaris were considered as a violation of the Marathas’ authority, and they served to reunite the Maratha confederacy once more. During the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1817, a remorseful Bajirao II made one final attempt by gathering the Maratha leaders against the English.

Treaty of Third Anglo-Maratha war

THE THIRD ANGLO MARATHA WAR Part 1 - Khadki to Koregaon

At Poona, the Peshwa assaulted the British Residency. Nagpur’s Appa Sahib assaulted the Nagpur residency, and the Holkar prepared for war. However, by that time, the Marathas had lost practically all of the elements necessary for a power to thrive. All of the Maratha states’ political and administrative situations were chaotic and inefficient. Following the death of Jaswantrao Holkar, Tulsi Bai, the Holkars’ favorite mistress, assumed command of Poona. Despite being a brilliant and intellectual woman, she was unable to properly rule the state due to the influence of some unworthy men such as Balram Seth and Amir Khan. The Bhonsle in Nagpur and the Sindhia in Gwalior were both in decline. So, by retaliating forcefully, the English were able to prevent the Peshwa from exerting his control over the Maratha confederacy once more.

Result At Khirki, Bhonsle was defeated at Sitabuldi, while Holkar was defeated at Mahidpur. A number of significant treaties were signed. The Treaty of Poona, with Peshwa, was signed in June 1817.
The Treaty of Gwalior with Sindhia was signed in November 1817, and the Treaty of Mandasor with Holkar was signed in January 1818. The Peshwa finally submitted in June 1818, and the Maratha confederacy was abolished. The peshwaship system was phased out. At Bithur, near Kanpur, Peshwa Bajirao became a British retainer. Pratap Singh, a direct descendant of Shivaji, was appointed ruler of Satara, a tiny principality created from the Peshwa’s domains.

Why Did the Marathas Fail?

The English defeated the Marathas for a variety of reasons. The following were the primary reasons:
(I) Inept Management The Maratha state had a dictatorial air to it. The personality and character of the state’s leader had a significant impact on the state’s affairs. Bajirao II, Daulatrao Sindhia, and Jaswantrao Holkar, however, were later Maratha leaders who were worthless and egotistical. They couldn’t stand a chance against English authorities like Elphinstone, John Malcolm, and Arthur Wellesley (who later led the English to conquer Napoleon).
(ii) The Maratha State’s Defective Nature The Maratha state’s people’s cohesion was not organic, but manufactured and accidental, and so insecure. From the time of Shivaji, no effort was made to organize a well-thought-out communal improvement, education, or unification of the people. The religio-national movement fueled the emergence of the Maratha state. When the Maratha state was pitted against a European force organized on the best Western model, this flaw became apparent.
(iii) Political Set-up That Isn’t Tight Under the leadership of the Chhatrapati and later the Peshwa, the Maratha empire was a loose confederation. Chiefs like the Gaikwad, Holkar, Sindhia, and Bhonsle carved out semi-independent kingdoms for themselves while paying lip regard to the Peshwa’s authority. Furthermore, there was implacable hatred among the Confederacy’s various units. The Maratha chief frequently supported one side or the other. The Maratha state suffered as a result of the lack of cooperation among the Maratha chiefs.
(iv) Military System That Isn’t Up to Snuff The Marathas were inferior to the English in terms of force organization, war weapons, disciplined action, and efficient leadership, notwithstanding their personal prowess and gallantry. Much of the Maratha failures were due to the centrifugal tendencies of split command. Treason in the ranks played a key role in the Maratha armies’ demise. The Marathas’ adoption of contemporary military techniques proved insufficient. The Marathas underestimated the importance of artillery. The Poona government established an artillery department, but it was ineffective.
v) Uncertainty in Economic Policy The Maratha leadership was unable to develop a solid economic policy that could adapt to changing needs throughout time. There were no industry or opportunities for overseas trade. As a result, the Maratha economy was not favorable to a stable political system.
(vi) Superior Diplomacy and Espionage in English The English were superior at winning allies and isolating the adversary through diplomacy. The English mission was made easier by the Maratha chiefs’ dissension. The English were able to launch a fast onslaught against the target due to their diplomatic advantage. In contrast to the Marathas’ ignorance and lack of information about their adversary, the English maintained a well-oiled espionage network to acquire intelligence on their adversaries’ potentials, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and military tactics.
(vii) A Progressive English Perspective The forces of Renaissance resurrected the English, freeing them from the restraints of the Church. They were focusing their efforts on scientific breakthroughs, long ocean journeys, and colonial expansion. On the other hand, Indians were still mired in medievalism, which was distinguished by archaic dogmas and beliefs. The Maratha rulers were unconcerned about the day-to-day running of the realm. The insistence on maintaining conventional social stratification based on the priestly class’s dominance made the formation of an empire impossible. Finally, it may be deduced that the English attacked a “split home” that began to crumble after a few pushes.

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