First Anglo-Maratha War – Background & Significance

Between the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, there were three Anglo-Maratha wars (or Maratha Wars). Anglo-Maratha War will be discussed in this article. Candidates can also download First Anglo-Maratha War notes PDF from the link provided below.

First Anglo-Maratha War (1775 – 1782)

    • The third Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao died in 1761 due to shock after his defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat.
    • The succession was taken over by Madhavrao I, his son. Madhavrao I was able to recover some of the Maratha power and territories which they had lost in the Battle of Panipat.
    • The English were aware of the growing Maratha power.
    • When Madhavrao I died, there was a tussle for power in the Maratha camp.
    • His brother Narayanrao became the Peshwa but his uncle Raghunathrao wanted to become the Peshwa. For this, he sought the help of the English
    • In 1775, Raghunathrao signed the Treaty of Surat, under which he ceded Salsette and Bassein to the English in exchange for 2500 soldiers.
    • The British and army of Raghunathrao attacked the Peshwa and won.
    • A new treaty, the Treaty of Purandhar, was signed between the British Calcutta Council and Nana Phadnavis, a Maratha minister, in 1776 after Warren Hastings annulled this treaty.
    • Accordingly, Raghunathrao was given a pension only and Salsette was retained by the British.
    • But the British establishment at Bombay violated this treaty and sheltered Raghunathrao.
    • In 1777, Nana Phadnavis went against his treaty with the Calcutta Council and granted a port on the west coast to the French.
    • 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.
    • In 1779, the English were forced to sign the Treaty of Wadgaon.
  • 1782 was the year when the Treaty of Salbai was signed after a series of battles. First Anglo-Maratha war ended with this victory.

Results of the First Anglo-Maratha War:

  • The East India Company retained Salsette and Broach.
  • A guarantee was also obtained from the Marathas that they would retake their possessions in the Deccan from Hyder Ali of Mysore.
  • Furthermore, the Marathas promised that the French would not be given any more territories.
  • Raghunathrao was to receive a pension of Rs.3 lakh every year.
  • Following the Treaty of Purandhar, all territories taken by the British were returned to the Marathas.
  • The English accepted Madhavrao II (son of Narayanrao) as the Peshwa.[/su_box]

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