Second Anglo Maratha War: Causes, Result, Treaty of Bassein UPSC Notes

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The second Anglo Maratha War was fought between the Indian Maratha empire and the British East India company between 1803 to 1805. Three anglo Maratha wars were fought between Britishers and Marathas in the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. After these wars, the supremacy of the Easy India Company was established. When Bajirao II went into British protection to save his life from Holkars of Indore, he signed the Treaty of Bassein with the Britishers. The other Maratha emperors, including Scindias and Bhonsles, did not accept this treaty which led to the second Anglo Maratha war in 1803.

The second Anglo Maratha War UPSC notes are important to prepare for the upcoming Civil Services exam. Many questions are asked about this topic in the Prelims and Mains exams. From this article, candidates can learn about the second Anglo Maratha War treaty, its causes, the course of the war, etc.

Historical Background of Second Anglo Maratha War

The second anglo Maratha war resulted from differences between the five prominent families of the Maratha kingdom in the Indian subcontinent. These 5 families of the Maratha empire were as follows:

  • Gaekwads at Baroda
  • Holkars at Indore
  • Peshwas at Pune
  • Bhonsles at Nagpur
  • Scindias at Gwalior

The scuffle between these families was to British advantage as it allowed them to lead and use the policy of further divide and rule. Baji Rao II, son of Raghunathrao, was appointed as the next Peshwa after the death of Peshwa Madhav Rao Narayan in 1795. At that time, Nana Phadnavis got the position of Chief Minister. Lord Wellesley was the Governor General during the second Anglo Maratha War. He launched the Subsidiary Alliance system under which Indian rulers were asked to pay a specific amount as a subsidy to provide for British Army. Nana Phadnavis was opposed to this system, but his death in 1800 was again favourable for the East India Company.

Second Anglo Maratha War PDF

Daulat Rao Sindhia gained superior control over Poona. As a result, the Britishers made a confidential proposal (Treaty of Bassein) to Baji Rao II (Peshwa of Poona) that would help him to expel Sindhia. At first, he declined the offer, but later, as a result of the consequences of the war between the Marathas, he signed the second Anglo Maratha War treaty (known as the Treaty of Bassein).

Second Anglo Maratha War: Course of War

Knowing the course of the second Anglo Maratha War is crucial for UPSC aspirants, as many questions about the causes and results of this war are asked in the examinations. In the year 1799, the British East India Company annexed the Mysore kingdom ruled by Tipu Sultan. After that, the only major kingdom left to secure was the Maratha empire. The major events of the 2nd Anglo Maratha War are as follows:

  • In the beginning of the 19th century, on 1st April 1801, Vithuji, Jaswanth Rao Holkar’s brother, was brutally killed by Peshwa Baji Rao II.
  • As a result, the Battle of Poona happened between Jaswanth Rao Holkar and the joint armies of Baji Rao II and Sindhias.
  • On 25th October 1802, Jaswanth Rao Holkar won the battle by defeating both armies and appointed Vinayaka Rao as the Peshwa of Poona.
  • Followed by this, Baji Rao II ran off to Bassein and signed the Treaty of Bassein with the Britishers on 31st December 1802.
  • Bhosle and Sindhia refused the treaty, which open on to the second Anglo Maratha war.
  • The Governor General of Bengal at that time was Lord Wellesley, who defeated the armies of Bhonsle and Sindhia. They were compelled to sign separate treaties to show their acceptance of the Subsidiary Alliance system.

Second Anglo Maratha War Treaty

The Treaty of Bassein was signed between Peshwa Baji Rao II and the Britishers and it is considered as the second Anglo Maratha war treaty. Some significant features of the Treaty of Bassein are listed below along with its significance during the 2nd anglo Maratha war which must be learnt thoroughly by UPSC aspirants.

Treaty of Bassein

On 31st December 1802, the treaty of Bassein had signed under which Peshwa Baji Rao II accepted the following conditions:

  • To get native foot soldiers from British for his territories.
  • To capitulate the city of Surat to the Britishers.
  • The area lie between Tapti and Narmada rivers, territories lie to the south of the Tapti river, and near Tungabhadra and Gujarat were surrendered to the East India Company which gave an income of around Rs. 26 Lakhs to the company.
  • Without British consent, he cannot come into any trade or communication with any other ruler.

There was a great significance of the Treaty of Bassein for the Britishers. After the second anglo Maratha war, the treaty established British control over Poona and other areas that come under the Peshwa territory. Since, Peshwa, the head of the Maratha empire, agreed to a dependent relationship with the East India Company through the 2nd anglo Maratha war treaty, the entire Maratha kingdom was brought under colonial rule.

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Result of Second Anglo Maratha War

As a result of the second anglo Maratha war 1803-05, the Maratha soldiers were defeated by the British army. Apart from the Treaty of Bassein, the following treaties were signed between the Britishers and Marathas:

  • Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon: It was signed between Scindias and Britishers in 1803 through which territories of Gurgaon, Ganga-Yamuna Doab, Delhi Agra region, Rohtak, Broach, some regions of Bundelkhand, parts of Gujarat, and Ahmadnagar fort came under the British rule.
  • Treaty of Deogaon: During the second Anglo Maratha war, this treaty was signed in 1803 between Britishers and Bhonsles as per which the territories of Balasore, Cuttack, and west of Wardha River come under the control of British.
  • Treaty of Rajghat: Holkars signed this treaty with Britishers in 1805 through which Britihers got the control of Bundi, Tonk and Rampura regions.

The second anglo Maratha war come to an end with the Treaty of Rajghat in 1805. With this, the power of the East India Company was enhanced to a great extent and Marathas were defeated.

Second Anglo Maratha War UPSC

Aspirants preparing for the upcoming IAS exam must read this article containing Second Anglo Maratha War UPSC notes. The causes and consequences of the 2nd Anglo Maratha War must be studied carefully as questions from this topic are often asked in the Prelims and Mains examination. Candidates can also refer to UPSC previous year question papers to practice questions on the Treaty of Bassein UPSC notes.

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