Here is the List of All The Anglo-Maratha Wars!

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Anglo Maratha wars

Anglo-Maratha war is a series of three consecutive wars between the Maratha ruler and the British East India Company, in the 18th century. It was also when the struggle for supreme was at its highest. The Marathas controlled the Deccan area of the erstwhile India. Moreover, they covered a good chunk of land which is why it is called a Maratha confederacy. However, their internal differences made the Britishers step into them and conquer these lands. 

Anglo Maratha- Struggle for Supremacy

Rise of the Marathas- The Marathas had the power over the Deccan areas which was a majority of the nation.  Moreover, the areas that were not in the control of the ruler of the Maratha Empire were not so close to them. In the seventeenth century, Marathas were used to being on the top in terms of power and army. However, the century that followed was not in favor of them. 

East India Company Expansion– This British company was founded in the 1600s. The British East India Company was known for being the key trader of India and making the participants of their trade filthy rich in exchange for Indian resources. Along with a solid army, the Britishers came with the psychology of Divide and Rule.’ By the mid-eighteenth century, they planned to expand their trading areas which included the Maratha confederacy which had already conquered the major parts of the nation. 

Also Read- List of Maratha Rulers, History, Rise and Journey

First Anglo-Maratha War 

The first Anglo-Maratha war between the Maratha Confederacy and the British East India Company was fought between 1775 and 1782. It was the result of ‘The Treaty of Surat’ but was ended with a different treaty called ‘Treaty of Salbai.’


After the suicidal death of Madhavrao I, the youngest brother of Madhavrao, Narayanraowas handed over to the authorities. Soon after he welcomed his son, Madhavrao II into the family who was announced the Peshwa by 12 Maratha chiefs and a meeting that was led by Nana Phadnavis. 

However, Raghunathrao, Madhavrao’s grandfather’s brother longed to take the seat of Peshwa. So he went on to take the help of the British East India Company and signed the ‘Treaty of Surat.’

Treaty of Suat- It was signed on 6 March 1775 between Raghunath Rao and the Britishers. The former promised to deliver Bessein and Salsette along with a portion of revenues from the Surat and Bharuch districts to them in return, they would provide 2,500 soldiers to kill Madhavrao II so that Ragunathrao could take over his place. Their armies combined won the mission of attacking Peshwa. 

However, this treaty was annulled by Colonel Upton in Pune, and came up with another treaty, called the ‘Treaty of Purandar.’

Treaty of Purandar- It was signed on 1 March 1776, between the British Calcutta Council and Nana Phadnavi. The treaty of Purandar allowed Raghunath only the pension and no kind of support for any claim on the Peshwa seat.

But, in 1777, Nana Phadnavis broke this treaty and welcomed the French to grant a port on the west coast. 

Also Read – Who Defeated the Maratha Empire?

Course of war

On the outskirts of Pune, armies of both parties, the British East India Company and Peshwa were present. 

Britishers were outnumbered by the army personnel of the Maratha empire, but the latter had better canons and superior ammunition. 

However, the Maratha army surrounded the English army in the Talegaon area and attacked from all sides along with the burning farmlands and stopping the flow of water for them

In the mid-January of 1779, the Britishers surrendered and signed the ‘Treaty of Wadgaon.’

Treaty of Wadgaon- Signed on January 13, 1779, it concluded the first Anglo-Maratha war. British were not allowed to interfere with any internal or external affairs of the Maratha Confederacy. Raghunath Rao was given the seat of Peshwa until his nephew grew into a teenager. 

The Treaty of Wadgaon was again rejected by the Governor General in Bengal, Warren Hastings. He captured Ahmedabad in February 1779, where the army was led by Colonel Goddard another army led by General Camac was sent to Sindhia and yet another army led by Captain Popham was sent to Gwalior. He captured all these areas in August 1780 and June 1781 respectively. 

Treaty of Salbai- Sindhia then presented this treaty to Britishers in May 1982. As per this treaty, the areas conquered under the treaty of Purandar would go back to the Marathas, and Raghunath Rao was only granted the maintenance allowance. Salsette was still in the control of the Britishers. 

Second Anglo-Maratha War 

The second Anglo-Maratha was the second in the three series of consecutive wars fought between the British East India Company and the Martha Confederacy. It began in 1803 and ended in 1805 in the central India. 


The British Confederacy was a culmination of five groups of chiefs, the Peshwas from  Pune, the Gaekwads from Baroda, the Holkars from Indore, the Scindias from Gwalior, and the Bhonsles from Nagpur. By this time the Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy was the son of Raghunath Rao, Baji Rao II. 

The chief of the Holkar group from Indore, Yashwantrao Holkar, fought the Peshwa from Pune group in 1802 

Treaty of Bassein- In the Battle of Poona, Baji Rao II took the help of British armies and in return, he promised to hand over the land of Bassein to them. It was signed on December 31, 1802. 

However, this treaty was rejected by the rest of the two groups Bhonsles and Scindias who revolted against it in 1803. This caused the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Holkars were also against the English in the later end of the war. 

Also Read – Second Anglo-Maratha War: Course and Outcome

Course of war

In the second Anglo-Maratha war, the Maratha forces were defeated to the ground by the British army. Vithuji, brother of Holkar chief, Jaswanth Rao Holkar, was killed by Bajirao II. 

After the battle of Poona, Jaswanth Rao put Vinayak Rao the Peshwa of Poona who was the son of Amrit Rao. Post which Treaty of Bassein was signed. 

Treaty of Surji-Anjungaon– It was signed on 30 December 1803 between Daulat Rao Sindhia, chief from the Sindhia group, and the Britishers. It was signed after the Battle of Assye and the Battle of Aragon. Britishers under this treaty had full control of territories of Rohtak, Ganga-Yamuna Doab, Gurgaon, Delhi Agra region, Broach, some districts in Gujarat, parts of Bundelkhand, and Ahmadnagar fort. 

Treaty of Deogaon- Sir Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington concluded the treaty with the Britishers and Maratha Raja from Berar, Raghuji Bhosale in 1803. Through this, Britishers got control of Cuttack, Balasore, and the area of Wardha River. 

Treaty of Rajghat– In 1805, Britishers got control of Tonk, Bundi, and Rampura by signing this treaty with the Holkar. As a result, the Britishers got a large chunk of central India under British control. 

Third Anglo-Maratha War 

This was the final war between both parties in the series of Anglo-Maratha wars. It was fought between 1817 and 1819. Wherever the British stepped their foot, they won. It was with the Maratha confederacy that they had to face the situations of war. The major reason for the final war was the relations of the Britishers with Pindaris. 


Lord Warren Hastings came into power as the Governor General in the year 1813 and the final war of power started with him. 

To understand the background, let’s have a closer look into one of the key groups of the Maratha Confederacy, the Pindaries. These were the group of people who were known for looting and laundering and were a part of the Maratha Confederacy’s army as mercenaries. As the second Anglo-Maratha war came to an end, a major part of the Deccan areas entered into the control of the Britishers. The armies of Maratha could not get regular employment because it was falling at a great pace. It left Pindaries with no choice but to loot or theft the surrounding areas.  

In order to suppress the Pindaries, Lord Warren Hastings led an army to the northern front and Sir Thomas Hislop led the army to the Deccan area of the empire and attacked the Pindaries. They surrendered in 1817 across the river Chambhal. The left members of the Maratha Confederacy believed that Marathas were sheltering these Pindaries and this action of attacking was seen by the Marathas as a violation of the Treaty. This was the reason for the final war of the Anglo-Maratha armies. 

Also Read – Who Was The Founder Of Maratha Empire?

Course of war

After the attack on the Pindaries, the other chiefs planned to attack the Britishers. In 1817, all the other chiefs of the Maratha came under the same roof. Baji Rao II, App Sahib, Daulat Rao Sahib, and Malhar Rao Holkar covered different areas to attack the British residency at Poona and Nagur. However, the lack of communication and trust between these leaders could not help in executing the plan as decided. 

Moreover, Jaswant Rao Holkar died and the Bhonsle of Nagpur and Sindhia at Gwalior also grew weaker with each passing day. All of these reasons combined led to losing the war. 

Treaty of Poona- It was signed on 1 June 1817, between the East India Company and the Peshwa of Pune, Baji Rao II. through this treaty, the British ceased northern areas of the Narmada River and the south of the Tungabhadra River. 

Treaty of Gwalior- Shinde and the British East India Company signed the Treaty of Gwalior in 1817. Although the former had not been a part of the war in the first place, he lost control of his lands. 

Treaty of Mandsaur- Holkars and the British East India Company signed this treaty on January 6, 1818, at Mahidpur. All the places in this treaty entered the British Raj as a princely state of British India. 

Moreover, the English completely abolished the peshwaship and the Maratha Confederacy. Moreover, Baji Rao retained Bithur in Kanpur. 

Cause of Fall of the Maratha Confederacy

Though the beginning of the Maratha confederacy was strong, however with time they lost their grip over each other and began falling apart. 

Incompetent Leadership- The latter half of the eighteenth century witnessed the deaths of the most prominent leaders of the Maratha Confederacy and it played a key role in its decline. The Maratha empire was built by Baji Rao I and Baji Rao II himself sought the shelter of Britishers to fight the other key chief of the Maratha empire. 

Unstable Economic Policy- There was no economic policy within the empire. At the time of the war with the Mughals, people left agriculture and joined the armies making sure that there were no other means of earning. The only way they would make money was through the revenue system. 

Inferior Military System– Marathas in the First Anglo-Maratha War outnumbered Britishers and won and they would have kept winning if only they had inculcated sufficient defence supplies within the armies. The Britishers came with great infantry, cavalry, and artillery into their armies for effective wars.

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This was all about the Anglo-Maratha wars that took place. If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Short notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

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