Who Was The Last Peshwa Of Maratha Empire?

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who was the last Peshwa of Maratha Empire

The last Peshwa of the Maratha Empire was Baji Rao II. The Maratha Empire also known as the Maratha Confederacy was a powerful Indian Empire that existed from 1674 to 1818. Peshwas were one of the dynasties that ruled under the Maratha Empire. Founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1674, the Maratha Empire expanded rapidly under the leadership of the Peshwas. The Peshwas were the prime ministers of the Maratha rulers and held immense authority and influence. Let’s take a look at who was the last Peshwa of Maratha Empire.

Peshwas and the Last Peshwa

The title of Peshwa was created by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire, in the 17th century.

  • The first Peshwa was appointed by Shivaji himself and the office continued to hold significant power and influence in the empire.
  • The Peshwas were responsible for both military and civil administration, making them one of the most powerful positions in the empire.

Also Read – The Treaty of Purandar Between Maratha and British

Baji Rao II

Baji Rao II  was the last Peshwa of the Maratha Empire.

  • Baji Rao II, also called Dhondup Pant, was the eldest son of Baji Rao I.
  • He succeeded his father, Peshwa Baji Rao I, as the Peshwa from 1795 to 1818.
  • He was an able administrator and military leader, but he faced several challenges during his reign, including conflicts with the British East India Company and internal power struggles within the Maratha Empire. 
  • The Treaty of Bassein in 1802 further weakened his power, as it placed constraints on the Maratha Empire and led to growing resentment among the Maratha chiefs.
Peshwa Baji Rao II with the British East India Company

The Third Anglo-Maratha War

The Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out in 1817, with the British East India Company aiming to crush the Maratha power once and for all. Baji Rao II was defeated at Khirki in June of 1818, leading to his surrender to the British. He was stripped of his title of Peshwa and exiled to Bithur near Kanpur. The treaty of Poona also ended with this.

With the exile of Baji Rao II, the Maratha Empire officially came to an end. The British East India Company annexed large portions of Maratha territory. The Treaty of Gwalior was signed in November 1817 with the Sindhia and the Treaty of Mandsaur in January of 1881 was signed with the Holkars. The British administration abolished the title of Peshwaship, marking the demise of one of the most powerful empires in Indian history. The era of the Peshwas, who had ruled over the Maratha Empire for nearly a century, came to a close.

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