Chapter 2: INDIAN STATES AND SOCIETY IN 18TH CENTURY
decline of the Mughal Empire many kingdoms declared independence and
states emerged in India.
founded by Nizam ul Mulk Asaf Jah
in 1724. He was a noble of the Muhammad shah the Mughal emperor.
attempts of reforming the administration were rejected by the emperor
and so he
moved back to south to form his state. He formed an efficient
He followed a tolerant policy against all religions. He forced the
zamindar lobby to respect him. He successfully resisted Maratha's from
However he failed to rid the revenue system of corruption due to his
death. After him the Hyderabad state too was in a state of turmoil.
khan too declared independence from
authority after it grew weak. He however sent tributes to the Mughals.
suppressed the powerful zamindars and organized an efficient
was tolerant and secular. He introduced agrarian reform but collected
cruelly. He promoted trade and industry. The Nawabs however were short
with regards to English east India Company. They forced it to obey laws
land but didn’t take these trading companies as threats to the kingdom.
failed also in two more aspects building a strong army and checking
amongst local officials. Both these factors led to the defeat of Nawab
dawlah at the hands of English east India Company in 1857.
burhan ul Mulk was the founder of Awadh. He was
far sighted and
able ruler. He too was disillusioned by the central government and chose
fortify his feudal area. He had to wage continuous wars against the big
zamindars who had fortified their areas. He successfully suppressed them
brought relief to the farmers. He was secular towards all religions.
of Vijaynagar Empire gave a new lease of lie to Mysore kingdom. The
minister Nanaraj and Devraj captured power and the king Krishna Raj
became a mere
puppet. Haider Ali was an
soldier in the Mysore army. He took advantage of the opportunities that
his way and rose in rank. He learned western military tactics from
experts and applied them in battles. Soon he defeated Nanaraj and became
Though he was illiterate he was an efficient administrator. He extended
power in Mysore and soon made it into a powerful kingdom. He fought the
of Hyderabad, Marathas and British repeatedly and defeated them.
Haider Ali and British
Anglo Mysore War
east India Company allied with Nizam of Hyderabad in 1766 to attack
Ali. But he fought back and threatened to attack madras. So a treaty was
where conquered territories were handed back and mutual cooperation
each other’s enemies was assured. But when the Marathas attacked Haider
British didn’t help hence he mistrusted them. British had secured
Marathas after the first Anglo Maratha in 1782. Haider Ali inflicted
them and forced them to surrender in large numbers.
Anglo Mysore War
British under Hastings
bribed the Nizam and he withdrew from the alliance with Haider Ali.
also diverted the army from the Maratha war against Haider Ali and
defeated him. This was the second Anglo Mysore war. His son Tipu
sultan succeeded him after his
death in the second Anglo Mysore war. Finally as the war was a stalemate
treaty was signed in 1784.
Tipu Sultan vs British
was a complex character. He was deeply interested in literature and had
a library. He took interest in French revolution. He had planted a tree
liberty in his kingdom and was a member of Jacobin club. His
army was trained
in western tactics and armed with muskets and bayonets with French help.
also was building a navy and had constructed ports.
regarded him as their deadliest enemy.
Anglo Mysore War
treaty of 1784 had only
postponed hostilities to the future. Tipu had attempted to establish
with turkey and France by sending envoys there. The third Anglo Mysore
resulted in Tipu defeat in 1792. He had to pay a huge indemnity and
his sons to the British as hostages. It destroyed Tipu's dominant
south and established British supremacy there.
the new governor general Wellesley took charge and brought his scheme of
subsidiary alliance. By this the British would station an army in the
kingdom and protect it from internal and external threats. In return the
should disband his army, accept a British resident and govern on his
all deals with other foreign powers and pay a tribute to British for the
or cede a territory to them. This ensured that the protectorate kingdom
a puppet in their hands.
Anglo Mysore War
knew Tipu would never accept this treaty and
fourth the fourth Anglo Mysore war in 1799 and defeated Tipu.
When Tipu was finally defeated in 1799 even
the British were amazed at his revenue administration. He was
accused of being
orthodox but he had given large donations to building of temples too.
took advantage of the weakness of the Mughals and freed themselves from
central control. However they were divided and always in civil war or
with each other. Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Amber was an
outstanding ruler. He was
an able administrator. He founded Jaipur and made it a seat of science
He was a reformer and a law maker. He was also an astronomer and
observatories at Delhi, Jaipur,
Mathura and Varanasi.
Nanak in 15th century founded Sikhism which spread
classes of Punjab and Jat peasants. Under Guru Gobind Singh they became
political and military force. He fought constant wars against Aurangzeb
became a noble under Bahadur shah.
his death his follower Banda bahadur
rallied the Sikhs and carried warfare against the Mughal army till he
killed in 1715. The Sikhs then rose gain after the foreigners invaded
created a political vacuum. The Sikh organized themselves as misls and
different parts of Punjab and Kashmir. Initially they cooperated with
other but soon this unity faded.
this time Ranjit Singh rose to prominence.
He was a skilled administrator and a soldier. He soon formed a kingdom
Punjab and captured Kashmir, Lahore, Amritsar, Multan and Peshawar. He
army of skilled soldiers of different religions and started
cannons. His army was second only to east India Company. He was tolerant
secular. When the English forbade him to expand east of Sutlej he kept
He was a realist and saved his Empire. But he didn’t fight the foreign
and left it to his successors who weren’t as skilled and who were
Shahu grandson of Shivaji Maharaj was a
prisoner of Aurangzeb. After Aurangzeb’s
death Shahu was released and a civil war broke out between him and his
aunt Tarabai who had continued the fight against the Mughals under her
II. Shahu won this war with the help of Balaji vishwanath who became the
Peshwa. Balaji vishwanath was
administrator and won many Maratha chiefs to Shahu's cause. Shahu’s
extended to all Maharashtra except Kolhapur where Tarabai ruled.
and his son made Peshwa the functional head of Marathas. Balaji
vishwanath helped the Mughal heads ascend to throne like Zulfiqar khan,
Siyar and Sayyid’s. In return he got chauth and sardeshmukhi for the
He also increased ambition of Maratha chiefs to increase rule to the
showing them the weakness of the Mughals. However he gave too much
the Maratha sardars. They could collect the chauth and
sardeshmukhi and keep a
large part of it to themselves. They could also expand the Maratha
the Empire became huge but the autonomous sardars were in control. They
hesitate to join the Mughals, Nizam or British if the central authority
I was the next Peshwa and a skilled guerilla warrior comparable to
He expanded the Maratha Empire to even Malwa, Gujarat and Bundelkhand
forced Mughal officials to grant them chauth and sardeshmukhi over new
and conceded them to Maratha Empire. He also defeated the Nizam of
Hyderabad, Siddis of janjira and Portuguese. His main fault was that he
establishing an administration over new areas.
made his son Balaji Baji rao the heir. King Shahu had before dying made
the Peshwa the official head of the Marathas. The new Peshwa took
over entire India. He forced Bengal Nawab, state of Mysore, Mughals,
and Sikhs too pay tribute to them. The Mughal Wazir was now their
disposed the chief appointed by Ahmed Shah Abdali and this brought in
conflict with the afghan warrior. In the battle of Panipat the Marathas
routed. This tragic news reached the Peshwa and he died due to the
Reasons for the defeat of Maratha's at Panipat:
find any allies in the north as all mighty powers were incensed at their
the internal affairs of Rajputs and imposed fines on Jats and Sikhs who
mistrusted them and refused to support them.
of Marathas quarreled with each other.
Maratha Power 1761 - 1818
of the Marathas gave a chance to the east India Company to increase its
power over Bengal and south India. The next Peshwa Madhav rao restored
prestige too some extends. The Mughals and Rajputs, Jats and Mysore were
again brought under control and forced to pay tribute. By now
families had emerged those were totally autonomous and not under the
control like Gaikwad at Baroda, Holkar, Scindia, and Bhosle.
Madhav rao his brother Raghunath
rao the brother of Balaji Baji
rao and Narayan rao brother of Madhav rao fought for Peshwa post. The
son of Madhav
rao, Sawai Madhav rao was appointed head and Raghunath rao went to the
The supporters of Sawai Madhav rao led by Nana Phadnis and supporters of
rao clashed constantly. The strong Maratha families now refused to
in the Maratha affairs and remained autonomous.
between Raghunath rao, British and Marathas was the first Anglo Maratha
The British sided with Raghunath rao in hopes of making territorial
event of victory but they were defeated. The British then fought Mahadji
Scindia but he too was an able soldier and their war [first Anglo
was a stalemate. The British got 20 year of peace with the Marathas.
Madhav rao died Baji rao II son of Raghunath rao succeeded him. He was a
worthless ruler. He signed a subsidiary alliance with the British and
their puppet. The British power had now increased and they decided to
Marathas by dividing and ending each of the Maratha sardars separately.
and Scindia remained unconquered. The expansionist policy of Wellesley
created a huge debt and he was recalled. The peace treaty was signed
again made an effort to regain lost pride in 1817 but they failed to
unite forces and draft a comprehensive strategy. This led to their
other Maratha houses remained as subsidiary power but Peshwa power was
extinguished. Peshwa was pensioned off and a province of Bombay was
marquis of Hastings. After these wars the British controlled all of
except Sind and Punjab. They now could expand beyond the frontiers of
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