Thus, the English gradually succeeded against the Holkar. But it was at this time that the directors recalled Wellesley and sent Lord Cornwallis to India as governor-general. Lord Wellesley`s recall saved the Holkar, Lord Cornwallis had come with specific instructions to make peace with the Marathas. However, he died on October 5, shortly after arriving in Kolkata. But Sir George Barlow, who after him was temporarily governor general, was also in favour of peace. General Lake had followed Holkar to Amritsar, where he had gone in the hope of Sikh help. However, he was disappointed with his hopes and opened peace negotiations with General Lake. Barlow immediately agreed and the Treaty of Rajpurghat was signed with him on 7 January 1806. This was the state of the Maratha state when Lord Wellesley came to India. Wellesley was determined to make the company the greatest power in India.
He first wiped out the power of Tipu Sultan. Then he turned his attention to the Marathas. He soon had the opportunity to interfere in the affairs of the Marathas. Jaswant Rag Holkar fought the Peshwa and Sindhia. He defeated Peshwa Baji Rao in a battle at Poona in October 1802. The Peshwa fled to Bassein, while the Holkar Vinayak Rao, grandson of Raghunath Rao, relied on the Gaddi of the Peshwa. Desperately, the Peshwa sought the Alliance of the English and signed the Treaty of Bassein on 31 December 1802. Treaty of Bassein (December 31, 1802), a pact between Baji Rao II, the Maratha Peshwa of Poona (now Pune) in India, and the British.
This was a decisive step in the dissolution of the Maratha Confederation. The pact led directly to the annexation of the Peshwa territories in the West Indies by the East India Company in 1818. The Maratha Confederation was distracted by disagreements after the death of Peshwa minister Nana Fadnavis in 1800. Military leaders Daulat Rao Sindhia and Jaswant Rao Holkar (Hulkar), both with disciplined forces behind them, fought for control of the Peshwa. In October 1802, Holkar defeated Sindhia and the Peshwa and placed an adopted brother on the throne of Pune. Baji Rao fled to Bassein and asked the British for help. The Bhonsles signed the Treaty of Deogaon with the English in December 1803, in which he ceded large tracts of land to the English and agreed to other terms of the Subsidiary Alliance. By the Treaty of Bassein, the Peshwa agreed to maintain a British subsidiary force of six battalions, whose maintenance territory was ceded; exclude all Europeans from his ministry; renounce his claims to Surat and Baroda; and its external relations in consultation with the British. In return, Arthur Wellesley (later 1st Duke of Wellington) restored the Peshwa to Pune in May 1803. The main Maratha state had thus become the client of the British. This treaty led to the Second Maratha War (1803-05) between the British and the Marathas and the defeat of the other three major Maratha powers. .
The Treaty of Bassein has been described by many historians as very important. Owen said: “The contract through its direct and indirect operations gave the company the Kingdom of India.” However, the contract itself did not fully explain the company`s dominant position in India. Of course, the English gained prestige by concluding a treaty with the Peshwa, who were considered the head of the Maratha Confederacy. But to take advantage of the practical advantage of the treaty, the English had to wage a war against the Marathas, which very quickly became inevitable. And if they had lost the ensuing war, the treaty would have proved disastrous for the English. The war began in August 1803, the English had planned their tactics in advance. Northern Command was transferred to General Lake, while Arthur Wellesley took command of the Army in the South. In addition, the English were preparing to fight in Gujarat, Bundelkhand and Orissa.
Their goal was to attack the Marathas in several places at once and not allow the Maratha leaders to join forces. The Marathas did not have such a definitive plan. In addition, the Maratha chiefs did not fight according to their traditional methods of warfare, but adopted the European method, in which they were not well versed. This led to a quick defeat of the Sindhia and Bhonsle, who stood alone on the field. Arthur Wellesley captured Ahmadnagar on 12 August 1803, defeating the combined forces of the two Maratha chiefs at Assaye. The Bhonsles were decisively defeated at Argaon on 29 November and the English occupied Fort Gawilgarh on 15 December 1803. General Lake had the same success in northern India. He captured Aligarh in August 1803 and occupied Delhi in September.
The Mughal emperor Shah Alam was also placed under the protection of the English at that time. The Jat Raja of Bharatpur also concluded a treaty with the English. The English also conquered Agra in October. The Sindhia was severely defeated at Laswaree in November and lost all its territory south of the Chambal River to the English. The English succeeded against the Marathas in Gujarat and Bundelkhand and occupied the province of Cuttack in Orissa. Thus, the Bhonsle and Sindhia were defeated in five months. They were forced to conclude treaties with the English. The Maratha chiefs were alarmed by the news of the signing of this treaty.
The Holkar explained that Baji Rao had destroyed the Maratha state. The attitude of sindhia and bhonsle was also antagonistic. Baji Rao was also unhappy with the treaty and soon began secret negotiations with other Maratha leaders against the English. However, the Marathas could not unite with each other. The treaties put Sindhia and Bhonsle under the influence of the English. But Jaswant Rao Holkar was still undefeated. He had not yet participated in the war. Holkar plundered the territory of Jaipur and in April 1804 the English declared war on him. The Holkar defeated Colonel Monson very badly at the Mukand-Dara Pass. Encouraged by his success, he besieged Delhi in October 1804.
But Lieutenant Colonel Ochterlony defended Delhi and the Holkar was forced to increase the siege after a week. He was then defeated by General Lake on 13 November at Dig and on 17 November at Farrukhabad. The Raja of Bharatpur was friends with the Holkar. That`s why the English wanted to befriend him or destroy him. The Raja accepted peace with the English in April 1805. The internal affairs of the Marathas continued to deteriorate after the end of the First Maratha War. Nana Fadnavis loved power, was jealous of Mahadaji Sindhia and was increasingly inclined to seek the support of the English. The young Peshwa, Madhava Rao II, tried to improve business, but failed. Mahadaji Sindhia died in 1794 and was succeeded by his great-nephew Daulat Rao Sindhia, whose succession was even contested by his mother.
Peshwa Madhav Rao II, tired of Nana Fadnavis` control, committed suicide on October 25, 1795. First of all, Chimnaji and the next Baji Rao II after him were placed on the Gaddi of Peshwa. Baji Rao was completely unfit to settle the affairs of a vast empire like that of the Marathas. Almost at the same time, Tukoji Holkar also died, which inflicted another setback on maratha affairs. Kashirao, the legitimate but idiotic heir, was supported by Baji Rao and Daulat Rao Sindhia, while the cause of the three youngest, Malhar Rao, Vithoji and Jaswant Rao, was supported by Nana Fadnavis. Malhar Rao was killed by Sindhia`s men, but Vithoji and Jaswant Rao fled and began to devastate the Sindhia areas that blamed Nana Fadnavis for their actions. Nana Fadnavis also died in 1800. It was the opinion of several historians that the wisdom of the Marathas passed with him. But modern historians do not accept this view. Nana Fadnavis had harmed the interests of the Maratha in her later years through her growing ambition to retain control of state affairs and was largely responsible for mutual rivalries between the Maratha chiefs. .