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Second Anglo-Maratha War

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Second Anglo-Maratha War

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:30 pm

Feuding between the two dominant powers within the Maratha Confederacy, Yashwant Rao Holkar and Daulat Rao Scindia, led to civil war at the turn of the 19th century.[1] The hostilities culminated in the Battle of Poona in October 1802 where Holkar defeated a combined army of Scindia and Baji Rao II – the Peshwa and nominal overlord of the Confederacy. Scindia retreated into his dominions to the north, but Baji Rao was driven from his territory and sought refuge with the East India Company at Bassein. He appealed to the Company for assistance, offering to accept its authority if he were restored to his principality at Poona.[2] Lord Mornington, the ambitious Governor-General of British India, seized on the opportunity to extend Company influence into the Confederacy which he perceived as the final obstacle to British paramountcy over the Indian subcontinent.[3] The Treaty of Bassein was signed in December 1802 whereby the Company agreed to restore Baji Rao in return for control over his foreign affairs and a garrison of 6,000 Company troops permanently stationed in Poona.[4] The restoration was commanded by Lord Mornington’s younger brother, Major General Arthur Wellesley, who in March 1803 marched on Poona from Mysore with 15,000 Company troops and 9,000 Hyderabad allies.[4] Wellesley entered Poona without opposition on 20 April, and Baji Rao was formally restored to his throne on 13 May.[5][6]

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