Second Anglo-Maratha War

The Second Anglo-Maratha War started in August, 1803. Arthur Wellesley captured Ahmednagar on 12 August. Wellesley’s aggressive war strategy all along kept the Maratha forces busy. On 23 September, the British got victory over the troops of Sindhia and Bhonsle in the Battle of Assaye.

One after another, Burhanpur, Asirgarh and the strong fortress of Gwalior were captured by the British East India Company. Sindhia’s forces faced defeat in Delhi and Laswari.

General Lake captured Agra and Delhi in November, 1803. The Maratha forces were com­pletely routed in every front. On 17 December, Raghuji Bhonsle II was compelled to sign the Treaty of Deogaon with the British. By the terms of the treaty, Bhonsle ceded Balasore and Cuttack of Orissa and the entire region in the Western banks of the Wardha River to the English.

On December 30, 1803, Daulat Rao Sindhia signed the treaty of Surji-Anjangaon with the English. The region between the Ganga and the Jamuna, entire area including the forts situated in the north of Rajputana, Ahmednagar, Broach and the territories in the west of the Ajanta hills were obtained by the English from Sindhia. On 27 February, 1804, Sindhia accepted the Subsidiary Alliance of the English.

So long Jaswant Rao Holkar had been observing the humiliating defeats of Sindhia and Bhonsle with apathy and indifference. But now he became active to form an anti-English confederacy of the Indian powers. He rallied the support of the Rajputs, the Sikhs as well as the Rohillas behind him and started war against the English. In the early stage of the war Jaswant Rao Holkar was crowned with illuminating success. His success so much annoyed the Court of Directors in London that the Company authorities directed Wellesley to leave India in 1805. The Court of Directors thought that the English Company’s burden of debt increased owing to the aggressive policy of Wellesley. Under these circumstances Sir George Barlow came as the new Governor General in India. On January 7, 1806, Barlow signed a treaty with Holkar. The English left their claim over Kooch, Rampura, Bundelkhand, Tonk, Bundi, and territories in the north of Chambal. Sindhia got back Gwalior. The Second Anglo-Maratha War ended.


The Second Anglo-Maratha War was a conflict fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company from 1803 to 1805. The Maratha Empire was one of the largest and most powerful empires in India at the time, but the British East India Company was also a major power and sought to extend its influence in the region.

The main trigger for the conflict was the British desire to expand their territories in India and the Maratha resistance to their ambitions. The British sought to take control of the Maratha territories, particularly the rich and fertile regions of central and western India. The Maratha, on the other hand, sought to maintain their independence and resist British attempts to control their territories.

The war lasted for two years and was fought on several fronts. The Maratha forces were led by the legendary warrior, Yashwantrao Holkar, while the British were led by General Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). Despite their efforts, the Maratha were unable to withstand the superior military power of the British and were defeated.

The outcome of the Second Anglo-Maratha War marked a significant shift in the balance of power in India. The Maratha Empire was greatly weakened, and the British were able to consolidate their control over large portions of India, particularly in the central and western regions. This was a major step towards the eventual establishment of British rule over India.

In conclusion, the Second Anglo-Maratha War was an important conflict in Indian history that had far-reaching consequences for the country. It marked the end of the Maratha Empire and the beginning of British domination over India, setting the stage for the eventual establishment of British rule over the entire country.

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