NCERT Notes: The Third Anglo-Maratha War [Modern Indian History Notes For UPSC]

NCERT notes on important topics for the IAS exam aspirants. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like Bank PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on. This article talks about the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

There were three Anglo-Maratha wars (or Maratha Wars) fought between the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century between the British and the Marathas. In the end, the Maratha power was destroyed and British supremacy established.

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Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817 – 1818)

Background and course
  • After the second Anglo-Maratha war, the Marathas made one last attempt to rebuild their old prestige.
  • They wanted to retake all their old possessions from the English.
  • They were also unhappy with the British residents’ interference in their internal matters.
  • The chief reason for this war was the British conflict with the Pindaris whom the British suspected were being protected by the Marathas.
  • The Maratha chiefs Peshwa Bajirao II, Malharrao Holkar and Mudhoji II Bhonsle forged a united front against the English.
  • Daulat Rao Shinde, the fourth major Maratha chief was pressured diplomatically to stay away.
  • But the British victory was swift.
  • The Treaty of Gwalior was signed in 1817 between Shinde and the British, even though he had not been involved in the war. As per this treaty, Shinde gave up Rajasthan to the British. The Rajas of Rajputana remained the Princely States till 1947 after accepting British sovereignty.
  • The Treaty of Mandasor was signed between the British and the Holkar chief in 1818. An infant was placed on the throne under British guardianship.
  • The Peshwa surrendered in 1818. He was dethroned and pensioned off to a small estate in Bithur (near Kanpur). Most parts of his territory became part of the Bombay Presidency.
  • His adopted son, Nana Saheb became one of the leaders of the Revolt of 1857 at Kanpur.
  • The territories annexed from the Pindaris became the Central Provinces under British India.
  • This war led to the end of the Maratha Empire. All the Maratha powers surrendered to the British.
  • An obscure descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji was placed as the ceremonial head of the Maratha Confederacy at Satara.
  • This was one of the last major wars fought and won by the British. With this, the British controlled most parts of India barring Punjab and Sindh directly or indirectly.
Reasons for Maratha Loss
  • Lack of unity among the Maratha chiefs themselves.
  • Lack of good relations with other Indian princes and ruling dynasties.
  • Failure to understand the British political and diplomatic strengths.

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