UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Mar 01

01 March 1776

Treaty of Purandar


What happened?

On 1 March 1776, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between Nana Phadnavis, a Maratha minister and the Calcutta Council of the East India Company.

Background

  • In 1772, the Maratha Peshwa Madhavrao died and he was succeeded by his brother Narayanrao as the Peshwa.
  • But Narayanrao’s uncle Raghunathrao wanted to usurp power and got his nephew assassinated. Meanwhile, Narayanrao’s wife delivered a posthumous son who was the legitimate heir. So, 12 Maratha chiefs led by Nana Phadnavis wanted to crown the baby boy Peshwa and rule as regents in his name.
  • Reluctant to give up control, Raghunathrao sought the help of the British stationed at Bombay and entered into an agreement with them called the Treaty of Surat. According to treaty, the British got Salsette and Bassein (Vasai) and also part revenues from Baruch and Surat. In return, Raghunathrao got 2500 soldiers.
  • However, the Calcutta Council of the East India Company annulled the Surat Treaty and sent an officer, Colonel Upton to make a new agreement to Pune.
  • This new treaty was the Treaty of Purandar signed by the British Calcutta Council with Nana Phadnavis representing the Peshwa. This was signed on 1 March 1776.
  • As per this treaty, Raghunathrao was only given a pension and was not promised any support for his claim to the Peshwa seat. But the British did retain Baruch and Salsette.
  • However, the Bombay Council rejected the Purandar Treaty and offered protection to Raghunathrao.
  • Again, in 1777 the French were granted a port on the western coast by Nana Phadnavis thus angering the Calcutta Council as this went against a treaty he had with them.
  • They sent a force towards Pune. The Battle of Wadgaon was fought in which the British forces were defeated by Mahadaji Shinde’s Maratha force. After this battle, all territories acquired by the Bombay office since 1773 were given back to the Marathas.
  • Further, the British authorities in London supported the Bombay Council in this matter and complicated things. There were a series of battles as part of the First Anglo-Maratha War.
  • Peace was restored only 1782 when the Treaty of Salbai was signed.
Also on this day
1510: Death of Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese governor and viceroy of Portuguese India. He established Portuguese dominance over the Indian Ocean with the Battle of Diu. 2014: The UN observes the first ‘Zero Discrimination Day’ to promote equality before law.

 

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.