UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – May 17

17 May 1782

Treaty of Salbai


What happened?

The Treaty of Salbai, which ended the First Anglo-Maratha War, was signed in 17 May 1782 between the British East India Company and the Marathas. Salbai is situated in Gwalior District, Madhya Pradesh.

Treaty of Salbai Background

  • The First Anglo-Maratha War started in 1775 effectively after the signing of the Treaty of Surat between the East India Company at Bombay and Raghunathrao, uncle of the newly-crowned Peshwa Narayanrao. Raghunathrao had nurtured ambitions to become the Peshwa for which he sought British help.
  • However, the Calcutta Council of the company supported Narayanrao and his able minister Nana Phadnavis, who between themselves had signed the Treaty of Purandar (1776) which nullified the Surat Treaty.
  • This new treaty gave the British possession of Salsette and also pensioned off Raghunathrao.
  • But, the Bombay Council’s sheltering of Raghunathrao and Nana Phadnavis’s granting of a port to the French deteriorated the already strained relations between the English and the Marathas.
  • The Battle of Wadgaon followed in which the Marathas, ably led by Mahadaji Shinde defeated the English. The English were forced to accept the Treaty of Wadgoan.
  • However, more battles ensued between the rivals and finally the Treaty of Salbai was signed which effectively ended the hostilities.
  • This treaty was signed after a lot of negotiations between the warring groups. As per the treaty, the areas of Salsette and Broach were to be retained by the Company.
  • The Marathas, for their part, were to guarantee that they would defeat Mysore’s Hyder Ali and retake the former Maratha possessions in the Carnatic.
  • They also promised not to allow any French settlements in their regions.
  • The British, in turn, accepted Narayanrao’s son Madhavrao II as the rightful Peshwa and pensioned off Raghunathrao.
  • They also acknowledged Mahadaji Shinde’s territories west of the River Jumna. All the territories acquired by them after the Treaty of Purandar were given back to the Marathas.
  • However, the peace was temporary as the Second Anglo-Maratha War broke out in 1802, twenty years after the Salbai Treaty.
Also on this day

2005: The first ‘World Information Society Day’ proclaimed by the United Nations.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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