1 September 1798
Hyderabad became the first princely state to enter into subsidiary alliance with the British.
On 1 September 1798, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Nizam Ali Khan (Asaf Jah II) entered into subsidiary alliance with the English East India Company, thus making Hyderabad the first princely state to officially become a British protectorate.
- The Nizams were hereditary rulers of the state of Hyderabad and initially governed the region on behalf of the Mughal Emperor in Delhi.
- After the death of Aurangzeb, they became independent rulers.
- When the Marathas rose to power in the Deccan, there were many clashes between them and the Nizam of Hyderabad, all of which were lost by Hyderabad. Thus, the Nizam also paid a tribute (chauth) to the Marathas.
- Nizam Ali Khan, also called Asaf Jah II was the Nizam of Hyderabad from 1762 till 1803.
- In 1790, the Nizam had allied with the Marathas and the East India Company to fight Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore in a Triple Alliance as part of the Third Anglo-Mysore War. Tipu was defeated in this war.
- Ali Khan had a French General in his command named Monsieur Raymond who provided training to the Nizam’s troops.
- The English were wary of the French influence on the Nizam. (Both the English and the French at this point were interfering in local politics to oust one another from the subcontinent and secure their own commercial interests).
- The British resident at Hyderabad, Captain Achilles Kirkpatrick exerted his pressure at the court of the Nizam and convinced him to enter into a subsidiary alliance with the Company in return for military aid.
- Accordingly, in 1798, Hyderabad became the first Indian princely state to enter into subsidiary alliance with the British. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the Nizam supported the British against Tipu Sultan.
About the Subsidiary Alliance
- The Subsidiary Alliance was framed by Lord Wellesley, the Governor-General of India from 1798 to 1895.
- As per this treaty, the Indian ruler would disband his own army and maintain a British Company army at his own expense. If the payment was not made, a portion of his territory would be ceded to the British.
- In return, the Indian kingdom would be protected against any external or internal attack.
- The Indian king/prince could also not enter into any alliance with any other Indian kingdom.
- The British promised not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Indian state but this was hardly kept.
- The Indian ruler was also barred from having foreign troops other than British and also not allowed to employ any non-British foreign national.
- Thus, with the signing of this treaty, the Indian ruler lost all his sovereignty.
- So, as per the treaty signed by Ali Khan, he had to sack Raymond from his employment.
- Hyderabad was also loyal to the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
- Hyderabad became a British protectorate from 1798 until India’s independence in 1947. During this time, the Nizams of Hyderabad were granted a 21-gun salute by the British Crown.
Also on this day
1930: Bengali revolutionary freedom fighter Suhasini Ganguli was sent to the Hijali Jail for her activities. 1942: The Indian National Army was established by Rash Behari Ghosh. 1947: The Indian Standard Time was adopted in the country. 1956: The Life Insurance Corporation of India was established. 1956: Tripura became a Union Territory.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.
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