Examine the expansionist policy of Warren Hasting.
The Rohilla War (1774):
Rohilkand wars a small Kingdom situated in between Oudh and the Marathas. Its ruler was Hafiz Rahmat Khan. He concluded a defensive treaty in 1772 with the Nawab of Oudh fearing an attack by the Marathas. But rto such attack took place. But, the Nawab demanded money. When Rahmat Khan evaded, the Nawab with the help of the British invaded Rohilkand. Warren Hastings, who sent the British troops against Rohilkand was severely criticized for his policy on Rohilla affair.
First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82):
The Marathas wals largely remained disunited since the Third Battle of Panipet (1761). The internal conflict among the Marathas was best utilized by the British in their expansionist policy. In 1775, there was a dispute for the post of Peshwa between Madhav’Rao and his uncle Ragunantha Rao. The British authorities in Bombay concluded the Treaty of Surat with Raghunantha Rao in March 1775. Rahunatha Rao promised to cede Bassein and Salsette to the British but later when he was unwilling the fulfill his promise, the British captured them. This action of the Bombay Government was not approved by Warren Hastings. In 1776, Warren Hastings sent Colonel Upton to settle the issue. He cancelled the treaty of Surat and concluded the treaty of Purander with Nana Fadnavis, another Maratha leader. According to this treaty Madhava Rao-II was accepted as the new peshwa and the British retained Salsettle along with a,heavy war indemnity.
However, the Home authorities rejected the Treaty of purander. Warren Hastings also considered the treaty of Purandar as a ‘Scrap of Paper and sanctioned operations against the marathas. In the meantime, the British force sent by the Bombay Government was defeated by the Marathas.
In 1781, Warren Hastings dispatched British troops under the command of captain Popham. He defeated the Maratha Chief Mahadaji Scindia. in a number of small battles and captured Gwaliar. Later in May 1782, the treaty of Salbai was signed between Warren Hastings and Mahadaji Scindia. Accordingly, Salsettle and Bassein were given to the British. Ragunath Rao was pensioned off and Madhar Rao II was accepted as the Peshwa.
The treaty of Salbai established the British influence in Indian politics. It provided the British twenty years of peace with the Marathas. The treaty also enables the British to exerts pressure on Mysore with the help of the Marathas in recovering their territories from Haider Ali. Thus, the British, on the one hand, saved themselves from the combined opposition of Indian powers and on the other, succeeded in dividing the Indian Powers.
The Second Anglo Mysore War (1780-84):
The First Anglo Mysore War took place in 1767-69. Haider Ali emerged Victorians against the British and at the end of the war a defensive treaty was concluded between Haider Ali and the British. After eleven years, the second Mysore war broke out and the main causes for the second Anglo-Mysore war were
The British failed to fulfill the terms of the defensive treaty with Haider when he was attacked by the Marathas in 1771.
- There was an outbreak of hostilities between the English and the French during the American war of Independence.
- The British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider’s territories
- Haider Ali formed a grand alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas against the British in 1779.
The war began when the British led their foces through Haider’s territory without his permission to capture Guntur in the Northern Sarkars. Haider Ali defeated colonel Baillie and captured Arcot in 1780. In the next year, Warren Hastings, by a clever stroke of diplomacy divided the confederacy. He made peace with the Nizam, won the friendship of Bhonsle and came to an understanding with the Scindia. Consequently, Haider was isolated without any alliance. He was defeated by Sir Eyre Coote at Porto Novo in March 1781. In December 1782, Haider died of cancer at the age of sixty and his death was kept secret till his son Tipu Sultan assumed power.
The Second Mysore War came to an end by the Treaty of Mangalore in 1783. Accordingly, all conquests were mutually restored and the prisoners on both sides were liberated.