The main cause of the first Maratha war was the increased interference of the British in the affairs, both internal and external, of the Marathas and also the struggle for power between Madhav Rao and Raghunath Rao. This war started the series of wars between the colonial power and the local power. So these wars  lay the founding stone of Modern India which is very much part of UPSC mains GS paper 1


    • Background and Course
    • Result of First Anglo Maratha War


  1. The third Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao died in 1761 due to shock after his defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat.
  2. His son Madhavrao succeeded him. Madhavrao was able to recover some of the Maratha power and territories which they had lost in the Battle of Panipat.
  3. The English were aware of the growing Maratha power.
  4. When Madhavrao died, there was a tussle for power in the Maratha camp.
  5. His brother Narayanrao became the Peshwa but his uncle Raghunathrao wanted to become the Peshwa.
  6. For this, he sought the help of the English.
  7. So, the Treaty of Surat in 1775 was signed according to which Raghunathrao ceded Salsette and Bassein to the English and in return he was given 2500 soldiers.
  8. The British and army of Raghunathrao attacked the Peshwa and won.
  9. The British Calcutta Council under Warren Hastings annulled this treaty and a new treaty, the Treaty of Purandhar was signed in 1776 between the Calcutta Council and Nana Phadnavis, a Maratha minister.
  10. Accordingly, Raghunathrao was given a pension only and Salsette was retained by the British.
  11. But the British establishment at Bombay violated this treaty and sheltered Raghunathrao.
  12. In 1777, Nana Phadnavis went against his treaty with the Calcutta Council and granted a port on the west coast to the French.
  13. This led the British to advance a force towards Pune. There was a battle at Wadgaon near Pune in which the Marathas under Mahadji Shinde secured a decisive victory over the English.
  14. The English were forced to sign the Treaty of Wadgaon in 1779.
  15. There was a series of battles at the end of which the Treaty of Salbai was signed in 1782. This ended the first Anglo-Maratha war.


  1. The East India Company retained Salsette and Broach.
  2. It also obtained a guarantee from the Marathas that they would retake their possessions in the Deccan from Hyder Ali of Mysore.
  3. The Marathas also promised that they would not grant any more territories to the French.
  4. Raghunathrao was to receive a pension of Rs.3 lakh every year.
  5. All territories taken by the British after the Treaty of Purandhar were ceded back to the Marathas.
  6. The English accepted Madhavrao II (son of Narayanrao) as the Peshwa.


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