Maratha Empire (1649-1748)

Shivaji (1627 – 1680)

  • Known as the “father of the Maratha Nation” .
  • He inherited the jagir of Poona from his father Shahji Bonsle in 1637.
  • His mother Jijabai is often regarded as the master or the guru of Shivaji Maharaj.
  • In 1659, he defeated Adilshahi general Afzal Khan in the Battle of Pratapgad.
  • In 1665 AD, Aurangzeb’s general Mirza Raja Jai Singh I defeated the Marathas & had a Purandar treaty.
  • As per the treaty of Purandar he surrendered 23 forts & Also agreed to help Mughals to fight against the Bijapur Sultans.
  • In 1666, Shivaji was invited to the court of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and he was arrested. But Shivaji escaped very smartly.
  • In 1674 AD, he adopted the title of “Chatrapati” & founded the powerful Maratha Empire.
Maratha Empire map
Maratha Empire (Orange)

Shivaji’s Administration

  • King was the center of the government & was assisted by 8 ministers Ashtapradhans” .
  1. Peshwa → Finance & general administration. Later he became the prime minister.
  2. Sar-i-Naubat or Senapati → Military commander.
  3. Amatya → Accountant General.
  4. Waqenavis → Intelligence, posts & household affairs.
  5. Sachiv → Correspondence.
  6. Sumanta → aster of ceremonies.
  7. Nyayadish → Justice.
  8. Panditarao → Charities and religious administration.
  • Administrative reforms of Shivaji were based on the practices of the Deccan sultanates. Ex:- Peshwa Persian title.

Revenue system of  Maratha empire

  • Based on that of Malik Amber of Ahmadnagar & appointed his own revenue officials called karkuns.
  • Lands were measured by using the measuring rod called “kathi”.
  • Lands were also classified into 3 categories → paddy fields, garden lands and hilly tracks.

Taxes

  • Chauth & sardeshmukhi were the taxes collected only in the neighbouring territories of the Mughal empire.
  • Chauth one fourth of the land revenue (avoid the Maratha raids).
  • Sardeshmukhi 10%t on lands which the Marathas claimed hereditary rights.

Military system

  • Regular army consisted of about 30000 to 40000 cavalry supervised by havaildars & they were given fixed salaries.

2 divisions in the Maratha cavalry ;

1. bargirs, equipped and paid by the state &

2. silahdars, maintained by the nobles.

  • By the end of his reign, Shivaji had about 240 forts. Each fort was put under the charge of three officers of equal rank.

http://iascat.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/peshwas-maratha-empire.pngPeshwas (1713 – 1818)

Balaji Viswanath (1713-1720)

  • Began his career as a small revenue official & was given the title of Sena Karte by Shahu 1708.
  • He became Peshwa in 1730 & made the post as hereditary.
  • Played a crucial role in the final victory of Shahu over the Mughuls by winning over almost all the Marathas Sardas to the side of Shahu.
  • Also cncluded an agreement with the Sayyid brothers (1719) by which the Mogul emperor recognized Shahu as the king of the Swarajya.

Baji Rao I (1720 -1740)

  • Eldest son of Balaji Viswanath, became Pashwa at the yound age of 20.
  • Considered the greatest exponent of gurrilla tactic after Shivaji & Maratha Power reached zenith under him.
  • Conquered Bassein & Salsette from the Portuguese (1733).
  • Defeated the Nizar-ul-Mulk near Bhopal & concluded the Treaty of Durai Sarai by which he got Malwa & Bundelkhand from the latter (1737).

Balaji Baji Rao (1740 -61)

  • Known as Nana Saheb, he succeeded his father at the age of 20.
  • After the death of Sahu (1749), the management of all state of affairs was left in his hands.
  • In an agreement the Peshwa (1752) was to protect the Mughal empire from internal and external enemies in return for the Chauth.

Third Battle of Panipat – 1761

  • Between the Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Durrani & the Maratha general Sadashiv Rao.
  • Finally Marathas were routed by the forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali .

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