The Treaty of Salbai was signed on 17 May 1782, by representatives of the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company after long negotiations to settle the outcome of the First Anglo-Maratha War. It was signed between Warren Hastings and Mahadaji Sindhia.
In 1775, the Bombay government aimed to assert its dominance at the Court of Poona by placing its candidate on the throne. They signed the Treaty of Surat with Raghunathrao, granting them control of Salsette and Bassein and a portion of revenue from the Surat and Bharuch districts in exchange for 2,500 soldiers.
However, the Calcutta Council annulled the treaty, resulting in the Treaty of Purandhar, which abandoned Raghunathrao’s cause but gave him a pension. The tension between the two British factions led to the First Anglo-Maratha War.
Terms of Treaty of Salbai
The Treaty of Salbai was a significant diplomatic agreement signed between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in 1782. Under the terms of the treaty, the Company retained control of Salsette and Broach, and the Marathas guaranteed to defeat Hyder Ali of Mysore and retake territories in the Carnatic. In addition, the Marathas agreed to prohibit the French from establishing settlements on their territories, which was crucial in curbing French expansion in India.
In return, the British agreed to pension off Raghunath Rao, their protégé who had been involved in the power struggle for the Peshwa’s seat in Pune. The British also recognized Madhavrao II as the legitimate Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, effectively ending the political maneuvering that had characterized the preceding years. Furthermore, the British recognized the territorial claims of Mahadji Shinde west of the Jumna River, further solidifying their alliance with the Marathas.
The Treaty of Salbai also stipulated that all territories occupied by the British after the Treaty of Purandar would be returned to the Marathas. This was significant as it addressed the issue of disputed territories and restored some balance of power between the British and the Marathas.
The Treaty of Salbai, signed in 1782, was a significant milestone in the relationship between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company. It brought a period of relative peace between the two powers, which lasted for almost two decades. The treaty was negotiated by David Anderson, who represented the East India Company in the negotiations.
However, the peace brought by the Treaty of Salbai was short-lived. In 1802, the Second Anglo-Maratha War broke out, as the East India Company sought to expand its territories and influence in India. The war lasted for almost six years and resulted in a decisive victory for the British, leading to the further expansion of their territories and the decline of the Maratha Empire.