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Ghosh, Biswanath (1964) British Policy Towards the Pathans and the Pindaris in Central India, 1805-1818. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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From the late eighteenth century loose bodies of light horsemen had hung about the skirts of the Maratha armies, slowly developing from mere hangers-on to recognised auxiliaries of the Maratha chiefs, and even, as with the Pathan forces of Amir Khan, as their agents. After Wellesley's campaigns had broken the regular Maratha armies, and reduced the power of the Maratha chiefs, the Pathans and Pindaris extended their scope and numbers until, despite checks administered by Andia, they became rivals threatening the resources or even the existence of the Marathas. In face of this development of large armies of free plunderers in Central India the Company first showed itself rigidly defensive and isolationist. This policy, dictated by the stresses of the Napoleonic War, the financial and administrative consequences of rapid British expansion in India under Wellesley and by the attitude of the Court of Directors was clung to from 1805 to 1809. Under Minto, preoccupied though he was with affairs outside India, the defensive system became less rigid, so that where once the Company showed itself unwilling even to employ the subsidiary forces with the Nizam or with the Peshwa in the de2ence of its allies' territories by the end of Minto's Governor-Generalship British military aid 'Lad been freely offered to the Nagpur state in repelling the Pathan attack. The discussion of this gradual change in policy forms the heart of the thesis. From the arrival of Moira, later created Lord Hastings, the shift towards a more active policy against the Pathans and Pindaris, and a reshaping of the Company's relations with the Maratha chiefs became a positive, rather than a mere reflex action. The final chapters illustrate the winning over of the Council in Calcutta and of the Authorities in London to Hastings' point of view, the carrying out of a successful military campaign to destroy the predatory system, and the measures taken to resettle the freebooters so as to make impossible any revival of their power.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:32

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