Battles involving the Maratha Empire

Battles Involving The Maratha Empire

Battles involving the Maratha Empire

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The Imperial Maratha Conquests (1659–1761) were a series of conquests in the Indian subcontinent which led to the building of the Maratha Empire. These conquests were started by Shivaji Maharaj in 1659 from the victory at the Battle of Pratapgad. The conquests ended with the eventual fall of the Maratha empire after the three Anglo-Maratha wars.

Background

After a lifetime of guerrilla warfare with Adilshah of Bijapur and Mughal King Aurangzeb, King Shivaji the Great founded an independent Hindu Maratha kingdom in 1674 with Raigad as its capital. Shivaji died in 1680, leaving behind a large, but vulnerable kingdom. The Mughals invaded, fighting an unsuccessful War of 27 years from 1681 to 1707. Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji, ruled as emperor until 1749. During his reign, Shahu appointed the first Peshwa as head of the government, under certain conditions. After the death of Shahu, the Peshwas became the de facto leaders of the Empire from 1749 to 1761, while Shivaji's successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara. Covering a large part of the subcontinent, the Maratha Empire kept the British forces at bay during the 18th century, until internal relations between the Peshwas and their sardars (army commanders) deteriorated, provoking its gradual downfall.

The Maratha Empire was at its height in the 18th century under Shahu and the Peshwa Baji Rao I. Losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 suspended further expansion of the empire in the...
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