The Treaty of Salbai, also known as the Treaty of Sardhana, was a significant agreement signed on May 17, 1782, between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company. This treaty played a crucial role in shaping the political landscape of 18th-century India. Here are the key points and implications of the Treaty of Salbai:
- The 18th century witnessed intense competition and conflicts among various Indian states, as well as the presence of European powers, including the British, French, and Portuguese, vying for dominance in India.
- The Marathas, a prominent regional power in India, were involved in a complex series of alliances and conflicts with different Indian states and European powers during this period.
Terms of the Treaty:
- Peace and Friendship: The Treaty of Salbai was primarily a peace treaty aimed at ending hostilities between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire. It established a state of peace and friendship between the two parties.
- Territorial Status Quo: The treaty recognized the status quo in terms of territorial possessions. It confirmed the territories held by both the Marathas and the British prior to the conflict.
- Alliance: The treaty also established a defensive alliance between the Marathas and the British. According to this alliance, if either party was attacked by a foreign power, the other would provide military assistance.
- Prisoner Exchange: The treaty included provisions for the exchange of prisoners of war and the return of captured territories.
- The Treaty of Salbai brought a temporary halt to the hostilities between the British and the Marathas. It allowed both parties to focus on their respective territorial and political interests.
- The defensive alliance created a sense of stability and cooperation between the British and the Marathas. However, this alliance was often strained in the years that followed as both sides had their own ambitions and rivalries.
- The treaty marked one of the many agreements between Indian powers and the British, who were gradually expanding their influence and territories in India during the 18th century.
- The Treaty of Salbai did not resolve all the conflicts and rivalries in India, and it was followed by further power struggles and conflicts among Indian states and European powers.
Overall, the Treaty of Salbai is an example of the complex web of alliances and agreements that characterized India’s political landscape during the colonial era. It reflected the evolving power dynamics and interests of the British and Indian states during this period.