India in the Eighteenth Century and Administrative Organization of the British

Doorsteptutor material for IAS is prepared by world's top subject experts: Get detailed illustrated notes covering entire syllabus: point-by-point for high retention.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 108K)

India in the Eighteenth Century

Balaji Vishwnath

  • 1713: Peshwa of King Shahu

  • Induced Zulfikar Khan to grant the chauth and sardeshmukhi of the Deccan

  • Helped the Saiyid brothers in overthrowing Farukh Siyar

  • Maratha sardars were becoming individually strong but collectively weak

  • Died in 1720. Succeeded by his son Baji Rao I

Baji Rao I

  • the greatest extent of guerrilla tactics after Shivaji

  • Vast areas ceded by the Mughals

  • Marathas won control over Malwa, Gujarat and parts of Bundelkhand

  • Rivalry with Nizam ul Mulk

  • Compelled the Nizam to grant chauth and sardeshmukhi of the Deccan provinces

  • 1733: Campaign against Sidis of Janjira and the Portuguese (Salsette and Bassein)

  • Died in 1740

  • Captured territories but failed to lay the foundations of an empire

  • Succeeded by Balaji Baji Rao (Nana Saheb)

Balaji Baji Rao (1740-61)

  • Shahu died in 1749. Peshwas became the de facto rulers

  • Shifted the capital to Poona

  • Captured Orissa

  • Mysore forced to pay tributes

  • In 1752, helped Imad-ul-Mulk to become the wazir

  • Brought Punjab under their control and expelled the agent of Ahmad Shah Abdali

    • This led AS Abdali to come to India to settle accounts with Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat

  • Third Battle of Panipat

    • ASA formed an alliance with Najib-ud-Daulah of Rohilkhand and Shuja-ud-Daulah of Awadh.

Saranjami System?

Social and economic condition

Administrative Organization of the British


Army fulfilled four important functions:

  • Instrument to conquer Indian powers

  • Defended the British Empire in India against foreign rivals

  • Safe-guarded against internal revolt

  • Chief instrument for extending and defending the British Empire in Asia and Africa.

Bulk of the army consisted of Indians. In 1857, of the total strength of 311400, about 265900 were Indians. Highest Indian rank was that of Subedar.

British could conquer and control India through a predominantly Indian army because:

  • There was absence of modern nationalism at that time

  • The company paid its soldiers regularly and well, as opposed to the Indian rulers and chieftains.


Cornwallis was responsible for the creation of a modern police system in India. He established a system of Thanas (or circles) headed by a daroga. The police:

  • Prevented organization of a large-scale conspiracy against foreign control

  • Was used to suppress the national movement.


Though started by Hastings, the system was stabilized by Cornwallis.

Civil Cases

  • District: Diwani Adalat (civil court) presided over by the District Judge

  • Provincial Court: Appeal from civil court

  • Sardar Diwani Adalat: Highest appeal

  • There were also, below the District Court, Registrar’s Court (headed by Europeans) and subordinate courts headed by Indians known as munsifs or amins.

Developed by: