DMPQ- Discuss how Lord Wellesley’s Subsdiary Alliance policy helped the cause of expansion of British empire.

. Expansion under Wellesley was perhaps one of  the largest British expansions. He took over India at a time when France was engaged in a bitter  war with Britain all over the world. He used many tactics for expansion from outright war to  usurping the throne of erstwhile subsidiaries. Subsidiary Alliance was one such tool and it had  following features:

  • Indian rulers were made to sign alliance under which British stationed their forces permanently in their allies and the Indian ruler has to pay for them ad also accept British
  • Indian ruler himself has to disband his own forces and
  • Was also debarred from making any transactions from other foreign power without British approval.
  • A Resident of British was appointed in the court of ruler as British representative.
  • Ruler was promised protection from external attacks.
  • British also promised non-interference in internal affairs, but this promise was broken more often than was kept.
  • Thus, Indian rulers have to pledge their independence through this treaty.

The treaty had a great adverse effect on Indian rulers. Due to disbanding of armies lakhs became  unemployed. Ruler care little for the welfare of the people, as they relied on British to subdue  any internal rebellion or discontent. British on the other hand gained immensely from the  subsidiary treaty. They now maintained a huge army and that too on expense of Indian rulers.  They at time overthrew the allies under alliance on charges of being inefficient. Nizam of  Hyderabad became first to sign this treaty in 1798. Awadh was also forced into it in 1801.  Mysore fell after Tipu refused to accept Subsidiary Alliance of Wellesley and later death of Tipu  Sultan in 1799 in seize of Seringpattanam or the Fourth Mysore war and it was returned to the  erstwhile ruler and some part was taken by British. Marathas were now the only major force  outside British control. Wellesley now focused his attention towards them.


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