By going through these Maharashtra State Board Class 12 History Notes Chapter 4 Colonialism and the Marathas students can recall all the concepts quickly.

Maharashtra State Board Class 12 History Notes Chapter 4 Colonialism and the Marathas

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the only Indian ruler who had foreseen the ulterior motives of the Europeans and their ways of infiltration and put up a strong resistance against them. Portuguese, French, Dutch and the British all of them came to India as traders. However, they also grabbed political power. It is often said that they came to India with weighing scales but used swords and ultimately seized the Indian throne.

Portuguese and the Maratha Empire:

→ The Portuguese were the first to arrive in India.

→ Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj first came in contact with the Portuguese when he established control over Kalyan and Bhiwandi.

→ Both the Portuguese and the Marathas adopted policies to suit the situation in diplomatic matters.

→ Some important events:

  • In 1665, the Portuguese waylaid 13 ships of the Marathas.
  • In 1666, the fort of Fonda ruled by Adilshah was under siege by the Marathas.
  • In 1667, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj decided to attack the region of Bardesh.
  • On 10th February 1670 a treaty was signed between the Marathas and the Portuguese,
  • In 1680, the Fonda Fort was captured by the Marathas.
  • In March 1773, the Maratha army conquered the Sashti island.

Dutch and the Maratha Empire:
The Dutch established a factory at Vengurla in 1649. Their trade flourished there. However, their trade was severely affected when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj attacked Kudal. In 1665, the Mughal subedar of Surat asked for help for destroying the Maratha naval force. However, the Dutch offered ho help. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had allowed them to build a factory at Dabhol.

The political relations between the Dutch and the Marathas kept changing to suit the need of the time. The Marathas did not harm the Dutch factory at Surat. Also, during the Karnataka campaign, the Marathas ensured the safety of the Dutch factory and also issued them trading permits. For these favours the Dutch paid tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The Dutch factories at Porto Novo/Parangipettai and Tegnapattam/Devanapattinam were unharmed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

French and the Maratha Empire:

→ In 1667, the French established a factory at Rajapur.

→ In 1667, Francois Martin, the Governor-General of Pondicherry obtained permission for opening a factory.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 History Notes Chapter 4 Colonialism and the Marathas

British and the Maratha Empire:

→ Political relations between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the British began due to the Afzal Khan episode.

→ Defeat of the British by the Marathas in the Rajapur campaign.

→ Henry Oxenden, a British agent obtained permission to open a British factory at Rajapur

→ An agreement was signed by the British and the Marathas on 12th June 1674.

→ The following were the terms and conditions of the agreement:

  • Issuing permissions for the British to trade in Swarajya.
  • To open factories in Rajapur, Dabhol, Chaul and Kalyan.
  • Right of the Marathas to levy 2.5% octroi on British goods etc.

→  Raghoba’s appeal for help resulted in appointing a British envoy in the Peshwa court in Pune.

→  In 1765, the British took over the fort of Malvan.

→  Treaty of Wadgaon was signed between the British and the Marathas after the British army was defeated by the Marathas.

→ Treaty of Vasai was signed by the British and the Marathas which was not acceptable to Shinde and Holkar.

→  This resulted in the Anglo-Maratha War in 1803. The Marathas were defeated in this war.

→  The Third Anglo-Maratha War was fought in 1817. The Marathas were once again defeated and the Maratha rule ended in 1818.

→  Bajirao Peshwa was granted an annual pension by the British and he spent the rest of his life at Bithoor near Kanpur.

Siddis and the Maratha Empire:

→ Siddis arrived in the latter half of the 15th century from Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

→ Established themselves at Janjira.

→ Siddis were increasingly getting difficult and therefore, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj decided to curb their movements.

→ Due to repeated Mughal attacks, the Marathas could not pay much attention to other enemies.

→ During the times of Peshwa I (1733C.E.) the Marathas became active against Siddis. Chimajiappa declared war against the Siddis and won it.

→ A treaty was signed by the Marathas and Siddi.

→  The Siddis accepted a feudatory status under the Marathas.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 History Notes Chapter 4 Colonialism and the Marathas

Afghans and the Maratha Empire.

→ The year 1784 witnessed the first invasion of India by AhmadshahAbdali, the king of Afghans. He was defeated by Shahjad Ahmadshah, the elder son of the emperor at Sirhind.

→ In 1751, Abdali invaded India again.

→ In 1757, Abdali invaded India for the third time. Returned to Afghanistan after ransacking the region around Delhi and Mathura.

→ In 1759, Abdali marched back for the fourth time which resulted in the ‘Third Battle of Panipat’ on 14th January 1761 between the Marathas and Abdali.

→ The Maratha army was commanded by Sadashivraobhau and Vishwasrao Peshwa.

→ They confronted each other at Panipat on the banks of the river Yamuna.

→ Both Peshwas were killed.

→ Abdali and his successors returned home never to come back because of the fierce opposition from the Marathas.

→ The British established their supremacy in India once the Maratha rule declined in the 19th century.


→ Chauthai – A type of revenue collected from the external territories protected by the Maratha rulers. It used to be one-fourth of the total income of the taxpayer.

→ Ammunition – A supply of bullets and shells.

→ Atrocities – An extremely wicked or cruel act.

→ Alliance – A union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organisations.

→ Asylum – The protection granted by a state to someone who has left their home courftry as a political refugee.

→ Mercenary – A professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.

→ Emissary – A person sent by one government or political leader to another to take messages or to take part in discussions.

→ Surreptitiously – Secretively.

→ Sovereignty – The authority of a state to govern itself or another state.

→ Waylaid – To wait for and then stop someone, especially to attack that person.