as well as in south India, Peshwa Baji Rao I had to depend on the loyal
support of his adherents with proven military capacity.
Rise and Growth Peshwa Baji Rao I put large areas under the control of
his lieutenants, chief of whom were Raghuji Bhonsle, Ranoji Scindia,
Malhar Rao Holkar and Damaji Gaekwad. These leaders formed the
Maratha confederacy which, during the administration of Baji Rao, was
held in strict control by the Peshwa and carried his victories to Delhi and
even into the Punjab.
Defects and Decline The severe defeat of the Peshwa’s army in the third
battle of Panipat was followed by the death of Peshwa Balaji Rao himself.
The succession disputes that ensued weakened the Peshwa’s hold on the
ambitious members of the Maratha confederacy, which then became a
serious disintegrating element in the Maratha state. The conflicts amongst
its members, their intrigues and rivalries. especially between Holkar and
Scindia, made united action among them impossible and contributed much
to the decline and fall of the Maratha empire and its independence.
REGIONAL STATES: BENGAL (1717–72)
Murshid Quli Khan (1717–27)
He was appointed as Bengal’s diwan by Aurangzeb (1700), as naib subahdar
(deputy governor–1713) and later as subahdar (governor-1717) by Farukh
Siyar. His de facto rule from 1700 was thus made de jure in 1717 (between
1700–07 Prince Azim, son of Bahadur Shah, was the governor; between
1707–13, Farukh Siyar, son of Azim, was the governor).
He was also granted the governorship of Orissa by the emperor (Farukh
Siyar) in 1719. He transferred his capital from Dacca to Murshidabad. He
gradually assumed autonomy, though continuing to pay tribute to the Mughal
He carried out the following reforms:
Reorganisation of the finances—transfer of large parts of jagir lands into
khalisa (crown) lands, introduction of the system of revenue-farming and the