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  • By the late 18th century, the power of the Maratha Empire had weakened in the Indian subcontinent, and India was left with a great number of states, most of them small and weak.
  • Many rulers accepted the offer of protection by Lord Wellesley, as it gave them security against attack by their neighbors.

The main principles of a subsidiary alliance were:

  1. An Indian ruler entering into a subsidiary alliance with the British had to accept the British forces within his territory and also agree to pay for their maintenance.
  2. The ruler would accept a British Resident in his state.
  3. An Indian ruler who entered into a subsidiary alliance would not enter into any further alliance with any other power, nor would he declare war against any power without the permission of the British.                                                            SUBSIDIARY ALLIANCE SYSTEM
  4. The ruler would not employ any Europeans other than the British, and if he were already doing so, he would dismiss them.
  5. In case of a conflict with any other state, the ruler would agree upon the resolution decided by the British.
  6. The ruler would acknowledge the East India Company as the paramount power in India.
  7. In return for the ruler accepting its conditions, the Company undertook to protect the state from external dangers and internal disorders.
  8. If the Indian ruler failed to make the payments required by the alliance, then part of their territory was to be taken away as a penalty.
  • Under this doctrine, Indian rulers under British protection surrendered the control of their foreign affairs to the British.
  • Most disbanded their native armies, instead maintaining British troops within their states to protect them from attack.                    SUBSIDIARY ALLIANCE SYSTEM
  • As British power grew, in most parts of India this became increasingly unlikely that any other power would attack other than the British themselves!



Modern History