Showing posts from February, 2017

The Economy of the Marathas Part II: Rise and Fall of the Peshwai

Peshwa Baji Rao I (Wikipedia Commons) With the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a period of uncertainty had hit the Maratha kingdom. The Mughals under Aurangzeb’s leadership had left no stone unturned in hitting the Marathas hard. Shivaji’s son Sambhaji was taken captive, and the torture leading to his death eventually has been well documented. His brother Rajaram ascended the throne in order to stabilize the sinking confidence of the Maratha power, though for all practical purposes it was Rani Tarabai who held the reigns of the throne, given how ill Rajaram was. Sambhaji’s son Shahu ji was still a prisoner of Aurangzeb at the time when Rajaram passed away, and Tarabai officially took over the regency. To keep the jagirdars loyal to the throne in this delicate political time, Shahu ji scrapped the key provision of not making jagirdari and other offices hereditary. When Shahu declared himself the king of the Marathas at Satara in 1708, he had to recognize these Maratha chiefta