This was a great blow to the proud Marathas
It was during this period of political turmoil and economic
depression that the great rebel, Shivaji, was born. He gave new hope to his
people and succeeded in smashing the Mughal power which was extending its
tentacles in the Deccan. Uniting its warring
tribes, he created a new force, charged with the uplift of the oppressed and
Before he died he left behind a state which was no only
well-knit, where the people were well provided for, with exploiters under
control and revenue officers imbued with the mission of service. His armed
forces functioned as the guardians of security and were respected and feared by
After Shivaji came there the Peshwas under whom the Maratha Empire
touched still greater height; its power extended to the Indus in the north,
Tanjore in the south and into Bengal in the east.
The decline began with its defeat by Ahmed Shah Abdali at Panipat in 1761. The
Shrewa and able Nana Phadnis, the prime minister, tried to consolidate the
empire but on his death in 1800 it came to a virtual end.
This was a great blow to the proud Marathas. They could not
reconcile themselves to the growing British power. Some petty revolts took
place but they were of little consequence.