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Entry of British in Bundelkhand

Towards the end of the 19th century, the power of the Pune Peshwa weakened considerably (see Entry of Marathas in Bundelkhand). The Holkars and Scindias fought among themselves to gain control over the Pune court. The then Peshwa was compelled to take help from the British.

In return, by the 1802 treaty of Bassein, the British gained control over Peshwa territories in Banda, Hamirpur and parts of Jalaun, which had been granted by Maharaj Chhatrasal.

The British acquisitions were formed into a district called Bundelkhand.

However, the British could not provide a sound administration and enforce rule of law in Central India for several years.

Loosely organised horsemen called Pindaris, who had been hired by Maratha armies in central and northern India, and were now unemployed, ravaged the countryside.

Several Bundela chiefs (see Bundelas and Mughals) resisted British supremacy.

In the years of lawlessness, thugs wandered the roads of Central India and killed thousands of travellers in cold blood.

From 1809, a period of over-assessment of land revenue commenced in the Bundelkhand district. The severity of assessments was surpassed by methods of collection; corrupt officials and speculators acquired large fortunes and lands.

The British had not understood the soil and climatic conditions of Bundelkhand, which made agriculture very vulnerable. Bad seasons followed from 1819, but revenue claims were not reduced. By 1830, the Bundelkhand district was reduced to a condition of 'general bankruptcy', reported the Jhansi district gazetteer.

Many of the thugs were peasants affected by this condition; the strongholds of their leaders were in the Chambal and Jalaun ravines, where dacoits operate even today.

Repeated crop failures caused depletion of the population due to large-scale migration to the neighbouring region of Malwa, or hunger-related death.

| Early History | Chandela Period | Khangars and Early Bundelas | Bundelas and Mughals | Gond Kingdom | Maharaj Chhatrasal | Entry of Marathas | Entry of British | 1857 Revolt | British Rule | Freedom Movement | Bundelkhand State? | Hold of Dacoits |

 
History
> Early History
> Chandela Period
> Khangars and Early Bundelas
> Bundelas and Mughals
> Gond Kingdom
> Maharaj Chhatrasal
> Entry of Marathas
> Entry of British
> 1857 Revolt
> British Rule
> Freedom Movement
> Bundelkhand State?
> Hold of Dacoits