Who ruled India before British?

Asked 14-Jan-2018
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The Marathas are regarded with ending Mughal authority in India to a considerable extent.

The Maratha Confederation was the East India Company's direct antecedent. The Peshwa, as de facto ruler, and the Chatrapati, as de jure king, led this alliance. Baji Rao ll, who was conquered by EI Co in 1818, was the last Peshwa in reign, and Pratapasingh was the final monarch.

At its apex, it was a confederation of five states with a total territory of 28 lakh km. The Holkars of Indore and Malwa, Gaekwads of Baroda, Schindhias of Gwalior and Ujjain, Bhonsales of Nagapur, Puars of Dhar, and Dewas were the five confederating entities. All of them were associate states that reported to the Chatrapathi and Peshwa. The local rulers of the Maratha empire's federating divisions were known as 'Raja,' whilst Chatrapathi was known as 'Maharaja,' indicating the latter's authority over the former. The federal capital was Raigad, but the Peshwa government's headquarters were at Pune. Bhagavadwaj was the name of the flag. Shivaji was the first Chatrapati, and Pratapasingh was the last. After the third Anglo-Maratha war in 1818, the Maratha Empire fell apart.

The Mughals' influence progressively dwindled in the second part of the 18th century, eventually leading to the empire's demise. By 1771, the Maratha Empire had been recognized as the guardians of the nominal Mughal ruler Shah Alam ll, who ruled over a tiny territory stretching from Delhi to Palam. From 1771 until 1818, the Mughals were a minor protectorate under the suzerainty of The Great Maratha Confederation. Shah Alam ll, Akbar Shah ll, and Bahadur Shah ll were three putative Mughal monarchs who were Marathas' puppets during this time. In 1857, the final Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah II, banded up with Nana Saheb Peshwa and others to mutiny against the EICo government, following which he was deported to Rangoon and the Mughal throne was abolished. After the uprising of 1857, known as the first struggle of Indian independence, the government of India was entrusted to the British Crown.

The Peshwa government's cabinet was comprised of eight ministers known collectively as Ashtapradhans, but they were known by various titles. One of the empire's unique features was that not only the emperor but also the prime minister and other ministers were hereditary and that the cabinet meeting was usually convened by their delegates who would represent them rather than the ministers themselves. Even though the majority of them were absentee ministers, the empire-state machinery ran well and without corruption. Their genuineness was inspired by their devotion to the Chatrapathi, who was treated with the same love and reverence as God. For them, he was a demi-god.

So there was a 47-year vacuum between the Mughal Empire and the Indian Kingdom commanded by EICo, which The Great Maratha Confederacy filled. As a result, the Maratha Empire is EICo's proper forerunner. The British Crown succeeded the EICo Government from 1818 to 1857, followed by the short-lived Indian Dominion led by a Governor-General, and lastly the Republic of India.