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THE predatory states composing the Marhatta power have never been united under any regular form of confederation, or by any system of constitutional laws, or of established treaties, which can be compared to any imperial constitution or general confederation existing in Europe. A vague and indefinite sentiment of common interest however, founded principally upon their common origin and civil and religious usages, and upon their common habits of conquest and depredation, has established a certain degree of union amongst them, from the period of their first success, throughout every stage of the decline of the Moghul empire: the same indefinite but acknowledged confederacy has subsisted between the Marhattas since the entire destruction of the Moghul empire, and, together with other causes, has enabled several of these adventurers to erect states of considerable military resource and political power.

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The power of the peishwah however for many years past has been For an account acknowledged by all the Marhatta states*, and universally by all the tution of the

* The rajah of Berar does not deny the nominal supremacy of the rajah of Sattarah, whose authority is represented by the peishwah, nor the sovereign executive powers annexed to the hereditary office of peishwah; but he claims the office of peishwah for himself in right of his descent from the family of Sevajee, the ancestor of the rajah of Sattarah, and the founder of the Marhatta power.

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Marhatta em

pire, and of the

other states of India, to be the constitutional representative of the peishwah's fa- sovereign executive authority of the Marhatta empire, and the principal chieftains have been considered ostensibly as the subjects and officers of the peishwah's government.

mily, vide Appendix A.

The British government therefore has concluded its general treaties with the Marhattas through the authority of the peishwah; and although in some of those engagements individual chieftains have been admitted to act as guarantees, the independent right of the peishwah to conclude treaties with any power in India has never been denied; nor has it ever been attempted to assert a claim on the part of any of the chieftains, to limit the independent right of the peishwah to form treaties and alliances without the advice or consent of any chieftain of the Marhatta empire.

On the other hand, these chieftains have exercised the right of concluding treaties and alliances, independently of the peishwah's authority, and without his sanction or concurrence; and the British government recently concluded a treaty of subsidy with the guikwar, without the previous sanction of the peishwah; reserving, however, all the peishwah's rights in the state of the guikwar.

At the commencement of the war against Tippoo Sultaun, in the year 1789, lord Cornwallis, in forming a defensive alliance with the Marhatta power against the power of Mysore, resorted to the peishwah's acknowledged authority as the best security for such an alliance, and accordingly negotiated, and concluded on the 1st of June 1790, the treaty of Poonah with the peishwah, without reference to any of the subordinate chieftains.

In that war, the assistance which lord Cornwallis derived from the Marhattas proceeded exclusively from the peishwah's authority, aided


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