ANNEXATION OF PUNJAB

1. First Anglo- Sikh War (1845-1846)
2. Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849)

 The first regular contact between Ranjit Singh and the British seems to have been made in 1800.
 The occasion was when India was threatened by an invasion of Zaman Shah, the Afghan ruler who had been invited by Tipu Sultan a bitter enemy of the British.
 As a precautionary measure, the British sent Munshi Yusuf Ali to the court of Ranjit Singh with rich presents to win the Maharaja over the British side.
 Soon however he learnt that the danger of Zaman Shah’s invasion receded and Yusuf Ali was recalled.
 The contact was made in 1805 when the Maratha chief Holkar entered Punjab for help him from Ranjit
Singh.
 But he refused Holkar to help him against the British. In 1806 Ranjit Singh signed a treaty of friendship with General Lake agreeing to force Jaswant Rao Holkar to leave Amritsar.
 General Lake in turn promised that the English would never form any plans for the seizure of Ranjit
Singh’s Possessions and property.
 As the danger of French invasion on India became remote the English adopted a stern policy towards
Ranjit Singh.
 He was given a note of the Governor-General by Metcalfe.
 Ranjit Singh was asked to restore all the places, he has taken possession since 1806 to the former possessors which will confine his army right to the bank of Sutlej.
 Ranjit Singh was not ready to accept the demand. However he withdrew his troops from Ambala and
Saniwal but continued to retain Faridkot.
 Ranjit Singh fortified the fort to Govindgarh.But in the last stage Ranjit Singh changed his mind and agreed to sign the Treaty of Amritsar in 1809.

 One of the effects of the treaty of Amritsar was that the British government was able to take the

Sutlej states under its protection.
 Ranjit Singh’s advance in the east was checked but he was given a carte blanche so far as the region to
the west of the Sutlej was concerned.
 The death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in June 1839 was followed by political instability and rapid changes of government in Punjab.
 Ultimately power fell into the hands of the brave and patriotic but utterly in disciplined army.
 This led to British to look across the Sutlej upon the land even though they had signed a treaty in 1809.
First Anglo- Sikh War (1845-1846)
 The first battle between the Sikhs and the English was fought at Mudki on December 18, 1845.The
Sikhs were defeated.
 The English again won the battle at Firozpur on December 21.
 The Sikhs under Ranjit Singh Majithia however defeated the English at Buddwal in 1846.But the
Sikhs were again defeated at Aliwal .
 The decisive battle was fought at Sobraon in 1846 and Sikhs were routed.
 The English then crossed the Sutlej and captured the capital of Lahore.
 The war came to an end by the treaty of Lahore which was signed in 1846.
 This treaty left the Sikhs with no capacity for resisting the English.
 Another treaty was made with Sikhs in 1846 this treaty is known as Second treaty of Lahore or the treaty of Bhairowal.

Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849)
 The Sikhs considered their defeat in the first Sikh War a great humiliation.
 They had been accustomed to victories in the time of Ranjit Singh and this defeat gave a rude shock to their pride.
 The Sikhs wanted to restore the fallen fortunes of their kingdom.
 Lord Gough the British Commander in Chief reached Lahore with the grand army of Punjab.
 Multan surrendered in 1849 and the Sikhs suffered a defeat at Chillianwala a few weeks later.
 The final and decisive battle was won by the English at Gujarat and the whole of Punjab surrendered.
 The war resulted in the annexation of Punjab in 1849 by Lord Dalhousie and Dalip Singh was pensioned off and sent to England along with his mother Rani Jindan.
 The administration of the Punjab was entrusted to a Board of Commissioners.
 The annexation of Punjab extended the British territories in India up to the natural frontiers of India towards the north-west.
 Beside after the destruction of Sikh power there remained no active power which could pose a threat to the security of the English in India.

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