The Marquess Wellesley, K.G. in India, 1798-1805 : an essay : [manuscript]

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7. 1677 in the treaty of Breda: but France had not ignored India as one of the battlefields on which to decide the war which she was waging against England in every quarter of the globe. That desperate struggle for world-wide supremacy was being - there as everywhere - bitterly fought out, & formed the greatest danger to the British foothold in the East. The difficulties which Mornington had to meet are hardly to be exaggerated. It was not the mere power of France that he had to fear, but the fact that the mightiest of the native states were being rapidly drawn into her friendship & thus into enmity against Great Britain.

Wellesley arrival in India.

On April 26: 1798 Mornington landed at Madras. His previous studies, & information gained from Major Kirkpatrick & other Indian authorities whom he met at the Cape on his way out, had given him an accurate knowledge of the complex condition of Indian affairs in general & those connected with the Company in particular. His accomplishments - the result of this knowledge - may be divided into two branches, - his political achievements in India, & his civil work improving the internal system of the Company itself. Though his fame rests, & rests

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8. deservedly, almost entirely on the first, yet the second part is not altogether to be ignored as a factor in the formation of a great career. The former, however, requires our primary attention.

The five native States.

A glance at a map of India as it was in 1798 will show that - exclusive of the north-west, in which at that time there were no British interests - there were five important native states, namely - Mysore, Haidarabad, the Karnatik, the Maratha Empire, and Oudh. The fact that, before Mornington had been in India a year, he had begun - & in the case of Mysore had practically finished - his dealings with four of these five states, shows at how early a date the great statesman had formed in his mind his far-reaching schemes. These schemes, though distinct in the case of each state, were yet so largely carried out simultaneously, & occasionally intermingled so much with one another, that - in giving the separate course adopted in each case - it is impossible to keep to the chronological order of events. It is clearer, however, to keep apart - as far as is possible - the history of Mornington's policy towards each of the several nations with whom he came in contact.

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