Explain the system of “subsidiary alliance” .
East India Company or so called ‘Company Bahadur’ used a variety of political, economic and diplomatic methods to extend its influence before annexing an Indian kingdom.
Subsidiary alliance was one the way. According to the terms of this alliance, Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces.
They were to be protected by the Company, but had to pay for the “subsidiary forces” that the Company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of this protection.
If the Indian rulers failed to make the payment, then part of their territory was taken away as penalty.
For example, when Richard Wellesley was Governor-General (1798-1805), the Nawab of Awadh was forced to give over half of his territory to the Company in 1801, as he failed to pay for the “subsidiary forces”.
Hyderabad was also forced to cede territories on similar grounds.