Lord Wellesley was appointed governor general of Bengal in 1798 at the age of 37. One of the top British rulers in India, he devised strategies to establish British paramountcy in India. He ranks among the highs of Lord Clive, Lord Dalhousie and Warren Hastings. When it comes to achievements, he is a cut above the rest of the British rulers in India.
During his tenure of seven years, Lord Wellesley became successful in defeating the adversaries of the English Company. Jettisoning the non-intervention policy, he applied the system of Subsidiary alliance with a missionary zeal. Under the subsidiary Alliance system, the Indian ruler, who entered into this alliance, was to surrender a part of his territories or give money for the maintenance of a subsidiary force of the British needed for the defence of the state. The subsidiary state had also to surrender its external relations to the Company and accept a British resident at the capital.
The Indian states and rulers who entered into Wellesley’s Subsidiary Alliance System were Mysore, Hyderabad, Tanjore, Berar, Awadh, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, Macheri, Bundi, and the Peshwa.
During his rule, the Fourth Mysore War took place in 1799 resulting in the defeat of and killing of Tipu Sultan. The Second Anglo Maratha War (1803-04) witnessed the defeat of Sindhia, the Bhonsle and the Holkar which dealt a body blow the Maratha power in India.