The weakening of the central political structure of the Mughal Empire and erosion of its military strength created some sort of a political vacuum in India- tempting ambitious Subedars and powerful regional chiefs to carve out semi independent or independent principalities for themselves.
Thus the eighteenth century saw the rise of a large number of autonomous states on the debris of the Mughal empire such as Bengal, Awadh, Hyderabad, Mysore, Marathas, Jats, Sikhs and Rajputs which is referred by many as a spectre of a fragmented polity.
State of Awadh in 18th century
Saadat Khan (1722-1739)
He was appointed as the governor of Awadh by the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah.
He was summoned to Delhi at the time of Nadir Shah’s invasion.
He introduced several revenue and military reforms, thereby making Awadh economically and politically strong.
He treated Hindus and Muslims equally in the matter of employment.
He was involved in the Battle of Buxar (1764) because of which he had to pay huge war indemnity and give the British Allahabad and Kara.
He concluded the Treaty of Banaras with Warren Hastings, whereby Allahabad and Kara were sold to the Nawab.
He defeated Rohillas with the help of the British and annexed Rohilkhand to Awadh in 1774.
Saadat Ali (1798-1814)
He signed the ‘Subsidiary Alliance Treaty’ with Lord Wellesley in 1801, by which the Nawab was deprived of about half of his territory for the maintenance of the subsidiary troops.
This was the first subsidiary treaty of North India.