The Subsidiary Alliance system was a method/policy introduced by Lord Wellesley
to subjugate Indian powers without the cost and botheration of war. Any
Indian ruler, whose security was threatened, was encouraged to seek help
and enter into an alliance with the British, who promised to protect
the ruler from external attacks and internal revolts.
The Indian ruler
had to accept certain terms and conditions. This arrangement was known
as Subsidiary Alliance.
Some Principles of the Alliances were
An Indian ruler entering into a subsidiary alliance with the British
had to accept British forces within his territory and also agreed to
pay for their maintenance.
The ruler would accept a British Resident in his state.
An Indian ruler who entered into a subsidiary alliance would not
enter into any further alliance with any other power, nor would he
declare war against any power without the permission of the British.
The ruler would not employ any Europeans other than the British, and if he were already doing so, he would dismiss them.
In case of a conflict with any other state, he would agree the resolution decided upon by the British.
The ruler would acknowledge the East India Company(Britishers) as the paramount power in India.
In return for the ruler accepting its conditions, the Company
undertook to protect the state from external dangers and internal
If the Indian rulers failed to make the payments required by the
alliance, then part of their territory was to be taken away as a
(the Subsidiary Alliance was introduced by Lord Wellesley, the British Governor-Genaral in India from 1798 to 1805 and not by hastings)