University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History > Maratha Naval Challenges to European Proto-Empire in the Early Eighteenth Century

Maratha Naval Challenges to European Proto-Empire in the Early Eighteenth Century

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Subscribers to the military revolution thesis believe Europe’s preeminence was a result of technological and bureaucratic precociousness in military affairs that led to the conquest of the globe and the colonial project. However, technological superiority did not always signify the foregone conclusion of European dominance over the polities of India. By adopting guerrilla-style naval tactics and exploiting a comparative advantage in vessels that were light and fast the Marathas became the scourge of the English East India Company and other European powers. Importantly, Maratha naval prowess challenges the notion of technological superiority as a primary explanatory factor in pre-colonial India and throws into further question Eurocentric frameworks of how conquests occurred in the early-modern period.

This talk is part of the Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History series.

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