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The story of the war in which the power of the great Mahratta confederacy was broken ended in the firm establishment of the British Empire the Indian Peninsula. When the struggle began, the Mahrattas were masters of no small portion of India; their territory comprising the whole country between Bombay and Delhi, and stretching down from Rajputana to Allahabad; while in the south they were lords of the district of Cuttack, thereby separating Madras from Calcutta. The jealousies of the great Mahratta leaders, Holkar and Scindia, who were constantly at war with each other, or with the Peishwa at Poona, divided and weakened the nation and allowed the British to conquer, although at the cost of much blood, to free a large portion of India from a race that was a scourge--faithless, intriguing and crafty; cruel, and reckless of life. Henty paints the Mahrattas as cowardly tyrants and deserving of their ultimate downfall.