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What is subsidiary alliance? 

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A subsidiary alliance, in South Asian history, describes a tributary alliance between a Native state and either French India, or later the British East India Company.
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Some Indian States were brought under the British control without actually annexing them. This was done by following the Subsidiary alliance introduced by Lord Wellesely. Under this system, the Indian rulers who agreed to Subsidiary alliance:

(a) accepted the British as the supreme power

(b) surrendered their foreign relations to the East Indian Company and agreed that they would not enter into any alliance with other power and would not wage wars.

(c) accepted a British Resident at their headquarters and agreed to employ any European in their service without consulting company.

(d) agreed to maintain British troops at their own cost; and

(e) virtually lost their independence.

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