The main causes behind the Anglo-Nepal war are:
- Political causes: Nepal's growing army strength and activity was looked upon by English as a risk.
- Economic causes: Nepal was only the way to Tibet. The forest product of Nepal and position of cross road of Nepal could be useful for English.
- Natural causes: They found the physical climate of Nepal suitable for them and lure the climate of Nepal.
- Immediate cause
Before the unification, Butwal and Syuraj was under the control of British. But at the time of unification, the Nepalese force took over Butwal and Syuraj. Although getting a threatening letter by the British, Nepalese firm not to return Butwal and Syuraj. As a result, the English governor declared war with Nepal.
- Conducting awareness campaign to acknowledge people importance of tradition.
- Conducting traditional programs
- Encouraging government to restore the tradition
- Educating people about the tradition
- It was a trade route between Kantipur and Tibet.
- It was the western doorway to the valley.
- It was suitable place to get information about the valley for gathering news about the valley and ideal place to build fort due to its location at a height.
- Due to its fertile soil, it would produce fruits, grains and green vegetables.
- Unity in command.
- Required number of trained solders.
- Supply of provisions, weapons and ammunition and
- Co-operation of the people in general.
The following were the causes of the Anglo-Nepal War: -
- Natural Factor: Since the English people were from cold country it was difficult for them to run the administration from their station in India, which is a tropical country. So they were in search of cold places like Nepal. Besides, the cross road position of Nepal between India and Tibet also tempted them to go in war with Nepal.
- Economic Factor: The forests of Nepal were abundant in various wood species. The East India Company wanted to establish shipping industries in India through the use of wood brought from this forest. The East India Company wanted to expand its trade from India to Tibet through Nepal. But the government of Nepal was not favouring the entry of foreign traders into Nepal for various reasons.
- Political Factor: Bhimsen Thapa was deadly against English. He had bitter experience for the activities of the English people in India, when he had been to India to give company to Rana bahadur Shah. Bhimsen Thapa wanted to drive the English people away not only from India, but as much from Asia so during the days of his term of office, he was trying to form a union of Asian states, including Maratha and Punjab with due understanding established with them. He had also tried to bring Tibet and Burma in his side. He also gave much attention to military strengthening of Nepal. So Bhimsen Thapa's activities were highly opposed to the interest of the English.
- Immediate Factor: The dispute over the issue of Butwal and Syuraj was the immediate cause of the Anglo-Nepal war. Since early days, the king of Palpa had been occupying those territories in the terai region. On the condition of paying revenue to Nawab Bajir of Abadh. The Nepalese force had taken over Butwal and Syuraj along with Palpa at the time of unification operations. In the mean time the English Governor, Marquis of Hastings gave a threatening letter to government of Nepal for the immediate return of Butwal and Syuraj to them. But Bhimsen Thapa, stubborn in nature was not coward. Administrator to yield to the threat of the government General. The English battalion enter the territory of Nepal 8 days earlier than the formal declaration of the war was made.
The war went on for nearly 2 years. Nepali warriors fought bravely and resisted the English attack in many places. Still overall events of the war went against Nepal. Bhimsen Thapa had expected help from Punjab, Gwaliyar and Maratha but in vain. So Nepal was compelled to sign a surrender treaty i.e. the Sugauli Treaty under humiliating circumstances on 2 December, 1815 AD. The treaty was handed over to the East India Company with King's approval only on 4 March, 1816 AD.
The Anglo-Nepal war or the treaty in particular had the following consequences: -
- Nepal was obliged to surrender 1/3rd of the total land to the company.
- Nepal lost the cold areas like kumaon, Gadhwal, Nainital and Darjeeling.
- The Indian ambassadors to Nepal interfered in the internal affairs of Nepal in the face of opposition made from time to time by the Governor Generals.
- Politics of conspiracy in the palace played their roles.
- Nepalese entry into the British army was on the rise.