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The Spice Wars began as a result of a European economic depression, which became so drastic that many European nations felt compelled to invade Maratha and plunder spices to sell in order to help their economic situations. Russia was involved in the Council of Berlin, however, it did not partake in the war, and because of its decision, emerged as a superpower following European War II.
Throughout the war, the fighting was both fierce and relatively pointless, as for much of the conflict, little to no progress was made on either side. The war began with the invasion and occupation of the Dominion of Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka), followed by a British naval blockade of Maratha and ground invasion of the Indian subcontinent. The fighting forced the Europeans to buy American made gunpowder, helping the American economy in the process. The Marathi Peshwa at the time was Shah Alam I, who was able to halt the European advance in a miraculous victory in 1858 at Dalautabad. The war remained a stalemate for years after this, eventually resulting in a temporary peace at Goa in 1860, although the Europeans maintained an occupation in the lower area of Maratha and stole a vast amount of wealth from the area.
The peace treaty was broken in 1861 when a Marathi-Indonesian alliance invaded occupied Maratha and attempted to wrestle it out of the hands of the European coalition. Eventually, however, Germany broke through Marathi lines at Goa in 1869 after years of warfare constrained to naval battles and small ground skirmishes. Germany and Britain led the Europeans to victory at Bombay, and eventually Raigad, the Marathi capital, in 1870, knocking Maratha out of the conflict and allowing Europe to pillage the nation for wealth. However, Indonesia did not surrender until February 3, 1871, exactly seven months after the Marathi surrender, when the Royal Navy defeated the Indonesian navy and the threat of ground invasion loomed over Indonesia.