Peshwa stands for Prime Minister, in Marathi. As the name suggests, the Peshwa of the last ruler of the Shivaji dynasty, Shahu, ascended the throne and established the Peshwa Dynasty.
In the year 1712, Balaji Vishwanath laid the foundations of the Peshwa Dynasty.
The Peshwa Dynasty prevented the Maratha Empire from disintegration after the death of Shahu in the year 1712.
The Peshwa Dynasty brought the Maratha Kingdom into new heights of glory during the reign from 1712 to 1804.
Bajirao 1 made Pune the capital of the Peshwa rule. During his reign the Maratha Kingdom had to suffer a crumbling defeat in the hands of Ahmad Shah Abdali in the Third Battle of Panipat in the year 1761. The defeat reduced the power of the Maratha kingdom and confined it regionally.
After the death of the great Shivaji, the Maratha Kingdom went through a period of Political instability, which could be resolved by the Peshwas periodically.