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Mysore and its Resistance to British Expansion
The state of Mysore rose to prominence in the politics of South India under the leadership of Haider Ali (1760-82). He and his son Tipu Sultan (1782-99) played a prominent role against the expansion of British Empire in India. Both of them faced the English with undoubted courage. In 1761, he became the de facto ruler of Mysore. He also proved to be the most formidable enemy of the English in India.
The First Anglo-Mysore War (1767 - 69)
* Haider Ali’s growing power and his friendly relations with the French became a matter of concern for the English East India Company.
* The Marathas, the Nizam and the English entered into a triple alliance against Haider Ali.
The Nizam, with the help of British troops under General Joseph Smith, invaded Mysore in 1767. Haider Ali defeated English and captured Mangalore. In March 1769, he attacked Madras and forced the English to sign a treaty on 4 April 1769.
Treaty of Madras (1769)
At the end of the war, the Treaty of Madras was signed between Haider Ali and British East India Company. Both the parties returned the conquered territories and promised to help each other in case of any foreign attack on them.
The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)
* The English did not fulfill the terms of the treaty of 1769, when Haider’s territories were attacked in 1771 by Marathas, Haider did not get help from the British.
* British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider’s Jurisdiction. It led to the formation of an alliance by Haider with the Nizam and Marathas against the English in 1779.
In 1781, the British General Sir Eyre Coote defeated Haider Ali at Porto Novo. The Mysore forces suffered another defeat at Solinger. Haider Ali died of cancer during the course of the war. After the death of Haider Ali in 1782, his son Tipu Sultan, continued the war against the English.
Tipu captured Brigadier Mathews, the supreme commander of the British forces along with his soldiers in 1783. It was a serious loss to Tipu.
Treaty of Mangalore (1784)
On 7th March 1784 the treaty of Mangalore was signed between the two parties. Both agreed to return the conquered territories and also the prisoners of war.
Thus, Warren Hastings saved the newly-established British dominion from the wrath of powerful enemies like Marathas and Haider Ali. When the British lost their colonies in America and elsewhere, Warren Hastings lost nothing in India. Instead, he consolidated the British power in India.
The Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92)
* Tipu was trying to seek alliance of foreign powers against the English and for that purpose he had sent his ambassadors to France and Turkey.
* Tipu attacked on Travancore in 1789 whose ruler was an ally of the British.
* The English, the Nizam and the Marathas entered into a “Triple Alliance” against Mysore.
Tipu fought alone which continued for two years. It was fought in three phases. The attack of the English under General Medows failed. Therefore, in December 1790, Cornwallis himself took the command of the army. Cornwallis captured all the hill-forts which obstructed his advance towards Srirangapatam and reached near its outer wall. Tipu felt desperate and opened negotiations with the English. Cornwallis agreed and the treaty of Srirangapatnam was concluded in 1792.
Treaty of Srirangapatnam (1792)
* Tipu surrendered half of his kingdom to the allies.
* Tipu agreed to pay 3.6 crore of rupees to the English as war indemnity and surrendered two of his sons as hostages to the English.
* The English acquired Malabar, Coorg, Dindigul and Baramahal(Coimbatore and Salem).
The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)
Tipu Sultan did not forget the humiliating treaty of Srirangapatnam imposed upon him by Cornwallis in 1790.
* Tipu sought alliance with foreign powers against the English and sent ambassadors to Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan and the French.
* Tipu was in correspondence with Napoleon who invaded Egypt at that time.
* The French officers came to Srirangapatnam where they founded a Jacobin Club and planted the Tree of Liberty.
Wellesley declared war against Tipu in 1799. The war was short and decisive. As planned, the Bombay army under General Stuart invaded Mysore from the west. The Madras army, which was led by the Governor-General’s brother, Arthur Wellesley, forced Tipu to retreat to his capital Srirangapatnam. On 4th May 1799 Srirangapatnam was captured. Tipu fought bravely and was killed finally. Thus ended the fourth Mysore War and the whole of Mysore lay prostrate before the British.
Mysore after the War
* The English occupied Kanara, Wynad, Coimbatore, Darapuram and Srirangapattinam.
* Krishna Raja Odayar of the former Hindu royal family was brought to the throne.
* Tipu’s family was sent to the fort of Vellore.
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