Menu Close

Tipu Sultan, Haider Ali & Anglo Mysore Wars

After decline of Vijaynagar, till 1750’s Mysore was ruled by Wodeyar dynasty. Haider Ali was a military commander in Mysore and was also trained in French Army. He also introduced risala system in his military.
In 1763, Haider Ali sidelined Wodeyars and took command. After his death in 1782 due to poor health, Tipu Sultan took command and ultimately died in 1799 fighting a battle.

1. Structure of Mysore Kingdom.

Mysore was much more advanced than its contemporaries. Mysore’s aim was, to capture both the coasts of peninsula. But the same ambition brought the state in conflict with Hyderabad, Carnatic, Marathas and British.

1.1 Political Structure

There were no succession disputes and smooth transfer of power from Haider Ali to Tipu Sultan. A more centralized system of administration was introduced under Haider Ali and later Tipu Sultan.

1.2 Economic Structure

1] Introduction of salaried revenue collecting officials brought more efficiency to tax collection process.
2] Active steps were taken to increase agricultural productivity. Cash crops, pepper, cardamon, sericulture was promoted.
3] A conscious effort to expand area under irrigation was also made.
4] Steps were taken to set up state run trading and commercial corporation during 1770s.

1.3 Structure of Army [Risala System]

Haider Ali introduced ‘Risala‘ system in military. Every Risala would consist of fixed number of troops, horsemen and ammunition. A arrangement similar to present concept of battalion. Miliatary commanders to these troops will be appointed by Haider Ali himself. Risala system was inspired by European way of organizing army.

Many technological innovations were also carried out under Tipu Sultan. An arsenal factory was set-up in Dindigul 1760s. Tipu Sultan also introduced Mysorian rockets which were far advanced according to his times. Thus in many ways, Mysore’s structure represented a major advancement over its contemporaries.

2. Anglo Mysore Wars. [1767 – 1799]

2.1 1st Anglo Mysore War [1767 – 1769]

Mysore didn’t allowed influence of British in their region. They were not allowed to dock on Mysore ports and also Mysore traders were not allowed to trade with British. British feared that with help of Haider Ali, French may try to revive themselves. However, Mysore largely held on to its territories in the region and British failed to make territorial advances against them.

It was fought between Mysore under Haider Ali on one side and alliance of British + Nizam of Hyderabad + Marathas.

2.2 2nd Anglo Mysore War [1780 – 1784]

This time, an effective regional alliance was established by Mysore vis-a-vis British. Marathas and Hyderabad joined hands with Mysore against British. Hyder Ali died in 1782 and Tipu Sultan took command of the kingdom. No territorial change happened during this battle as well.

2.3 3rd Anglo Mysore War [1789-1792].

Regional allianced held under Haider Ali broke. Marathas withdrew since they signed treaty of Salbai in 1782. Hyderabad also joined British since Mysore attacked Travancore who was friend of Hyderabad.

Mysore lost control over 40% of its territories and it ended with Treaty of Sreringapatanam. It also lost port of Mahe. Tipu’s son were to be kept with British to avoid further wars and he was to pay ~ 3.5 crore dues.

2.4 4th War [1799]. Battle of Srirangapattanam.

[*Treaty of Sreringapatanam is in 3rd war while 4th war is called Battle of Srirangapatanam.]

Tipu Sultan refused to surrender and sign subsidiary alliance. Tipu Sultan was killed in battle in 1799. British brought back Wodiyar dynasty to power (puppet regime). British also captured ports.

Later, Hyderabad was made to sign subsidiary alliance and British kept Northern Sarkar for Jagirdari rights for perpetuity.

3. Causes of Anglo Mysore Wars

1] British suspected collusion between French and Mysore which may result in French revival in South Asia.
2] There was also a direct threat to British trading interests in Mysore from the actions of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan such as
A) The denial of permission to British to use the trading ports under Mysore’s control.
B) Not allowing the traders of Mysore to maintain trade relations with BEIC.
3] Mysore’s expansionist aims in South India, predominantly in Deccan region often pitted them against other regional powers like Marathas and Hyderabad.
4] The failure of Mysore to establish a strong regional alliance allowed the British to further expand their presence by joining hands with Marathas and Hyderabad.

4. Subsidiary Alliance.

Started by Lord Wellesley.

Lord Wellesley

4.1 Features of Subsidiary Alliance

1] Indian states can continue their autonomous rule within their domestic affairs.
2] Security of state from any foreign attack is Britishers responsibility. However, the protection was for defensive purpose and not offensive.
3] British troops will be stationed in state for this purpose.
4] States would give up their control on foreign affairs to British.
5] Any declaration of war, any signing of treaty cannot be done without British approval.
6] Maintenance of troops will be responsibility of Indian states. If state fails to pay, state would give Jagir to British e.g. Northern Sarkar.
7] No other European except British could be employed by Indian states.

4.2 Significance of the Subsidiary Alliance.

1] It allowed British to strengthen their indirect rule in the regions by exploiting the difference between regional Indian states.
2] It allowed the British to finance maintenance of their troops in the region while the cost was borne by Indian states.
3] It greatly limited the ability of Indian states to maintain large standing army of their own thereby limiting their military strength.

4.3 States under Subsidiary Alliance.

1] Hyderabad 1798
2] Mysore 1799
3] Awadh 1802
4] Marathas 1803
It was not required in Bengal since BEIC directly had Jagir responsibility.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments