Anglo Mysore War – First and Second Anglo Mysore War

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Anglo Mysore War was a sequence of four military encounters between the British and the rulers of Mysore in India. The first anglo mysore war began in 1767 and lasted until 1799. During this volatile period of British governance in India, the East India Company was repeatedly trying to crush the Mysore Empire in south India. The clashes began when the British tried to integrate India as a country. British authority had previously spread all across north India, but the king of the Mysore Empire, Haider Ali, offered unforeseen resistance.

The Anglo Mysore War is linked to the history of the Indian rulers and is an important topic in the Indian history syllabus of the UPSC GS II examination. Frequent questions related to the Anglo Mysore War UPSC have been asked in the examination over the years. It is necessary to be up to date with the events that led to the first and second Mysore wars.

Historical Background of the Anglo Mysore War

The historical background of the Anglo Mysore war is traced back to 1612 when the Wodeyars established a Hindu kingdom in the Mysore territory. From 1734 to 1766, Chikka Krishnaraja Wodeyar II reigned. With his excellent administrative expertise and military strategy, Haider Ali, who was designated as a military soldier in the troops of the Wodeyars, then became the de-facto leader of Mysore and started the Anglo Mysore wars against the Britishers.

Anglo Mysore War PDF

  • Under his statesmanship, Mysore surfaced as a daunting power in the other half of the 18th century.
  • The vicinity of Mysore to the French and Haidar Ali’s influence over the affluent barter of the Malabar coast challenged the English political and commercial aspirations, as well as their power over Madras.
  • Following their victory over the nawab of Bengal post the Battle of Buxar, the British concluded a treaty with the Nizam of Hyderabad, convincing him to offer them the Northern Circars in a swap for safeguarding the Nizam from Haidar Ali, who previously had issues with the Marathas.
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad, along with the Marathas, and the English, formed an alliance to oppose Haidar Ali.
  • Haider used his diplomacy to make the Marathas neutral and turn Nizam into one of his allies against the Nawab of Arcot.

Anglo Mysore War Timeline

  • The First Anglo Mysore War (1767-69) – Treaty of Madras
  • The Second Anglo Mysore War (1780-1784) – Treaty of Mangalore
  • The Third Anglo Mysore War (1789-1792) – Treaty of Srirangapattanam
  • The Fourth Anglo Mysore War (1799)

First Anglo Mysore War

The first Anglo Mysore War started in 1767 and lasted until 1769. The causes of the first anglo mysore war were that Haider Ali built a strong army to fight against the Britishers and annexed many southern regions, including Canara, Bidnur, Malabar, Sera, and Sunda. He also took the support of the French army in training his soldiers. That is why the British declared war against Mysore in 1767.

  • The war dragged on for another year and a half with no end in sight.
  • Haider abruptly changed his tactic and popped up in front of the gates of Madras, having caused absolute chaos and distress.
  • This compelled the English to sign the Treaty of Madras with Haidar on April 4, 1769.
  • The treaty called for the exchange of detainees and occupied territories.
  • Haidar Ali pledged English assistance if he was ever threatened by another power.

Causes of First Anglo Mysore War

The first Anglo Mysore War commenced in 1767 when Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore launched an attack on Madras which was an ally of the British government. The first Anglo Mysore War came to an end in 1769 with the signing of the Treaty of Madras. This Treaty gave the British government a complete hold over large areas in South India.

  • The main reason behind the 1st Anglo Mysore War was that both the British government and Hyder Ali were interested in extending their territories at each other’s expense, which led to the major conflict turning into the first Anglo Mysore War.
  • Hyder Ali, Sultan of Mysore had close connections with the French government which was politically against the interests of the British government.
  • The French government helped Hyder Ali in training his army as well.
  • He was able to influence the trade on the Malabar Coast which majorly affected the British.

Course of 1st Anglo Mysore war

The course of the 1st Anglo Mysore War commenced in the year 1767 in January with the attack of the Marathas on Mysore. They attacked the northern region of Mysore first and extended to the southern part where the river Tungabhadra was located. That is when Hyder Ali decided to put a halt to the attack.

  • After Hyder Ali moved back, Mysore was attacked by the Nizam of Hyderabad who had taken help from the Britishers. They were unsuccessful in their attempt.
  • Therefore, the Nizam decided to join Hyder Ali in September 1767.
  • After a gap, the Britishers launched an attack on Hyderabad which resulted in the Nizam handing over the Diwani of Mysore to the Britishers.
  • This made Hyder Ali and the British stronger rivals of each other and Hyder Ali was fighting alone now.
  • He later attacked Madras in 1769 in the month of March which started the first Anglo Mysore War. It ended with the signing of the Treaty of Madras on 4th April 1769.

First Anglo Mysore War Treaty

The First Anglo Mysore War went on for almost one and a half years. The battle that had started with the attack on Mysore, continued for long and resulted in Hyder Ali being left alone. Therefore, he changed his plan and decided to attack Madras. That is when the actual mayhem began.

Leading to complete chaos, the first Anglo Mysore War ended on 4th April 1769 when both the British government and Hyder Ali decided to sign the Treaty of Madras. As per the treaty, both sides agreed to become future allies in case of any need. They also agreed to hand over their respective acquired territories and the people held captive by them.

Second Anglo Mysore War

The second anglo Mysore war took place due to the breach of the Treaty of Madras. This led to severe conflicts between the British and Haider Ali. One event progressed to another, and it led to the 2nd anglo Mysore war.

  • When the Maratha troops attacked Mysore in 1771, the British broke the treaty of Madras.
  • Haider Ali confronted them for breaching his trust.
  • Furthermore, Haider Ali discovered the French to be significantly industrious in regard to meeting the army’s prerequisites for guns, lead, and saltpetre.
  • As a result, he began to import French military supplies to Mysore via Mahe, a French ownership on the Malabar Coast.
  • The British were concerned about the two’s growing friendship.
  • As a result, the British tried to arrest Mahe, who had been under Haider Ali’s security. Haidar Ali formed a coalition against the British along with the Marathas and Nizam.
  • He arranged a joint front with the Nizam and the Marathas against the common enemy – the English East India Company. The second Anglo Mysore war lasted from 1780-1784.
  • But he died in 1782 and was succeeded by his son Tipu Sultan.
  • Tipu continued the war for another year but absolute success eluded both sides.
  • Tired of war, the two sides concluded the peace Treaty of Mangalore.
  • By this Treaty, it was decided that the English would return Srirangapatnam to Tipu and Tipu would hand over Fort of Badnur to the English.
  • Treaty of Mangalore: Both sides agreed to a mutual restoration of possessions (barring the forts of Amboorgur and Satgur) and Tipu undertook not to make any claims on the Carnatic in the future. Tipu agreed to release all prisoners of war and he had to restore the factory and privileges possessed by the Company at Calicut until 1779.

Causes of Second Anglo Mysore War

The second Anglo Mysore War was a battle between the East India Company of the British and the Mysore kingdom. It went on from 1780 – 1784 which was a very long period. The major cause of the 2nd Anglo Mysore War was Mysore being an ally of the French government.

  • Hyder Ali found the French more helpful and resourceful than the British with respect to supplying military aid.
  • Therefore, his closeness with the French became a major factor in the British feeling threatened.
  • The Britishers attempted to attack Mahe, which was a territory of the French situated on the Malabar Coast. This was supposed to be under Hyder Ali’s protection and thus instigated him directly.
  • As a result, Hyder Ali joined hands with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas which later conspired to the beginning of the Second Anglo Mysore War.

Course of 2nd Anglo Mysore War

The course of the 2nd Anglo Mysore War commenced with the joining of forces between Hyder Ali, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas. They were all anti-British. Though, after some time the British government was able to break this alliance between the three. This again left Hyder Ali alone. He was fearlessly in pursuit of his win over the British government and fought endlessly continuing the 2nd Anglo Mysore War.

Hyder Ali dies in the course of the second Anglo Mysore War due to cancer. Tipu Sultan, his son carried on with the battle for another year. Eventually, the British government was asked to settle things with Tipu Sultan which led to the culmination of the second Anglo Mysore War.

Result of the Second Anglo Mysore War

The main result of the second Anglo Mysore War was the signing of the Treaty of Mangalore. It was signed in March 1784. Hyder Ali had already died of cancer in 1782, therefore his son named Tipu Sultan moved on with the battle and later signed the treaty in Mangalore in 1784.

The signing of the Treaty of Mangalore led to the end of the Second Anglo Mysore War. Britishers by then had occupied a major part of South India. Both sides that signed the treaty, agreed on returning each other’s occupied territories.

Third Anglo Mysore War

The Third Anglo Mysore War was fought between Tipu Sultan and the British. It began in 1789 and ended in Tipu’s defeat in 1792. It was started when Tipu struck Travancore, an English ally and the East India Company’s only way of sourcing pepper. Tipu considered Travancore’s purchase of Jalkottal and Cannanore from the Dutch in Tipu’s feudatory state of Cochin to have been an infringement of his sovereign powers.

  • The British took Travancore’s side and fired at Mysore.
  • Tipu’s growing power enraged the Nizam and the Marathas, who decided to join the British.
  • Tipu Sultan crushed General Meadows’ British army in 1790.
  • Lord Cornwallis took command in 1791 and led a massive army through Ambur and Vellore to Bangalore and then to Seringapatam.
  • They took Coimbatore but lost it again, and finally, with the help of the Marathas and the Nizam, Seringapatam was again attacked by the British.
  • Tipu provided strong opposition. However, the odds were heavily stacked against him.
  • The Treaty of Seringapatam, signed in 1792, ended the third Anglo Mysore war.
  • The alliance of the British, Nizam, and Marathas took over nearly half of Mysorean territory under this treaty.

Fourth Anglo Mysore War

Both Tipu Sultan and the British utilized the years 1792-99 to recover their losses. Tipu accomplished all of the Treaty of Seringapatam’s terms and had his sons liberated.

  • When the Hindu king of the Wodeyar empire died in 1796, Tipu proclaimed himself Sultan and resolved to exact revenge for his embarrassing defeat in the past Anglo Mysore war.
  • Lord Wellesley, a staunch imperialist, took over as Governor General in 1798, succeeding Sir John Shore.
  • Wellesley was concerned about Tipu’s growing relationship with the French.
  • He used the Subsidiary Alliance system to coerce Tipu into submission in order to eliminate his separate status.

Anglo Mysore War UPSC

The Anglo Mysore War is an important portion of the UPSC syllabus for the preparation for the IAS Examination. It is important to cover the history of the Indian rulers in the syllabus, which covers the important events, factors, and rebellions that led to Anglo Mysore Wars. A major part of this topic includes the role of the East India Company and the breach of multiple treaties that led to the four wars. It is also important to constantly keep referring to the Indian polity and history books for a good score in the IAS exam. Go through the following facts about Anglo Mysore war which are important for the UPSC exam preparation:

  • The Anglo-Mysore War is known as a series of four big battles fought between the East India Company and the kings of Mysore.
  • The four Anglo Mysore wars were a result of the British government’s whim to capture the Southern part of India because of which major attacks on Mysore were taking place.
  • Due to the unexpected retaliation from Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, a series of wars started between him and the Britishers.
  • The first Anglo Mysore War started in 1767 and went on till 1769 with the signing of the Treaty of Madras.
  • The second Anglo Mysore War began in 1781, in the course of which Hyder Ali died in 1782. His son, Tipu Sultan carried on with the battle & ended it by signing the Treaty of Mangalore.
  • The third and the fourth wars ended with the Treaty of Seringapatam & the application of the Subsidiary Alliance on Tipu Sultan’s family. The British had gained full control over South India now.

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