Third and Fourth Anglo Mysore Wars: Causes, Results, Treaty of Seringapatam

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Anglo-Mysore Wars were a series of conflicts fought between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company in the late 18th century. These wars were significant in shaping the political landscape of South India and determining the extent of British influence in the region. The Third Anglo-Mysore War, which took place from 1789 to 1792, was led by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, against the British forces. Despite putting up fierce resistance, Tipu Sultan was ultimately defeated, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of Seringapatam, which limited his power and imposed heavy financial penalties on Mysore.

The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War occurred from 1798 to 1799, with the British East India Company once again taking on Tipu Sultan’s forces. This war ended in the decisive Battle of Seringapatam, where Tipu Sultan was killed, and Mysore was completely annexed by the British. The Anglo-Mysore Wars are important topics covered in the UPSC syllabus, specifically under the section of Indian history and the British expansion in India. It is crucial for candidates to study the causes, events, and outcomes of these wars to gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical context and its impact on British colonial rule in South India.

Anglo-Mysore Wars

As mentioned above, the Anglo-Mysore War was a series of four wars fought between the Mysore Sultanate and the British East India Company. Both parties wished to have their dominance over the Deccan. The first Anglo-Mysore war was fought from 1767 – 1769. Haider Ali was the ruler of Mysore at the time.

The first war can be considered a joint struggle between the Marathas, Nizam of Hyderabad, and the British, who formed an alliance against Haider Ali. The British government had to sign an agreement with Haider Ali eventually, called the Treaty of Madras.

The second Anglo-Mysore war was fought between 1780 – 1784. This Anglo-Mysore war again occurred between Haider Ali and the Britishers, where Haider Ali managed to win. He later died of cancer in 1782. He was succeeded by his son Tipu Sultan who carried on with the war for another year, resulting in the Treaty of Mangalore signing, opting for peace.

Third Anglo-Mysore War

The Third Anglo-Mysore war was fought between 1790-1792. This war was the result of the failure of the Treaty of Mangalore. This led to another power tussle between Tipu Sultan and the British, who were trying to set foot on the Deccan. The third Anglo-Mysore war started with the attack by Tipu Sultan over Travancore, which was the sole source of pepper for the British.

Tipu Sultan had joined hands with the French, which was not agreeable to the British government. Travancore was earlier considered an ally of the Britishers; therefore, with Tipu Sultan’s attack in 1789, they geared up and planned to announce war on him.

  • The Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad also joined hands in plotting the attack with the British.
  • In 1790, Tipu Sultan was able to defeat the British.
  • Later in 1791, the then Governor-General of Bengal, Lord Cornwallis, announced an attack on Tipu Sultan.
  • Tipu Sultan eventually faced defeat in the third Anglo-Mysore war at the hands of the British army.
  • When no choice remained, Tipu Sultan had to sign the Treaty of Seringapatam to make peace in 1792, which ended the war.

Result of the Third Anglo-Mysore War

The signing of the Treaty of Seringapatam led to the release of over half of the territory of Mysore to the alliance of the Marathas, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the British government.

  • Tipu Sultan had to surrender Malabar, Coorg, Baramahal, and Dindigul to the British government, whereas the Marathas occupied the areas surrounding Tungabhadra and its tributaries. The Nizam of Hyderabad acquired the regions from Krishna to Pennar.
  • Along with all this, Tipu Sultan also had to pay 3 crore rupees as a penalty for all the damage caused due to war.
  • He also had to surrender his two young sons as part of the contract until he settled his dues.
  • The third Anglo-Mysore war resulted in the dominance of the British over South India.

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

The third Mysore war was soon after succeeded by the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1792. The war went on till 1799. This was the time when both Tipu Sultan and the Britishers were interested in recovering the losses that they went through in the earlier war. Tipu Sultan followed all the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Seringapatam and was able to bring back his sons.

It was in the year 1796 when the Hindu ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty passed away, and Tipu Sultan declared himself as the Sultan. The friendly relations of Tipu Sultan with the French again gave rise to some concerns from the British.

  • The new Governor-General, Lord Wellesley, took charge in 1798. He was also disturbed by the growing relationship between the French and Tipu Sultan.
  • Lord Wellesley forcibly attempted to bring Tipu Sultan down by making him agree to the Subsidiary Alliance system in India.
  • Tipu Sultan nearly failed to adhere to the Subsidiary Alliance system of Lord Wellesley.
  • Mysore was attacked from all sides thereafter when the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad attacked from the North.
  • Tipu Sultan finally lost in the Battle of Seringapatam at the hands of the British in 1799 and eventually lost his life in the war.

Result of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

After Tipu Sultan laid down his life in an attempt to save his city, his territories were further taken by the Nizam and the British. The Wodeyar Dynasty regained the main region around Seringapatam and Mysore.

  • Furthermore, the kingdom of Mysore joined hands through the Subsidiary Alliance with the British government.
  • As a result, a British resident took his place in the Mysore court.
  • Mysore could therefore maintain its princely status until 1947 and was not under the control of the British government.
  • After independence, Mysore opted to be a part of the Indian Union.

Anglo Mysore War UPSC

The Anglo-Mysore War refers to a series of conflicts fought between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore in India. It played a significant role in shaping the British colonial presence in South India.

The topic of the Anglo-Mysore War is covered under the History subject in the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates are advised to study the Third and Fourth Anglo-Mysore Wars and their outcomes to gain a comprehensive understanding of this historical period and its impact on British expansion in India.

Anglo Mysore War UPSC Questions

Preparing for UPSC exams requires candidates to pay attention to important topics such as the Anglo-Mysore War. It is recommended to practice sample questions or review previous year’s questions related to this topic. Doing so will provide aspirants with an understanding of the question patterns and help them familiarize themselves with the types of questions that may be asked in the exams

Question: During which period did the Third Anglo-Mysore War take place? (A) 1767-1769, (B) 1780-1784, (C) 1790-1792, (D) 1800-1801

Answer: (C) 1790-1792

Question: Who was the British Governor-General during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War? (A) Robert Clive, (B) Warren Hastings, (C) Lord Cornwallis, (D) Lord Wellesley

Answer: (D) Lord Wellesley

Question for Mains: Discuss the key factors that led to the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Mysore War. Analyze the major events and outcomes of the war, highlighting its significance in shaping the British presence in India.

Question for Mains: Evaluate the causes and consequences of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. Examine the roles played by Tipu Sultan and the British East India Company, and assess the impact of the war on the political landscape of South India.

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