Anglo-Mysore Wars & Anglo-Maratha Wars

In 1772, Warren Hastings was appointed as the governor of Bengal. By this time the system of dual government in Bengal was well in place and Hastings was to give Bengal a workable administration. He also had concluded subsidiary alliance with Oudh. Bombay Presidency felt belittled before Madras and Bengal having no political or territorial achievements. They began to eye western coastal areas and found themselves on battlefields against Marathas.

East India company's success in Bengal emboldened them to intervene in local conflicts between Indian rulers, a result of which was the first Anglo-Mysore war.

Anglo-Mysore Wars and the Anglo-Maratha Wars together led to control of the vast regions of India. There were four battles (1767-69, 1780-84, 1790-92, and 1799) between the English East India Company and Mysore which were known as Anglo Mysore Wars. Erstwhile Mysore consisted of Modern day Karnataka, some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Anglo-Mysore Wars

First Anglo-Mysore War (1767 - 69)

  • In the first Anglo-Mysore War, the Marathas, Nizam of Hyderabad and British together fought against Haidar Ali.
  • British sided with the Nizam (Asaf Jah) as per terms of the 1766 treaty signed between them whereby Nizam surrendered Northern Circars for British support.
  • Haider Ali won the war against the British and at the end of the War, a defensive treaty was concluded in April 1769, which is known as Treaty of Madras.

Treaty of Madras

  • According to it both the Parties returned the areas won by each other.
  • British & Hyder Ali made an agreement that they would support each other if there is any foreign invasion.
  • The District of Arcot was given to Nawab of Arcot.

Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)

The treaty of 1769, served more as a truce and Haider Ali accused the British of not observing the terms of this treaty. By this time, the British apprehended deepening alliance between Mysore and France and therefore made an attempt to capture the port of Mahe (French port on Malabar coast).

(Haider Ali had set up an arsenal in Dindigul with French help).

  • The Marathas, Nizam together with Haidar Ali fought against the British.
  • Colonel Baillie was defeated by Haider Ali, and Haider captured Arcot in 1780.
  • British now managed to secure Marathas support.
  • Haider Ali died in 1782 during the Second Anglo-Mysore War and his son Tipu succeeded him.
  • 2nd Anglo- Mysore War ended by signing a treaty of Mangalore in 1784 by Tipu Sultan.

Treaty of Mangalore

  • The prisoners on both sides were liberated and all the conquests were mutually restored.

About Tipu

  • Tipu ruled Mysore till his death in the 4th Anglo-Mysore War.
  • Tipu introduced a new calendar, new scales of weights and measures & a new system of coinage.
  • He was interested in the French Revolution, in order to show his support for the revolution he planted a 'Tree of Liberty' at Srirangapatam and he also became a member of a Jacobin Club.
  • Mysore flourished economically under Tipu.

Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92)

  • The Marathas, Nizam and British (Triple Alliance) together fought against Tipu Sultan.
  • Tipu tried to expand his territories at the cost of his neighbours, particularly the Raja of Travancore, who was an ally of the British. This was one of the causes of Third Anglo- Mysore war.
  • Dindigul, Baramahal and Malabar were annexed by the East India Company at the end of the war.
  • Treaty of Sringapattinam was signed by Tipu in 1792. The terms of the Treaty were dictated by the British.

Treaty of Sringapattinam

  • Tipu had to give up half of his dominions.
  • Around Rs. 3 Crore was to be paid by Tipu as war indemnity.
  • Both the sons of Tipu were kept as Hostages.
  • A large territory on the Malabar Coast was secured by British.

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)

Imperialist Lord Wellesley's appointment as governor general in 1798 and the threat of Napolean's advance to India directed the British designs on Mysore. Charging Tipu Sultan with planning intrigues in its neighbouring states with French assistance, British now attacked Mysore

  • The war was short and decisive.
  • In 1799, Tipu died defending Srirangapatnam, the capital of Mysore.
  • With the end of Fourth Anglo-Mysore War French threat to the British supremacy was completely eliminated in India.

Later Mysore was brought under the 'Subsidiary Alliance' system of Lord Wellesley and once again placed under the former Wodeyar dynasty. Therefore, Mysore lost its independence. Part of Mysore territory was given to the nizam who had already accepted a 'Subsidiary Alliance'; and parts of it, such as Wynad, Coimbatore, Canara and Sunda, were directly annexed by the Company.

After the defeat of Tipu, there were also no more naval challenges from the indigenous Powers to the Britishers.

Anglo Maratha Wars

The Anglo Maratha Wars were three round of wars which were fought in between Marathas and the British East India Company.

First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82)

  • The Struggle for power between Sawai Madhav Rao and Raghunath Rao was the main cause for the First Anglo-Maratha War.
  • Madhav Rao got the support of Nanaphadnavis.
  • Raghunath Rao, sought for British help to be installed as Peshwa against Madhav Rao.
  • The British (Bombay Presidency) entered into an agreement with Raghunath Rao at Surat in 1775, which is known as the treaty of Surat. According to the conditions of this treaty, in order to get British help to restore him to Poona, Raghunath Rao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British. But the treaty was annulled by the supreme council at Calcutta which questioned the wisdom of Bombay government.
  • Nana Fadnavis made a treaty with British on March, 1776, which is known as the treaty of Purandhar. As per this treaty, Bassein and Salsette were given to British. Raghunath Rao was pensioned off and sent to Gujarat.
  • At Wadgaon in 1779, the combined Maratha forces fought with the forces of the British and Raghunath Rao. In the battle of Wadgaon, the Marathas defeated British, therefore, Treaty of Wadgaon was signed by British as dictated by Marathas. As per this treaty, the British renounced all the territories acquired by the British East India Company in Western India since 1773. Later Warren Hastings annulled Treaty of Wadgaon.
  • Mahadji Sindia was compelled to sign the treaty of Salbai in May 17, 1782. Status quo was maintained as per the treaty. British acknowledged Madhavrao as the Peshwa of the Maratha Empire.
  • This treaty helped the British to recover their territories from Hyder Ali by putting pressure on Mysore with the help of Marathas.

Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-05)

  • The desire of Wellesley to impose subsidiary Alliance on Marathas led to the Second Anglo- Maratha War.
  • Sindia, Holkar and Bhonsle fought against British in the second Anglo-Maratha War.
  • Treaty of Bassein (1802) was signed after the Battle of Poona. According to this pact around 6000 troops of the Company's native infantry was to be permanently stationed with the Peshwa. And the Peshwa could not enter into any treaty without the permission of the British, agreed to seek Company's arbitration in all differences between him and Nizam. Peshwa also surrendered Surat. This treaty was of great political advantage to the British and was an important milestone in establishing their supremacy across the Indian subcontinent
  • The armies of Sindia and Bhonsle were defeated by Wellesley at Assaye in September 1803 and at Argaon in November 1803 respectively.
  • On December 17, 1803 the treaty of Deogaon was concluded between Raghuji Bhonsle and the company. According to the terms of this treaty Bhonsle accepted the subsidiary alliance with British and further agreed to cede the East India Company the province of Cuttack, Balasore and territory west of the river Warda.
  • Later Sindia army was defeated by the British at Aligarh and finally at Laswar.
  • On December 30, 1803, Sindia concluded the treaty of Surji Arjunagaon with British and Sindia consented to enter into subsidiary alliance with British.
  • Holkar remained at war with the British East India Company.
  • The second Anglo-Maratha ended with the treaty of Rajpurghat.

Third Anglo-Maratha war (1817-18)

  • By this time Lord Hastings was the Governor General (appointed in 1813) and he was determined to proclaim British Paramountcy in India.
  • The peshwa s forces, rose against the British (November 1817), this was further followed by the forces of the Bhonsle and Holkar, but the Sindhia remained neutral.
  • At the end of the third Anglo-Maratha War Peshwa Bajirao II, was dethroned and pensioned He was sent to Bithur, a place near Kanpur. All his territory was annexed by the British.

Marathas were inferior to the English in terms of military organization and leadership, diplomacy, political consolidation and economic policy which ultimately caused their defeat.

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