First Anglo-Mysore War (1766–1769) : Causes and Results

Sansar LochanModernLeave a Comment

The state of Mysore rose to prominence in the politics of south India under the leadership of Haider Ali. His father was under the military service of the Hindu king of Mysore and was the jagirdar of Budikot. But he died when Haider Ali was only seven years of age. Haider Ali joined the army of Mysore when he became young. He gradually rose to prominence, increased the number of his soldiers and trained them on the model of the French army. He finally succeeded in capturing power and by 1761, became the de facto ruler of Mysore. The Hindu king remained as the nominal sovereign who was simply shown to his subjects once a year. The wars of succession in Karnataka and Hyderabad, the conflict between the English and the French in the South and the defeat of the Marathas in the third battle of Panipat helped Haider Ali in extending and consolidating the territory of Mysore. Thus, Mysore, under Haider Ali, gradually grew into a powerful and important state in the South. That provoked the jealousy of the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Marathas attacked Mysore and in 1765 forced Haider Ali to cede a part of his territory and pay annual tribute to them. The Nizam, in his turn, joined hands with the English against Mysore and that resulted in the first Anglo-Mysore war.

First Anglo–Mysore War and its Results

In 1765, the Nizam of Hyderabad sought the help of the English at Madras against Haider Ali which was agreed to in return for the surrender of Northern Sarkars to them. The Marathas also joined this alliance in 1766.

The war started when the Marathas attacked Mysore in 1766. Haider Ali purchased peace with the Marathas on payment of rupees thirty five lakh to them. The Marathas, then, turned back. Next, the Nizam attacked Mysore with the help of an English force. But the attack did not quite succeed. In September 1767, the Nizam left the side of the English and joined hands with Haider Ali. Smith, the English commander, could not face their combined forces and retreated to Trichinopoly where Colonel Wood joined him. The Nizam and Haider Ali failed to gain any success in the battle near Trichinopoly and in December, 1767, Haider Ali was defeated at another place. The English planned to attack Hyderabad which broke up the spirit of the Nizam. He left the side of Haider Ali and entered into a treaty with the English in March, 1768 on the following terms:

  1. The Nizam regarded Haider Ali as a usurper and refused to acknowledge his right to rule Mysore.
  2. The Nizam granted the right of Diwani of Mysore to the English.
  3. The Nizam agreed to help the English and the Nawab of Karnataka to punish Haider Alli.

This treaty made the English and Haider Ali permanent enemies of each other because of the grant of Diwani of Mysore to the English by the Nizam once it was conquered. The treaty also left Haider Ali without any ally. He, however, did not lose courage. He defeated an English force sent by the English from Bombay and captured Mangalore. In March 1769, he attacked Madras and forced the English to sign a treaty on April 4, 1769, Its terms were as follows:

  1. Both the parties returned the conquered territories of each other.
  2. Both parties promised to help each other in case of any foreign attack on them.

Conclusion of the first Anglo-Mysore war

Thus ended the first Anglo-Mysore War. But, it was no peace between the two for maintaining friendly relations with each other. It was only a temporary truce between two enemies. Thus, the first Anglo-Mysore War was not a decisive war. However, Haider Ali was able to prove his talents both as a diplomat and military commander. The war started when three political powers in the South had joined hands against Mysore. Yet, Haider Ali brought it to a respectable end. While the Marathas withdrew from the battle and the Nizam gained nothing, the English were forced to sign a treaty on equal terms.

Points to remember

  1. Mysore, under Haider Ali, gradually grew into a powerful and extensive state in the South which provoked the jealousy of the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad.
  2. In 1765, the Nizam sought and got the help of the English against Hyder Ali in return of surrender of Northern Sarkars to them.
  3. The Maratha joined them in 1766 and attacked Mysore the same year but withdrew after taking rupees 35 lakh from Haider All.
  4. The Nizam and the English attacked Mysore in 1767, but when no success was achieved, the Nizam left the side of the English and joined hands with Haider Ali against the English.
  5. The English threatened to attack Hyderabad and, thereby coerced the Nizam to sign a treaty by which he accepted Haider Ali as a usurper, granted Diwani of Mysore to the English and agreed to support them against Haider Ali.
  6. Yet, Haider Ali succeeded in the war, captured Mangalore and attacked Madras which forced the English to sign a treaty with him in 1769 on condition of return of each other’s territories.

Source used : NCERT, Tamil Nadu Board, IGNOU Modern History, NIOS textbooks. Wikipedia notes for UPSC exam.

Tags : PDF for UPSC exam short notes on first Anglo-Mysore war. 

Questions for UPSC mains :

Discuss the causes and the results of the first Mysore War.

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