Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780–84) : Causes and Results

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Hope you have gone through our article first Anglo-Mysore war before reading this article. Today we will discuss the causes and results of the second Anglo-Mysore war.

Causes of the second Anglo-Mysore war

The cause of the second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84) was the growing dissatisfaction of Hyder Ali and the Nizam of Hyderabad with the English company.

The English alienated both the Nizam of Hyderabad and Haider Ali by their acts. They did not pay the annual amount of rupees seven lacs to the Nizam which they had agreed to pay him by the treaty of 1768. They helped the Nawab of Karnataka in capturing Tanjore. They also took over the district of Guntur from Basalat Jung who was a relative of the Nizam. The Nizam, therefore, felt offended. Haider Ali also did not like the occupation of Guntur by the English. The English had also failed to help him against the Marathas in 1771 for which they were obliged by the treaty executed with him in 1769. In 1779, the English captured the French possessions at Mahe which were under the protection of Haider Ali. This infuriated Haider Ali and he decided to take revenge on the English. The English had also interfered in the affairs of the Marathas and the first Maratha War had already started. Therefore, Haider Ali made a common cause with the Nizam and the Marathas and all the three agreed to fight against the English. It was agreed that the Marathas would attack the English possessions in the North, the Nizam would attack the Northern Sarkars and Haider Ali would attack Madras and its neighbouring territories.

In July 1780, Haider Ali attacked Karnataka. The English dispatched one force under Colonel Baillie and another one under Sir Hector Munro to oppose him. Tipu, the son of Haider Ali, advanced to check the combinations of the two armies. He fought a battle against Baillie near Kanjeevaram. Baillie and his entire force were cut down to pieces. Munro who was waiting for Baillie at Kanjeevaram was so demoralised that he immediately retreated to Madras. By December 1780, Haider Ali captured Arcot and put the English in a most difficult position. Sir Alfred Lyall remarked: “The fortunes of the English in India had fallen to their lowest water-mark.” The English lost all their possessions in Karnataka except the sea-coast.

Warren Hastings, the governor-general of the Company, however, did not lose heart. He moved diplomatically and attempted to win favour of the Nizam and the Marathas. He handed over the district of Guntur to the Nizam who abandoned the side of Haider Ali. The same way, the Bhonsle and the Sindhia were tackled diplomatically and both agreed to give up the cause of Haider Ali. Haider Ali was, thus, left alone to fight the English.

In 1781, Sir Ayre Coote defeated Haider Ali at Porto Novo and Tipu was obliged to raise the siege of Wandiwash. Another force from Bengal also joined Ayre Coote and their combined force fought an indecisive battle against Haider Ali. However, in September 1781, Ayre Coote defeated Haider Ali at Solinghur and the English captured Negapatam in November. But, in the next round, the English met with reverses. Tipu besieged Tanjore and captured it. In 1789, the French Admiral, Suffrein, reached Madras to support Haider Ali. The French captured Cuddalore and Trincomali from the English while the attempt of Ayre Coote to capture Arni and the attack of the English from Bombay on Malabar failed. No party could make further progress for some time due to the rainy season. At that very time, Haider Ali died of cancer on December 7, 1782.

Tipu, however, continued fighting against the English even after the death of his father. The English government at Bombay deputed Brigadier Mathews to attack Mangalore and Bednore. He was, however, defeated and imprisoned by Tipu. But in June 1783, the French withdrew from the fighting because France concluded a treaty with Britain. It was a serious loss to Tipu. The English also succeeded in capturing Palghat and Coimbatore. But when Colonel Fullerton proceeded towards Srirangapatam, the capital of Mysore, he was recalled by the governor at Madras, Lord Macartney, who had opened negotiations for peace with Tipu because of serious financial difficulties. By that time Tipu had also become desirous of peace.

On March 7, 1784 the treaty of Mangalore was signed between the two parties. Both agreed to return the conquered territories of each other and also the prisoners of war. Again, it was a temporary truce between the two. It was clear that both the parties would contest each other at any opportune time in the near future.

Points to remember

  1. The English offended both Haider Ali and the Nizam by their several acts against them.
  2. When the first Anglo-Maratha war started, both of them joined hands with the Marathas.
  3. In 1780, Haider Ali attacked Karnataka, defeated the English in several engagements and captured Arcot.
  4. Warren Hastings handed over Guntur to the Nizam and tackled the Marathas diplomatically so that both withdrew from the side of Haider .
  5. The fighting between the English and Haider Ali continued indecisively during the years 1781 and 1782.
  6. Haider Ali died in December 1782 but his son, Tipu, continued fighting.
  7. In 1783, the French who were supporting Tipu withdrew their support to him which weakened his position.
  8. Finally, both parties were tired of war and agreed for peace. 9. In 1784, the treaty of Mangalore was signed by which both parties agreed , to return the conquered territories of each other and also the prisoners of war.

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

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

Questions for UPSC mains :

Discuss the causes and the results of the second Anglo-Mysore War.

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