Describe various Mysore Wars

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Title: A Comprehensive Overview of Mysore Wars for UPSC Aspirants

The Mysore Wars were a series of conflicts fought in India between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore in the late 18th century. These wars significantly shaped the geopolitical map of southern India. For UPSC aspirants, a thorough understanding of these historical events is crucial. This article will help you in achieving the same.

The First Anglo-Mysore War (1766–1769): The backdrop to the first war was established with the Treaty of Madras in 1766, which promised mutual assistance in case of attack by any other power. The British East India Company, represented by the Madras Presidency, was fighting against the Nizam of Hyderabad and Hyder Ali, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.

1. Key Event: The Battle of Chengam (1767) — The Company’s forces, led by Colonel Smith, clashed with Hyder Ali’s troops. Despite being outnumbered, the Company won the match.

2. Outcome: The war concluded with the Treaty of Madras in 1769, which restored the status quo ante. Both parties agreed not to aid each other’s enemies or interfere in each other’s mutual territories.

The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1779–1784): This conflict arose over a territorial dispute between the Madras Presidency and Mysore. It marked Hyder Ali’s concerted effort to challenge British supremacy.

1. Key Event: The Siege of Arcot (1782) — Won by the combined forces of the British East India Company and their ally, the Marathas, this decisive event eventually led to Mysore’s defeat.

2. Outcome: The war ended with the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, wherein both sides released each other’s prisoners and territories.

The Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789–1792): The war was initiated by Tipu Sultan, the successor of Hyder Ali, against the British East India Company.

1. Key Event: The Siege of Seringapatam (1792) — Following a series of battles and siege, Mysore was defeated and surrendered to the British and its allies.

2. Outcome: The war was concluded by the Treaty of Seringapatam, which forced Tipu Sultan to give half of his dominions to the British and their allies.

The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-1799): The final conflict was a result of the British fear of Tipu Sultan’s growing influence and suspected French support to him.

1. Key Event: The Battle of Seringapatam (1799) — The well-orchestrated attack spearheaded by General George Harris crushed Mysore’s resistance and saw the death of Tipu Sultan.

2. Outcome: The Kingdom of Mysore was divided between the British East India Company and their allies. The British portion was directly annexed, marking the beginning of British paramountcy over southern India.

In conclusion, for UPSC aspirants, understanding the Mysore Wars could be crucial to comprehending the colonial history and geopolitical reshaping of southern India. By keeping these pointers in mind, you will be better prepared for questions dealing with India’s colonial history.

Prince Luthra (UPSC CSE AIR 577)

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