The British Raj

1767-69: The First Anglo-Mysore War

After the death of the Raja of Mysore in 1760, Hyder Ali became the de facto ruler of Mysore. He extended his territories by conquering and several local chieftains & tribal leaders of south India.The growing power of Hyder Ali excited jealousy from the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Marathas and the English. In 1767, all the three—the Nizam, the Marathas and the English—made a triple alliance against Hyder. He bought the Marathas, allured the Nizam with territorial gains and together with the latter launched an attack on Arcot. The fight continued for a year and half and the British suffered heavy losses with the panic-stricken British had to sue for peace. A treaty was signed on April 4,1769, on the basis of restitution of each other’s territories. It was also a defensive alliance, as the English promised to help Hyder in case he was attacked by any other power. Thus ended the First Mysore War.

1780-84: The Second Anglo-Mysore War

In 1769, after suffering heavy losses in the the first Anglo-Mysore war, the British sued for peace. In the treaty both the parties agreed to help each other in case of an attack from a third party. However the terms of the treaty were not fulfilled by the Madras Government. The British refused to help Hyder Ali when Mysore was attacked by the Marathas in 1771. Hyder found that the French gave more support in terms of his military demands. So in 1780 when the English wanted to attack the French at Mahe, situated on the west coast of Mysore, Hyder Ali did not permit it. Accordingly the English declared war against Hyder Ali.

Events moved fast in the Mahratta Court when Madhava Rao- the Pesha (Prime Minister) died in 1772 and confusion prevailed . Hyder Ali took advantage of the confusion and deputed his son Tipu to retake all places which had been pledged to the Marathas. The missions were successful in that Coorg and Malabar also became Hyder Ali's gains. Soon Arcot fell in November 1780. Arnee was also taken and made a chief depot to keep his supplies for the South. In 1774 Warren Hastings was appointed the Governor General and straightaway took interest in the war. On the 2nd of June,1782 Arcot and Arnee were retaken along with several other of Hyders territories. Hyder's health also broke down and on 7th December 1782, at the age of 60  he died of a septic carbuncle near Chitoor. As he was approaching his death , Hyder sent for his confidants like Purniah and through them transmitted the following message to his son , Tipu. " Krishnaraja Wodeyar II raised me to the position of Sarvadhikari from a very humble position. I was true to his salt and served him loyally. If Tipu continues to serve his master like this, his power will continue. If he behaves differently either by his own bad conduct or by evil councils of wicked persons, he will not only lose his power but will be utterly ruined."  In the final analysis the Second Mysore War ended with the British defeating  Hyder Ali.

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