First Anglo-Mysore War (1766-1769) was fought in India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the East India Company. The English power saw growing power of Hyder Ali as a threat and thus wanted to counter it with their forces which led to the this War. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the First Anglo-Mysore War, which will be useful in preparing for the UPSC Civil Service Examination.
Background of the First Anglo-Mysore War
Hyder Ali became de-facto ruler of the state in 1761. Neither the Nizam nor the Marathas tolerated Hyder Ali’s rise. In 1764 Peshwa Madhav Rao invaded and defeated him. Hyder Ali surrendered some territory to him and he also agreed to pay him Rs. 28 lakhs as Chauth annually, though he didn’t pay for long. He signed a peace treaty with him in 1765.
Causes of the First Anglo-Mysore War
As Hyder Ali grew stronger in Mysore, the English as well as Nizam and the Marathas found it insidious. Hyder Ali was feared by the English as a man with evil intentions in Carnatic, so they entered into an understanding with the Marathas, the Nizam, and the English to stop him from rising.
Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta were under British control by the Third Carnatic War (1757-1763), and other colonial powers had been marginalized but not destroyed by the British.
A modern arsenal was established in Dindigul in 1755 with French assistance by Hyder Ali, who strengthened his army by including French soldiers. In order to gain access to the Indian Ocean, he conquered many areas in South India, including Bidnur, Sunda, Sera, Canara, and Malabar.
Events of the First Anglo-Mysore War
With the help of English forces, Nizam attacked Hyder Ali, but he did not succeed. By paying Rs. 35 lakhs, Hyder Ali alienated the Marathas from the English and Hyderabad. Nizam also came to terms with Hyder Ali.
In December 1767, at Trichnopoly, the combined armies of Colonel Smith and Colonel Wood faced the combined armies once again and planned to attack Hyderabad. The English were defeated by the combined forces of the Nizam and Hyder Ali.
After learning that Hyderabad was at risk, Nizam left Hyder Ali and signed a treaty with the English in March 1768 at Massaulipatnam. As a result of this agreement, he acknowledged Hyder Ali as an usurper and not the legitimate ruler of Mysore. Once Hyder Ali has been defeated, the English will be able to collect the Diwani of Mysore. He will also assist both the English and the Nawab of Karnataka in punishing Hyder Ali. As part of the previous treaty, Nizam also agreed to the terms.
By signing the treaty, Hyder Ali was left all alone to face the English. It became clear to the former that the English wanted to remove him, and that they wanted to collect Mysore’s Diwani. Hyder Ali, however, did not give up.
The English forces that arrived from Bombay were defeated by him and he occupied Mangalore. During March of 1769, he reached Madras and was in the vicinity of the city when he attacked it. On April 4, 1769, the Company signed treaty of Madras with Hyder Ali.
Results of the First Anglo-Mysore War
It was agreed that both sides would return conquered territories to each other, as well as prisoners of war, by the Madras treaty. Both also agreed to help each other if anyone of them were invaded by a third party. Hyder Ali also agreed to hand over the district of Karur to the Karnataka Nawab.
As a result, the First Anglo-Mysore War ended. There had been hopes that both parties would be able to have friendly relations with each other in the future, but even that didn’t happen and soon Second Anglo-Mysore War started.