Mysore under Haider Ali had emerged as a strong state in south India. He organised his army on the basis of Western Military training. He established a modern arsenal at Dindigul in 1755 with the help of French experts. In 1761 he overthrew the ruler Nanjaraj and established his own authority. Though he was illiterate, yet he was an efficient administrator. He practised religious toleration. He fought the British and died in 1782 during the Second Anglo-Mysore War. His son, Tipu Sultan succeeded him. Tipu had a keen interest in the French revolution. He planted a tree of liberty at Sringapattam and became a member of Jacobin Club. He also organised his army on European lines. He also tried to build a modern navy after 1796. Tipu also introduced modern industries in India. He sent embassies to France, Turkey and Iran to develop foreign trade. He also traded with China. He even tried to set up a trading company on the pattern of European companies. He gave money for the construction of the image of goddess Sharda in Shringeri temple.

First Anglo-Mysore War (1766-69): Haider wanted to push the British away from the Carnatic and finally from India. The British, the Nizam and the Marathas formed a tripartite alliance against Haider. Finally, the Treaty of Madras ended the war.

Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84): Mutual distrust and refusal of the English to fulfil the Terms of the Treaty of Madras led to the Second Anglo-Mysore War. Haider Ali died during this war. The Treaty of Mangalore was signed in 1784 by which both the sides agreed to restore each other’s possessions, trade privileges of the company were restored and all prisoners of war were released.

Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92): Success of Tipu in strengthening his position, his attempts to acquire the help of France and Turkey and enlargement of his territories at the cost of his neighbours particularly the Raja of Travancore forced the British to conclude an alliance with the Nizam and the Marathas against Tipu in 1790. Tipu defeated Major General Medows after which Cornwallis himself took command. He succeeded in surrounding Seringapatam in 1792. The Treaty of Seringapatam was concluded in March 1792 between Tipu and the English and their allies. Under this Treaty Tipu had to cede half of his territories and make a payment of Rs. 3.6 crore as indemnity. Tipu also had to release all prisoners of war.

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799): Tipu wanted to avenge his humiliating defeat in the Third Anglo-Mysore War and repudiate the terms of the Treaty of Seringapatam. Lord Wellesley also wanted to remove Tipu’s threat forever. Tipu was defeated and killed in this war. The British annexed Mysore and small part of it was restored to Krishna Raja III of the Wodeyar Dynasty who signed a Subsidiary Treaty with the British.

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Battle of Plassey (1757): Misinterpretation of the Mughal firman granted to the British in 1717 and the misuse of Dastaks (free passes) became the source of constant tension between the Bengal Nawabs and EIC. Siraj-ud-daulah the young Nawab of Bengal wanted the company to work under certain restrictions but after their success in south India, the EIC became too bold to obey the Nawab. Against the orders of the Nawab, the British fortified Calcutta against future French attack. Siraj-ud-daulah captured the English factory at Kasim Bazar and thereafter took control of Fort William. The English prisoners were confined in a small room known as Black Hole.

It is alleged that in this small room 123 Englishmen died of suffocation. After the fall of Calcutta, the English took refuge at Fulta. A strong army and naval force under Clive and Admiral Watson was dispatched to Calcutta. Manikchand who was given charge of Calcutta by Siraj-ud-daulah deserted the city and allowed the British to capture Calcutta again. The Nawab concluded the treaty of Alinagar on 9th February, 1757 and conceded all the British demands. In violation of the Alinagar treaty, the British captured Chandarnagar in March 1757. Now, the British wanted to replace Siraj-ud-daulah by Mir Jafar. Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh the two generals of the Nawab and Jagat Seth, a rich banker of Calcutta joined a conspiracy against the Nawab. The battle of Plassey was fought on 23rd June, 1757. Mir Jafar and Rai Durlabh hardly fought. Only a small force under Mohan Lal and Mir Madan took part in the battle. The British forces easily defeated the Nawab.

Importance of the Battle of Plassey: It paved the way for British control over Bengal and later the whole of India. The British now, became a major power to replace the Mughal rule in India. The company amassed huge wealth from Bengal.

Battle of Buxar (1764): Even Mir Jafar was not able to keep the greed of the British satisfied. The British removed him and made Mir Qasim the new Nawab of Bengal. After some time, even Mir Qasim began to oppose the British sovereignty over him. He was joined by Shuja-ud-daulah of Awadh and Shah Alam II, the Mughal emperor in the battle of Buxar on October 22, 1764 against the British. This time, the British Army led by Hector Munroe defeated the three most powerful combined forces of India.

Importance of the Battle of Buxar: The British became the rulers of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The Nawab of Awadh became dependent on the company and the Mughal emperor became a pensioner of the company.

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