Previse 2024: Anglo Wars in India

Previse 2024: Anglo Wars in India

GS1 | History

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The term "Anglo-Wars in India" refers to a series of conflicts fought between the British East India Company (EIC) and various Indian kingdoms and empires over a period of about two centuries, from the 17th to the 19th centuries. These wars played a pivotal role in establishing British colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent.

Battle of Plassey 1757

  • Fought between the East India Company led by Robert Clive vs. the Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-Ud-Daulah).
  • It was a historic turning point for the British in India as EIC won and established the political and military supremacy of the British in Bengal.

Battle of Buxar 1764

  • The British East India Company led by Hector Munro vs the combined armies of Mir Qasim (Nawab of Bengal); Shuja-ud-Daulah (Nawab of Awadh); and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.
  • The English won and Treaty of Allahabad 1765 was signed which established British supremacy in North India. 

The Carnatic Wars

First Carnatic War (1740-48)

  • The First Carnatic War was an extension of the Anglo-French War caused by the Austrian War of Succession.
  • The Battle of St. Thome (in Madras) was fought among the French forces, the Nawab of Carnatic Anwar-ud-din and the British.
  • It ended in 1748 when the Treaty of Aix-La Chapelle was signed.

Second Carnatic War (1749-54)

  • Nizam-ul-Mulk, the Mughal governor of the Deccan died in 1748.
  • Nasir Jang, the son of the Nizam acceded to the throne of Hyderabad which was opposed by Muzaffar Jang, grandson of the Nawab.
  • Anwar-ud-Din had been appointed Nawab of the Carnatic in 1743 which was resented by Chanda Sahib.
  • The French supported Muzaffar Jang and Chanda Sahib while the English sided with Nasir Jang and Anwar-ud-din.
  • Muzaffar Jang, Chanda Sahib and the French defeated and killed Anwar- ud-din at the Battle of Ambur (near Vellore). 
  • Robert Clive suddenly raided Arcot and Chanda Sahib was executed by Muhammad Ali who was later installed as the Nawab of Carnatic.

Third Carnatic War (1758-63)

  • The French under Count Thomas Arthur de Lally captured the English forts of St. David and Vizianagaram in 1758.
  • The English General Eyre Coote routed the French army under Count de Lally at Wandiwash

Anglo-Mysore Wars

First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69)

  • It started when the East India Company joined the Nizam of Hyderabad against Hyder Ali in return for the cession of the Northern Sarkars.
  • The British, Marathas and the Nizam declared war on Mysore.
  • Hyder Ali took Marathas and the Nizam to his side which resulted in his victory and the Treaty of Madras was signed.

Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)

  • The Marathas attacked Mysore in 1771, and the British refused to honour the Treaty of Madras.
  • But Hyder Ali made an alliance with the Nizam and the Marathas and defeated the British forces in Arcot.
  • Treaty of Mangalore was signed.

Third Anglo-Mysore War (1786-92)

  • Tipu Sultan succeeded Hyder Ali and took French help in modernizing the military.
  • Tipu declared war on Travancore in 1789, a friendly state of the British.
  • The English were led by Lord Cornwallis and war ended with the Treaty of Seringapatam. 

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)

  • Tipu refused to accept the Subsidiary Alliance of Lord Wellesley, due to which the English, along with Marathas and Nizams, attacked Tipu.
  • The British won at Seringapatam and Tipu’s territories were divided between the British and the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Anglo-Maratha War

First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1779)

  • The death of Madhav Rao resulted in infighting, and Nana Phadnavis granted a port on the west coast to the French.
  • The Marathas, under Mahadji Shinde, won against the English at the battle of Wadgaon.

Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-05)

  • In the Battle of Poona, Yashwant Rao Holkar defeated the Peshwas and the Scindias.
  • Baji Rao II sought British protection and signed the Treaty of Bassein.
  • Scindias and the Bhonsles rejected this treaty, and a second Anglo-Maratha war started.
  • Large parts of central India came under British control.

Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-18)

  • It was started due to the British conflict with the Pindaris.
  • The Maratha chiefs Peshwa Bajirao II, Malharrao Holkar and Mudhoji II Bhonsle forged a united front against the English but the British won decisively.

Anglo-Afghan War

First Anglo-Afghan War

  • Governor General Lord Auckland ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in 1838 due to growing Persian and Russian influences.
  • The fortress of Ghazni was breached and the British restored Shah Shuja to the throne.
  • New governor-general of India, Lord Ellenborough, retreated from Afghanistan, Dost Moḥammad was restored to the throne in 1843 and the Treaty of Peshawar (non-interference) was signed.
  • The death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839 and the end of the First Anglo-Afghan War gave way to a series of Anglo-Sikh Wars. 

Second Anglo-Afghan War

  • Under Viceroy Lytton, the British attacked Afghanistan, and Sher Ali fled his capital in 1878.
  • Sher Ali’s son, Yakub Khan, signed the ‘Treaty of Gandamak’ for peace.
  • In 1880, Ripon replaced Lytton as the Viceroy and the policy of non-interference was continued.

Anglo-Sikh War

First Anglo-Sikh War (1845-46)

  • After the death of Ranjit Singh, the Sikh forces crossed the Sutlej and took the offensive against the English forces.
  • Maharaja Duleep Singh was against the British but the latter won and the Lahore Treaty was signed. 

Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49)

  • The battle was fought near Chenab and was won by the British forces.
  • The famous Koh-i-Noor diamond went into British hands. 
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