Marquess Wellesley-Fourth Anglo-Mysore War-Subsidiary Alliance System

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Marquess Wellesley

Marquess Wellesley

Marquess Wellesley was born in 1760. He was graduated from Oxford. Intially he served in the Irish House of Commons as a member then he was elevated to the status of 2nd Earl of Mornington after his father’s death in 1781. Following his election as Ireland’s Grand Master, in 1782, he served for one years there.

 As a liberal Whig Member of Parliament, Marquess Wellesley was elected to the British House of Commons in 1784.  In 1798 he was appointed as Governor General of India after John Shore. In India, his plan was to limit French dominance in the Deccan. When he first arrived in April 1798, he learned that Tipu Sultan and France were negotiating an alliance for attacking the British East India Company. He ordered Mornington to  made military preparations against Tipu Sultan. 

Subsidiary Alliance System (1798)

Lord Marquess Wellesley used this system as India’s Governor-General from 1798 to 1805. This system played a crucial role to the extension of British Power in India.  This system made states like a dummy state and their ruler also.

Features of the Subsidiary Alliance System

Because of its subsidiary alliance with the British, it was banned from forming any other kind of alliance by any local ruler of India. It also means that he could only hire Englishmen as employees and no other foreign nationals. The goal was to limit the influence of the French and others.

  1. Lord Marquess Wellesley devised and implemented the subsidiary alliance in India in order to extend the company’s dominance in India.
  2. While recognizing British forces in his domain, the native Indian monarch who joined a Subsidiary Alliance with the British was forced to disarm his own army.
  3. In addition, he was responsible for the upkeep of the British military. If he didn’t make the payment on time, the British would take away some of his lands.
  4. In return, the British agreed to use their military to defend the native state from any external invasion or internal uprising.
  5. Although the British government swore not to intervene in the affairs of the Indian state, this commitment was rarely kept.
  6. This Indian state couldn’t engage in any kind of political alliance with another Indian state after joining the British-Indian subsidiary alliance.
  7. As a result, the native Indian monarch was stripped of all his authority in international and military affairs.

Subsidiary Alliance System Drawbacks for the Local Rulers

In contrast, the Indian rulers and their citizens suffered too many problems because of the subsidiary alliance. The following were some drawbacks of the structure of subsidiary alliances:

  1. As the English gained territory, the native Indian emperor progressively lost control of many of his most fertile and strategically significant provinces.
  2. This forced native state citizens into a life of poverty and destitution because they were left with the financial responsibility of maintaining the army.
  3. It was made in agreement that English would not interfere in the domestic matter of state. However, the Britishers held sway over the rulers in every state-related topic because of their influence.
  4. Over time, the native rulers lost respect, patriotism, and even their primary responsibility to rule and build up their forces in their own states.
  5. They were progressively overthrown. As a result, they lost their sense of self and ability to lead their countries, making it simpler for the British to seize control.
  6. The people of the state couldn’t depose their incompetent or cruel ruler by revolting against him because the English, who possessed vastly greater resources than a single monarch, shielded all of their allies from foreign assault and domestic uprising.
  7. In this way, the British seized total power over the country, leaving the native monarch and his people completely defenseless.

Fourth Anglo Mysore War or Fourth Mysore War

Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, led by General Lord Mornington, fought in the fourth Mysore war in 1799. As a result of the Anglo-Mysore wars, Tipu Sultan was defeated, and the Kingdom of Mysore, as well as Coimbatore, Uttara Kannada, and Dakshina Kannada, became princely British states.

The Reasons for the War

Fourth Mysore War

  Fourth Mysore War

Avenging the British and regaining his lost land were Tipu Sultan’s goals after his defeat in the Third Anglo-Mysore War. To him, the goal was to  build a powerful state in Mysore. He wanted to expel the British from India to avenge his previous defeat, so he turned to the leaders of countries like France, Turkey, Arabia, and Kabul for assistance.

In 1798, he backed the new French government, which was a revolutionary one. Tipu was a friend of the Napolean when he came to power. The British were on edge as relations between Tipu Sultan and the French grew warmer. So Lord Wellesley arrived in Madras on April 26th, 1798, and his goal was to break the French-Tipu Sultan alliance.

Lord Marquess Wellesley made the Triple Alliance with Marath and Nizam against Tipu.

By signing this agreement, Nizam agreed to hand over his forces in exchange for British protection. After that, Lord Wellesley also tried to  make subsidiary alliance with  Tipu Sultan but he refused.  At last  on the 22nd of February 1799, Wellesley declared war on Tipu Sultan. As Tipu Sultan’s influence grew in South India, the British sought to maintain and strengthen their hold on the region.

Tipu’s son-in-law Fateh Ali and Mir Sadiq were trojan horse. They helped British in this war. The British gained indirect control over Tipu Sultan’s capital, Seringapatam, as well as Mysore. In this battle Tipu Sultan got died and British gained the control of Mysore. 

Fort William College

Fort William College

    Fort William College

It was established by Lord Wellesley on July 10, 1800, within the Fort William complex in Calcutta and was known as the College of Fort William. In order to prepare European administrators, Wellesley established Fort William College. He did this to honor the first anniversary of his Seringapatam victory over Tipu Sultan on May 4, 1800.

This institution was responsible for the English translation of tens of thousands of books in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu. As a result, languages like Bengali and Urdu grew.  The aim of Fort William College’s to train British officials in Indian languages.

The organisation of translations went hand in hand with the teaching. In total, the university had over a hundred linguists on staff. This institution was responsible for the English translation of tens of thousands of books in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu.

In 1805 he was succeeded by Lord Minto.


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