The 3rd Anglo-Mysore war was fought during 1790-92 when the English Company led by Governor-General Cornwallis attached Tipu Sultan. This war was a continuation of traditional hostility prevailing between the English Company and the state of Mysore. They had already fought two wars on both occasions, the fight was started by Mysore.
In the 1st Anglo-Mysore war, Haider Ali was victorious; the company had to accept a humiliating treaty of Madras in 1769. The 2nd Anglo-Mysore war had ended in terms of equality as per the treaty of Mangalore in 1784. After the 2nd Anglo-Mysore war, Tipu Sultan initiated several steps to strengthen the state of Mysore Economic & admin reforms were implemented a guns factory was established at Dindigul to strengthen armed forces.
Tipu Sultan tried to seek external assistance from Turkey (1784-84) and France (1787) against the East India Company by sending his representative there. This act of Tipu Sultan, greatly alarmed Governor-General Lord Cornwallis. Cornwallis was waiting for an opportunity to declare war on Mysore to wipeout challenges from Tipu forever. He was assured support of Nizam of Hyderabad & Marathas against Mysore.
In April 1790, Tipu attacked his neighboring state Travancore which was Company’s protected state & it was used as an excuse by Cornwallis to declare war on Mysore. This war was not unavoidable, it was the offensive attitude of Cornwallis that resulted in the war had Cornwallis wanted conflict can easily be avoided. Tipu was an independent, sovereign ruler, he has every right to strengthen himself through internal reforms & external assistance. English Company was doing the same so it is not correct to say that Tipu Sultan’s aggressive act was the cause of war.
Impact of Anglo-Mysore War
The 3rd Anglo-Mysore war came to end with the treaty of Seringpattanam in March 1792. As per the provisions of the treaty, almost the help of the territories of Mysore was taken away by the English Company. A huge war indemnity of Rs 3Cr was imposed on Tipu. His two sons were taken as a hostage as a guaranty for his good behavior in the future.
Most of these gains were pocketed by an English company. A small territory was given to Nizam of Hyderabad on the bank of river Krishna. A small territory Marathas on the bank of Tungabhadra which they refuse to accept. That’s why Cornwallis commented without making we find stronger we have made our enemy weaker.