Haidar Ali

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Haidar Ali


Hyder Ali

(both: hī`dər älē`), 1722–82, Indian ruler. A Muslim of peasant stock, he rose by military brilliance to command the army of the Hindu state of Mysore. By 1761 he was virtual ruler of Mysore and began expanding the dominions of that kingdom at the expense of the Maratha states and Hyderabad. In 1767 the British, in alliance with Hyderabad and the Marathas, took the field against Haidar. They were soon deserted by their allies, however, and Haidar, after some initial reverses, took his army to the outskirts of Madras (now Chennai) and dictated the peace (1769). Angered by the British refusal to honor a defensive alliance (formed in accordance with the 1769 peace terms) in 1772 and by their seizure of Mahé from the French in 1779, Haidar invaded the Carnatic in 1780 and routed a British force. In 1781 he was defeated near Madras (now Chennai) by Sir Eyre Coote. Haidar died a year later, but the war was continued by his son Tippoo SahibTippoo Sahib
or Tipu Sahib
, 1749–99, Indian ruler, sultan of Mysore (1782–99); son and successor of Haidar Ali. He fought in his father's campaigns against the Marathas and the British but, after his succession, made peace with the British in 1784.
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See biography by N. K. Sinha (3d ed. 1959); study by L. B. Bowring (1969).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Haidar Ali


Born 1722; died Dec. 7, 1782, near Chittoor, in the Carnatic. Ruler of the Indian state of Mysore; organized opposition in southern India to the British conquerors.

As the leader of a military detachment, Haidar Ali took advantage of the internecine war (1758–60) between the raja of Mysore and the commander in chief of the Mysore Army to seize power and reduce the raja to a nominal head of state. Haidar Ali reorganized and centralized the army: he abolished the jagir system, arranged for soldiers to be paid a salary from the treasury, formed infantry units trained in the European fashion, and strengthened the artillery. The army was built up by raising taxes and increasing the tribute paid by vassal princes, measures that provoked numerous uprisings. Between 1761 and 1764, Haidar Ali added considerable territory to Mysore.

In the Anglo-Mysore War of 1767–69 (seeANGLO-MYSORE WARS), Haidar Ali approached the walls of Madras and dictated a peace treaty requiring the British to render him military assistance in case of war; when the Marathas attacked Mysore in 1770, however, the British refused to offer any aid. Haidar Ali subsequently repulsed several attacks by the Marathas and Hyderabad; in 1780 he formed an alliance with them aimed at ending British hegemony in India. In the Anglo-Mysore War of 1780–84, Haidar Ali initially seized almost all the Carnatic from the British; beginning in mid-1781, however, he suffered a series of defeats, which helped the British break up the alliance. Haidar Ali continued his struggle alone and died during the war.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hyder Ali

, Haidar Ali
1722--82, Indian ruler of Mysore (1766--82), who waged two wars against the British in India (1767--69; 1780--82)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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