Relations with France
Tipu had very close relations with France. He was very hopeful of their support, for their
historic role in the American war of Independence had removed the English from their
thirteen rich colonies in the new world. Moreover, Tipu was aware of fact that the British
were building up their empire in India by making one prince fight against the other.
This aspect of the western technique of divide and rule had an echo in Tipu in his efforts
to woo the French, who were the traditional rivals of the English.
The Anglo-French animosity went back to the days of Crecy and Agricourt, and it lasted all
through the centuries until the First World War of 1914. Thus the bitter opposition to the
British was one common cause between the French and Tipu, who regarded them as his natural
allies. Just as the English were making the Indians fight against the Indians, Tipu too
would make the Europeans fight against the Europeans. There were certain definite
advantages in such a policy, for the Indians would get a respite, both western powers
would get exhausted; both would seek Indian support; and in the confusion either of the
two European powers would be eliminated. If the English were to be eliminated, it would be
good for India, for greater danger seemed to lurk from them.
Tipu was also aware that in the struggle for supremacy, the Dutch had eliminated the
Portuguese, and the English had eliminated the Dutch from India but the French and English
were still present. The French were not as weak as the Portuguese, or the Dutch,
and their support had proved decisive in the new world. The constant presence of a French
regiment in his army, their influence at his court, their consistent support to Mysore
since Haidar's days, and a Frequent visit of French adventures to his capital, raised
Tipu's hopes that the drama of American war of independence could repeated in India.