One of the most happening years in human history was the year ‘1799’.

That was the time when French Revolution ended even though King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were murdered in 1793 and Maximilian Robespierre – one of the architects of the revolution – was killed in 1794. The revolution was against the House of Burbon and took no mercy on any ‘traitor’.

Napoleon Bonaparte took over in 1799 through a coup d’état and ruled till 1814. French Revolution ended up with a jump from one monarchy to another. But that was not just that. It was also the foundation of feminism and women rights apart from democracy, freedom, and equality.

Ironically, Napoleon’s monarchy ended with restoration of the House of Bourbon with Louis XVIII becoming the king again. Funny? He was thrown again in the July Revolution of 1830. Then came the Republic. Then came Napoleon III. Then Republic again. So, on and on. It was a century of all kinds of political seasons for French people.

That was a deviation. Now back to 1799.

Just when Napoleon was taking over France, Mysore was falling. Tipu Sultan was defeated and killed in 1799 in the Siege of Seringapatam by the East India Company. After Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan took over, but he was in consistent external threats from the beginning.

An English Governor General weakened the Mysore rule gradually with major and minor blows and through constraining the state. That Governor General was not finally able to defeat Tipu Sultan in the siege but that General was the one who did the damage. Will tell you about him in a bit.  

With the Fall of Mysore, the entire Subcontinent was taken over by Britain – except one region.

General Lord Cornwallis took the final blow of defeat in America in 1781. He surrendered in Yorktown to George Washington. American foundation was completed after 5 years to July 4th, 1776. That same general went back to England. He served in other countries and was finally sent to India.

And that was the same Governor General Lord Cornwallis of Bengal who weakened Tipu Sultan over the years. See! How history is connected. From America to England to the Tiger of Mysore.

Well, back to 1799.

After Mysore, the entire Subcontinent was under Britain. Except Punjab.

Sikhs had a strong force of powerful men. In the west were Pathans and in the East were English. But Sikhs didn’t succumb to any of them. In 1799, Ranjit Singh captured Lahore and became the Maharaja of Punjab and Kashmir. The western boundary of his empire was almost exactly as today’s Durand Line. It’s not controversial really.

Ranjit Singh ruled for 40 years, and his rule is considered as one of the finest times in history of Punjab.

So, we have 1799 with Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Cornwallis, Tipu Sultan and Ranjit Singh so far. George Washington died in 1799, so he does not matter.

Another interesting aspect behind all this is that if French Monarchy wouldn’t have been in trouble during the 1780s and 1790s, it was assumed that Tipu Sultan could have been rescued by the French against the English. But that did not happen as French were busy in their own internal mess.

Imagine, Napoleon Bonaparte coming all the way from France to Egypt (which he did) to Persia to India and finally to Mysore to stand with another tiger of his time. Two Tigers. Would have been a historical drama of its kind.

We think of world as a global city today with the internet, 24/7 news, televisions, social media and stuff. But it was not as isolated as you may think of. See, how cool was 1799 – though it was all about war and blood. No peace.

Almost forgot. If there wouldn’t have been Napoleon, there wouldn’t have been “War and Peace” of Leo Tolstoy. So, at least from literary point of view: the mess was justified.

Similarly, if England wouldn’t have been an island, they wouldn’t have made ships in such numbers. That would have led to less voyages. No voyages to the deep south and unseen world. No such adventures mean no Darwin on one of the voyages to the south of Latin America. Hence, no Theory of Evolution would have been there.

Or – for instance – if Constantinople wouldn’t have been conquered by Sultan Muhammad Fateh in 1453 and Byzantine Empire could have lived some more countries, then the land passage from Europe to Asia would have survived for Europeans.

In that case, ship industry and sea voyages wouldn’t have flourished; then Columbus wouldn’t have founded America in 1492 and natives of that land could have lived some more centuries without being annihilated.

And India wouldn’t have been taken over by sea route, but through land. Forces coming from the west. Passing through Afghanistan. And leading all the way to Lahore and Delhi. In that case, Calcutta and Bombay could have been villages for a very long time as these cities were developed by those foreigners who landed there back in those days of Mughal Empire. And Mughals were after all Mongols.


Let this be “Concise History of the World: What Happened and What Could Have Happened”.

Author: SakiNama

His Highness

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