The global dimensions of the American Revolution are nowhere more evident than in India. The subcontinent had long been the target of British land grabs, and Indian rulers tried to use the distraction of American secession to push Britain out of Asia entirely. Consider Haidar Ali, the ruler of Mysore. He swung into action in 1780, laying siege to British forts and quickly proving himself as tenacious an opponent of imperial authority as George Washington. By war’s end, Ali and his son Tipu Sultan had put Britain firmly on the backfoot, forcing King George to order an all-or-nothing troop surge to India—a dramatic Swing to the East in which the independence of the entire subcontinent hung in the balance.
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