Carnatic wars

In the 17th century, the European companies were peaceful trading bodies seeking the favour of the Mughal government rather than challenging its authority. Towards the close of the century, the decline of the imperial authority and the political disorders in the country, particularly in south India, brought about a change in the policy. The British expanded in India through a series of encounters and wars with the French and local rulers, the most important encounters in this regard are the Carnatic wars, Anglo-Mysore wars, Anglo-Maratha wars, Anglo-Sikh wars and many others.

The Carnatic Wars

     For 20 years from 1744 to 1763 the French and the English were to wage three wars for the control over the trade, wealth and territory of India. These Anglo-French conflicts in India are generally known as Carnatic Wars In Indian History.

The First Carnatic war (1744-48):

       In 1742, War broke out in Europe between France and England. One of the major causes of the war was rivalry over Colonies in America. The war of Europe spread to India. The second cause of war between English and French was their rivalry in trade. Dupleix, the French Governor General of French East India Company was very ambitious to Establish a French state in India. In 1748, the general war between England and France ended. As a part of peace settlement Madras was restored to the English by the treaty of Aixla-chapple.

The Second Carnatic war (1748-54):

     Only a few months had elapsed since the end of the First Carnatic War, when the English and the French had to get themselves involved in another war in 1748. The establishment of Chanda Sahib, the ally of French, on the throne of Carnatic was bound to have adverse effect on English trade since the hinterland of Madras would be in the hands of their enemies. In the war of succession Dupleix supported Muzzaffar jung for the subehdarship of Deccan and Chanda Sahib for the Carnatic, whereas the English supported the opponents Nasir Jung for Deccan (Hyderabad) and Nawab Anwaruddin for Carnatic. The parties supported by the French won the ensuing battles and secured the throne.

      Robert Clive in the meanwhile made a surprise attack at Arcot, the capital of Carnatic in order to divert attention from Trichinapally.  Chanda Sahib rushed to save his capital. The English easily captured Arcot. This proved the success at the English and sealed the fate of Dupleix, who was recalled in 1754.

      The new Governor Godheau ended the warfare and signed the treaty of Pondicherry in 1754. According to this treaty both the parties promised that they would not interfere in the internal affairs of the Indian rulers, both the parties returned the conquered parts of each other.  The English and the French also agreed to give up all the posts and privileges granted to them by Indian rulers.

Third Carnatic war (1758-63):  

       The peace between the English and the French in India proved short lived. In 1756, there broke out the well known Seven Years War in Europe and before long the two nations began to tight in India also. Thus. the Third Carnatic War was a mere echo of the Seven Years War. When there ensued a war between the English and the French in Europe, the French government sent a powerful army under the command of Count-de-lally to mitigate the influence of British in India.

       As soon as he came to India in 1758, he captured Fort St. George and decided to attack Madras, but by this time the English had won name and fame by winning the Battle of Plassey. At the battle of Wandiwash, Eyre Coot defeated Lally in 1760.  Eyre coot captured Pondicherry and French lost all their possessions to the English. With the treaty of Paris in 1763, peace was secured and the lost territories were returned to the French. The French factories were restored, but they could no longer be fortified and even garrisoned with troops. They could serve only as centers of trade. 


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