Carnatic War | Modern History of India

Carnatic War | Modern History of India
Posted on 30-05-2022

Carnatic War

Carnatic War - The Carnatic War was a trade conflict between the British and the French. There were three Carnatic wars between the British and the French. In the 17th and 18th centuries, conflicts over trade between the British and the French continued. Both of them were ready to increase the business and get maximum profit.

For this reason, the British and the French also started interfering in Indian politics. Due to this, there was further bitterness between the two companies. Now their main objective was to get the monopoly on the trade and completely remove the other company from the route. 

Both these companies were European and there was a constant struggle between them. As soon as the conflict started in Europe, similarly, conflicts started between the two companies in different parts of the world. The Anglo-French conflict in India is known as the Carnatic War, this war started when the conflict between the two countries in Europe over Austria started. A total of 3 wars were fought in India which took place between the year 1746-1763. As a result, the French were completely wiped out of India. 

Carnatic wars between the British and the French

First Carnatic War (1746-1748)

  • At the start of this war, the French had their headquarters at Pondicherry and their other offices at Jinji, Masulipatnam, Karikal, Mahi, Surat, and Chandranagar. 
  • The main offices of the British were in Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta.
  • In 1740, a struggle between the British and the French began in Europe over the succession to Austria.
  • In 1746, war broke out between the two companies in India. 
  • At this time, Dupleix was the French governor of Pondicherry and under his leadership, the French army defeated the British and conquered Madras.
  • The "Battle of St. Tomé" fought during the First Carnatic War is memorable. 
    • Battle of St. Tomé- This battle was fought between the French army and the Nawab of Carnatic Anwaruddin (1744-1749). In fact, at the time when both the European companies were at war in India, the Nawab of Carnatic ordered both of them to stop the war and not to disturb the peace system of the country. Dupleix, with his diplomacy, assured the Nawab of winning Madras. But later he reneged on his condition. Due to this, the Nawab sent his army to fight with the French. Dupleix's army of only 230 French and 700 Indians defeated the Nawab's army of 10,000 and proved the superiority of the disciplined European army over the loose and unorganized Indian army. 
  • The First Carnatic War ended in Europe with the Treaty of Aix-La Chapelle in 1748. Austria's succession dispute was settled by mutual consent by this treaty. According to this treaty, Madras was regained by the British.
  • During this war, both the parties were on equal footing but the French superiority in the wars was clear.

Second Carnatic War (1749-1754)

  • The political thirst of Dupleix, who had proved his superiority in the First War of Carnatic, was awakened.
  • Dupleix now taking part in Indian politics, started making a strategy to completely displace the English Company from India.
  • He got the opportunity to intervene in Indian politics through the succession disputes in Hyderabad and Karnataka.
    • Hyderabad- After the death of Asafjah, a dispute arose between Nasir Jung (son) and his nephew Muzaffarjung (Grandson of Asafjah) over the succession. 
    • Karnataka- A dispute started between Nawab Anwaruddin of Karnataka and his brother-in-law Chanda Sahib.
  • Dupleix assisted Muzaffarjung in Hyderabad and Chanda Sahib in Karnataka to make political gains out of these ongoing disputes in Hyderabad and Karnataka. Inevitably the British had to cooperate with Nasir Jung and Anwaruddin. 
  • In 1749 Anwaruddin was killed in a battle with the help of the French army and Chanda Sahib became the next Nawab of Carnatic.
  • In 1750, Nasir Jung was also killed fighting the French army and Muzaffarjung was made the Nawab of Hyderabad.
  • Dupleix was at the peak of his power by this time. But it did not take long for the situation to change.
  • Anwaruddin's son Muhammad Ali had escaped from the war and took refuge in Trichanapally. The French surrounded the fort with the army of Chanda Sahib. When Clive failed to break this encirclement from the British side, Clive occupied the capital of Karnataka, Arkata to ease the pressure. 
  • In 1752, the English army led by Strigger Lawrence rescued Trichanapally and the French army surrendered to the British.
  • The French authorities blamed Dupleix for the loss at Trichanapally and were taken back to France.
  • Godahu came to India in 1754 as the next French Governor-General. 
  • In 1755, a treaty was signed between the two companies. 

Third Carnatic War (1756-1763)

  • As in the past, this war was also a part of the European conflict. 
  • This war is also called the Seven Years War.
  • In 1756, the French government sent Count de Laly to India as the next Governor-General. 
  • He won the Ford David as soon as he came to India and started the war on Tanjore over a dispute of 56 lakh rupees, but he failed in this which damaged the French reputation.
  • On the other hand, the British had captured Bengal by defeating Siraj -ud-Daula. Due to this the economic condition of the British became very strong. 
  • In 1760, the British forces under the leadership of Sir Eyre Coot defeated the French in the Battle of Wandiwash.
  • After being defeated by the French in 1761, he returned to Pondicherry. After only 8 months, the British also conquered it and soon Mahi and Jinji were also taken under their control.
  • At the end of this war in 1763, Pondicherry and some other territories were returned to the French on the condition of not taking the fort.
  • Thus the Third Carnatic War proved to be a decisive battle and the Anglo-French conflict came to an end, in which the British won.
  • Now the British had to face only the Indian rulers to establish complete control over India.


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