Monday, April 10, 2017

First, Second & Third Carnatic Wars Fought Between French and British

Introduction

Carnatic Wars are actually military conflicts between different Indian rulers & British East India Company and French East India Company.

The conflict arose because the French and British wanted to establish their colonies in backward countries like India.

The wars were fought on the Indian soil for political supremacy and took place in the 18th century.

The consequence of these wars was that the British East India Company was able to dominate in India when compared to other European trading companies.

As a result of this dominance, the British people were able to rule in India for more than 100 years through British Raj.

It is to be noted that 3 Carnatic Wars were fought in the coastal territories of Carnatic in the present day Hyderabad region between 1746 and 1763.

1st Carnatic War (1763-1748)


The first Carnatic War was the consequence of the Austrian succession war that was fought between Austria and Prussia in the year 1740.

What was Austrian Succession War ?

Charles VI was the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Serbia, Archduke of Austria, etc.

He had two daughters and no son. As he had no son, in 1713, he bought in the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 that removed the disability that was imposed by Salic law which prohibited female succession.

Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 declared that female succession is allowed.

So when the emperor died in 1740, his daughter succeeded him which was resented by the conservative sections and other western monarchies.

Thus a war ensued with different nations taking sides over the issue of succession.

France and Britain joined the opposite forces in this war and as a result of which both British East India Company and French East Indian Company were engulfed in the war.

On one side, there were Prussia, France, Sweden and Spain while on the other side there were Russia, England, Dutch Republic and Austria.

The war commenced when the fleet of British army arrived on the Coromandel Coast and started seizing all the French Ships.

Nawab of Arcot Anwaruddin was requested by the French Governor to intervene but the Nawab did not show any interest.

The French later on attacked the British people and imprisoned many people including Robert Clive and captured Madras.

In order to recapture Madras from the French troops, the Nawab of Arcot Anwaruddin sent his people but was defeated because of the less number of soldiers.

The entire army was routed by the French troops in the Battle of Mailapur. Only a 500 strong French army was able to repel the 10000 strong force of the Arcot Nawab.

This clearly showed the weakness of the Indian military troops and superiority of the French.

Later on, the negotiations about the fate of Madras started and during this period Lord Clive and some other prisoners were able to slip out of the prison.

Later on, some British troops arrived and saved the city of Cuddalore from the perils of French people.

In the year 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed that ended the war that was waging in Europe and finally the peace between England and France was restored.

Also, the English people were able to restore Madras from the French army.

It was the 1st Carnatic War that completely changed the character of the commercial companies.

2nd Carnatic War (1749-1754)

At the end of the first Carnatic War, the French Governor Dupleix realized about the weakness of the Indian military rulers.

As a result of which, he started looking for opportunities where he could initiate internal quarrels and extend the French influence in India.

Dupleix got the opportunity to intervene when in 1748, Nawab of Hyderabad Asaf Jah 1 died and war of succession broke out in the Southern states.

During this period, the proxy war started in India with Nizam and Nasir Jung supporting the English while Muzaffar Jung and Chanda Sahib supporting the French.

After the death of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asf Jah, war triggered between his son and grandson Nasir Jung and Muzaffar Jung respectively.

The related events of wars were referred to as the 2nd Carnatic Wars.

The French governor Francois Dupleix took the opportunity of the quarrels between the son and grandson of Nizam.

He pledged the support of his French armies to Muzaffar Jung for the throne of Hyderabad and Chanda Sahib for the throne of Carnatic.

As a result of which, an understanding developed among Chanda Sahib, Muzaffar Jung and the French Armies.

On the other hand, the English supported the rival candidates Nasir Jung and Mohammad Ali for the throne of Hyderabad and Carnatic respectively.

Thus an Anglo French war was waged that continued for 5 years from 1749 to 1754.

In the Battle of Ambur in 1749, Nawab of Arcot Anwaruddin was defeated and killed by the French soldiers.

Afterwards, his son Muhammad Ali fled and took refuge under the English troops.

Chanda Sahib became the Nawab of Calmat/Arcot.

Nasir Jung was also killed by the French armies and Muzaffar Jung was crowned with the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Later on, Muzaffar Jung was also killed and the French nominated Salabat Zang on the throne of Hyderabad and continued their French influence in the Deccan region.

Because of the military support rendered by the French army, four districts on the Coromandel Coast were given to the French by the Nizam of Hyderabad called by the name of Northern Sircar.

The English were petrified of the new situation as in both of the above cases French outsmarted the Britishers.

So the cunning Britisher Robert Clive who at that point of time was a clerk employed in the East India Company devised a plan of attacking Arcot.

His plan received a go ahead and the Britisher attacked Arcot, displaced Chanda Sahib and captured the Capital Arcot of Carnatic.

This is famously known as the Siege of Arcot 1751.

This Siege of Arcot bought a lot of appreciation for Clive with Britain's Prime Minister Pitt addressing Clive as 'Heaven Born General'.

The important factor about this war was that it was not a declared war.

There was no contemporary war going on in Europe between France and England.

This war was a result of the intrigues of generals of French and East India companies.

After the Siege of Arcot 1751, governments of France and England condemned the acts of their companies and Dupliex was replaced with Godehu.

Godehu signed the Treaty of Pondicherry on 26th December, 1754 which is why the year is mentioned as 1754/1755.

In the year 1754, the Treaty of Pondicherry was signed which led to the end of the 2nd Carnatic War.

As a result, the English helped Muhammad Ali to become the Nawab of Hyderabad.

Hence, the entire Carnatic now came under the influence of English and the French Governor Dupleix was replaced by Godeheu.

Because of the treaty, both France and England promised not to indulge with any kind of internal politics.

This war marked the decline of the French influence and ascend of the British influence in India.

3rd Carnatic War (1756-1763)

The issues between the English and French were not settled totally in the 2nd Carnatic War and due to ongoing struggle Britain and France waged 7 Years War in 1756.

The manifestation of this war in India is known as the 3rd Carnatic War.

During this time, the war was not limited to Carnatic but spread to other parts of India and reached up to Bengal.

The English captured Chandan Nagar from the French in 1757 by defeating Siraj-ud-Daulah in the famous Battle of Plassey.

In the year 1760, Sir Iyre Coote of British Army defeated Count Lally of French Army and captured several important places like Karaikal, Mahe and Jinji apart from Pondicherry and Madras.

This battle between France and England is known as Battle of Wandiwash.

As a result of which, the French people lost almost everything to the British army.

The Treaty of Paris was signed in the year 1763 and it concluded the 3rd Carnatic War and the French English rivalry also came to an end.

The French got their territories Chandra agar and Pondicherry back but were advised not to fortify them.

The French company was also allowed by Britishers to have trading posts in India but they were not allowed to administer them.

This led to the British imperialism in India and end of the French reign. 

1 comment:

  1. very useful info..but I think Mohmad ali was installed as a Nawab of Carnatic,not Hyderabad.Iam confused too.Neverthless,thankyou

    ReplyDelete

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