The Carnatic Wars
The downfall of the Mughal Empire led to the independence of Deccan under Nizam-ul-Mulk. The Carnatic region also formed part of the Nizam's dominion. The ruler of the Carnatic accepted the suzerainty of the Nizam. In 1740, the Austrian War of Succession broke out in Europe. In that war England and France were in the opposite camps. They came into conflict in India also. The French governor of Pondicherry, Dupleix opened attack on the English in 1746 and thus began the First Carnatic War DUPLEIX (1746-1748). The English sought help from the Nawab of Carnatic, Anwar Uddin. But the French concluded a treaty with his rival Chanda Sahib. The English army crushed a defeat on the French in the Battle of Adyar, near Madras. In the meantime, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle was concluded in 1748 to end the Austrian Succession War. Thus the First Carnatic War came to an end.
But the English and French continued to take opposite sides in the internal politics of India. This had resulted in the Second Carnatic War (1749-1754). Dupleix supported the cause of Muzafar Jang, who wanted to become the Nizam of Hyderabad and Chanda Sahib, an aspirant for the throne of Arcot. The troops of these three defeated Anwar Uddin, who was with the British in the First Carnatic War, and killed him in the Battle of Ambur in 1749. After this victory, Muzafar Jung became the Nizam and Chanda Sahib the Nawab of Arcot. Muhammad Ali, son of Anwar Uddin escaped to Tiruchirappalli. The English sent troops in support of him. In the meantime, the British commander Robert Clive captured Arcot. He also inflicted a severe defeat on the French at Kaveripakkam. Chanda Sahib was captured and beheaded in Tanjore. Meanwhile Dupleix was replaced by Godeheu as the French governor. The war came to an end by the Treaty of Pondicherry in 1754.
The outbreak of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) in Europe led to the Third Carnatic War (1758-1763). Count de Lally was the commander of the French troops. The British General Sir Eyre Coote defeated him at Wandiwash in 1760. In the next year, Pondicherry was captured and destroyed by the British troops. The Seven Years War came to an end by the Treaty of Paris in1763. The Third Carnatic War also ended. The French agreed to confine its activities in Pondicherry, Karaikkal, Mahe and Yenam. Thus the Anglo-French rivalry came to a close with British success and French failure.
The causes for the French failure can be summed up as follows:
Commercial and naval superiority of the English.
Lack of support from the French government.
French had support only in the Deccan but the English had a strong base in Bengal.
English had three important ports - Calcutta, Bombay and Madras but French had only Pondicherry.
Difference of opinion between the French Generals.
England's victory in the European wars decided the destiny of the French in India.
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