Carnatic Wars

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Carnatic Wars
Clive.jpg
Lord Robert Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey , oil on canvas (Francis Hayman, c. 1762)
Date1746–1763
Location
Result British victory
Belligerents

Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Mughal Empire [1]

Royal Standard of the King of France.svg  Kingdom of France

Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Kingdom of Great Britain

Commanders and leaders

Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Alamgir II
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Anwaruddin  
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Nasir Jung  
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Muzaffar Jung  
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Chanda Sahib  
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Raza Sahib
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Wala-Jah
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Murtaza Ali
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Abdul Wahab  Skull and Crossbones.svg
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Hyder Ali
Nanjaraja
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Salabat Jung   Skull and Crossbones.svg

Contents

Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Husain Ali Khan Bahadur
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Ghulam Husain Tabatabai
Flag of the Principality of Bengal (15th-18th century).svg Mir Jafar (defector)
Flag of the Principality of Bengal (15th-18th century).svg Siraj ud-Daulah   Skull and Crossbones.svg
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Dupleix
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg De Bussy
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Comte de Lally
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Bertrand
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Godeheu
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Louis d'Auteil   (POW)
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Jean Law   (POW)
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg de Latouche
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg St. Frais
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Robert Clive
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Stringer Lawrence
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Eyre Coote

The Carnatic Wars were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century in India's coastal Carnatic region, a dependency of Hyderabad State, India. Three Carnatic Wars were fought between 1746 and 1763.

The conflicts involved numerous nominally independent rulers and their vassals, struggles for succession and territory; and included a diplomatic and military struggle between the French East India Company and the British East India Company. They were mainly fought within the territories of Mughal India with the assistance of various fragmented polities loyal to the "Great Moghul".

As a result of these military contests, the British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondichéry. The East India Company's dominance eventually led to control by the British Company over most of India and eventually to the establishment of the British Raj.

Background

Showing the Carnatic Region of what is now India. CarnaticRegion.jpg
Showing the Carnatic Region of what is now India.

The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb died in 1707. He was succeeded by Bahadur Shah I, but there was a general decline in central control over the empire during the tenure of Jahandar Shah and later emperors. Nizam-ul-Mulk established Hyderabad as an independent kingdom. A power struggle ensued after his death between his son, Nasir Jung, and his grandson, Muzaffar Jung, which soon involved foreign powers eager to expand their influence. France aided Muzaffar Jung while Britain aided Nasir Jung. Several erstwhile Mughal territories were autonomous such as the Carnatic, ruled by Nawab Dost Ali Khan, despite being under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad. French and British support soon became intertwined with the affairs of the Nawab. Dost Ali's death sparked a power struggle between his son-in-law Chanda Sahib, supported by the French, and Muhammad Ali, supported by the British. [2]

One major instigator of the Carnatic Wars was the Frenchman Joseph François Dupleix, who arrived in India in 1715, rising to become the French East India Company's governor in 1742. Dupleix sought to expand French influence in India, which was limited to a few trading outposts, the chief one being Pondicherry on the Coromandel Coast. Immediately upon his arrival in India, he organized Indian recruits under French officers for the first time, and engaged in intrigues with local rulers to expand French influence. However, he was met by the equally challenging and determined young officer from the British Army, Robert Clive.

"The Austrian War of Succession in 1740 and later the war in 1756 automatically led to a conflict in India...and British reverses during the American War of Independence (1775–1783) in the 1770s had an impact on events in India." [2]

First Carnatic War (1746–1748)

Dupleix meeting the Nizam of Hyderabad, Muzaffar Jung. Dupleix meeting the Soudhabar of the Deccan.jpg
Dupleix meeting the Nizam of Hyderabad, Muzaffar Jung.

In 1740 the War of the Austrian Succession broke out in Europe. Great Britain was drawn into the war in 1744, opposed to France and its allies. The trading companies of both countries maintained cordial relations in India while their parent countries were bitter enemies on the European continent. Dodwell writes, "Such were the friendly relations between the English and the French that the French sent their goods and merchandise from Pondicherry to Madras for safe custody." [3] Although French company officials were ordered to avoid conflict, British officials were not, and were furthermore notified that a Royal Navy fleet was en route. After the British initially captured a few French merchant ships, the French called for backup from as far afield as Isle de France (now Mauritius), beginning an escalation in naval forces in the area. In July 1746 French commander La Bourdonnais and British Admiral Edward Peyton fought an indecisive action off Negapatam, after which the British fleet withdrew to Bengal. On 21 September 1746, the French captured the British outpost at Madras. La Bourdonnais had promised to return Madras to the British, but Dupleix withdrew that promise, and wanted to give Madras to Anwar-ud-din after the capture. The Nawab then sent a 10,000-man army to take Madras from the French but was decisively repulsed by a small French force in the Battle of Adyar. The French then made several attempts to capture the British Fort St. David at Cuddalore, but the timely arrivals of reinforcements halted these and eventually turned the tables on the French. British Admiral Edward Boscawen besieged Pondicherry in the later months of 1748, but lifted the siege with the advent of the monsoon rains in October. [2]

With the termination of the War of Austrian Succession in Europe, the First Carnatic War also came to an end. In the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), Madras was given back to the British in exchange for the French fortress of Louisbourg in North America, which the British had captured. The war was principally notable in India as the first military experience of Robert Clive, who was taken prisoner at Madras but managed to escape, and who then participated in the defence of Cuddalore and the siege of Pondicherry.The french still retained their position as the protectors of nizams of Hyderabad

Second Carnatic War (1749–1754)

The Siege of Arcot (1751) was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company. WAR ELEPHANTS CHARGE THE GATES OF THE FORT AT ARCOT..gif
The Siege of Arcot (1751) was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company.

Though a state of war did not exist in Europe, the proxy war continued in India. On one side was Nasir Jung, the Nizam and his protege Muhammad Ali, supported by the British, and on the other was Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jung, supported by the French, vying to become the Nawab of Arcot. Muzaffar Jung and Chanda Sahib were able to capture Arcot while Nasir Jung's subsequent death allowed Muzaffar Jung to take control of Hyderabad. Muzaffar's reign was short as he was soon killed, and Salabat Jung became Nizam. In 1751, however, Robert Clive led British troops to capture Arcot, and successfully defend it. The war ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry, signed in 1754, which recognised Muhammad Ali Khan Walajah as the Nawab of the Carnatic. Charles Godeheu replaced Dupleix, who died in poverty back in France. [2]

Third Carnatic War (1756–1763)

The outbreak of the Seven Years' War in Europe in 1756 resulted in renewed conflict between French and British forces in India. In this time the French were facing many financial problems. The Third Carnatic War spread beyond southern India and into Bengal where British forces captured the French settlement of Chandernagore (now Chandannagar) in 1757. However, the war was decided in the south, where the British successfully defended Madras, and Sir Eyre Coote decisively defeated the French, commanded by the comte de Lally at the Battle of Wandiwash in 1760. After Wandiwash, the French capital of Pondicherry fell to the British in 1761. [2]

The war concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which returned Chandernagore and Pondichéry to France, and allowed the French to have "factories" (trading posts) in India but forbade French traders from administering them. The French agreed to support British client governments, thus ending French ambitions of an Indian empire and making the British the dominant foreign power in India.

See also

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Carnatic Sultanate State in southern India from 1692 to 1855

The Nawabs of the Carnatic were the nawabs who ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1855. The Carnatic was a dependency of Hyderabad Deccan, and was under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad, until their demise. They initially had their capital at Arcot in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Their rule is an important period in the history of the Carnatic and Coromandel Coast regions, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the Maratha Empire, and later the emergence of the British Raj.

Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah

Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, or Muhammed Ali, Wallajah, was the Nawab of Arcot in India and an ally of the British East India Company. Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah was born to Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan, by his second wife, Fakhr un-nisa Begum Sahiba, a niece of Sayyid Ali Khan Safavi ul-Mosawi of Persia, sometime Naib suba of Trichonopoly, on 7 July 1717 at Delhi. Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah the Nawab of Arcot often referred to himself as the Subedar of the Carnatic in his letters and correspondence with the then Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.

Chanda Sahib

Chanda Sahib was a subject of the Mughal Empire and the Nawab of the Carnatic between 1749 and 1752. Initially he was supported by the French during the Carnatic Wars. After his defeat at Arcot in 1751, he was captured by the Marathas of Thanjavur and executed.

Anwaruddin Khan

Anwaruddin Khan, also known as Muhammad Anwaruddin, was the 1st Nawab of Arcot of the Rowther Dynasty. He was a major figure during the first two Carnatic Wars. He was also Subedar of Thatta from 1721-1733.

Alamparai Fort

The ruins of Alamparai Fort lie near Kadappakkam, a village 50 km from Mamallapuram on the land overlooking the sea. Constructed in the late 17th century during the Mughal era, the Alamparai Fort once had a 100-metre long dockyard stretching into the sea, from which zari cloth, salt, and ghee were exported. During 1735 AD it was ruled by Nawab Doste Ali Khan. In 1750, for the services rendered by the famous French commander Dupleix to Subedar Muzaphar Jung, the fort was given to the French. When French were defeated by the British, the fort was captured and destroyed in 1760 AD. More recently the structure was damaged in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Battle of Madras

The Battle of Madras or Fall of Madras took place in September 1746 during the War of the Austrian Succession when a French force attacked and captured the city of Madras from its British garrison.

Siege of Arcot

The Siege of Arcot took place at Arcot, India between forces of the British East India Company led by Robert Clive and forces of Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company. It was part of the Second Carnatic War.

First Carnatic War

The First Carnatic War (1746–1748) was the Indian theatre of the War of the Austrian Succession and the first of a series of Carnatic Wars that established early British dominance on the east coast of the Indian subcontinent. In this conflict the British and French East India Companies vied with each other on land for control of their respective trading posts at Madras, Pondicherry, and Cuddalore, while naval forces of France and Britain engaged each other off the coast. The war set the stage for the rapid growth of French hegemony in southern India under the command of French Governor-General Joseph François Dupleix in the Second Carnatic War.

Siege of Trichinopoly (1743) 1743 siege and capture of Trichinopoly by Nizam of Hyderabad

The siege of Trichinopoly was part of an extended series of conflicts between the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maratha Empire for control of the Carnatic region. On 29 August 1743, after a six-month siege, Murari Rao surrendered, giving Nizam ul Mulk (Nizam) the suzerainty of Trichinopoly. By the end of 1743, the Nizam had regained full control of Deccan. This stopped the Maratha interference in the region and ended their hegemony over the Carnatic. The Nizam resolved the internal conflicts among the regional hereditary nobles (Nawabs) for the seat of governor (Subedar) of Arcot State, and monitored the activities of the British East India company and French East India Company by limiting their access to ports and trading.

The Siege of Trichinopoly (1751–1752) was conducted by Chanda Sahib, who had been recognized as the Nawab of the Carnatic by representatives of the French East India Company, against the fortress town of Trichinopoly, held by Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah.

Battle of Ambur

The Battle of Ambur was the first major battle of the Second Carnatic War.

References

  1. The Cambridge History of the British Empire. 1929. p. 126. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Naravane, M.S. (2014). Battles of the Honorourable East India Company. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. pp. 150–159. ISBN   9788131300343.
  3. Dodwell, H. H. (ed), Cambridge History of India, Vol. v.
  4. "Niall Ferguson - Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World - Why Britain? 4/5". YouTube. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  5. Palk Manuscripts, four-volume collection of the correspondence of Sir Robert Palk relating to Indian affairs, Historical Manuscripts Commission: Report on the Palk manuscripts in the possession of Mrs Bannatyne of Haldon, Devon, p.XII