Carnatic Wars

In this post, we will take a closer look at the Carnatic Wars. We will discuss the causes of the wars, the major battles that were fought, and the impact that the wars had on India.

Factors Responsible

(a) Economic

  • British and French economic rivals in India as well and India was too big in terms of resources and labour.
  • These companies’ strategies mix trade with political and military supremacy to create monopolies. 

(b) Political 

  • Mother countries were at war in Europe. 
  • The political condition in South India was favourable for the implementation of their designs. The native powers were fighting with each other, they were fragmented and weak and had issues such as wars on successions. 
  • By this time both companies had established well-trained military and their political influence was recognized by native rulers. 

(c) Cultural

  • Both believed in imperialistic policies to add to the strength and prestige of their empire. 

Lessons From The Carnatic Wars

  • European armies can easily defeat old and obsolete Indian armies. To maintain such an army, it was not required to have only European soldiers, Indians could be hired as well since there was no feeling of nationalism in India. 
  • European companies could take advantage of local rulers fighting with each other. 
  • Seeds of subsidiary alliances were sown during the Carnatic Wars.

1st Anglo-Carnatic War (1740 – 48)

  • Reason: Over Austrian succession: The first Carnatic War was an extension of the Anglo-French War in Europe which was caused by the Austrian War of Succession.
  • However, the hostilities between the two companies in Bengal were contained by Alivardi Khan. But in Carnatic, no such strong power existed. A French fleet arrived from Mauritius and together with the French army in India, they sacked British positions in Madras. The British appealed to the Nawab of Carnatic (Arcot) Anwaruddin Khan for help who sent his forces but was defeated by the French
  • In 1746, Dupleix (French) captured Madras again and followed it up with a siege of Fort St. David but failed to capture it. The war ended in Europe with the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle and so it did in India.

2nd Anglo-Carnatic War (1749-54)

  • French supported Chanda Sahib in Carnatic and Muzaffar Jung in Hyderabad. Naturally, the British got alarmed and they supported the rival candidates Muhammad Ali in Carnatic & Nasir Jung in Hyderabad.
  • In 1749, Chanda Sahib, French, and Muzaffar Jung defeated and killed Nawab Anwaruddin. His son fled to Britain. Next in Hyderabad, Muzaffar Jung, French and Chanda Sahib defeated and killed Nasir Jung. French got many territories (Northern Sarkars, Masaulipatnam, Pondicherry), cash, right to station army in Hyderabad along with a resident. Muzaffar Jung was accidentally killed and a new Nizam was placed by the French. Thus, French power was now at its peak.
  • In 1750, Britain decided to throw their entire weight behind Muhammad Ali. French and Chanda Sahib had seized Trichinopoly where Muhammad Ali was hiding. British decided to attack Arcot and the seize was lifted. The tide turned. French began to lose; expenses began to mount. The government intervened and concluded peace with British in 1754. The treaty restored old possessions and French power in India remained far from over.

3rd Anglo-Carnatic War(1756-63)

  • In 1758, the French army captured the English forts of St. David and Vizianagaram then English become offensive and the Battle of Wandiwash was fought between them in 1760 and won by the English at Wandiwash(Tamil Nadu).
  •  The war ended with the Treaty of Paris

See also:

Modern History NotesDecline of Mughal Empire
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