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Hyderabad – Anglo Carnatic Wars

1. Important Events

1751 – Siege of Arcot  | 2nd Anglo Carnatic War
1763 – Treaty of Paris.

2. Background

From 1740s to 1763 Anglo French rivalry played out in many areas. In North America it started over expanding their colonies on North America. On the east coast of North America – British had control, while west coast hosted French Colonies. In Europe succession disputes in Asutria. (Hapsburg empire).

And in Hyderabad and Carnatic region. Dispute arose over trading monopoly in the region. While disputes in N.America & Europe were between respective governments, in India tussle was between private trading companies.

18th Century India (1751 map)
Map showing separate Carnatic & Hyderabad.

3. 1740 – 1748. | 1st Anglo Carnatic War

1740 – The French EIC maintained a predominant trading position in Hyderabad and aimed to establish a major control over the coastal regions and trade of South India. While British EIC aimed to expand their presence on the eastern coast and looked toward Carnatic region to expand their activities.

Nawab of Carnatic agreed to grant a trading presence to British. However this was not appreciated by the French East India Company, which was determined to drive out and prevent the British from establishing themselves.

1745 French forces under Dupleix attacked British trading position in Carnatic region (Madras), which eventually forced the British to look towards Nawab Anwarrudin for assistance.

In 1748 French defeated British in India & captured Madras. While British won in North America. It resulted in treaty of 1748 (Treaty of Aix La Chapelle). Under the treaty, British were to return French colonies in North America and French would return the British trading positions in Carnatic region.

4. 1748 – 1753 | 2nd Anglo Carnatic War

In 1748 Asif Jaha 1 (Hyderabad ruler) died. Succession dispute between Nasir Jung (son) and Muzaffar Jung (grandson). This gave room for intervention by European rivals.

4.1 1749 – Battle of Ambur

In Battle of Ambur (Amoor), Dupleix Anwarruddin (Carnatic ruler) was killed. Chanda Sahib was throned as Carnatic ruler. And Mohammad Ali (son of Anwarruddin) escaped.

French supported Muzaffar Jung in Hyderabad. French were granted Jagirs in Northern Sarkars (CIRCARS in map.) by Muzaffar Jung. French also sieged Muhammad Ali at Trichinopoly.

4.2 1751 – Battle (Siege) of Arcot

Siege of Arcot is an important even in Anglo Carnatic wars. Robert Clive attacked & captured Arcot (capital of Carnatic), killed Chanda Sahib and forced French EIC to release Muhammad Ali.

4.3 1754 – Treaty of Pondicherry

French govt. didn’t support French East India Company, while support to British EIC by govt. increased. Mohammad Ali became Nawab of Carnatic and gave trading rights to British EIC. BEIC also supported Nasir Jung. Though he died, his successor captured throne. Jagirs were transferred to British eventually.

Parallely in N. America, French captured British colonies in North America. This resulted in 1754 Treaty of Pondicherry. Territories in India and America were exchanged to pre-war state and Dupleix was withdrawn from India by French Govt.

Some historians consider this battle to be more important than Battle of Plassey and argue that this led to removal of French and laid foundation of British Supremacy. [ This battle is also the reason as to why French did not came to the help of Siraj in Bengal.]

5. 1754 – 1763 | 3rd Anglo Carnatic War

This time, conflict started from N America over colonies. In 1760, Battle of Wandiwash (present Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu) was key event where French decline started.

Eventually French were defeated in both America & South Asia and Treaty of Paris 1763, was signed. Under the treaty, British agreed to return French trading position and allowed French to maintain presence in the region. Provided French did not fortify their trading position. As a result, French withdrew almost completely from India by 1769.

5.1 Causes of French Defeat

War demands huge finances and Financially, French were weaker. Withdrawal of Dupleix from India. Count De Lally, who replaced Dupleix, could not replace his stature.
BEIC was private and decision making was swift, whereas French was govt. controlled which made decision making a slow process.

5.2 Impact of Anglo Carnatic Wars

It helped /strengthened the British position in South Asia as their key rivals i.e. French, were ousted from region. It also enabled British to deal with Indian rulers more easily as possibility of their coalition with French diminished.

Anglo french rivalry drew British troops in South Asia in large numbers, which improved the bargaining powers of British Company vis-a-vis Indian states. It also had impact on Bengal and Mysore. In 1769 Northern Sarkar was granted as a Jagir to British. It increased British influence over Hyderabad.

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