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Subjects /Indian History / Modern History / The Carnatic Wars

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06 Aug 2021

  • The French power was at its height in the first half of the 18th century.
  • The Austrian War of Succession, which broke out in 1740 in Europe, gave rise to Anglo French rivalry.
  • It led to commercial and maritime rivalry between France and England.
  • On other hand, in India, the entire South India was divided into minor Rajas, Nawabs and petty chieftains.
  • The succession disputes in the South India opened the door for European intervention in support of various rival Indian claimants.
  • The British supremacy was established in India after the Carnatic Wars.

1st Carnatic War


  • The first Carnatic war was held between 1746-1748.
  • The English Navy, under Barnett, captured French Ships. Dupleix, the French Governor General of Pondicherry, invited LA Bourdainnais, the French Governor of Mauritius, to help.
  • In 1746, Madras was captured by Bourdainnais, but he returned it to the British. Robert Clive – Prisoner of War.
  • Dupleix, by his efforts, once again captured Madras.
  • The 1st Carnatic War is famous for the Battle of St. Thome (on the banks of river Adiyar). The battle was fought between the French and Mahfouz Khan, in which the French emerged victorious.
    • (Mahfouz Khan was the Commander-in-Chief of Anwaruddin and Anwaruddin was the Nawab of Carnatic).
  • The ‘Treaty of Aix – LA – CHAPPLE’ brought the Austrian war of Succession to a conclusion. According to this treaty:
    • Madras was handed back to English.
    • There was an exchange of war prisoners.

2nd Carnatic War (1749 - 1754)


  • Dupleix sought to increase his power and French political influence in South India by interfering in the local dynasties dispute.
  • The dispute for succession of throne was going at Hyderabad and Carnatic.



  • 1748 – The Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah, Died. He was succeeded by Nasir Jung (son of Asaf Jah) but was opposed by Muzaffar Jung (nephew of Asaf Jah). Dupleix supported Muzaffar Jung.


  • The dispute was going on between Anwaruddin (son) and Chanda Sahib (son-in-law), Dupleix supported Chanda Sahib.
  • They formed an alliance (Muzaffar Jung + Chanda Sahib + Dupleix) against Anwaruddin, and he was defeated and killed in the ‘Battle of Ambur’ near Vellore In 1749.
  • Nasir Jung was also killed by one of his trusted nobles in 1750.
  • Muzaffar Jung became the ruler of Hyderabad and Chanda Sahib became the ruler of Carnatic. At this time Dupleix was at the height of his political power.
  • Mohammad Ali, son of Anwaruddin, requested the British to help and took shelter at Trichinopally.
  • 1751 – Robert Clive attacked on ARCOT (capital of Carnatic) and captured it.
  • 1752 – The English army, leady by Stringer Lawrence, captured Trichinopoly sealed the fate of Dupleix. The Directors of the French Company were dissatisfied with the political ambition of Dupleix and they recalled him.
  • 1755 – The Treaty of Pondicherry was signed between both companies, under which there was:
    • an exchange of war prisoners and
    • a mutual restitution of conquest was agreed upon.

3rd Carnatic War (1758-1763)


  • 7 years’ of war between the French and the English Army.


  • In 1758 the French General Count de Lally captured Fort St. David.
  • The English Naval Fleet, under Pocock, defeated French Flew.
  • In 1760 French were once again defeated at Wandiwasa by Sir Eyre Coote. The English captured Pondicherry.
  • Note: The 3rd and the final round of struggle proved decisive.
  • By the Treaty of Paris in 1793, Pondicherry and a few other French settlements were returned to France, but they were not permitted to fortify them.
  • This round Ended the French power in India.