Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anglo French Conflict in India

In eighteenth century India, English and French trading companies competed and fought with each other in India for the control over the trade and political power in India. It is generally called the Anglo French Conflict in India.


The conflict between English and French Trading companies went through four phases. In first three phases, the trading companies of France and England fought three wars on the land of India. Those three wars are recorded in Indian history as three Karnataka war or merely Karnataka wars. The first Karnataka War was fought between 1746 and 1748. It ended with Aix-la Chapella treaty which was signed between England and France in 1748 in Europe. The second Karnataka war was fought between 1749 and 1754. It ended in the Treaty of Pondicherry signed in 1754. The third Karnataka war was fought between 1758 and 1763. It ended with the Treaty of Peace of Paris.


In the fourth phase, which extended from 1778 to 1815, the French tried to eliminate the British by helping the native rulers like of Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu of Mysore and the Maratha Chiefs by training their armies on the European model. The French officers also tried to train the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore.


The above contest or conflict must be understood in context of the European history. Britain and France did not have good relations between them on European continent. However, the European trading companies trading in India being ruled by Mughals, especially the French and British companies, maintained very cordial relations among themselves in India while trading. They readily cooperated and coordinated in their trading activities over the Indian land. However, during Karnataka war, the British and French trading compaies fought when France and Britain fought in Europe. Secondly, all through the period of Karnataka war, though they had actively interfere in Indian and Mughal court politics, they remained under the hollow of the might of the Mughals. It was only after Battle of Buxar, the English Company became confident of itself. By then, it had already beaten the French company in India.

The Karnataka wars established that among the European trading countries in India, England Trading company was supreme.

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