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Modern History / Arrival of Europeans

Arrival of French in India and Three Carnatic Wars

French are the last Europeans to enter India. Arrival of French in India started when the French East India company was founded in 1664. The Company was a public enterprise.

French Settlements in India

The following sites were the French settlements in India

  • Surat - It was the first French settlement in India in 1668.

  • Other settlements include Karaikal in Tamil Nadu, Chandernagore in Bengal, Yanam in Andhra and Mahe in Kerala. Pondicherry was the headquarters of French in India.

In 1673, the site of Pondicherry was acquired by an officer named Francois Martin from Sher Khan Lodi. Francois Martin became the first governor of Pondicherry. But the greatest governor was being Joseph Francois Dupleix.

Note on Three Carnatic Wars

Three wars were fought between French and the British for supremacy over India which are generally called 3 Carnatic wars.

  • First Carnatic War (1746-1748)

    It was the first war that was fought between British and the French. As per treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (town in France), the first war ended without any result.

  • Second Carnatic War (1749-1756)

    The second Carnatic war happened because of succession disputes in the Carnatic State (between Chanda Sahib and Anwaruddin) and in the Nizam State (between Muzaffar Jung and Nasir Jung).

    French supported Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jung. They killed Anwaruddin and Nasir Jung. But, British assassinated both Muzaffar Jung and Chanda Sahib. British became victorious in this war. A treaty was concluded in Pondicherry.

  • Third Carnatic War (1756-1763)

    • Third Carnatic war ceased the French domination. In 1760, at Wandiwash (Vandavasi) near Pondicherry, a battle was fought. French governor Count De Lally has been defeated and taken as a prisoner by British military officer Eyre Coote.

    • All the French territories were taken away by the British. In 1763, a treaty was concluded in Paris (Treaty of Paris).

      According to this Treaty, all settlements were to be given back to the French on the condition that they should be confined to trade. They should not maintain any military and the British will protect the French territories.

    • In 1954, there was a peaceful transfer of these territories to Indian union. In Chandernagore, people voted to go with West Bengal and the remaining territories went with Union Territory of Pondicherry.