Carnatic Wars : British and French Fight for Trade Monopoly


What are Carnatic wars

The series of wars and clashes between the British East India company and french India company fall under the Carnatic wars. As the name suggests the Carnatic(Karnatic) wars most of the conflicts took place in the southern region of India I,e. Karnataka, TamilNadu, and few parts of Andhra Pradesh. Carnatic wars resulted in the Supremacy of the British East India Company, and French East India company completely lost its market of trade in India.

How many Carnatic Wars were fought?

3 Carnatic Wars were fought between French and British East India Company. In the years between 1746-1763.

What was the cause of Carnatic wars

The main reason for Carnatic wars was the rivalry between the French and British which broke out in 1940 as at the time of War of Austrian Succession, Britain and France were on different sides. India was vulnerably exposed to many Europian nations for trade. To gain a trade monopoly in India French and British met at different locations to prove one’s authority over the other and these incidents by historians are referred to as Carnatic wars.

Short note on Effect of Carnatic War on Local People

Initially, the common people benefited from the war as the main reason was the establishment of a trade monopoly in India and competition brought lower values of goods. as a result, a wide range of products was available at reasonable prices. Many Nawabs were asked to make an alliance with either of them but they refused.

British versus French

The British started capturing french fleets therefore, the french asked help from Nawab of Arcot to help them but he declined or did not answer any of the requests made by French Governor Dupleix. As now not many options were left therefore french had to call for back up from Mauritius. A new fleet joined the french under the command of La Bourdonnais. As a consequence French were able to capture Madras and many prisoners of war were kept including Robert Clive.

Carnatic Wars British and French fighting
British and French Armies Fighting at Carnatic

Remember this name Robert clive because he played a very crucial role later. It was claimed that the city will be given back to Britishers but in order to do so, Britishers were asked to take an oath that no British will ever pick up a weapon against the french. In the meantime, some Britishers refused to take the oath and were able to make the run from there. Robert Clive was one of the men who was able to find his way to escape.

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Siege of Arcot

Robert Clive led an attack against the combined forces of Nawab of Carnatic. Despite having support from french troops Nawab of Carnatic lost the battle. in fact, the Britishers were also outnumbered by a huge ratio. Robert Clive made a perfect strategy and attacked at the day of Moharram and firearms. The mighty elephants got furious and crumbled backward and the army had to withdraw to Vellore.

Entry of Mughals

The Mughals also entered the war as Nawab of Arcot Anwaruddin Khan attacked french fort by 10,000 soldiers also called the Battle of Adyar. Nawab was promised to be given the fort but later duplex refused to do so, therefore, the Battle of Adyar happened. This decision will be the turning point of the Carnatic wars. The aftermath of the battle of Adyar is testimony to the fact that greed makes us vulnerable to disasters.

Carnatic Wars Mughal Entry
Mughals enter the war

For the sake of dignity, the Nawab of Arcot had to fight against the french as he was not given what he was promised. Unfortunately, The forces of nawab were defeated by the french. After winning the fort st. George. Dupleix also launched an attack on fort st. David. But after the defeat of the battle of Adyar Nawab decided to assist the British by sending his troops within the command of his son Muhammed Ali. This assist turned out to be very useful for the British East India Company and they were able to defend against the french.


De Burie, another commander of the french laid an attack on fort st. David and this was a huge attack that laid British defenses to fall back. The reinforcement of Britishers arrived and saved them from french forces. The French lost the battle of the fort and a treaty was signed. The Treaty of Aix la Chapelle stated that madras will be returned back to the Britishers. This also resulted in the end of the Austrian succession.

What happened after Carnatic Wars / Result of Carnatic Wars

The Carnatic wars were indirectly connected to the establishment of the nation as a superpower. As we know that Carnatic happened more because of the establishment of trade monopoly over India. This will result in more income or more economic growth of the particular nation which occupies the political as well as trade supremacy in India.

More money will result in more production of goods. The Britishers after gaining supremacy over trade started producing more ammunition and gunpowder. Not only this, but Britishers also checked the regulation of imports and exports of weapons to other nations.

Who won the first Carnatic war?

It was not the french who fought or died in the battle. They all were french trained Indian soldiers who had no reason to fight against the Britishers. Indians did not even know why they were fighting against each other. The rivalry was between the french and British but it was Indians who suffered the most.

The common man got a huge advantage of the battle as the prices of goods came down in order to win the competition of trade. But merchants suffered a lot as now they have to sell similar goods for less due to more competition. This led merchants to figure out something for their benefits and they started adulteration in the products. Moreover, they also started portable vendors in order for more profit.

Carnatic Wars effect on Market and Merchants

It was not only french and Britishers who suffered from the Carnatic wars. The rulers of India and the Mughal empire also suffered because of the foreign invasion in India. Slowly there was no respect and no power within the hand of rulers and it is also said that with the coming of foreign powers in India Mughal rule in India was uprooted.

This war provided Britishers with more land and as well as naval supremacy. The Britishers emerged as a superpower after the Carnatic wars. After the first Carnatic war, two more Carnatic wars occurred later and all this was ended in 1763.

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