Factors Responsible for the defeat of the French in India
The French East India Company was founded in 1664 to compete with the British and Dutch East India Companies in the Indian Ocean. The French company quickly established itself in Pondicherry, on the southeastern coast of India. But despite its early success, the French company was ultimately defeated by the British in India. The defeat of the French in India was caused by a number of factors. The most important factor was the inferiority of the French military forces. The French were also hampered by the lack of supplies and reinforcements from France, and by the superior British forces and their tactical alliances. In this article, we are covering various factors that were responsible for the defeat of the French in India.
Negligence of Trade by the French in India
In difficult wartime times, the French practically neglected their trade whereas the British kept on trading, resulting in difficult financial times for the French, while for the British they encountered no such difficulties. Compared with the French, British trade in India brought more funds and prosperity to the British. Thus, the British could spend much more on the war.
Lack of Initiatives by the French Servants
As a government company, the French Company had fixed dividends, and the servants had little interest in taking initiative, as opposed to the British East India Company, which was a private company whose rewards were greater for initiative. The French Company’s policies were affected by changes in the Home Government, but East India Company’s policies were largely unaffected by these changes.
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Superior British Officers
Clive and other British officers in India were much better than those of the French officers, but the worse part was that, while the latter cooperated with each other, the former did not. Even during difficult war days, Dupleix and La Bourdonnais never got along well. Despite the fact that the recall of Dupleix in 1754 was unjustifiable but also, the French Government was unable to replace him with an administrator or commander who could guide the French forces more effectively. His recall was a blunder in itself that greatly lowered the morale of the company’s servants.
Disciplined British Army
Moreover, the British kept their soldiers satisfied even during the harsh war conditions by paying them their salaries on a regular basis, whereas the French soldiers remained dissatisfied during this period since they were not paid their regular salaries. From dissatisfied soldiers, it is evident that little can be expected.
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Strong Naval Supremacy
A nation with a strong navy could project its power and influence across the globe. A weak navy, on the other hand, was a liability. It left a nation vulnerable to attack and unable to protect its interests. In contrast to the French, the British developed their naval base in Bombay, whereas the French built theirs in the Isles of France. Consequently, whereas the British could easily repair their ships, the French did not have any such facilities.
Lack of French Government Interest
Despite being owned by the government, French Company did not receive much attention from the government. Despite not being a government company, the British Government took a keen interest in the East India Company, and provided it with all financial assistance and other assistance it needed to ensure that trade in India did not suffer. Employees of the Company were rewarded appropriately by the British government for their work. The French Government, however, was not appreciative of its employees in India. The treatment of Dupleix discouraged many French employees from taking part in Company affairs in India.
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Involvement of France in Constant Wars in Europe
France was involved in almost every war in Europe, while England was not. Consequently, English could save its material and manual resources for Indian wars instead of having to divert them to European wars.
Weak French Settlement in Deccan
In contrast to Bengal and Bombay, which were far more prosperous places and were more financially rewarding for the British company, the French mainly concentrated their efforts in Deccan, a less prosperous region.