The Second Carnatic War Modern Indian History UPSC Notes

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The Second Carnatic War (1749-54) occurred between several rivals for the positions of Nizam of Hyderabad and Nawab of Carnatic, with the British and French backing each claimant. In this War, both European powers publicly supported competing claims in Hyderabad and the Carnatic. In the article, you will get brief overview of the Second Carnatic War which will be helpful to you in UPSC exam preparation.

Course of the Second Carnatic War

As a result of the First Carnatic War, the warring trading companies had many strained relations. Having learned about the military weaknesses and disunity of Indian princes, both parties were very eager to interfere in their internal affairs and gain from them.

When Nizam-Ul-Mulk Asaf Jah I died in 1748 A.D., a succession war began in Hyderabad. Muzaffar Jung, Nizam’s maternal grandson, and Nasir Jung, his son, began a power struggle in which French supported Muzaffar Jung. A war was initiated with French support against Anwaruddin Khan, the Nawab of the Carnatic, who supported Nasir Jung’s claim to the Nizam’s throne. This led Muzaffar Jung to wage war with French support against Anwaruddin, which resulted in Anwaruddin Khan’s death in 1749 at Ambur.

As a result of his death at Amber in 1749, the Nawab’s illegitimate son Muhammad Ali fled to Trichnopoly. The British, however, joined the race in Deccan, where Nasir Jung and Muzaffar Jung were in dispute.

By siding with Nasir Jung, the British wanted to imprison Muzaffar Jung. However, as a result of Nasir Jung’s assassination by his own soldiers, Muzaffar Jung ascended to the throne. In the end, he was also killed in an encounter under French protection on his way to Hyderabad. Upon placing third son of Asaf Jah, Salabat Jung on the throne, the French Commander, Bussy stayed at Hyderabad to provide protection for the newly installed Nawab. In return, the French acquired four rich districts on the Coromandel Coast (Northern Sircars) from the Nizam.

During this time, Chanda Sahib and the French controlled Trichy. But Muhammad Ali controlled the Trichy Fort. The English supported Muhammad Ali in order to undermine French power in the region.

After proceeding toward Carnatic and taking Arcot, the capital city of Carnatic, the British forces under Clive were challenged by Chanda Sahib’s forces and he was besieged by them. Clive forced Chanda Sahib’s forces to lift the siege with the help of the Marathas, but the son of Chanda Sahib was captured and killed by the Raja of Tanjore. The British had no choice but to submit when Muhammad Ali killed Chanda Sahib in June 1752 without intervening. Muhammad Ali was made Carnatic’s ruler. The battle ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry in 1754.

Result of the Second Carnatic War

Dupleix’s policy caused the French government massive financial losses, and they decided to recall him. Charles-Robert Godeheu was selected to replace Dupleix, and he negotiated with the English and concluded Treaty of Pondicherry.

According to the treaty, both sides agreed not to interfere with each other’s internal affairs and return territory to each other. Bussy will continue to live at Hyderabad, and the British will receive a town in North Carnatic.

Outcome of the Second Carnatic War

The treaty was certainly advantageous for the British East India Company. It provided it with much-needed time to consolidate its position in the East, as well as the opportunity to fight another Carnatic war. Dupleix went to the extent of saying his successor had brought dishonour to his country.

Nevertheless, Roberts holds that the East India Company had vast resources that made a treaty unavoidable, compared to the French Company. As compared to the French forces in India, English forces were definitely of greater quality and the French Company’s financial position was not good.

There were no sympathetic Nawabs on the thrones of Hyderabad or Carnatic when the war ended. Muhammad Ali, the king of Carnatic, and Salabat Jung, the ruler of Hyderabad, were sympathizers of the British East India Company.

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