The Anglo-French Rivalry

The Anglo-French Rivalry


The Anglo-French Rivalry
The Anglo-French Rivalry

The Portuguese and the Dutch having lost their hold in India, there remained only one rival of the English, the French. As long as the Mughal empire remained powerful, they dared not quarrel with one another. In case they ever fought, their struggle remained confined up to the seashore. But with the death of Aurangzeb the Mughal Empire began to deteriorate. It enhanced the political ambitions of the foreign traders. Gradually, their rivalry created such a situation that the survival of the most powerful became the motto of the two remaining powers.

A severe tug of war continued between the English and the French for about twenty years (A.D. 1744-1763). At last the French were defeated in this war. Both the enemies faced each other in Karnataka region. This place is spread between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal in the middle of the seashore. It was a small kingdom, the capital of which was Arcot. The Nawab of Karnataka was under the supremacy of the Nizam of Hyderabad but he ruled as an independent ruler. There was great instability in Karnataka near about A.D. 1746 which encouraged both the Companies and they began to fight each other for trade monopoly and political influence. The battle which continued between the two for twenty years passed through three stages : the First Karnataka War, the Second Karnataka war and the Third Karnataka war. In the beginning of A.D. 1763 the condition of the French became so deplorable that it led to the establishment of the English rule both in trade and politics but the French were finally crushed in A.D. 1818.

The condition in the fifth decade of the 18th century were more favorable to the English than the French. Bombay was the most famous colony of the English on the western shore. The French had no colony there. The English also had two colonies in Calcutta and madras on the Eastern shore and the French had established themselves in Pondicherry and Chandranagar. Comparatively, the colonies of England were much more significant than the French colonies. The English trade was quite developed during this period. The French knew well that they would not be able to defeat the English in trade, so they thought it worthwhile to take advantage of the deplorable contemporary political situation. The English were also not lagging behind for they had their own ambitions.

The European races could fulfill their trade and political ambitions through military and diplomatic means; therefore, they began to increase their military power. The French recruited the Indians in their army and trained them in French military system and the English trained the Indians in their own style. At that time the Indians had no national awakening. They joined the foreign forces only for mercenary reasons.

Fundamental Causes of rivalry between the English and the French

1.  Both the English and the French companies wanted to establish their monopoly in the external trade of India.

2.  Both wanted to oust the other from India so that their monopoly could be established and political ambitions might also be fulfilled. Both wanted to take advantage of the weak political condition of India.

3.  Both England and France were staunch rivals in Europe. France was anxious to establish its supremacy in Europe and England in order to maintain balance of power in Europe opposed the efforts of France.

4.  Both England and France were having deep and open rivalry in the field of colonization. Both had their colonies in North America and both were anxious to swallow up the colonies of the other.

Under such circumstances it was natural that neither of the two would leave any stone unturned to turn out the other from India. The mutual rivalry among the two was forcing them to have a conflict with each other.

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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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