In the 18th century the British eventually resulted the winners in the struggle for the control of the rich Indian principalities. But in 1748, after the first siege of Pondicherry (Pondichéry), France briefly became the most prominent amongst the political and economic powers in the Indian region. The siege is one of the pivotal events in the global power-struggle between France and England, and not just in the struggle for the subcontinent. It marked the climax of the Compagnie des Indes’ power in India and crowned the French governor Joseph-François Dupleix as the first of European nabobs. The first siege of Pondicherry is exemplary as a case study in the context of the War of the Austrian Succession. In India that war is called the First Carnatic War. The First Carnatic War began in 1745, when a British Fleet appeared on the Coromandel Coast. The French Governor Dupleix tried to have the Nawab of Arcot intervene on his side, but the Nawab decided instead to stick to his policy of neutrality. The British initially managed to capture many French merchant ships, while the French called for backup from Mauritius. In 1746 a French navy squadron arrived to the Coromandel coast under the command of Bertrand-François Mahé de la Bourdonnais, who was the famous French governor of Ile-de-France (Mauritius). In September 1746 the French captured the fortified city of Madras almost without any resistance, and the British garrison were made prisoners of war. The young Robert Clive was one of those prisoners. At this point the Nawab of Arcot abandoned his neutrality and marched with an army of 10,000 soldiers to drive the French out of Madras, but was defeated near the river Adyar (November 1747). The 29th of July, 1748, an English fleet led by Admiral Edward Boscawen approached Pondicherry, and put the city under siege (20 August-15 October 1748). The land force of the East India Company was led by Major Stringer Lawrence. Lawrence successfully foiled an attempted French surprise attack at Cuddalore (Goudelour), but was subsequently captured by a French cavalry patrol at Ariancopang (Ariacoupam) near Pondicherry, and remained a prisoner till the peace treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Boscawen had been ordered to capture and destroy Pondicherry, the main French settlement in India. But factors such as Boscawen’s lack of knowledge and experience of land offensives, the failures of the engineers and artillery officers under his command, the lack of secrecy surrounding the operation, and the skill of the French governor Dupleix all combined to thwart the attack. The British forces, amounting to some 5,000 men, only managed to capture and destroy the outlying fort of Ariancopang. This was the only British victory in the operation, and after failing to breach the walls of Pondicherry the British forces had to withdraw. Boscawen spent the monsoon season in Cuddalore. Luckily for him and his staff, when a storm hit the British outpost Boscawen was ashore, but his flagship the Namur went down with over 600 men aboard. In October 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle restored the peace between France and England, and this also brought to an end the First Carnatic War. Madras was given back to the English in exchange for some territories (Louisburg) in North America. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was in fact merely a truce, and it kept being violated by both the French and the British: thus the war was formally restarted in 1756. This book contains the first edition of a previously unpublished source: Relation du siège de Pondichéry en forme de journal [Aix-en-Provence, ANOM - Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer, Fonds des Colonies, série ‘C’, sous-série C-2-Inde, 82, ff. 81- 117]. It is an anonymous relation on the siege of Pondicherry, written in October 1748 in the French fortress of the city. The text I published is a contemporary copy of the original text, which is most likely no longer extant. There is another, almost identical transcription of this relation, less well preserved, in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris [BN, fr., 12086, ff. 1-20, Relation du siège de Pondichéry]. The book includes an essay on the figure of Dupleix as seen by French historiography, from the 18th century to the present.
|Titolo:||La Relation du siège de Pondichéry en forme de journal (1748) : un episodio chiave della rivalità anglo-francese in India|
VAGHI, MASSIMILIANO (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-STO/02 - Storia Moderna|
|Citazione:||La Relation du siège de Pondichéry en forme de journal (1748) : un episodio chiave della rivalità anglo-francese in India / M. Vaghi. - Milano : CUEM, 2010. - ISBN 9788860012715.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||05 - Volume|