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CONQUEST's of EUROPEAN Powers, fince the downfall of the
I AMONG the new powers that arose on the downfall of the Mogul empire, we must not forget to mention the French and English. As for the Portuguese, their power had past its meridian, before this period : besides, their views being (apparently) confined altogether to traffick, they wisely made choice of insular fituations ; such as Goa, Bombay, Salfette, Diu, &c.; and never appear to have possessed any very confiderable extent of territory, although they kept on foot a large army of Europeans. The Dutch system was nearly the same : and their prosperity, in a great measure, grew out of the misfortunes of the Portuguefe; who having fallen under the dominion of Spain, became obnoxious as well to the jealousy of rivalship, as to the revenge of the Hollanders.
The French power was but of short duration, but remarkably brilliant. It was a bright meteor, that dazzled at first, but which foon burnt itself out, and left their East India Company in utter darkness.' It commenced during the government of M. Dupleix at Pondicherry, in 1749. The French having assisted a Soubah of the Deccan in mounting the throne, attended his future steps with an army, and established an influence in his councils, that promised to be permanent: but which vanished very early, by the mere breath of Court intrigue : for while M. Buffy, at the head of the French army, was at Sanorè, in the western quarter of the peninfula (in 1756) a quarrel with the Minister of the Soubah, effected the dismiffion of the French. They were then compelled to retreat through an enemy's country for near 300 miles, until they reached
HydraHydrabad ; where they fortified themselves, and waited for a reinforcement from Masulipatam, their nearest settlement; which was upwards of 200 miles from Hydrabad. Great ability was discovered by M. Bussy, on this memorable occasion: an account of which, as well as of M. Buffy's warfare and negociations in general, will be found at large, in Mr. Orme's invaluable history of the military transactions of the British nation, in Hindoostan. At Hydrabad, the quarrel was compromised : and the following year (1757) and part of the next, was spent by M. Bussy, in reducing the refractory Rajahs, or Zemindars, in the northern circars ;, and in affisting the Soubah in the execution of his own plans. But in the midst of these transactions, he was suddenly recalled into the Carnatic, by M. Lally, who determined to collect the whole force of the French, within that quarter : so that the Soubah was left at full liberty to accede to the proposals of the English. Lally was also justly accused of being jealous of the fame of M. Bussy.
The circars, the fruits of M. Bully's wars and negociations in the Deccan (and which had been obtained in 1753) yet remained to the French : but Colonel Clive, who was at this time Governor of Bengal, with that promptitude and decision which so strongly marked his character, seized on them, with a force from Bengal, in 1759; although they were defended by a much fuperior one ; and the French were deprived of resources to carry on the war in the Carnatic. So that Lally failed to accomplish the purposes for which the French interest in the Deccan had been relinquished; pamely, that of expelling the English from the Carnatic : for, on the contrary, the French not only lost all their possessions in that quarter, but in every other part of India. Thus, their political existence may be said
be said to begin, in 1749 ; and to end in 1761, by the capture of their principal settlement, Pondicherry. They appear to have been the first European power, that trained the natives of India to regular disci
pline *; as well as the first who set the example of acquiring terriş torial possessions, of any great extent, in India : in which thay have been so successfully followed by the English.
THE expedition of the British troops into Tanjore, in 1749, was the first warfare in which they were engaged, against the forces of an Indian Prince : and it proved unsuccessful, as to its main object; which was, the restoration of a deposed King, or rather Rajah, of Tanjore, who had applied for assistance to the Governor of Fort St. David. The price of this assistance, was to be the fort and territory of Devicottah ; fituated at the mouth of the Coleroon, or principal branch of the Tanjore river: and this fort, notwithstanding their want of success in the cause of the deposed Rajah, the Company's troops, aided by the fleet under Admiral Boscawen, took poffeflion of, after a short fiege.' In the following year they were called on, by the circumstances of the times, to take part in the disputed fuccession to the Nabobship of Arcot, in opposition to the French : who (as has been before observed) had taken the lead, both in the affairs of the Carnatic, and of the Deccan. We have also observed, that Nizam-al-Muluck, Soubah of the Deccan, had placed Anwar o'dien in the Nabobfhip of Arcot, (in 1743): and that the death of the fame Nizam, in 1748, had occasioned a confiderable change in the politics of the Deccan; in which the French engaged so deeply. Chunda Saib was the person whom the French wished to raise to the government of Arcot : and the expulsion of the family of Anwar o’dien, was a necessary step towards it. These contests, which had been carried on with great credit to the British arms, were put an end to, by the interference of the two East India
I am far from being well informed concerning the early history of the Portuguese in India : but by a passage in Mr. Orme’s Hifiorical Fragments, page 175, it would appear that they had not, in 1683, trained the natives to regular discipline. He says, “ The Viceroy of « Goa took the field (against Sambajee) with 1200 Europeans, and 25,000 natives of his own
“ terrirory.” From the confined limits of the Portuguese territories, we may conclude that these were the ordinary inhabitants only.
Companies, Companies, in Europe, in 1754 : and Mahomed Ally, son of Anwar o'dien, (who had fallen in the course of the war,) was left in possession of the Carnatic : or, at least, of that portion of it, which had been recovered to him, by the British arms. The particulars of these wars, will be found in Mr. Orme's history, volume the first.
...War breaking out in Europe, in 1756, the truce was reduced to a very short period.
The first object of the British Councils, was to Wrest the northern circars out of the hands of the French ; as their revenue furnished them with the means of paying their army. The second was to drive M. Buffy's force out of the Deccan, by means of an alliance with the Nizam, or Soubah. Both of these projects were at this time defeated : the first by the miscarriage of dispatches to India: the second, by the capture of Calcutta, the chief British fettlement in Bengal, in June 1756: and which induced the neceffity of relinquishing every plan of hostility in the Deccan and Carnatic: in order that a force might be spared, fufficient to accomplish the recovery of fo important a settlement as Calcutta ; on which the whole trade to Bengal depended.
Aliverdy Cawn, Nabob of Bengal, died in 1756, and was fucceeded by his grandson Surajah Dowlah. This young man either was, or pretended to be, irritated at the conduct of the English, within his dominions; and was probably, jealous of the rising power of Europeans in general, in other parts of India. He determined to expel the English (at least) from Bengal: and accordingly took their fort at Calcutta, and compelled those among them, who were not made prisoners, to retire. In the following year, an armament from Madras, under Admiral Watson and Colonel Clive, not only recovered the settlement of Calcutta, but brought the Nabob to terms. The sword, however, being thus drawn, no permanent security could be expected on the side of the intruders, unless supported by power : which could not be obtained, while a Nabob, inimical to their interests, possessed the whole power of the kingdom. Suspicions on both sides soon brought matters to a
egisis ; and Jaffer Ally Cawn, an Omrah in high trust and favour with the Nabob, was negociated with; and, on condition of their aslifting him in his views : towards the throne, engaged to be their future Ally and confederate; for, fo much were matters changed by the late essay of their strength, and by the genius and good fortune of Clive, that protection would ill express the current expectation of the British. The famous battle of Plafsey, fought in June 1757, and in which, Jaffier aided the accomplishment of their wishes, by standing neuter, laid the foundation of the future power of the British națion, in Bengal and Hindooftan. From that time, they became the arbiters of the succession to the Nabobfhip of Bengal; which speedily led to the possession of the powers of government : for Cossim Ally, who had been placed in the room of Jaffier, difliking bis situation, resolved to hazard a change at all events ; and this brought on a war, which ended in the expulsion of Coffim, and left the Bengal provinces in the possession of the Englith, who restored Jaffier to the Nabobship. He had been deposed, on a charge of imbecility, in 1760, and was restored in 1763. Cossim retired to Sujah Dowlah, Nabob of Oude, and prevailed on him to espouse his cause. v Sujah had distinguished himself in the celebrated battle of Panniput, in 1761; and is reported to have had a confiderable thare in turning the fortune of the day, at the very moment when victory inelined towards the Mahrattas. Whether he over-rated his own talents for war; or mistook the military cháracter and resources of the British, he, however, engaged too rafhly in the war: and the consequences were, ia total defeat of his forces, joined with Coflim Ally's, at Buxar, in 1764: and this was followed by the loss of all his territories, during that and the following year, o cü
Those, whose belief has been staggered by the accounts of the conquests made on the Indians and Persians, by the Grecian, Patan, and Mogul armies, may reconcile their doubts by attending to the events of their own days ; in which a handful of French troops,