The Siege of Arcot (1751) was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company. So these wars lay the founding stone of Modern India which is very much part of UPSC mains GS paper 1


    • Facts about Second Anglo Carnatic war
    • Course of Second  Anglo carnatic war
    • Effects of Second Anglo Carnatic war


  • Fought between: Different claimants to the posts of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Nawab of the Carnatic; each claimant being supported either by the British or the
  • People involved: Muhammad Ali and Chanda Sahib (for the Nawabship of the Carnatic or Arcot); Muzaffar Jung and Nasir Jung (for the post of the Nizam of Hyderabad).
  • When: 1749 – 1754
  • Where: Carnatic (Southern India)


  • The first Carnatic War demonstrated the power of the well-trained European army vis-à-vis the less than efficient armies of the Indian
  • The French Governor-General Dupleix wanted to take advantage of this, and assert influence and authority over the Indian kingdoms, so as to make way for a French Empire in India. So, he was looking to interfere in the internal power struggles among Indian
  • Even though England and France were officially at peace with each other as there was no fighting in Europe, the political climate in Southern Indian at that time led their companies to fight in the
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah I died in 1748 starting a power struggle between his grandson (through his daughter) Muzaffar Jung, and his son Nasir
  • Anwaruddin Khan, the Nawab of the Carnatic supported Nasir Jung’s claim to the throne of the
  • This led Muzaffar Jung to instigate war with French support against Anwaruddin, called the Battle of
  • Anwaruddin Khan had died in the Battle of Ambur in
  • Now there was a tussle for the Nawabship of Carnatic between Muhammad Ali (son of Anwaruddin) and Chanda Sahib (son-in-law of Dost Ali Khan, a former Nawab of the Carnatic).
  • This led to a tripartite understanding among the various powers. This is explained in the table below:



Claimants for Nizam’s post (Hyderabad)

Claimants for Nawabs  post (Carnatic)

European Support

1 Muzaffar Jung Chanda Sahib French
2 Nasir Jung Muhammad Ali English


  • After Anwaruddin Khan’s death, his son Muhammad Ali fled to Trichy. Then, Chanda Sahib was proclaimed the Nawab of the
  • Then, French forces marched on to the Deccan and fought and killed Nasir
  • Subsequently, Muzaffar Jung was installed as the Nizam of
  • However, Muzaffar Jung was killed a couple of months later and the French installed Salabat Jung (another son of Asaf Jah I) as the
  • In return, the French acquired from the Nizam four rich districts on the Coromandel Coast (Northern Sircars).
  • At this time, Trichy was under the control of Chanda Sahib and the French. But the Trichy Fort was held by Muhammad
  • To undermine the growing French power in the region, the English decided to support Muhammad
  • Robert Clive (later Governor of Bengal) attacked Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, as a divisionary tactic. This is called the Siege of Arcot, in which the British
  • After this many battles were fought and Chanda Sahib was killed in one of
  • Thus, Muhammad Ali was installed as the Nawab of the
  • The war ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry in


  • Although the French gained the Northern Sircars, Dupleix was criticised by the French authorities because of heavy losses to the French
  • Dupleix was called back to France. He was replaced by Charles-Robert Godeheu who signed the Treaty of
  • As per the treaty, the English and the French were to indulge only in commercial activities in India and not interfere in sub-continental political


Carnatic wars fought in south were the starting point of fights between colonial powers to establish themselves in Indian sub continent. To read more articles on Modern India History click here