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The legacy of French rule in India (1674-1954)

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Animesh Rai

Chapter 1. The Beginnings

A special case of colonization: the commercial occupation of Pondicherry

Texte intégral

  • 1 Haudrère, p. 387. Failure to do so would mean that the French would have had to buy the same produ (...)
  • 2 Haudrère, p. 28. It also established itself politically on the island of Bourbon (present day Reun (...)
  • 3 Haudrère, p. 976.
  • 4 Miles, p. 2.

1The beginning of French presence in India was marked by the advent of the commercial activities of the East India Company. In order to counter the perceived threat on prices of goods sold by other European nations, the French East India Company was established under the tutelage of Colbert.1 These commercial activities subsequently led to the establishment of a political presence.2 The French Company had initially to deal with obstacles set up by the already established English and Dutch companies. Once it overcame these obstacles, it had to find ways of penetrating the interior of the country in order to expand its profit making enterprise. This was done by striking deals with indigenous chieftains who were often on warring terms with one another. The Europeans, and in this case the French, were given land concessions and trading rights in exchange for the military support and training provided by them to the native factions.3 By taking these incremental steps, the French established a significant presence in South India so much so that by the middle of the eighteenth century, the possibility of a French India could appear as probable4 as the eventual establishment of a British India.

  • 5 L’aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, pp. 42-43.

2In order to trade, one had to create “enclaves,” that is a collection of lodgings and stores constructed on land of which the Company was the proprietor, with the possibility of storing cargoes while waiting for the arrival of vessels. A complement of French personnel located on site was in charge of purchases, sales, dispatch and accounting. This installation was relatively easy to conduct, as the local authorities were sympathetic towards the settlement of foreign traders. Moghul rule proved to be completely tolerant towards foreign communities, to whom it gave large administrative and judicial autonomy. As far as the Hindu princes were concerned, they made a clear distinction between dharma, derived from religious inspiration and the domain of priests, and artha the domain of warriors and sovereigns, governed according to principles of efficiency. Just like the Moghuls, they sought out foreign merchants, who poured in vast amounts of money to obtain authorization for acquiring territory, and then brought large quantities of precious metals, silver and gold, to buy finished products or raw materials. These precious metals, transformed into monetary coins, enabled the Indian economy to function smoothly. Lastly, the artisans, profiting from sales to the Europeans, enriched themselves and were, consequently, not too reluctant to accept tax assessments.5

  • 6 L’aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, pp. 42-43.

3The Europeans, on the other hand, in order to obtain permission for settling down and then for obtaining privileged commercial rights, would voluntarily agree to become part of the network of lords and vassals and to be in a subordinate juridical position with respect to the governors who, during the 17th and especially the 18th centuries, tended to become more and more independent of the authority of the Moghul Emperor. Some even declared themselves to be sovereigns.6

  • 7 L'aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, p. 45.
  • 8 Rose Vincent, p. 50.

4The French knew the region well, as since 1617 two ships from the Falklands had disembarked there, and in 1664 the merchants of Saint-Malo, in a letter addressed to the king, had said that one of their more notable experiences was the generosity of Indians as well as their sympathy towards the French temperament. Their sympathy was so powerful and effective that, in comparison, everything else which the other foreigners had ever exploited at their place by the force of arms was compensated for by the largeness of their hearts, hence the Nayacq of Pondicherry, sitting on the Coromandel coast, had allowed the construction and maintenance within his jurisdiction of a fortress for the safety of French commerce.7 In this connection, urbanism was also a major preoccupation of François Martin, one of the founders of Pondicherry. Undoubtedly, he did not have any grand political design. He was nothing more nor less than an excellent administrator dedicated to the prosperity of his town and to the development of commerce. According to him, a well-defended town and well-constructed houses would attract artisans.8

  • 9 Rose Vincent, p. 57.

5Thus, at the beginning of the 18th century, one could say that the project, which was envisaged by Colbert half a century earlier, had succeeded. The French had at their disposal in India permanent installations, with a solid point of support in Pondicherry. The commercial relations between France and India developed rapidly, as the taste for Indian goods spread among the French. Between 1600 and 1664, in 64 years, the French had sent to India 33 ships, that is one every two years. Between 1664 and 1719, in 54 years, they had sent 209 ships, that is three or four per year; between 1720 and 1770, in 50 years, 533 ships, that is ten to eleven per year, in spite of the wars which disrupted commerce.9

  • 10 Haudrère, p. 24.

6While this flow of trade flourished, the number of French arms remained vastly inferior to that of the British and of the Dutch. How could one explain this difference? Some people attributed this to the extreme individualism of the French whom they viewed as incapable of bringing great projects to successful conclusions. Hence Louis XIII declared in 1626 that this lack of order was due to the division among his subjects who, wanting to go their own ways and thinking only of their own profits suffered great losses due to their lack of a team spirit. Arguably the patriotism of certain middle-class men of Dieppe, Rouen and Saint-Malo, determined to defend their commercial autonomy and more so the commercial rivalry between Normandy, pioneer of the penetration into the Indian Ocean at a time when the ports of Brittany were lacking in financial resources, and Brittany, enriched during the 16th century by trade with Spain prevented the setting up of a great national enterprise. Finally, Paris was not London. The French capital did not have at its disposal direct access to the sea; it did not have the economic muscle of the British capital. In London, the only great port of the British Isles, constituting the hub of commercial activities, the East India Company found a natural home and had easy access to financial resources. From 1664, Colbert endeavored to remedy this problem by creating in the image of the other powers of Western Europe a great East India Company.10

  • 11 Haudrère, p. 25.

7It was a reflection of the specific evolution of the prices of Asian goods: in a climate of general decline, the prices of certain goods continued to rise, in particular those which came from the East such as silk or cotton fabrics from whence the interest of new suppliers. The rise in prices was accompanied by a constant demand. Due to a lack of more precise sources, the inventory of the collection of Cardinal Mazarin, set up in 1661, demonstrated a taste for Asian objects: it consisted of seven hundred pieces, porcelain, fabrics, folding screens, having come from regions with which France did not yet have regular commercial relations. The policy of Colbert must be placed in this perspective. It consisted in procuring to the kingdom the usefulness of Asian trade and to prevent the English and the Dutch from being the sole beneficiaries as they had done so until now. To create a big national company, Colbert endeavored to copy the very prosperous Dutch enterprise. Firstly, learning a lesson from the failure of Richelieu, he avoided putting the sum total of French trade within the hands of only one association but, like in the Netherlands, he multiplied the companies: the East India Company, the West India Company, the Northern Company and so on.11

  • 12 Haudrère, p. 28.
  • 13 Haudrère, p. 40.

8Philippe Haudrère says that the East India Company of Colbert was an economic failure and a relative success politically. It was an economic failure because it was not able to underwrite the entirety of its stocks, a capital of at the most twelve million was put together and that too due to great ministerial pressures. It was also an economic failure because the deficit became significant since 1675, the Company being able to subsist itself mainly due to the King’s aid and by the sale of a part of its fleet, before the definitive liquidation in 1684. It was a political success in that the French established themselves for good in the Reunion Islands and in India; a regular current of exchange was created. Finally, this construction was a result of the perseverance and of the doggedness of Colbert. However, there was a heavy price to pay for this success. It could have been achieved at a lower cost, if the management of the Company had been less artificial and more commercial. The war with Holland and the temporary loss of Pondicherry in 1693 brought the Company to the verge of bankruptcy. Loans were the only resource left.12 The setting up of the East India Company explained itself principally by the encounter between three elements: the disastrous situation of finances in France, the prosperity of certain sectors of the great maritime trade and the desire of the Regent to innovate in financial matters.13

  • 14 Haudrère, p. 387.

9The practice of trade, the raison d’être of the Company, conformed itself to a model defined by Colbert, recalled by the cashier Dutot and which was to obtain at the least cost the spices, the drugs and other items which were not produced by their provinces, which they could not do without and which they would absolutely have had to obtain from their neighbors. If they did not go themselves to obtain these goods they would have been obliged to receive them from the Dutch or from other foreign countries and to which they would have had to pay not only the cost of the first purchase of these goods in India but also all the costs which they would have incurred in going to get them and the profits which they would have made in reselling them; this would eventually mean seven to eight times the cost of the initial purchase. Consequently, the state would lose more than seven to eight times the amount which it currently made. Thus far from this trade being a burden, one could hardly provide it with more protection and to increase it so that the provinces would not have had to depend on foreign countries to bring them these goods and that on the contrary they would be able to provide these goods to the foreign countries. In other words, one had to ensure a regular supply of the national market and to sell the surplus to foreign countries to have a commercial balance.14

  • 15 Haudrère, p. 939.

10Towards Asia, the essence of trade was carried out with the enclaves of Pondicherry and Chandernagore and revolved on provisions (rice, cattle, and poultry), cloth, and slaves or free laborers. The regulation of 1727 anticipated that a ship at least must be sent every year from Pondicherry to the islands, and thus frequency was respected. Some times the other enclaves of Asia participated in this traffic. Hence, Mahe sent certain years pepper and provisions and Canton sent drugs, porcelain and cloth.15

  • 16 Haudrère, pp. 952-953.

11In India as in China, trade consisted mainly of the exchange of precious metals with manufactured products or raw material. It must be mentioned that the predominance of silver in the dispatches raised some problems as gold was particularly in demand in India and in periods of insecurity it increased in value to the detriment of silver whose relative trend diminished. There was, however, a fundamental difference between the two regions; in China, the kinds minted in Europe or in America and the ingots were accepted in payment according to their weight and content; in India, they had to be again melted and beaten before entering commercial circulation. Until 1736, this operation took place in the hotel of finances of the Nabab of Arcot, suzerain of Pondicherry, and his treasurers levied a financial right of about 7%. On many occasions, the administrators of Pondicherry had tried to obtain from the Indian authorities the permission to mint in the colony currencies of the type of Arcot following the example of the British of Madras. All the negotiations had failed, undoubtedly because the presents demanded by the Indian authorities had seemed too high, and the French had to be content with issuing copper currencies meant only for the satisfaction of commercial exchanges in the interior of the concessions.16

  • 17 Haudrère, pp. 953-954.

12In 1736, Benoit-Dumas succeeded in obtaining the authorization which was so sought after at the conclusion of laborious negotiations, conducted by a remarkable person, Joseph Devolton, soldier of the garrison of Pondicherry originating from the area of Bar-le-Duc who after having deserted had succeeded in becoming a Moghul doctor. The agreement anticipated a present of 20 000 rupees for the Nabab of Arcot, and the payment of a right of one rupee for a thousand minted in Pondicherry to the prime minister of this Nabab, for him and his descendants; in other words, the Company was committed to deliver to the treasury of the Nabab 50 000 pagodas of silver ware by vessel arriving from France at a fixed and invariable price. In spite of these rather heavy conditions, the agreement allowed a rather significant profit. It procured to the Company profits of 400 000 pounds per year so much so that to the benefits on the cargo destined for French trade was added the right to cash conversion. On average the equivalent of five to six million pounds that is around twenty tons of silver, was minted every year.17

  • 18 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome V, Intro, p. 17.

13Trade, as one can presume it to be, was not very prosperous from 1757 and especially from 1758. It was not war, however, which did it the most harm; the sea remained almost always free and one could with impunity navigate in the seas of India as well as in the Atlantic, but money was almost always in short supply. The Company relied too much on the revenues from the peninsula to meet the military expenses in sufficient quantity and as these revenues were less than what was expected, the Conseil Supérieur had to allocate the entirety of funds meant for trade to the needs of the army.18

  • 19 Haudrère, p. 407.

14Overall, the percentage of goods increased regularly to reach more than half the value of cargo in the period 1765 to 1770. The goods in the British company increased in the same manner since 1735, but were always proportionately more until they reached more than two thirds in 1765-1770. This disequilibrium was a reflection of the commercial successes of the British. However, it must be pointed out that this prominent place of goods in the British cargo already existed before 1735 when the rivalry between the other commercial nations and the British was not intense. What was the share of each of the establishments in these dispatches? India received the major portion: based on the memorandum of evidence justifying the Company’s recall of Dupleix, the average was 68% between 1736 and 1756 with extremes of 22% in 1748-1749 and 82% in 1740-1741. The dispatches diminished in relative value between 1764 and 1769 with an average of 25%.19

  • 20 Haudrère, p. 408.

15Of what products did the cargoes of goods consist? First of all, they consisted of what was necessary for the subsistence of Europeans established in Asia, notably of foodstuffs, such as wheat, salted meat, wines and brandies which made up at least one fourth of the cargoes of goods. The enclaves required Bordeaux wine, some Xérès, some Madera, brandies from Armagnac and from Nantes. Pondicherry consumed or sold 8000 to 10 000 bottles of Bordeaux per year, 20 000 liters of brandy, 20 000 liters of Madera; Chandernagore, the same quantity of Bordeaux wines, 60 000 liters of Madera and 30 000 litres of brandy. Arms and materials for the navy consisted of 7 to 10% of the value of the cargo. Two products had a major importance, metals and cloth, as they found an outlet among the natives, resulting in a profit of an average of 25%. Flat and square iron were in demand in India, in Arabia, in the Philippines; the annual average of the cargoes was more than 600 000 pounds in weight, however the Councils did not stop asking for more so that they could load them in ships traveling through India.20

  • 21 Haudrère, p. 408.
  • 22 Haudrère, p. 409.

16Copper sold well in Pondicherry but its outlet was uncertain in the rest of Asia. On the contrary, tin was in demand everywhere and its annual average was 600 000 pounds in weight in the cargoes to India, China and the Mascarenes. This item was used to manufacture cannon balls, various utensils, to garnish the inside of cases of tea, drugs or silk products. Tin was sought in India as well as in China but it occupied a relatively small place in the French cargoes, undoubtedly because of the competition from the British and especially from the Dutch.21 Cloth was sold with a moderate degree of success in the first half of the eighteenth century and with difficulty in the second half. The stock comprised the range of different qualities: one found beautiful material such as the woolen cloth of Sedan and Amiens, those of less good quality from Languedoc but the cloth of good quality was more abundant due to the inferiority of the small French drapery which could not compete with the British production.22

  • 23 Haudrère, p. 411.

17Can one say that the dispatch of materials and goods allowed the French to rival with the other powers, notably the British whose commercial organization was closest to theirs? The figures can answer this question. Until 1735, the place of the French was limited and their dispatches were barely a third of those of the British. Between 1735 and 1740, the French Company asserted its commercial presence in Asia: its dispatches on average were annually over 1,30,00000 pounds, while those of the British were of 1,45,00000 pounds. The conflicts and their maritime developments halted this expansion: the British, sure of the mastery of the Atlantic could continue their activities while the French were constrained to limit theirs. After the Austrian war of succession, the dispatches of the French were two thirds those of the British; after the Seven Years’ War, they were one third. From 1765 onwards, the comparison between the dispatches of the Companies was no longer significant as the British found in Asia resources which enabled them to diminish their dispatches.23

  • 24 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, Intro, p. v

18The acquisition of territory for trading purposes played itself out in various ways throughout. Karaikal was, by its topographical situation, outside the theater of political activity. It was not of great use for the commercial operations of the East India Company. Its territory being principally agricultural, it served the purpose of fulfilling the aim of its founder, Governor Dumas, of being the attic of Pondicherry.24

  • 25 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, Intro, p. v (...)

19Comprising the entire delta of the Cauvery, the kingdom of Tanjore was always the most fertile and the richest region of the entire Coromandel coast. With the facilities that it had from the estuaries of the various branches of this river, it used to dispatch by sea the surplus of its rice production to various parts of India and of Ceylon. The Danes were the first to realize the advantages that this country could offer for the sale of European products. They established themselves in Tranquebar, in 1616, and four years later, they constructed the fort of Danesburg. Half a century later, in 1660, the Dutch established themselves towards the south in Negapatam. The prosperity that resulted from these two enclaves in the kingdom led the court of Tanjore to make offers to François Martin that resulted in a Parvana of 15 July 1688.25

  • 26 Haudrère, p. 308.

20Chandernagore, one of the smallest establishments with 940 hectares, was the most active commercially. It is located on the Hooghly, the principal branch of the Ganges, hence on the very navigable route of the very rich province of Bengal. It would be delving into very great detail to talk about the different types of goods which were produced by India; it is necessary to say that they were abundant and suitable for all kinds of trade and that, according to Dupleix, they produced considerable profits in Europe.26

  • 27 Haudrère, pp. 313-314.

21Five lodges were dependent on Chandernagore and these were simple commercial posts, meant to facilitate the purchase of products in the proximity of manufacturing regions. The largest and the most important one was that of Cassimbazar, which bought silk prepared in great quantities in the neighborhood. At the same time, it was also a political observation post near Mourchidabad, the capital of Bengal. Located on the banks of the Ganges, it was sustained by a quay adorned by bricks. And towards the land, the enclosure was formed by thin walls and slightly raised with a foundation of only half a foot high. Along the walls of half the enclosure were workshops for the manufacture of silk which could accommodate two thousand to two thousand five hundred circular plates for manufacturing silk. In the same enclosure towards the house, there was a big shop where one kept the silk that the merchants brought and those which were ready to be packed for being sent to Chandernagore. This shop was made of bricks, large and divided lengthwise into two parts by arches. The whole enclosure of the lodge was filled with everything that was necessary for the soldiers and the workers. Around thirty houses were located next to the lodge.27

  • 28 Haudrère, p. 314.

22In Patna, the last establishment in going up the river, the French were trading since 1693, but they were settled permanently only since 1728, first in a rented house then since 1734 on land with a house and warehouse which Dupleix then the head at Chandernagore, had acquired. One sold goods from Europe, especially cloth which found buyers in the north of India and one could procure oneself saltpeter sparing more than sixty per cent on the purchase of this good and some opium. Every year, when the interior political situation of the region allowed it, a convoy of boats went from Chandernagore to Patna escorted by some soldiers, with a load of merchandise from Europe and came back with a cargo of saltpeter.28

  • 29 Haudrère, p. 314.

23Dacca and Jougdia were two small lodges located on the Brahmaputra and in which the French established themselves in a stable manner since 1735. The embroideries and fine goods which constituted the stock of cargo from Bengal came from Dacca. Their value was of 400 000 rupees according to a governor of Chandernagore. In Jougdia, the Company possessed land on which there was a small shop of bricks and a bamboo house covered with leaves which served as a lodging for the boss and one found some quite ordinary cloth but of good finish for an annual sum of 130 000 rupees.29

  • 30 Haudrère, p. 315.

24Commercially, the least important dependency of Chandernagore was the lodge of Balassore, located at the outlet of the Hooghly river. Being the first settlement of the French in Bengal, in the second half of the seventeenth century, its role became negligible since 1729 when the vessels coming from Europe went up the Hooghly and did not remain in harbor in front of Balassor to receive the cargo brought from Chandernagore on light boats. The employee who directed the lodge at times bought cauris coming from the Maldives and was responsible for the transfer of courier between Chandernagore, Mazulipatam and Pondicherry and he occasionally offered shelter to the Ganges’pilots.30

  • 31 Haudrère, p. 315.

25On the Malabar coast, the Company had the enclave of Mahe, as well as the lodges of Surat and Calicut. The territory of Mahe was very small—hardly two hundred acres—in spite of the different enlargements of territories during the eighteenth century, and the population was not very large-hardly exceeding the figure of three thousand. The harbor was inhospitable during one part of the year. The advantage of the enclave lay in its location, being at the mouth of the river which traversed the regions producing pepper. The settlement was compact: it consisted of four buildings, one serving as a lodging, the second as a hospital, and two others as shops for pepper and rice. The entire setup was surrounded by a simple fence.31

  • 32 Haudrère, p. 316.

261701. The location was not very convenient as it was too far from the centers of production of pepper, the principal resource of the region. In 1710, they set up a factory on the mouth of the Mahe river and then in 1721, some negotiation, skillfully conducted, guaranteed to the French a monopoly of pepper trade in the states of the neighboring prince called Bayanor. In December 1722, on the orders of metropolitan France, the French on the Malabar coast definitively transferred themselves from Calicut to Mahe and stores meant to receive pepper were developed, the superintendents in charge of the production department estimating that it was possible to make more than 2,00000 pounds of profit per year in this trade alone. The development of this installation and the competition for the purchase of pepper led to hostility from other local sovereigns and from the British, settled in Tellichery on the other bank of the Mahe river. The employees did not refrain from denouncing to their respective managements the hindrances posed by their rivals. This can be seen in the message sent by the Mahe council to Pondicherry: “The security of this establishment and the trading interest of the Company requires absolutely that we should disallow the British and all other foreigners entry to the river and if we did not have the right or reasons for it we should find excuses. They set an example on a daily basis.”32

  • 33 Haudrère, pp. 116-117.

27The rivalry sharpened in 1724 when the French established a garrison and undertook the construction of a fort. The British first incited the opposition of Bayanor, they then provoked, in 1725, an uprising of several local sovereigns who marched towards Mahe to chase away the French. The council of Pondicherry estimating then that these new troubles originated from the same source as the first, that is due to the jealousies of the British, who, not being able to directly attack French trade, sought to disrupt it by secret intrigues, decided then to send a squadron of five ships, set up by a part of the garrison of Pondicherry, and put under the joint leadership of the Chevallier de Pardaillan, lieutenant of the king and of Simon de la Farelle, major of the troops of Pondicherry. The landing of these troops took place without any incident and the fight between Indians in which participated notably Mahé de la Bourdonnais, ended with the victory of the French. Henceforth the Company was solidly established in Mahe; however, it had been obliged to spend more than two million pounds for these military operations, which weighed heavily on its budget in as much as it was not able to obtain, as it hoped to, the support of the royal navy.33 An agreement signed on March 20, 1728 between the head of the French establishment and the director of the British enclave of Tellicherry recognized the existence of both territories. The concerned parties agreed never to mutually interfere in their establishments and to never attack each other’s boats as soon as they came within the range of vision from Mahe or Tellicherry even if there was a war in Europe between the two nations.

  • 34 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome V, Gaudart, pp. 47-48.

28On 4 July 1784, a memorandum on Mahe by Lagrenée sought to demonstrate that Mahe did not have the advantages that one would expect from the headquarters of the French establishments in India. He examines the following two points: 1) Is Mahe located in such a place that it might be easily defensible and be, at all times, of prompt aid to the other French establishments of India? 2) Is it located in a region where it might supply a lot of goods for the freights of the ships, which return to Europe? Lagrenée responded negatively to both questions.34

  • 35 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome II, Gaudart, p. 5.
  • 36 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome II, Gaudart, p. 13.

29In June 1789, in a letter to Conway, Tipu, having informed the former of the rumor about the Dutch ceding their settlement of Cochin to the British, tells him of the advantages the French would gain from negotiating with the Dutch for the acquisition of this territory.35 On October 5, 1789, the count of Conway left instructions to the Chevalier de Fresne, the Commandant at Pondicherry, to the effect that Pondicherry having been reduced to “the state of a simple enclave guarded by Indian troops, the Sipahis are destined to do nothing else but keep the police.” The administrators would have to apply themselves to developing trade, which was reduced to the export of salt to Bengal, to render prompt and impartial justice and to increase public revenues.36

  • 37 Haudrère, p. 333.
  • 38 Owen, p. 725.
  • 39 Haudrère, p. 176.
  • 40 Miles, p. 3.

30The principal protagonist in this narrative is François Joseph Dupleix. He was the architect who prepared the blueprint for a potential French empire in India. He was, par excellence, a product of the East India Company, who rose within its ranks serving first in the Advisory Council of the Company in Pondicherry, then as the sectional head in Chandernagore before becoming the Governor of Pondicherry heading the French Government in India.37 It is an irony of fate that his downfall which is symbolized by his eventual recall to France by the East India Company was caused not by his foes in India but by clever machinations by the British, by his rivals in France38 and, most importantly, by the stockholders of the East India Company who were dissatisfied with the financial statements of the Company.39 With the departure of Dupleix began the downfall of the stronghold of the French epitomized by the singular personality of the latter.40

  • 41 Haudrère, p. 176.

31In terms of the recall of Dupleix, one can ask oneself if the stockholders and the managing agents could exercise an influence on the management of the Company and, more generally, on the royal policy. The reply is yes as long as all the demands are not at odds with the aims of this policy which was the case during the recall of Dupleix. The primary cause of his recall was not, as Dupleix would have liked to have believed, an injunction made by the British to the ministers of Louis XIV but a concession given to the stockholders.41

  • 42 Miles, p. 3.

32William Miles says that for the French, the hopes and the dreams of a French empire associated with the eighteenth century are symbolized by Dupleix and that he took France to the heights of its power in India through his stewardship of the East India Company. He says that historians have rated Dupleix very highly. He quotes Ananda Ranga Pillai who said that, “no one else is possessed of the quick mind with which he is gifted. In patience he has no equal. He has peculiar skill in carrying out his plans and designs in the management of affairs and in governing.” Miles also quotes a later commentator who said about Dupleix the following words: “He possessed that insight of statesmanship which can divine a change in the balance of political forces when it is actually taking place rather than years later, when it has become obvious to all.” According to Miles, Dupleix can be credited with envisioning India’s readiness for European intervention. This intervention could take place militarily as well as diplomatically through politics. According to Miles, Dupleix, by playing one side against the other in the factional struggle in the Carnatic was able to establish control over the region.42

  • 43 L'aventure des Français en Inde XVIIe-XXe siècles, par Rose Vincent, Editions Kailash, 1995, p. 79

33The long war had revealed to Dupleix the fragility of trade. Until then, he had depended solely on gold and silver, which the ships brought from France. Only one of them had to be attacked and sunk for the town to be asphyxiated. Pondicherry had no hinterland, which could help it to breathe, to live. The idea of enlarging the territory grew out of this necessity. Dupleix was farsighted. He was a man of distant schemes and of subtle intrigues. He calculated that if he helped his friend Chanda Sahib to reconquer his throne of the Carnatic, he could undoubtedly, in gratitude, obtain Villenour. It was near Pondicherry, a small town where it would be very profitable to install a cloth mill dependent solely on the Company.43

  • 44 Rose Vincent, pp. 81-82.
  • 45 Rose Vincent, p. 82.

34In Paris, in spite of the constant support of his brother the farmer-general Dupleix de Bacquencourt, the policy of Dupleix was not well understood. Parisian society and the “philosophes,” with Voltaire at the head, were not interested in what could be happening at the other end of the world. Trade had not regained its pre-war splendor, and the Company could not easily reconcile itself to the slipping of a mercantile activity towards territorial ambitions. The first signal of alarm was the acquittal, by a close shave, of La Bourdonnais.44 In reality, Dupleix had ceased to understand Paris from which he had been away for more than thirty years: he had allowed himself to be enchanted by the magic of India.45

  • 46 Rose Vincent, p. 84.

35He had also asked Paris for new reinforcements and in 1753 sent a report to the Company in which he explained his policy. Trade, according to him, was too fragile if it depended solely on the export by sea “of bullion.” The Company needed a territorial base, whose fixed revenue would stabilize economic exchanges. And he cited the success of the Dutch in Java and Sumatra, which was due, according to him, to the prodigious hinterland, which supported their trade. Dupleix was also the first to formulate a theory which would influence all of the 19th century, and which would be adopted a few years later by his enemy Robert Clive with, as we know, what success. This policy, conceived of course in the interests of Europeans and which brought nothing to the exploited poor, had nevertheless allowed the emergence, in Pondicherry, of a prosperous middle class, artisans, businessmen and intermediaries, undoubtedly for the most part banias. Dupleix’s report could have been of interest to the Company. But it was too late: his time had come.46

  • 47 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 442.
  • 48 Ibid, p. 442.

36According to the report of Lescallier, Commissaire civil, at the National Convention and at the Conseil Exécutif on 15 October 1794, France could become rich, powerful and respected in India if in response to England’s policy of encroachment, of domination and of conquest, it adopted one based on principles of justice, loyalty and of goodness. It would then become the “liberator of India, a majestic duty to which Indians of all castes and of all the religions are tacitly calling us as their unique hope.”47 In order for this to happen, it was not necessary that it become a big territorial power. It would be sufficient for it to occupy a few points with “the consent and the wish of the Indians.”48

  • 49 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 397.

37Earlier on 26 May 1793, in the note accompanying his letter, Lescallier asked that the natives, born in the French territories, might become French citizens if in addition to the conditions required for naturalization, they added the following: 1) To be subject to French law in their civil actions; 2) To be born of a legitimate marriage between father and mother, who have never been in a state of servitude or of domesticity; 3) Not to be a descendant of the caste of pariahs; 4) To know how to read, write and speak French.49 The third point is particulary interesting and ironic in the context of the category of renonçants, that is those natives who at the end of the nineteenth century gave up their Indian nationality in favor of French nationality and did happen to belong largely to the caste of pariahs. Contemporary Franco-Pondicherrians, that is, French nationals of Indian origin who during the 1962 de jure transfer of the former French territories to the Indian government opted for French nationality are mostly descendants of renonçants. There is a subconscious fear among many of these Franco-Pondicherrians of being rejected by France and, hence, when asked whether they consider themselves to be French or Indian they immediately assert their French nationality. This subconscious fear can be explained in part by the fact of pariahs being the outcastes in Indian society.

  • 50 Rose Vincent, p. 94.

38The Portuguese made no distinction between castes and, consequently, the contempt that Indians had towards the pariahs extended towards the Portuguese, and has continued since then. Even though the other Europeans did not ignore the sensitivity of Indians on this issue, they did not have more consideration towards this than the Portuguese: they lived in India as they live in France, England and in Holland, without refraining oneself and without coming to terms, as much as it would be possible to do so, with the customs of the nation. This is what principally caused this aversion of Indians towards Europeans and which is addressed extensively by the letters of the missionaries.50

  • 51 Catalogues des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, pp. 394-395

39The Topas, who were natives subject to French law in their civil action, enjoyed rights of citizens only under certain conditions. They had the right to vote in the primary assemblies and the right to deliberate in the Commons’ Assembly but were not eligible to vote in the latter. Moreover, they were also subjected to conditions imposed on French citizens, namely that of being born in legitimate marriage “between father and mother who have never ceased to be free” and that of having to “know how to read and to speak French”.51

  • 52 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 68.

40In a memorandum of 16 October 1790 a petition was made to the colonial assembly for including the Topas on the electoral lists with all the rights of active citizens in the same category as the Métis. This distinction, which did not exist at the time of the formation of the representative committee, had been established for the election of the colonial assembly and was the motivating factor for this protest.52

  • 53 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome 2, Gaudart, pp. 234-235.

41On October 15, there was an assembly of French citizens who demanded that the National Guard be composed only of Europeans and of sons of Europeans (both males and females). This proposal led to a protest by the Topas who, in a meeting held on 30 October, invoked their right to be part of this Guard. The assembly maintained its wish to disallow the presence of men of color and it was decided that the formation of the National Guard would be suspended until the national assembly made a decision.53

  • 54 Résumé des Actes de l’Etat Civil de Pondichéry de 1736 à 1760, Alfred Martineau, Intro, p. I.

42This segregation played itself out in other ways too. For example, in the Résumé des Actes de l’Etat Civil de Pondichéry de 1736 à 1760, unlike the first volume which brought together all the certificates of persons, whoever they may be, born, married or dead in Pondicherry, this volume comprised only the certificates of the most notable people, of European origin. There was really no great interest in publishing the others. The example for this exclusivity was set by the editors of these certificates, who, from 1736 onwards had been in the habit of keeping two kinds of registers, one reserved for Europeans only, the other meant for all Catholics, no matter what their origin.54

  • 55 Les “Créoles” ou descendants d’Européens à Pondichéry, Tirouvanziam-Louis, Lourdes, Intro, p. 1.

43The “descendants of Europeans” or “Créoles” of Pondicherry today represent less than 1% of the population of Pondicherry. Being part of a very hierarchical society, which is not integrated with the Indian economy and at odds with Indian culture, the Créoles are bound to adapt themselves to the natural evolution of Indian society in order to survive, with the exception of those who had chosen to return to France in 1952 and in 1962 after the coming into force of the treaty of Cession. Before 1962, Pondicherry was French and the Créoles had a natural base of their own. Today Pondicherry is part of India and a great number of Créoles are confronted with a very hostile environment to which they have to adapt themselves. This adaptation tends to become a long and complex socio-cultural process.55

  • 56 Les “Créoles” ou descendants d’Européens à Pondichéry, Tirouvanziam-Louis, Lourdes, pp. 199-200.

44The Créole Pondichérien came into being as a result of the contact between a population of autochthones and that of an immigrant group. Such contacts resulted from French colonial expansion which began with the existence of trading enclaves and commercial centers, having as their principal aim negotiating with the natives rather than a desire to assimilate them. This relationship between Europeans and Tamils of lower caste, developed over a relatively long period, led to the emergence of Créole speech. The spoken word is close to the vernacular language, the European component being above all lexical, and the Créole Pondichérien does not offer any written examples.56

  • 57 Haudrère, pp. 345-346.

45The Company was able to ensure the exploitation and the protection of its colonial domain with a small number of Europeans as it largely made use of native personnel. For India, based on some scattered facts, one can estimate that the number of natives employed in the administrative and commercial services was not less than a thousand of which more than three hundred were in Pondicherry and as many in Chandernagore. Among these natives, the primary place was occupied by the writers to whom the councils sometimes gave important responsibilities. The Parisian management recommended on many occasions (showing that its directives were not always obeyed) to leave them in an inferior position where they would be taking orders from the European employees. The career of Pedré Mousse who reached the rank of deputy merchant showed that the ban was easily transgressed. The same was true of the decision made by Boyelleau, the interim chief of Pondicherry in 1767 to set up a special arrangement for the métis and the Indians as: “It is a shame that these kinds of people are confused with the personnel of the Council.” The interpreters played a crucial role in the relations between Europeans and the local population. The very large number of “peons” often reaching the figure of more than two hundred were used in diverse domestic chores, especially in the transportation of mail.57

  • 58 Haudrère, p. 346.
  • 59 Haudrère, p. 347.

46Among the indigenous personnel in charge of administrative and commercial duties, one figure was predominant, that of the “courtier,” who was at the same time the representative of the natives to the Governor and a commercial intermediary between the employees and the different ranks in various professions. In all the establishments of European nations in Asia, one found this key person who was at the same time an interpreter, underwriter of contracts, an expert and guarantor. On the Coromandel and Malabar coasts he was known as the Modéliar or dobachi and in Bengal he had the less specific name of dadni or merchant. This last term aptly indicates his main role which was to make advances of funds to the merchants of the Interior and to the local producers and to estimate the amount on future deliveries. These advances, varying from ten to seventy percent of the total of the order, were covered in general by a written contract, allowing the Company to assure itself in anticipation of the next season the return cargo. In this system, based on a reciprocal understanding between Europeans and Asians, the responsibility was often kept in the same family.58 Dupleix chose as his courtier the son of Tirouvengadam, the famous Ananda Ranga Pillai of non-brahmanical religion whose journal, fortunately conserved, reflects very well the crucial position between the indigenous community and the Europeans. In Bengal, the continuity along family lines was even more distinct as, in 1735, Indinaram succeeded his father, courtier in Chandernagore, under the same terms that is: three quarters percent on the contracts that would be drafted in favor of the Company.59

  • 60 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, pp. 9-10.

47The sale of some land on February 1, 1745 to Louis Modéliar illustrates the role of the courtier. Louis Paradis, commander at Karaikal, made the sale; it consisted of different plots of land located between the town of Karaikal and Cotchéry. Louis Modéliar was the courtier of the Company in Karaikal. He was getting ready to cultivate all these pieces of land and to divide the revenue with the Company in a proportion fixed by the contract at thirty percent in 1749, with an increase of five percent every year until it reached 50 percent from 1753 onwards.60

  • 61 Haudrère, p. 956.
  • 62 Haudrère, pp. 957-958.

48The manner of buying was quite idiosyncratic. All the merchants were assembled in the shop and sat on the floor forming a circle according to their custom. The courtier played the role of an interpreter. When one of the merchants had shown his silk and the employee of the Company found it admissible, he told the courtier the price he would want for it and all this without speaking.61 For the fabrics, such as the muslin of Bengal or the painted cloth or guineas of the Coromandel coast, there were long delays. During the course of the month of May, the merchants were assembled by the courtier, the latter presenting them to the director of the enclave who announced the quantity of the necessary goods and the price at which they would be bought. The merchants would send their agents who would fan out in the neighboring area and place their orders to the weavers. The merchants would make advances to the weavers and would themselves receive down payments from the courtier as the vessels from Europe arrived by turn. The field of action of these agents extended very far hence in Pondicherry according to the diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai their activities extend 120 km northwards, 160 km to the east and 90 km to the south. During the month of October, the goods would begin to enter the stores and when a critical amount had been collected, the visits would begin. In Pondicherry, the visit took place in the fortress where all the shops were located in a spacious and clear covered market, which made it very convenient for this operation. Those employees who were selected for this purpose inspected the raw cloth then the pieces which they received were opened by the natives appointed for this purpose who gave it to the launderers of the Company who stamped with its mark each piece at its head. This visit, constituting the acceptance of the merchandise, was particularly difficult to accomplish and it required a great deal of experience: “most of the merchandise arrived in November and December, the employees were then compelled in order to expedite the vessels to make their visit hastily and passed, usually haphazardly, as of top quality what often belonged only to the second and the muslins required such attention that the oldest and the most experienced people were always making mistakes everyday.” The excellent quality of the cloth brought by the French in Europe came from the great care given to this operation of the visit, whereas the British and the Dutch were more concerned with quantity at the expense of quality.62

  • 63 Haudrère, p. 346.
  • 64 Les grandes pages du <<journal>> d’Ananda Ranga Pillai, Préface de Jean Deloche, p. 7.

49Ananda Ranga Pillai was also the Dubash or translator of Dupleix. He straddled two worlds: that of his master Dupleix and that of his native milieu. The East India Company institutionalized the role and function of the Dubash.63 Dubashes served as intermediaries between the East India Company and the indigenous traders of the hinterlands. Ananda Ranga Pillai provides the best understanding of the period during which the French rule reached its zenith and of its gradual decline. The Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai very perceptively portrays aspects of life during this period. His famous house in Pondicherry is a symbol of the synthesis of French and Tamil cultures, which he had made. This house is characterized by its composite style, with an Indian patio surrounded by teak pillars surmounted by a European floor sustained by white columns.64

  • 65 Haudrère, pp. 745-746.
  • 66 Haudrère, p. 750.
  • 67 Haudrère, pp. 751-752.

50Around 82% of the personnel of the Company originated from the metropolis and more than half came from two areas, Île-de-France (of which 30% were from Paris) and Brittany. Then, in decreasing order of importance, the recruitment took place in three regions, the center of the Parisian basin, consisting of Paris, Soissons and Orléans, the neighboring regions of the Atlantic like Rouen, Caen, Tours, La Rochelle, Pan and lastly, the regions of the Midi, Aix, Montpellier, Toulouse and Lyon. The absence of recruitment from the east of the kingdom was notable. The employees were above all urban people two thirds of whom were born in a town. Outside the home country, the most important group originated from Asia and especially from Pondicherry, then came those who were born in the Mascarenes (2.5%) and in Ireland. The latter were often Jacobite refugees.65 The entry into service was accompanied by postings. The most sought after posts were in descending order those of China, Bengal, the rest of Asia, the Mascarenes and lastly those of the other enclaves.66 From the Mascarenes, transfers were made towards Asia, and usually there were only five employees. The passage of employees from Asia towards the Mascarenes, or from the Mascarenes towards Senegal was always the result of pressing personal reasons or of service duties. An employee would go from Pondicherry to the Île-de-France in 1737 for reasons of health, another would be sent back to the same island in 1746 as a result of difficulties with Dupleix, and a third person in 1750 after having been accused of diversion of funds. An employee of Île-de-France went to Senegal in 1743, as his too restless personality was a source of agitation in an island peopled by European colonizers.67

  • 68 Haudrère. vol. 3, p. 788.
  • 69 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 789.
  • 70 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 794.

51The officers and the employees had to find spouses among European families settled in the enclaves and for the soldiers among the Christian Topasines who were the descendants of Portuguese men and Hindu women.68 Furthermore, as Haudrère points out, the main obstacle to the multiplication of these marriages was religion; hence the widow of a French officer was against a matrimonial alliance with a Danish officer due to differing religions. Living conditions in the enclaves were difficult but they were not that much more difficult than those of some Frenchmen living in the metropolis. The Company took care of the lodging, clothing and food requirements of its soldiers and of its workers as well as the steps needed to keep them in good health. It just about fulfilled its contractual obligations.69 The absence of a distinct social life was not compensated by intellectual pursuits. In any case, the management was never interested in developing the intellectual capacities of its employees and was merely satisfied with the teaching of reading, writing as well as with the rudiments of arithmetic.70

  • 71 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 795.

52The libraries did not have many works of general culture. One fourth consisted of technical works, that is, the Dictionnaire du Commerce, the Négociant parfait, the Ordonnance de la Marine, the Ordonnances criminelles, the Coutume de Paris, and the Recueil… of Dernis for the employees; the Bombardier français de Belidor, the Routier général des Indes, the Art de naviguer, for the officers of the navy within India; the Code militaire, some Cours de mathématiques, some works on fortifications, artillery and fencing for the troop officers; some tomes of surgical works for an army surgeon. A little less than a quarter of the books dealt with religion. The remaining collections of libraries consisted of works of history and literature. One often found the Métamorphoses of Ovid and the Contes of La Fontaine as well as Racine, Molière, Corneille and above all Voltaire.71

  • 72 Haudrère, pp. 752-753.
  • 73 Haudrère, pp. 752-753.

53The employees were motivated principally by the desire to enrich themselves. This motive was less widespread among the officer class than among the other employees of the Company.72 The most lucid admitted it without any disguise. Lovet, the director of the enclave of Juda, declared that the employees placed under his orders, “have crossed the seas only to increase or restore their fortunes.” Mahé de la Bourdonnais wrote to the comptroller general: “one comes to India only for business… the contrary opinion could not be expected as it was not natural and he said elsewhere: wealth is considered to be the only fruit which one brings from India and the only one to which one is attached.” Toussaint Morellet asked to go from India to China as, wrote he, the enclave of Canton offered especially fruitful business possibilities. The young Malouin Provotin, an employee in Chandernagore, hoped to be able to quickly marry off his sisters in providing them with a dowry with the fortune he was bound to acquire. Dupleix defined this search very well when he wrote to his brother: “What a pity it would be for an employee without wealth in Europe not to be able to return without risking death by hunger? Is there anything more mortifying than to see oneself being forced to pass one’s days in climates as opposed to one’s temperament and among nations whose customs and ways are so different from one’s own? On the contrary, what joy would one not feel if, after having served well and having carefully collected something, one hoped to increase it considerably on return to France and to be able to finish one’s days in calm in the bosom of one’s nation.” The same wrote from Chandernagore in 1731: “Bengal is definitely the place to earn riches quickly… and in 1735, again: “When one would have returned to Europe, each one going back into his shell would distinguish himself only by his wealth.”73

  • 74 Rose Vincent, pp. 61-62.

54Rose Vincent also says that money was the major preoccupation of these merchants. They were, like the Company itself, far away from what became the following century the colonialist spirit. They were never troubled by dreams of conquest or of domination: all hoped, after becoming substantially rich, to come back to France, to buy some land and perhaps a chateau in the region where they were born, which would allow them at best a means of rising up the social ladder, and at least a happy old age. They also considered themselves to be mere visitors, who did not see any great merit in getting to know or to understand the country in which they lived. They rarely learned the language, which was at the time, in the region of Pondicherry, a mixture of Tamil and Portuguese; in spite of being almost under the Equator, they wore cloth suits, closed shoes and frill shirts; they fed on meat and wine, a diet which was hardly the most appropriate for this hot country. They had not acquired the ability to resist fevers, cholera, and dysentery. Consequently, many of them died before they could even return to their country in fulfillment of their dreams. The aligned tombs in the cemetry of Pondicherry are a moving picture as they exemplify the failure of these people to realize their much-cherished aspirations.74

  • 75 Haudrère, p. 810.

55All the sources are agreed that the most considerable fortunes were made from trade between different parts of India. All these people were rich. How did they enrich themselves? By navigating, said Dupleix to his friend Vincens. The same Dupleix, having become Governor of Chandernagore, described in language laced with imagery this trade in a letter addressed to La Bourdonnais: “I hope that the remedy that you are going to look for in France against the epidemic sickness of Pondicherry, misery, can be a certain thing… You can believe that I will try as much as I can to relieve those who are vigorous enough to come here”.75

  • 76 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.
  • 77 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.
  • 78 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.
  • 79 Haudrère, p. 796.
  • 80 Haudrère, p. 796.
  • 81 Haudrère, p. 796.

56The officers and employees of the Company took no interest in the life and culture of India. Dupleix, like his contemporaries, never went to the towns along the Ganges River.76 The local languages were not known. In India, between 1753 and 1765, only eight members of the personnel were able to express themselves in Persian and in Arabic and only four officers could express themselves in Tamil. Their lack of knowledge was accompanied by a certain amount of contempt, which was directed towards the political power. This is illustrated by what was said by an officer in India: “The government of these people is one of the most arbitrary… it is the height of despotism.”77 Another officer expressed his contempt of religion thus: “no other people are as superstitious as the Indians.”78 Pierre Poivre added, “the religion of the Malabars is perhaps the most extravagant, the most shameful for human reason and the most infamous that one can imagine.”79 A Navy officer summed up his attitude by saying, “What can one say about these absurdities?”80 The same critical attitude is discerned towards the animist practices of Africans.81

  • 82 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. x (...)

57The employees were for the most part quite mediocre, and it is interesting to read in the letters of the Company, in particular those of 9 November 1740 and 25 November 1741 about their qualifications. “This one,” it is said, “is quite conversant with arithmetic and a bit with books, seems to be intelligent, is gentle and of good character.” We also find that “this other person writes well, is a bit conversant with books and with arithmetic; this other one also understands arithmetic and books and seems full of good will, reads and writes quite well and is diligent.” Another person, Vincent, is also commented upon: “doesn’t have an elegant handwriting, but is quite conversant with books and knows how to calculate.”82

  • 83 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 796-797.

58However, during the same period, one could also witness the development of a movement in Metropolitan France for improving the scientific knowledge of the world. The management of the Company also participated in this movement. Silhouette sought “…knowledge about the different forests which proliferate in India and in the Indian Ocean islands”; the directors protected the mission of the astronomer Pingré in the Indian Ocean and of the linguist Anquetil-Duperron in Asia. This movement motivated by curiosity led some of the more diligent employees and officers to take interest in their surroundings. In Asia, the baton of the Jesuit missionaries and their interest in Indian civilization was passed on to the residents during the second half of the century: Jean Law, the governor, and Jean-Baptiste Gentil, the officer, became interested in Indian politics, Bussy learned the local languages; Maissin studied Hinduism; Wust and Lo-Looz tried to penetrate Indian strategy; Anquetil de Briancourt formed a natural sciences study circle. After 1765, the setting up of two masonic lodges in Pondicherry and in Chandernagore facilitated these varying kinds of research. However, these intellectual activities occupied only a very small number of employees as for most other people, the best past-time was to try to make money even though very few succeeded in this venture.83

  • 84 Rose Vincent, p. 32.
  • 85 Rose Vincent, p. 32.
  • 86 Rose Vincent, pp. 32-33.
  • 87 Rose Vincent, p. 33.

59Bernier’s experience was somewhat different. He was thirty-nine years old when he first landed in India. He stayed there for only ten years, but this was sufficient for him to have declared himself to have been very “indianized.” He was perhaps the first Frenchman to have clearly been aware that one never returns unscathed from the “Continent of Circe.”84 He wrote personally to the Minister Colbert about his reflections on the fact that a great part of the gold and the silver circulating in the world “finds different ways of entering into India from all sides and almost no outlet for coming out of it”, India herself producing no precious metals.85 Bernier informed Colbert about the religions of India, its army, the privileges and duties of the Emperor’s ministers. His remarks on the rights of ownership in India have remained especially famous and have influenced a number of theorists from Montesquieu to Karl Marx.86 Bernier also underlined the tolerance of the Muslims of the period towards other religions.87

  • 88 Owen, p. 731.
  • 89 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 3, p. 366.
  • 90 Haudrère, pp. 327-328.

60The construction and refinement of the economic engine that would generate profits for the employees, officers, the Company and the State was facilitated by the statesmanship88 of Dupleix and by the artful diplomacy89 of Ananda Ranga Pillai both of which enabled the East India Company to entrench itself in the local soil. The administrative apparatus of the East India Company was elaborated through the setting up of Advisory Councils, known as Conseils Supérieurs, in the different enclaves. The powers of these Councils did not extend very far in geographical terms but they encompassed a wide range of functions. These functions ranged from determining trading regulations to administering, policing, rendering justice and formulating codes of conduct of Europeans vis-à-vis the natives and among themselves in the territories under their jurisdiction.90

  • 91 Haudrère, pp. 327-328.

61They had first of all at their disposal very extensive commercial powers. All matters relating to this activity had to be discussed by the councilors and the decisions based on a majority vote. The Councils had at their disposition certain funds, decided about the advances to be made for supplies, clinched deals, made purchases, gave permits to private individuals for local maritime commerce when the regulations of the Company authorized such activities. They could modify the orders of the general management in trade matters, but not the distribution of funds between the enclaves, such as between Chandernagore and Pondicherry when this had been stopped by the home country. They also had administrative and disciplinary duties: they made decisions about the construction and the maintenance of ships and fortifications, kept a watch over the employees and the troops and had influence over the police. The Councils also played a political role. They were responsible for deciding about the code of conduct towards the natives and other Europeans, gave orders about acts of hostility or retaliation and dealt with peace treaties with the local powers subject to ratification by the general management. The members of the Council dispensed justice, numbering three in the civil section, five in the criminal section and one of the councilors fulfilled his duties as Prosecutor General in the name of the Company. In criminal matters, the Conseils Supérieurs played the role of first degree courts with respect to Europeans and the créoles, and of last degree in the case of the natives and the slaves. They could thus also receive the appeals of judgments of the Provincial Councils. The decrees of the Conseils Supérieurs could be amended only by the council of the king. Finally, the Conseils Supérieurs had in the concessions of the Company the duties devolved elsewhere in the seats of the admiralty.91

  • 92 Haudrère, p. 331.

62The authority of the Conseils Supérieurs was generally not well accepted by the Provincial Councils. In the Mascarenes, the skirmishes were constant until 1734; in India, Pondicherry complained about being badly obeyed, Chandernagore and Mahe about being badly commanded and the Provincial Councils made sure that one was not considerate enough towards them. The distance and the slowness of communications impeded the execution of orders and the orders and instructions had become irrelevant by the time they were received. Certain persons were not amenable to taking orders; thus in 1731, Dupleix, the director in Bengal, forced by his Council, took advantage of the order given by the management to the ships of Europe to return straightaway from the exit of the Ganges to the metropolis, without stopping in Pondicherry and to send them directly to France. The number of provincial councilors was in proportion to the importance of the enclave: Chandernagore had seven and Mahe had three. The councilors were recruited among the employees of an immediately inferior rank. All of them were not resident members; the heads of lodges who often had the title of councilors signed resolutions when they were present at headquarters.92

  • 93 Haudrère, p. 332.
  • 94 Haudrère, p. 333.

63The powers given to the heads were extensive. The most prestigious among them, the one who was placed at the head of the establishments in India was in the middle of the 18th century: “Governor of the towns and forts of Pondicherry, and Commander General of the French establishments located on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts and in the Ganges, president of all the Conseils Supérieurs as well as the Provincial Councils to command the inhabitants, clerks of the Company and other employees either of pen or sword as well as officers, soldiers and men of war; to maintain trade in the enclaves of the Company in the East Indies; and to render civil as well as criminal justice.”93 The heads utilized fully the authority which was conferred upon them. The posts, far away from Metropolitan France, required strong personalities: “one had to know how to pamper or threaten, to know the men and the premises. Those who obtained these posts had long administrative experience: Benoit-Dumas, clerk in 1712, was then a councilor, then governor of the Mascarenes before being made the Governor of Pondicherry in 1734; Dupleix, Councilor in Pondicherry for ten years, was then head in Chandernagore for another ten years before becoming the head of the government in India in 1740.94

  • 95 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 92-93.

64On May 6, 1738 the Supreme Council of Pondicherry passed a resolution to the effect of making pagoda coins of 81/6 touches legal tender. Pagodas of 7 ¾ touches would also be lawful conditional upon the payment of a premium of 4 pagodas. Merchants and traders were warned not to transgress these rules, which would make them liable to have their coins forfeited, and to their being tried before a court of law.95

  • 96 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 152-153.

65The Supreme Council of Pondicherry enacted another decree on February 27, 1741 whereby the European as well as the native population would be forbidden to sell “brandy, liqueurs, Batavia rum, Colombo arrack, Goa rum, pattai arrack” from March 1 to September 1 of that year. Transgressions of this decree would result in imprisonment for a year and the payment of a sum of 1,000 pagodas.96

  • 97 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, p. 196.

66Ananda Ranga Pillai recounts an incident when the Deputy Governor of the day presided over judicial proceedings, which sentenced three lascars to be whipped in public. They would subsequently have been sentenced to death were it not for, as Pillai states, “divine mercy” and his own intervention on their behalf which underlined Pillai’s far reaching influence within the administration.97

  • 98 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, p. 244.

67It cannot be said that all decrees by the Supreme Council of Pondicherry were of an impersonal nature as can be seen in the order issued by Dupleix whereby all the “merchants, officers of the Company, and other men of rank should each build a house for themselves at Mortandi Chavadi.” Furthermore, Mortandi Chavadi was to be named Dupleixpettai and failure by anyone to call it by this name would make him or her liable to the payment of a fine.98

  • 99 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 9, Intro. p. xvi.
  • 100 Sidney Owen, François Joseph Dupleix, p. 705.

68Such apparent vanity was not inconsistent with Dupleix’s aim “to impress Indian minds.”99 In order to accomplish this, he relied very much on outward manifestations of pomp and glitter. However, as Sidney Owen points out, he did so also partly or perhaps wholly with a larger strategic objective in mind, as was the case during the war with the British following their dispute over the Austrian succession. In order to redress the inadequacies of military resources and of timely aid from the navy, Dupleix projected himself to the natives as an awe-inspiring ruler with enormous political power. His display and publicity of his title of Nawab, which his predecessor Dumas had obtained, may have seemed out of proportion with his actual stature and rather ridiculous in the eyes of his compatriots but to the native, the appeal was very effective.100

  • 101 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 299-300.
  • 102 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 2, p. 276.
  • 103 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol 2, pp. 279-280.
  • 104 L'aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995.

69Ananda Ranga Pillai says that at one time even though the British had received ample naval assistance, they proved to be ineffective due to the ineptitude of their Governor. This is in sharp contrast to the reputation of Dupleix who, even if he had a short supply of funds and ships and even if the population of Pondicherry was in dire straits, commanded much respect and instilled fear into his enemies.101 Much has also been said about the bitter rivalry between Dupleix and Mahé de la Bourdonnais. In the eyes of Dupleix, the latter’s conduct was entirely inappropriate and did much to hurt the reputation which he had painstakingly acquired. This reputation spread far and wide to Arcot, Mysore and all the coastal cities.102 In an exchange between Ananda Ranga Pillai and Dupleix, the latter says that his desire is that his reputation should spread even further to the Court of Delhi. He also uses the phrase “bring home to their minds” and furthermore says, “That dog, M. de la Bourdonnais, thwarts all my designs.”103 This mentality, made of audacity and of a taste for immediate conquest, did not agree well with the character of Dupleix, whose attention was turned towards long-term projects and dreams. Dupleix was sentimental and sensitive; La Bourdonnais, with dark eyes and eyebrows, a long nose above a big mouth, was lively and gay, and undoubtedly rash.104

  • 105 Jaganou Diagou, Foreword.
  • 106 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. ix.

70The “Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry” was a creation of Louis XIV in 1701. It had more members deciding criminal cases than civil ones. Even though it did not have professional lawyers and jurists, the cases were tried in a fair and impartial manner. The Conseil Supérieur was dissolved on November 22, 1819 and was then called “Cour Royale.”105 While the Conseil Supérieur tried cases pertaining to French citizens, the “tribunal de la Chaudrie” was constituted to dispense justice to the natives.106

  • 107 Jugements du Tribunal de la Chaudrie, vol. 1, 1766-1791, Jean-Claude Bonnan, p. iv.
  • 108 Bonnan, p. xvi.
  • 109 Bonnan, p. xviii.
  • 110 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Gaudart, Tome III, p. 160.

71The tribunal of the Chaudrie had become an institution of local law, that is, a body pertaining at the same time to both French and Indian law.107 These rules reiterate the involvement of French authorities in judging, in civil matters, the natives according to their own law, an ancient principle which will be stated during all the big declarations (and in the last instance, for this period, by the decree of 16 January 1819 laying down the implementation by French courts of laws and customs for the people of personal status, as opposed to those who were governed by the Code civil). Criminal matters fell within the jurisdiction of the lieutenant general of police (after distinguishing his duties from those of the civil lieutenant), whose duty was to enforce police regulations and who awarded minor traditional punishments (such as whipping and mutilation of ears).108 Right from the start, the Chaudrie was viewed as a typically Indian institution, located at the center of the activity zones and of the traditional habitat. It found itself at the crossroads of the three principal roads, controlled by the three doors of Madras, Villenour and Gondelour (Cuddalore), and communicated directly with the fort (and the sea) by a diagonal breach pierced across the whole building.109 In a memorandum of 27 July 1776, Chevalier required more guarantee for the Indian subjects by a reorganization of the tribunal of the Chaudrie in Pondicherry and of the Cacherie in Chandernagore. This memorandum revealed, on the part of Chevalier, a perfect knowledge of the administration and of justice in India and a great concern for ending the abuses, which existed during his time in the French possessions of India.110

  • 111 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. x (...)
  • 112 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. x (...)
  • 113 Chandernagore ou le lit de Dupleix, par Georges Tailleur, p. 34.

72The Conseil Supérieur functioned normally, without any disagreement between the governor and the advisers; there was a permanent conflict only with the Council at Chandernagore of whom Dupleix was the rather undisciplined head. The other services such as the port and police also functioned with the same regularity.111 In spite of the recent acquisition of Karaikal, from which Dumas expected great profits, Chandernagore was the second and maybe the most prosperous of the French establishments.112 Within ten years, after a long stay in Pondicherry, Dupleix had succeeded in making this village an important town of ten thousand houses. He had revolutionized trade by practising at the same time, the export of Indian products bought on the spot and the import of European goods.113

  • 114 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. ix.

73In fact, the French East India Company which had full sovereignty in the countries located beyond the Cape of Good Hope and which enjoyed exclusive commercial privileges thought it convenient in the interests of its business to make the judicial council an administrative one which would be a forum for discussion of matters of all kinds related to its commerce, its administration and to the expenses of its enclaves without, at the same time, ceasing to function in its capacity as a judicial council.114

  • 115 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xi.
  • 116 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiii-xiv.

74The Conseil Supérieur was divided into two parts, each one mutually tarnishing the other’s reputation in bilious attacks against the Company. Dupleix was able to muster an indefectible majority thanks to his allies and friends that he was sagacious enough to bring in. Unfortunately, his conflict with Mahé de Labourdonnais and the scandalous trial that ensued caused public opinion to turn against him.115 During British rule from 1793 to 1816, justice continued to be dispensed according to the format and laws followed in the French admininistration. Nevertheless, on June 12, 1805, the denomination and the competence of the Conseil Supérieur were changed. A court of Judicature was instituted in Pondicherry in place of the Conseil Supérieur by a decree of the Governor of Madras. It was composed of three judges and of two assessors. The Tribunal de la Chaudrie was eliminated in favor of an arbitrating chamber.116

  • 117 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.

75With the return of the French, on October 4, 1816, the Count Dupuy took care to reorganize the judicial service. By a decree of February 8, 1817, he re-established the Conseil Supérieur on the bases of the Edict of 1784 and the Provincial Councils in the secondary establishments. Soon the Royal Ordinance of November 22, 1819 gave the Conseil Supérieur the designation of Cour Royale.117

  • 118 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.
  • 119 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.

76It was with the assistance of members of the Conseil Supérieur that the Governors struck deals with the native Princes, which led to war and finally to the ruination of Pondicherry in 1761.118 This allowed the Presidents and Members of the Conseil Supérieur to deliberate without discordance of opinion and to lead involuntarily without doubt the East India Company in perilous adventures. Related to one another by family ties, they jealously prevented intrusions into the Conseil Supérieur of all those who were not with them.119

  • 120 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xv.
  • 121 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xv.
  • 122 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xvi.

77From the point of view of strict justice, the Conseil Supérieur never neglected its duties. It is true that the members were merchants and therefore not very conversant with legal affairs; nevertheless, the decrees of the Conseil Supérieur left nothing to be desired in terms of impartiality. Often the members of the Conseil Supérieur became prosecutors of the concerned parties. One must admit that their intervention did not endear them in the eyes of their colleagues.120 It would not be hazardous to state that if western customs have slowly percolated in the course of time on the ways of life of Hindus, they have not modified their basic character.121 In terms of principles of colonization, it can be said that European nations practiced in India during the eighteenth century politics of collaboration and of great tolerance and did not at all try to assimilate the natives of India.122 But it did, for one thing, try to impart some instruction about its religion.

  • 123 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Annexe no. 1, p. 370.

78Thus on February 11, 1733 the declaration of Louis XIV made in August 1664 for the establishment of the East India Company states in its 30th article that it will impinge on the Company to establish churches in the said islands of Madagascar and other places that it would have conquered and in such number and of such quality that it will find appropriate for instructing the people in the Catholic religion.123

  • 124 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Annexe no. 1, pp. 374-379, Article 19.

79According to Article 19 of Annexe no. 1, the East India Company, in order to conciliate such disparate interests as those of the nobles, could not help recommending to the Governor and to the Conseil Supérieur to observe that every ceremony, which constituted the essence of the cult of their religion, must be wisely tolerated. In the processions, which they take out in the town, it said that it would be of great help to try to abolish their habit of wearing indecent statues or idols. They must also be encouraged to gradually reduce the pomp and glitter, to restrain them so that they take out their processions only around every pagoda and, lastly, their cult and their ceremonies must be confined to their temples. It said that it was essential that all these should take place by suggestion and consent so that they volunteer to modify their methods and are in no way dictated by any form of authority. It also similarly recommended to the missionaries of Pondicherry to plan with the Governor and the Conseil Supérieur to bring forth the wise people who can be brought as the need arises and to nevertheless make any use of the people with even the most measured temperaments only after obtaining the approval of the said Company signed by its trustees and managers and planned by his Majesty’s Minister, and to regulate their conduct with respect to the idolaters according to the views of the East India Company, until it pleases God to make them come out of the darkness of error to the light of truth.124

  • 125 Arrêts du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichery, Gnanou Diagou, Tome 2, p. 20.

80There is some evidence of seclusion as in one of the decrees of the Conseil Supérieur whereby the Councils and heads of enclaves within the jurisdiction of the Court were meant to chose a place away from inhabited places to serve as vaults to European or Indian Catholics, which they would enclose to prevent profanation, and would constitute the present regulation to be notified to the parish priests, chaplains and missionaries of this town to be observed by them without delay according to its form and purport and a copy sent to the presidents and seats within the jurisdiction.125

  • 126 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Gaudart, Tome 4, p. 7.

81On 18 June 1741, a declaration was made to educate slaves in the Catholic religion: the order prescribed to all the employees of the Company who were owners of slaves to baptize and to raise them in the Catholic religion, failing which they would be subject to confiscation and to fines. Dumas, Dubois Rolland, Miran and Goland signed the order in Karaikal.126

  • 127 Haudrère, p. 969.

82Budgetary considerations dictated that all extraneous expenses by the Company should be reduced to a minimum. To maximize profits the cargoes of goods imported to France also had to be of a high quality. The French East India Company also united with its former rivals the British and the Dutch to prevent the establishment of another company, which would have had the effect of reducing the quantity of goods that were imported to France. Their hostility is particularly directed against “interloping” companies, that is, those that were formed by intrepid adventurers who sought to defy the monopoly of the larger companies.127

  • 128 Haudrère, p. 975.
  • 129 Haudrère, p. 975.

83Even if the European companies were united in their policy towards the interlopers, they were divided in their policy towards the local chieftains. The latter accorded the foreign community certain privileges in particular those that allowed them to govern themselves according to their personal law. For the Hindu rulers, this concession was designed to retain foreigners whose economic activities were profitable to them. For the Europeans, the agreement meant an ability to sign treaties and hence the recognition of an administrative hierarchy which was often in consonance with feudal norms.128 The policy of the European companies was to obtain equal commercial treatment with the other nations as well as favors for customs. These favors were often in exchange for services provided by French doctors to Indian rulers such as the services provided by Saint-Hilaire to the Nawab of Arcot, by Joseph Devolton to the Moghul Court and by Villeneuve to the Nawab of the Deccan.129

  • 130 Haudrère, p. 976.

84This situation inevitably led to a political and military intervention by the Europeans in Indian affairs as the security and viability of commercial operations could be guaranteed only by a penetration into the hinterlands and the adversaries who were there such as the Marathas or other feudal lords, desirous of extending or maintaining their dominions, increasingly sought the assistance of Europeans who could easily win battles with their well-equipped and disciplined armies. The acquisition of Karaikal reveals the mechanism. Karaikal, which supplied Pondicherry with food and cloth, was obtained by Benoit-Dumas from the king of Tanjavur in 1738 in exchange for financial aid given to the latter to help him fight a rival. When the king of Tanjavur subsequently refused to recognize the ‘acte de concession,’ Chanda Sahib, a rival of the latter, offered Karaikal to the French in 1739 in return for their support.130

  • 131 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 2.
  • 132 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 3.
  • 133 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 3.

85The fact of being well organized and disciplined is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the armies to be effective. This axiom can be illustrated by the observation that in 1947, the large and very well equipped British army could not defeat the unarmed Indians who were inspired by Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence.131 Thus the nature of the social organization in which it operates determines the potency of the organizational and technical strengths of the army. According to J. H. Parry, “the institutional structure of the modern European state, interlacing war and trade in conflict with other states, is a key organizational element in the expansion.”132 According to W. H. McNeill, the West was in a more advantageous position due to a combination of a “firm belief in their own institutions, together with burgeoning numbers, the world’s most powerful weapons and most efficient network of transportation and communications.”133

  • 134 Haudrère, p. 1124.

86In a strikingly synchronized manner, while the attacks against the French Company multiplied themselves, the British Company was also threatened. Finding itself on the verge of bankruptcy after the costly conquests of Clive, it was subjected to the joint actions of Parliament and of the unhappy stockbrokers who reproached the administration for its arbitrary power and its bad management of the revenues from Bengal. It must be noted that the suspension of the French Company in 1769 was also followed by the reduction of the monopoly of the Danish Company in 1772.134

  • 135 Haudrère, p. 1184.

87There was an essential difference between the British and the French East India Companies. Undoubtedly, the East India Company was, like the French Company, a commercial undertaking, subjected to a budgetary equilibrium and in London as in Paris one was hostile towards expensive military or naval operations. Clive was recalled as was Dupleix. However, the British Company was first of all a corporation of merchants and shipowners, knowing how to watch over their particular interests, while having the support of the navy, ready to fulfill its principal mission which was to come to the rescue of the merchants. For Great Britain, a naval state, the essential was on sea, and the interventions on the continent remained secondary.135

  • 136 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 4.
  • 137 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, pp. 5-8.

88From the middle of the eighteenth century, land wars became more significant than maritime technology as “land wars were required to establish modern colonial control.”136 The conflict between the French and the British was inevitable due to their respective attempts at filling in the political void caused by the death of Aurangzeb and the decline of the Mughal Empire. This was at the time of the European war of Austrian succession (1746-48) and the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). The French were the ultimate losers in this conflict, which can be attributed largely to the naval superiority of the British who were able to replenish their troops much more easily than the French.137 With the departure of Dupleix, the grandeur of Pondicherry had gone with him.

  • 138 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 9, Introduction, pp. xi-xii. Translation: “The methodical and d (...)

89The other major cause of the defeat of the French can be attributed not so much to the corruption of the French administration but to the mutual jealousies of the officers, which prevented the establishment of a genuine esprit de corps. It can be said, however, that corruption during the rule of Dupleix was an inherent vice. This corruption took the form of bribes taken by Dupleix, Bussy and their subordinates as well as the peculation rampant in their administration. This was undoubtedly a sore point. If the administration had been less corrupt the troops could have been paid on time which would have made them more disciplined and enabled them to fight with greater valor leading to more victories. It cannot, however, be said that even though corruption was an inherent weakness it was the reason for the administration’s collapse. This can be borne out by the fact that the British administration of Bengal starting from the time of the Battle of Plassey to the time of the arrival of Cornwallis was not in fact any less corrupt; the same can also be said of the British administration of Madras which was in place from the fall of Pondicherry to the time of the assumption of the Carnatic even though it fared slightly better than the administration of Dupleix. It can furthermore be said that the administration of all tropical colonies of the eighteenth century whether they be the Portuguese rule in Mozambique, the Dutch rule in Java or of that of any colonial power in the West Indies was characterized by inherent corruption. This thus was not in itself an impediment towards the establishment of colonial control. M. Martineau very aptly summarized the situation by saying that “L’esprit de discipline et de méthode qui, dans la paix, prépare la force des nations, fut tout à fait étranger à la plupart des conseils qui administrèrent nos dépendances.”138

  • 139 Jean-Marie Lafont, p. 85.

90To think that the Seven Years’ War and the Treaty of Paris (1763) had shown to the Indian powers the striking superiority of England over France is a perspective of the mind and a posterior analysis of history which disguises, sometimes in a grotesque manner, reality. Barnett was right in stressing that in the course of this decade the superiority of the British power had only been partially established in India. The success of Dupleix, the remarkable achievements of Bussy and the disaster of Lally left a rather complex and imprecise image of the relations of force between the French and the British. Nothing had yet been decided in the eyes of the native princes and governments, and the worries expressed by the British agents with respect to French officers suddenly scattered in the independent territories reinforced even more in the eyes of these governments the impression of precariousness which was that of the British authorities in the annexed territories.139

91The establishment of a French empire in India would certainly have changed the orientation of India significantly. If the powers that be in Paris and the stockholders of the East India Company were less concerned with obtaining immediate profits and were instead interested in diligently penetrating the interior of the country, they might have been more successful in obtaining larger chunks of the Indian booty. The recall of Dupleix by the East India Company’s Board of Directors in Paris symbolized the end of any such possibility. However, the French presence that began with the acquisition of Pondicherry did leave some imprints. It is therefore the degree of their influence, which will be gauged in subsequent chapters.

Notes

1 Haudrère, p. 387. Failure to do so would mean that the French would have had to buy the same products from the Dutch and other nations for seven to eight times the cost of obtaining them directly.

2 Haudrère, p. 28. It also established itself politically on the island of Bourbon (present day Reunion Islands).

3 Haudrère, p. 976.

4 Miles, p. 2.

5 L’aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, pp. 42-43.

6 L’aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, pp. 42-43.

7 L'aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995, p. 45.

8 Rose Vincent, p. 50.

9 Rose Vincent, p. 57.

10 Haudrère, p. 24.

11 Haudrère, p. 25.

12 Haudrère, p. 28.

13 Haudrère, p. 40.

14 Haudrère, p. 387.

15 Haudrère, p. 939.

16 Haudrère, pp. 952-953.

17 Haudrère, pp. 953-954.

18 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome V, Intro, p. 17.

19 Haudrère, p. 407.

20 Haudrère, p. 408.

21 Haudrère, p. 408.

22 Haudrère, p. 409.

23 Haudrère, p. 411.

24 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, Intro, p. v.

25 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, Intro, p. vi.

26 Haudrère, p. 308.

27 Haudrère, pp. 313-314.

28 Haudrère, p. 314.

29 Haudrère, p. 314.

30 Haudrère, p. 315.

31 Haudrère, p. 315.

32 Haudrère, p. 316.

33 Haudrère, pp. 116-117.

34 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome V, Gaudart, pp. 47-48.

35 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome II, Gaudart, p. 5.

36 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome II, Gaudart, p. 13.

37 Haudrère, p. 333.

38 Owen, p. 725.

39 Haudrère, p. 176.

40 Miles, p. 3.

41 Haudrère, p. 176.

42 Miles, p. 3.

43 L'aventure des Français en Inde XVIIe-XXe siècles, par Rose Vincent, Editions Kailash, 1995, p. 79.

44 Rose Vincent, pp. 81-82.

45 Rose Vincent, p. 82.

46 Rose Vincent, p. 84.

47 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 442.

48 Ibid, p. 442.

49 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 397.

50 Rose Vincent, p. 94.

51 Catalogues des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde française, Tome 2, Gaudart, pp. 394-395.

52 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome 2, Gaudart, p. 68.

53 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l'Inde Française, Tome 2, Gaudart, pp. 234-235.

54 Résumé des Actes de l’Etat Civil de Pondichéry de 1736 à 1760, Alfred Martineau, Intro, p. I.

55 Les “Créoles” ou descendants d’Européens à Pondichéry, Tirouvanziam-Louis, Lourdes, Intro, p. 1.

56 Les “Créoles” ou descendants d’Européens à Pondichéry, Tirouvanziam-Louis, Lourdes, pp. 199-200.

57 Haudrère, pp. 345-346.

58 Haudrère, p. 346.

59 Haudrère, p. 347.

60 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Tome IV, Gaudart, pp. 9-10.

61 Haudrère, p. 956.

62 Haudrère, pp. 957-958.

63 Haudrère, p. 346.

64 Les grandes pages du <<journal>> d’Ananda Ranga Pillai, Préface de Jean Deloche, p. 7.

65 Haudrère, pp. 745-746.

66 Haudrère, p. 750.

67 Haudrère, pp. 751-752.

68 Haudrère. vol. 3, p. 788.

69 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 789.

70 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 794.

71 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 795.

72 Haudrère, pp. 752-753.

73 Haudrère, pp. 752-753.

74 Rose Vincent, pp. 61-62.

75 Haudrère, p. 810.

76 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.

77 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.

78 Haudrère, pp. 795-796.

79 Haudrère, p. 796.

80 Haudrère, p. 796.

81 Haudrère, p. 796.

82 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. xxix.

83 Haudrère, vol. 3, p. 796-797.

84 Rose Vincent, p. 32.

85 Rose Vincent, p. 32.

86 Rose Vincent, pp. 32-33.

87 Rose Vincent, p. 33.

88 Owen, p. 731.

89 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 3, p. 366.

90 Haudrère, pp. 327-328.

91 Haudrère, pp. 327-328.

92 Haudrère, p. 331.

93 Haudrère, p. 332.

94 Haudrère, p. 333.

95 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 92-93.

96 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 152-153.

97 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, p. 196.

98 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, p. 244.

99 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 9, Intro. p. xvi.

100 Sidney Owen, François Joseph Dupleix, p. 705.

101 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 1, pp. 299-300.

102 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 2, p. 276.

103 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol 2, pp. 279-280.

104 L'aventure des Français en Inde, by Rose Vincent, Kailash Editions 1995.

105 Jaganou Diagou, Foreword.

106 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. ix.

107 Jugements du Tribunal de la Chaudrie, vol. 1, 1766-1791, Jean-Claude Bonnan, p. iv.

108 Bonnan, p. xvi.

109 Bonnan, p. xviii.

110 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Gaudart, Tome III, p. 160.

111 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. xvi.

112 Correspondance du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichéry et de la Compagnie, Tome III, Introduction, p. xix.

113 Chandernagore ou le lit de Dupleix, par Georges Tailleur, p. 34.

114 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. ix.

115 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xi.

116 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiii-xiv.

117 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.

118 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.

119 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xiv.

120 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xv.

121 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xv.

122 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Introduction, p. xvi.

123 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Annexe no. 1, p. 370.

124 Gnanou Diagou, Tome 1, Annexe no. 1, pp. 374-379, Article 19.

125 Arrêts du Conseil Supérieur de Pondichery, Gnanou Diagou, Tome 2, p. 20.

126 Catalogue des Manuscrits des Anciennes Archives de l’Inde Française, Gaudart, Tome 4, p. 7.

127 Haudrère, p. 969.

128 Haudrère, p. 975.

129 Haudrère, p. 975.

130 Haudrère, p. 976.

131 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 2.

132 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 3.

133 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 3.

134 Haudrère, p. 1124.

135 Haudrère, p. 1184.

136 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, p. 4.

137 Western Imperialist Armies in Asia, Gayl D. Ness and William Stahl, pp. 5-8.

138 Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, vol. 9, Introduction, pp. xi-xii. Translation: “The methodical and disciplined mentality which, during times of peace, leads to the strength of nations was completely foreign to the majority of councils which administered our dependencies.”

139 Jean-Marie Lafont, p. 85.

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