|Colonialism in India and China|
The French East India Company
Armoiries de la Compagnie des Indes Orientales
French East India Company (1664–1719) , also called "Compagnie Française des Indes Orientales" refers to French trading companies established in the 17th and 18th centuries to oversee French commerce with India, eastern Africa, and other territories of the Indian Ocean and the East Indies. The company later obtained colony Mahé in Malabar (India) in 1724. By 1740 the value of its trade with India was half that of the British East India Company. The ablest leader of the company, Joseph-François Dupleix, was appointed the governor-general of French India in 1742. In 1746 he captured Madras but failed to take the neighboring British fort of St. David. Dupleix allied himself with local Indian powers, but the British supported rival Indian groups, and a private war between the two companies broke out in 1751. After being recalled to Paris in 1754, Dupleix unsuccessfully sued the company for money that he had spent on its behalf in India.
During the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) between France and England, the French were defeated, and Pondicherry, the capital of French India, was captured in 1761. Because the French economy saw more profit from trade in the West Indies, the French East India Company lacked government support. Its monopoly over French trade with India was ended in 1769, and thereafter the company languished until its disappearance during the French Revolution in 1789.