April 20, 2022


Question : In some ways, Dupleix was the precursor of Clive. Examine the statement. 

Answer: Dupleix sought to enhance the power and influence of the French company by interfering in the disputes of local rulers. Robert Clive only repeated this playbook in Bengal.

  • By the time Dupleix moved in as the governor of Pondicherry, he had already made a mercantile fortune from private trade and was keen to add to it. Through planning and preparation, he gave a good account of himself in the first Carnatic War.
  • Dupleix now understood that the European weapons and tactics were far more superior. He put them in the hands of a trained, disciplined and well paid Indian infantry and he deployed what could be considered a primitive version of subsidiary alliance.
  • The disputing parties in the succession wars of Carnatic and Hyderabad used his troops and he got paid for it in ‘jagir’. In these enterprises, Dupleix not only secured mercantile interests of the French company, he also made a handsome profit.
  • Given how aggressive he was to the British, he clearly wanted to throw them out of India and establish a French monopoly over the Indian trade.

           Although, a late starter compare to Dupleix, Robert Clive successfully repeated this entire routine, starting from his remarkable capture of Arcot in the second Carnatic war.

           Thus, Dupleix was the first one to come up with a grand vision, Robert Clive only executed it successfully, because he came from a more dynamic institution