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French Indian Settlements

http://www.unostamps.nl/country_french_indian_settlements.htm

French Indian Settlements

The French Indian Settlements (or


French India) included Pondicherry
(now Puducherry), Karikal and Yanaon on the
Coromandel Coast, Mahe on the Malabar Coast and
Chandernagore in West Bengal. Other than this,
there were lodges in Machilipatnam, Kozhikode
and Surat.
It was during the reign on Francis I (Franois I)
that the first French expeditions took place in
India. The French East India Company was formed
under the stewardship of Cardinal Richelieu in
1642. It was remodelled under Jean Baptiste
Colbert in 1664 and an expedition was sent to
Madagascar in the same year.
In 1668, the first French factory was established in Surat when an expedition was sent under the
command of Franois Caron. In the following year another French factory was set op at Masulipatnam.
Chandernagore (now Chandannagar) was established in 1673 after permission from Nawab Shaista Khan,
the Mughal governor of Bengal. In 1674, the French captured Valikondapuram from the Sultan of
Bijapur and thus established their hold over Pondicherry. By 1720, the French lost their factories at
Surat, Masulipatnam and Bantam to the British.
The French were in constant conflict with the Dutch and British in India. In 1693, the Dutch seized the
town of Pondicherry and fortified it considerably. However, the French regained Pondicherry in 1699
through the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697). Starting from the early 18th century to the mid 18th century, the
commercial motive of the French rulers dominated over political gains. Now their objectives were
purely commercial. The French Company's trade increased ten times and was nearly half the size of the
British Company, which was a big threat for the British. The French acquired Yanam, in the northeast
of Pondicherry in 1723, Male in 1725 and Karaikal, in the south of Pondicherry in 1739. From 1742
onwards, political motives again dominated over commercial gains and the factories were fortified for

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French Indian Settlements

http://www.unostamps.nl/country_french_indian_settlements.htm

the purpose of defence.


By this time the well-known French Governor of Pondicherry Joseph Franois Dupleix had arrived in
India with the ambition of a French empire in India. The French interests clashed with the British
ambitions and repeated clashes began. Under the leadership of the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau,
Dupleix's army successfully controlled the area between Hyderabad and Cape Comorin. But with the
arrival of Robert Clive, a daring British officer, the French were chased out and Dupleix was recalled to
France.
This failure did not act as a deterrent and the French did not lose hope. They subsequently sent
Thomas Arthur de Lally-Tollendal to regain the French losses. Initial success blindfolded the French and
Lally-Tollendal went on to make strategic mistakes. They lost the Hyderabad region in the Battle of
Wandiwash and Pondicherry was seized in 1760. With this the French lost their hold over South India.
In 1765 Pondicherry was again returned to the French after a peace treaty with England in Europe.
Jean Law de Lauriston, the then French governor rebuilt the town. For the next fifty years Pondicherry
was under the French and British administration according to the peace and war treaties. After the
conclusion of the Napoleonic wars in 1816, all the five establishments Pondicherry, Chandernagore,
Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and the lodges at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat were returned to
France. Over the next one hundred and thirty eight years successive governors improved infrastructure,
industry, law and education. The French colonies in India remained separate from British India, without
any interference.
The independence of India in August 1947 gave impetus to the union of the French Indian Settlements
with the new republic of India. The lodges in Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat were ceded to India
in October 1947. An agreement between France and India in 1948 made way for elections in the
remaining possessions to choose their political future. After a referendum, the city of Chandernagore
was ceded to India on 2 May 1950 and merged with the state of West Bengal on 2 October 1955.
On 1 November 1954 the remaining possessions were transferred to India and became the Union
Territory of Pondicherry. The formal (de jure) union of the French Indian Settlements with India did not
take place until 1963 when the French parliament ratified the treaty with India.
Capital:
Government:
Area:
Population:
Currency:

Pondichry
French colony
509 km
362.000 (1948)
French Indian rupee (8 Fanon)

Links
French Indian Settlements in Wikipedia.

Stamp catalogue
UPU 75th anniversary
date:
designer:
printer:
perforated:

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4 July 1949
Raoul Serres
Imprimerie des Timbres-Poste, Paris
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French Indian Settlements

remark:

http://www.unostamps.nl/country_french_indian_settlements.htm

air mail

1
6 Fa
Arab man, Oceanic woman, Asian woman, African man, South American man, globe,
airplane, text "75e
ANNIVERSAIRE / DE L'UNION POSTALE / UNIVERSELLE"
red
(cat. Michel 303/SG 284/Yvert PA 21)

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