Carnatic Region - Muslim Era

Muslim Era

Towards the close of the 17th century, the country was reduced by the armies of Aurangzeb, who in 1692 appointed Zulfikar Ali, Nawab of the Carnatic, with his seat at Arcot. Meanwhile, the Mahratta power had begun to develop; in 1677 Sivaji had suppressed the last remnants of the Vijayanagar power in Vellore, Gingee and Kurnool, while his brother Venkoji, who in 1674 had overthrown the Nayaks of Tanjavur, established in that city a dynasty which lasted for a century. The collapse of the Delhi power after the death of Aurangzeb produced further changes. The Nawab Saadet-Allah of Arcot (1710–1732) established his independence; his successor Dost Ali (1732–1740) conquered and annexed Madura in 1736, and his successors were confirmed in their position as Nawabs of the Carnatic by the Nizam of Hyderabad after that potentate had established his power in southern India. After the death of Nawab Mahommed Anwar-ud-din (1744–1749), the succession was disputed between Mahommed Ali and Husein Dost. In this quarrel, the French and English, then competing for influence in the Carnatic, took opposite sides. The victory of the British established Mahommed Ali in power over part of the Carnatic till his death in 1795. Meanwhile, however, the country had been exposed to other troubles. In 1741 Madura, which the Nawab Dost Ali (1732–1740) had added to his dominions in 1736 after the demise of the Nayaks of Madurai, was conquered by the Mahrattas; and in 1743 Hyder Ali of Mysore overran and ravaged the central Carnatic. The latter was re-conquered by the British, to whom Madura had fallen in 1758; and, finally, in 1801 all the possessions of the Nawab of the Carnatic were transferred to them by a treaty which stipulated that an annual revenue of several lakhs of pagodas should be reserved to the nawab, and that the British should undertake to support a sufficient civil and military force for the protection of the country and the collection of the revenue. On the death of the nawab in 1853, it was determined to put an end to the nominal sovereignty, a liberal establishment being provided for the family.

The southern Carnatic, when it came into the possession of the British, was occupied by military chieftains called Poligars, who ruled over the country. Under British rule their forts and military establishments were destroyed.

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