Dupleix, Joseph François

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Dupleix, Joseph François

Dupleix, Joseph François (zhôzĕfˈ fräNswäˈ düplĕksˈ), 1697–1763, French colonial administrator in India. He went to India in 1721 as an officer of the French East India Company. In 1731 he was appointed governor of Chandannagar, where he made a considerable fortune, and in 1742 he became governor of Pondichéry (now Puducherry) and was thus the chief official in French India. When the War of the Austrian Succession brought the French and British East India companies into conflict, Dupleix supervised the capture of Madras (now Chennai; 1746) and successfully defended Pondichéry, but the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) restored the prewar situation. Dupleix then formed a vast project for establishing French supremacy in India. Intervening in native politics, intrigues, and warfare, he controlled the Carnatic and nearly the entire Deccan by 1751. Soon, however, the British began to regain ground under the leadership of Robert Clive, and the French government, anxious to avoid war and uninformed of Dupleix's grandiose schemes, recalled the governor in 1754. With Dupleix, the last hope of a French empire in India vanished. He ended his days in poverty and neglect.


See G. B. Malleson, Dupleix (1890); H. Dodwell, Dupleix and Clive (1920, repr. 1962); V. Thompson, Dupleix and His Letters (1933).

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Dupleix, Joseph François


Born Jan. 1, 1697, in Landrécies: died Nov. 10, 1763, in Paris. French colonial administrator in India.

From 1730 to 1741, Dupleix was governor of Chanderna-gore; from 1741 to 1754, of Pondichéry and all French possessions in India. Carrying out plans for the creation of a French colonial empire in India, he interfered in the struggles for the thrones of the Carnatic and Hyderabad. Supporting the French puppets in opposition to the English, he helped establish French influence in southern India. In 1746 his armies conquered Madras, the center of the British East India Company in India. However, the lack of funds and the inadequate support of the French government led to the failure of Dupleix’ plans. In 1754, after the conclusion of peace with the British East India Company, he was recalled to France.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.