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French East India Company In the middle of the seventeenth century Louis XIV's finance minister Colbert formed a French East India Company named Compagnie des Indes Orientales in 1664. Louis XIV provided the Company with an interest-free loan of 3 million livre. The Company was thus, created and financed by the State. After initial attempts made to colonise Madagascar had proved a failure, the Company undertook a fresh expedition in 1667 under the command of Francis Caron accompanied by Marcara, a native of Ispahan reached India and set up the first French factory at Surat in 1668. The second factory was set up at Masulipatnam in 1669. A factory was also developed at Chandernagar (Bengal) between 1690 and 1692. Two major French trading posts in India were Pondicherry, established in 1674 by Francis martin, and Chandernagar.

     In 1693, the newly built French factory at Pondicherry was captured by the Dutch but by the Treaty of Ryswick between the European powers, there was restoration of mutual conquests and the Dutch returned Ponidcherry to the French in 1697.

     During the first quarter of the eighteenth century, however, the French Company suffered serious setback for lack of resources and the factories at Surat, Masulipatam and Bantam had to be abandoned. This condition of the French Company continued till 1720.

     From after 1742, when Dupleix become Governor of Pondicherry, there was a change in the character and objective of the French Company motive of imperial expansion replaced their former commerical motive. This naturally opened a new chapter in the Anglo-French conflict in India.

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