Colbert’s Grand Indian Ocean Fleet of 1670

By Glen Joseph Ames, published August 1990


Although not as well-known as its English and Dutch contemporaries, France also established an East India Company at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century. However it was not until Louis XIV came to power that any positive moves were made to break into the Indian Ocean trade, with a large royal fleet being despatched to the region in 1670. When Louis’ strategy once again turned to dominance in Europe, support for the Indian Ocean enterprise waned and the fleet returned home in 1674, having achieved little in its attempt to wrest the bulk of the lucrative trade from the Dutch.

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Filed under: Dutch Wars | Indian Ocean | East India Company
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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