Tamil Nadu was the seat of the Chola empire (10th–13th cent.). Muslims swept away the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom in the 16th cent. and controlled the area for about a century. The Portuguese established trading posts in the 16th cent., followed by the Dutch, French, and British in the early 17th cent. After a struggle (1741–63) with the French and with Haidar Ali and Tippoo Sahib, the British emerged victorious. Under Great Britain, the territory controlled from Madras city was considerably enlarged.
After independence its Telugu-speaking areas were transferred to Andhra Pradesh in 1953, and in 1956 the Kannada-speaking areas were transferred to Mysore (now Karnataka), and the Malayalam areas to Kerala. In 1969 the name of the state was changed from Madras to Tamil Nadu. The Tamils of Tamil Nadu have provided logistical support for the guerrillas trying to establish an independent Tamil state in an area covering the Jaffna peninsula and E Sri Lanka, and some Tamils support the idea of an independent homeland consisting of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil-speaking areas of Sri Lanka and the neighboring Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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