Do you think Google or Apple is powerful? So you’ve never heard of the East India Company, a lucrative company so powerful that it once ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent. Between 1600 and 1874, they built the most powerful Company the world has ever known. It had its own army, its own territory, and almost absolute power in the trade of what is now considered quintessentially British: tea.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Indian subcontinent was called the “East Indies,” and, as it was home to spices, fabrics, and luxury goods highly prized by wealthy Europeans, it was considered a land of seemingly infinite potential. Due to their maritime prowess, Spain and Portugal had monopolized trade in the Far East. History Of East India Companyis very vast, in this article you will get few detail on this topic.
Origin of the East India Company History
On December 31, 1600, the Queen of England Elizabeth I constituted, by royal decree, the British East India Company, to which she granted the monopoly of English trade. This is one of most Important Events In Indian History. The objective of the Company was to break the monopoly that until then the Spanish and Portuguese enjoyed.
The first voyage started in 1601 with a single ship, the Red Dragon, captained by Sir James Lancaster, and was successful in capturing a Portuguese ratchet in the Straits of Malacca. Later, the travels continued until 1612 when, after defeating the Portuguese, they managed to reach a trade agreement with the Mogul Empire (a Muslim empire that dominated much of India).
Expansion of the British East India Company
In order to achieve the position of dominance that it eventually achieved, the Company had to overcome opposition both in England and abroad.
The fact that there was a monopoly caused rejection in England, which led to the founding of another rival company in 1635 (the Courteen Association), although the two would eventually merge in 1708.
As for external opposition, during the early 17th century, the British East India Company was not able to prevail over the Dutch East India Company but, acting together, they managed to expel the Spanish and Portuguese from the Chinese coasts. In 1662, the British Company would receive the Portuguese colonies in India as part of the dowry of Barbara of Braganza upon marrying the King of England Charles II.
These are few of Important Dates and Events in Indian History, which change the history of India completely.
The great expansion began in 1750 when it began to recruit soldiers systematically. After the Seven Years’ War, the British incorporated much of the French possessions in India. In addition, the British faced the Dutch up to four times during the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (between 1780 and 1784), the Dutch Company was practically finished, disappearing permanently in 1796, and the British enjoying an almost total monopoly of trade with Asia.