Monday, 17 November 2014

The British East India Company

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East India Company (EIC), originally chartered as the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies, and also called British East India Company, was an English company. Later (from 1707) it became a British joint-stock company, formed mainly for trading with the East Indies but that ended up doing business mainly with the Indian subcontinent, Qing Dynasty China, North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan
Easy India co office, London. credit: wikipedia
East India co tea. credit: clairepetras.com

The British India company  was established mainly to control the spread of Dutch-Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The Dutch and Portuguese maritime traders in those days had a dominant position and they were being  well supported  by their rulers, whereas the British were not as competitive as they were.British East India company was run by James Mill and  his son with head office on Leaden hall Street, London. After 1694 BEIC retained its dominant position despite competition from other British companies and continued to make large profits from India and by 1720, 15% of Britain's imports came from India. Subsequently the company rose to account for half of the world's trade, particularly trade in basic commodities that included cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpeter, tea and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India.

East India co. emblem. credit: academics.tjsst.edu

The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the Company's shares. Validity of the charter was first 15 years subject to renewal.

             Madras Army, EIC. credit:www.rf792.org