The East India Company (EIC) was an British joint-stock company with headquarters in London. It was started for trading with the East Indies, but most trade was with India and China. It was given a charter, permission to exist, in 1600 and traded many things in India.
The company had armed forces and armed ships. It fought against various Indian rulers and struggled against the Dutch East India Company and other European nations. It was ruled by one governor and 24 directors. It became a monopoly in most parts of India.
After the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the British government ruled India directly and the company was dissolved in 1874. Its role was taken over by the Government of India (the British Raj). At its height, the Raj covered a huge area from Baluchistan in the west to Burma in the east, as well as Ceylon and a number of other islands.
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