East India Company

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Flag of British East India Company (1801)

East India Company (EIC) was an English joint-stock company. Its headquarters were located in London. It was started for trading with the East Indies, but most trade was with India and China. It was given a charter (authority) in 1600 and traded many things in India.

In the mid-18th century, the company built up its own presidency armies and won the Battle of Plassey, which brought it from trading with India to ruling 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.[1]

The company was dissolved in 1874.[2] 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 and Ceylon and a number of other islands.

References[change | change source]

  1. Chaudhury S. 1999. Merchants, companies, and trade: Europe and Asia in the early modern era. London: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Gardner, Brian 1972. The East India Company: a history. McCall Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8415-0124-6