The History of The East India Company


Mark Cartwright
published on 02 February 2023

The British East India Company (EIC) was founded as a trading company in 1600. Run by a board of directors in London, the company employed a private army, first to protect the trade it conducted in the Indian subcontinent and then to expand its territories as it rampantly colonised its competition.

This collection examines the history of the company from beginning to end, the many wars it engaged in, the trade goods it shipped around the world and the consequent effects on diverse cultures, how it evolved and was constrained by regulation, and its ultimate demise in 1858 when it was taken over by the British government.

The British Parliament were aghast at lurid tales of the EIC's policies in India, and many sought to bring the company under much greater scrutiny and control...The burning question of the day was why was this private company with private interests being allowed to conduct itself like a state but without any of the constraints of an electorate or any of the scruples of justice.



Questions & Answers

How did the East India Company start?

The British East India Company (EIC) started as a joint stock trading company with a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1600. First conducting coastal trade in India, the company expanded to control its own territory, particularly in India.

What are 2 important moments in the history of the British East India Company?

2 important moments in the history of the British East India Company are the control of Bengal after the Battle of Plassey in June 1757 which gave the company a permanent tax revenue and the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857-8 which resulted in the company being taken over by the British Crown and absorbed into the British Empire proper.

What happened to the East India Company?

The British East India Company was a trading company founded in 1600. It controlled most of India by the mid-19th century but was then taken over by the British Crown and formally dissolved in 1874.

When did the East India Company first come to India?

The British East India Company first came to India between 1612 and 1619 when Sir Thomas Roe secured from the Mughal Emperor permanent trading rights at the east coast port of Surat.
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About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a full-time writer, researcher, historian, and editor. Special interests include art, architecture, and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the WHE Publishing Director.

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