From a Mere Trading Company to Ruling Over Large Parts of India?
Company executives have a great responsibility in controlling it. This is not as easy as managing a small business. This event is for a company that humbly began through the ranks to control not just a state, but nations as well. It was simply beghasting!. The Honorary British East India Company was a young partner in the trading network of the 18th century Persianate centered North India Empire. At first it was a private enterprise, and gradually it became involved in the politics of intensity on the subcontinent. The company started at a store in Mayfair London with a businessman named Sanjiv.
On the other hand, France and other European competitors appeared more in the subcontinent because they became important national and imperialist rivals in the War of Succession and the Seven Years War. Given the enormous impact that it had, it was not surprising that the system in East India company was higher than other countries. Especially when the Queen Elizabeth I hired the company, with the hope that Britain can trade with Asia. This was a smart move to make profit. The company was founded during the reign of the queen and became the dominant global player with a special Army.
There is no doubt that the company is one of the strongest companies in history and has become a political force in the Indian continent. EIC finally received 1,657 permanent joint stock. So the big question is; how did the British East India Company turned from being a mere trading company into a trading company that ruled over most parts of India. Let's delve into the issue proper. So in 1600, a group of London merchantmen led by retail martyr Sir Thomas Smythe wrote a formal written request to Queen Elizabeth I to submit the Royal Charter for Trade with the Eastern Hemisphere countries. The request was based on trusted business people gathered for this process. Then the East India Company was founded.
People never thought that the company, as young as it was could become a dynamic global trade that will go beyond the control of the subcontinent. Many people, including me, never predicted this. Interestingly, when the queen founded the East Indian Company, her opposite number, who is the Indian emperor, Akbar, was also reigning over a kingdom of 750,000 square miles. Surprisingly, the empire stretched from northern Afghanistan to the north-west, to the central Deccan plateau in southern India, and to the Assam mountains in the north-east.
Prior to the signing of the queen in 1626, Babur, Akbar's grandfather, focused on the power, military superiority, and cultural productivity of the inscription "Great Mughals" of the Mughal empire, founded in 1526. As it appears, the court of Mughal owned a wealth and a powerful impression to outshadow anything that the Europeans could produce in India at the time. Meanwhile, the court couldn't fathom why they cannot find Indian artisans in the country to work back at home. Instead, they are in great demand all over the world.
In fact, when the East India Company first visited the Mughal court at the beginning of the 17th century, they pleaded to be allowed to discuss favorable trade relations with the successor to Akbar, Emperor Jahangir. However, the Court was unreceptive to their plea. The company had initially planned to earn revenue from the original spices markets of the Southeast Asia. Upon research, they realized the trade was entirely dominated by the Dutch. Therefore, they had to retreat to the Court. Fortunately for the East India Company, they were approved after review by Emperor Jahangir. The door was then opened. Regulation of the EIC activities began in 1770 with North's regulating act (1773) and Pitt's Indian Act (1784). This provision encouraged the company to strengthen parliamentary control.
But in the beginning of the company's reign was terrible. They are weak in corruption and profiteering. It was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the adoption of a law that received Indian dividends from the East Indies act passed by the Indian government. After a series of atrocities and lawsuits against them, they changed their tune. Their overall activity improved thereon. What happened next? The East India Company began building factories on the east and west coasts of India. They also built permanent buildings to house some 260,000 troops, who were twice the number of British troops at that time. That was in 1803.
To be accepted into India, they wisely recruited Indian soldiers to train the skills of the European army. They sent British naval and royal troops to India. So you can imagine how an aggressive East Indian company was eager to enter into the market. All of these structures and plans allow the EIC to play an important role in regional conflicts and disputes. Since then, they have provided financial assistance to most Indian traders and financial institution. They increasingly affected trading opportunities in India.
But the emergence of the EIC about political power in the UK, it was an unexpected event for the continuing mistakes of the EIC. The history of this company was a heated debate in India. This happened when the uprising began in 1857. (In the UK, it was often called "Indian torture.") After settling, the company developed other strategies and arrangements for commercial businesses purposes. To have a strong base in India, East India Company looked for Indian agents who provided them Indian artisans and producers.
Meanwhile, the group of stock providers decided to share all the costs and risks associated with individuals and investors. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the East Indian Company (EIC) grew sizeably and strongly. People thought that EIC was unstable, but their shares were an important indicator of the UK economy. They knew what they were doing, and so they quickly became one of the most influential financial institutions in London.
As powerful as they became, they were victorious in military battles particularly, the battles of Plassey (1757) and Buxar (1764). Additionally, it also created colonies without conquest. In fact, it is the ruler of much larger areas than the UK. Finally, the EIC was given the Diwani of Bengali reverence to control the administration of the Indian territory and the power to collect tax revenues on behalf of the government of India. In 1818, the EIC was the largest political force in India, with direct control over two-thirds of the subcontinent and indirect control over other regions.
If you think that the EIC was stuck here, then it may be imagination because the company took another step to expand the tentacles in Asia and the African continent after seizing control of India. They were everywhere, and at some point East India was worth trillions of dollars.
The company was recently added to the BBC One Period drama film, which features a powerful and criminal organization. This clearly shows how strong the British-Indian company was. The East India Company, which usually does not have remote support, is a rare case in world history. This is a commercial organization with great resources. The East India Company disappeared from the scene in 1858.
About the Author 🇬🇭
Osei Agyemang is a passionate and creative content writer / editor who is an expert in writing interesting and innovative contents. Osei is also an addicted travel enthusiast who likes to visit and tell the stories of interesting places around the world. He is an award winning National Artist who studied Psychology and Journalism.