The Advent of European Companies in India

  • In 1453, land routes were blocked by Ottoman Turks. So, new sea routes discovered by the Europeans to promote their business.
  • Colombus of Spain discovered America where as in 1498, Vasco-da-Gama of Portugal discovered India. He came to India via Cape of Good Hope (Africa).
  • First of all, Vasco-da-Gama reached to Calicut (Kerla or Kozhicode) where Zamorin ruler welcomed his arrival.
  • The Portugese soon established political power along the west coast of India. he was succeeded by Captain General Alfonso de Albuquerque who conquered Goa in 1510.
Sequence of Arrivals:-
Potugese East Indian company (Formed by Vasco-da-Gama) 1498 Cochin (1510-30), Goa (1530-1961)
Dutch East India Company 1602 East coast; Coromandal, Pulicut, Bengal
English East India Company 1608 West coast: Surat, Bombay east coast: Coromandal, Masulipatanam, Madras.
French East India Company (Formed by Colbert) 1664 Surat (1668-73), Pondicherry (1673-1954).

English East India Company-
  • 1600: Elizabeth 1 signed Charter for 15 years (monopoly trading rights)
    1608: Captain William Hawkins came at Jehangir's court to seek permission to open a factory at Surat.
    16/08/09: After death of Elizabeth 1, James 1 was appointed as ruler of England and he renewed the Charter for Indefinite period.
  • 1612: Battle of Swally: England vs Portugal, In this battle, Portugal was defeated by the English and Surat was conquered.
  • 1613: A Farman was issued by Jahangir permitting the English to build a factory at Surat.
    1615-1618: James I send ambassador, Thomas Roe in Jahangir's court to obtain the permission to trade and erect factories in different parts of the Empire.
    1619-1623: Some more factories like Agra, Baroda Bharuch, Ahmadabad were started.
    1639: Got location for Madras factory the name of Madras factory was fort St. George.
    1668: Established Bombay Factory.
    1690: Sutanuti (Bengal) factory was founded by Job Charnock.
    1691: Aurangzeb issued Farman for Duty free trade in Bengal.
    1698: Two more factories Govindpur and Kalikata were established near Sutanuti.
    1700: In Calcutta, Fort William eestablished and Calcutta became the British Capital.
  • 1707: Rise of autonomous states led by his governors. These governors were Independent due to the death of Aurangzeb.
    Some of the Important governors are:-
    Bengal - Murshid Quil Khan (1717)
    Awadh - Saadat Khan (1722)
    Hyderabad - Chin Qilich Khan (Nizam-ul-Mulk) (1724)
  • 1717: Farrukhsiyar's Firman gave the rights of Duty free trade in Bombay and Madras. later on, this farman was proved as Magna Carta of companies trade in India.
    He also gave Passes to merchants called "Dastak' for Duty free trade.
  • 1740-1756: Nawab of Bengal Alivardi Khan found misuse of Dastaks and Fortification of factories. he prevented the English and the French from fortifying their factories at Calcutta and Chandranagore respectively. He was succeeded by his grandson Siraj-ud-Daulah.

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