The arrival of European companies in India - Modern History of India

The arrival of European companies in India - Modern History of India
Posted on 30-05-2022

The arrival of European companies in India

The arrival of European companies in India: Since ancient times, they used to come to India for foreign trade, European companies arrived in India only for trade. First, the Portuguese came to India via the waterways, followed by the DutchBritish and French respectivelySoon the Europeans monopolized India's sea and sea areas and maritime trade.


On May 17, 1498, the Portuguese sailor Vasco-da-Gama first came to India by waterway. The credit for discovering the sea route to India is given to the Portuguese only. Vasco-da-Gama came by sea to a place called Calicut on the west coast of India. The then Hindu ruler there was ZamorinIt was Zamorin who had welcomed Vasco da Gama to Calicut. Zamorin had provided the facility to trade Vasco-da-Gama. The main purpose of Europeans coming to India was to tradeVasco-da-Gama discovered the sea route to India through the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1505, a Portuguese named Francisco-de-Almeida was sent as the authorized governor of Portuguese territories in India. Francisco-de-Almeida was to establish control of the Portuguese over the trade in the Indian Ocean, but he failed in this and went back to Portugal in 1509 AD.

After Francisco-de-Almeida, in 1509 ADAlphonso-de-Albuquerque was sent to India as the next Portuguese governor. Alphonso-de-Albuquerque is considered the real founder of Portuguese power in India. Alphonso-de-Albuquerque advised the Portuguese to marry Indians so that the number of Portuguese in India could be increased. Alphonso-de-Albuquerque conquered Goa and the island of Hormuz in the Persian GulfIn 1510 AD, the Portuguese captured Goa from Bijapur, the then ruler of Bijapur was Yusuf AdilshahIn 1503 AD, it was Alphonso-de-Albuquerque that built the Portuguese fort in Cochin.was built. Goa was the capital of the Portuguese in India in 1530 AD, where the Portuguese headquarters were located.

In 1560 ADMartin Alphonso D'Souza was sent as governor, along with the Christian saint Francisco Javier also came to India, who inspired the local castes and fishermen of Goa to convert to ChristianityThe Portuguese named their maritime empire ' Istado-the-India ', under which the ships passing through their jurisdiction had to pay a security tax, which was called CartzIt used to be like a permitAkbar, the great ruler of the Mughal Empire, also had to pay this security tax.

The cultivation of red pepper, black pepper, and tobacco in India was the contribution of the Portuguese. The credit for bringing shipbuilding and printing press technology to India also goes to the Portuguese. The first printing press in India was established by the Portuguese in 1556  AD. The first factory established by the Portuguese in Bengal was Hooghly.

The first Europeans to capture Pondicherry were the Portuguese, who took possession of Pondicherry in 1793 AD. By the 17th century, Portuguese power began to decline due to the arrival of the Dutch in India, religious intolerance and interference from the Portuguese imperial government, and the Portuguese monopoly in India ended.

Dutch (Holland)

Dutch people who were residents of Holland came to India in 1596 AD. The Dutch also established the Dutch East India Company in 1602 AD. The first joint capital company was started by the Dutch to trade with India. The Dutch also established a factory at Chinsurah in Bengal. The main purpose of the Dutch people was to trade on the islands of South-East Asia, India was just a link in their trade route.

The Dutch defeated the Portuguese and built Fort Williams in Kochi. The Dutch had opened trading centers in GujaratCoromandelBengal, Odisha, etc. The Dutch established the first Kothi at Musalipatam and the second at Pulicat.

Dutch trading power was at its peak in the 17th century. The Dutch exported important items like cottonopiumsilk, and spices from India. In 1759 AD, there was a battle of Bedra between the British and the Dutch, in which the Dutch were defeated so badly that their feet were uprooted from India. This was the reason that in the 18th century the power of the Dutch was weakened in front of the British.

English (British)

Of all the European companies that came to India for business, the British were the most powerful. In 1599 AD, the first Englishman named John Mildenhall came to India. On December 31, 1600, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted the British Company a right to trade with India for 15 yearsThe charter was granted to the Levant Company by land route and to the  East India Company by sea route.

From this company, in 1608 ADCaptain Hawkins came as the ambassador of England to the court of the then Mughal ruler Jahangir. In order to increase his business in India, Hawkins requested to settle in Surat and gifted Jahangir the gloves and wagon used in EnglandDue to this Jahangir gave the title of ' English Khan ' to Captain Hawkins. Due to the opposition of the Portuguese and other local merchants, Jahangir could not allow the British to settle in Surat even if he wanted to. As a result, the British forcefully conquered it in 1611 AD by Captain Middleton. Or at a place called Swali, the Portuguese fleet was defeated and driven away, as a result of which, in 1613 AD, Jahangir issued a decree and ordered the British to build a permanent trading room in Surat. The first factory was established in Surat by the East India Company in 1613 AD. The first trading room was opened by the British in 1611 AD in Musalipatnam.


June 23, 1757 ADAfter the Battle of Plassey,  the British had complete dominance over India. The Battle of Plassey took place between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daula, in which the British army was led by Robert Clive, followed by the victory of the British at the Battle of Buxar on October 22, 1764, after the British victory in India. There was no political power or ruler left who could defeat the British. Battle of Buxar The British East India Company and the Mughal Nawabs ( Mir Qasim of Bengal, Nawab of Oudh ) near  Buxar NagarShuja-ud- daula, and the combined forces of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II ). Major Hector Munron led the British in this war.

The British did many other important wars and treaties, as a result of which till the independence of India from the British in 1947 AD, the British had an umbrella rule over India. The British ruled India the most among European companies. The British ruled India for almost 200 years.

The British established their trading centers in Surat, Madras (present-day Chennai), Bombay  (present-day Mumbai), and Calcutta  (present-day Kolkata) respectively. The aim of the British was to cultivate sugarcane, opium, tea, coffee, jute, etc. in India and buy them at cheap prices and send them to England. Due to this, the British laid railway lines in important areas in India and built roadsAlong with this, the purpose of the British was to sell expensive clothes imported into India from Britain in India.


In 1664 AD, the ' French East India Company ' was established by Colbert during the reign of Louis 14. In 1668 AD, the French had established the first factory in Surat the French Cairo, after getting permission from  Aurangzeb. In 1669 AD, the French established their second factory at Moosalipatnam by obtaining the approval of the Sultan of Golconda.


Francis Martin in 1673 ADHe laid the foundation of Pondicherry by acquiring a small village from the Subedar of Balikondapuram in AD. In 1774 AD, Shaista Khan, the Subedar of Bengal, ordered the construction of a Kothi in Chandranagar1742 AD Due to the increase of French power and the annexation of Indian states by the French Governor Dupleix, the conflict started between the French and the British, resulting in three wars between them, which is known as the Carnatic War.

All European companies had come to India for business, but gradually their craving and greed increased so much that they tried to strengthen the roots of their business by adopting all methods like price, price, and punishment. In all this, due to the policies and efficiency of the British, he ruled India for the most years.

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