First European Portuguese who discovered a direct sea route to India was Vasco da Gama. He arrived at Calicut seaport of India. So here in Article, we will see how established European in India.
European in India
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Let’s us study the Europeans who came in India and establishes their empire.
- The Portuguese in India
- The Dutch in India
- The British in India
The Portuguese in India
India had commercial relations with the countries of the West since ancient times. The Mughal Emperors had failed to guard their sea coasts due to the lack of a strong navy. Thus, Indian coasts became an easy trading destination for the European powers who fought for the control of Indian trade and rich natural resources. European in India
The geographical discoveries of the last quarter of the 15th century also opened the prospects of newer and more profitable markets. Vasco-da-Gama, a Portuguese navigator, found out a new sea route to India. He reached the port of Calicut on 20 May 1498, with a fleet out of 4 ships and 118 sailors on board. He received a warm welcome from the Hindu king, Zamorin.
The Portuguese succeeded in establishing their trading centres in Cochin, Goa, Daman and Diu which they retained till 1961.
The Dutch in India
Attracted by the spice markets of the South to East Asia, the Dutch undertook several voyages this region. The Dutch East India Company was formed in 1602. Their important factories were located in Masulipatam, Pulicat, Surat, Karikal, Patna, Balasore and Cochin. They exported cotton clothes, raw silk, molasses, opium and indigo from India. European in India
The trading centres were called factories and the officials of the company working there, were called ‘factors‘.
The Dutch succeeded in establishing their monopoly in the spice trade throughout the seventeenth century. They established a trade link between India and the islands of the Far East. They further established their command on the pepper and spice trade in the islands of Sumatra, Java and Moluccas.
They also succeeded in during the English out of Amboyna, one of the spice islands in 1623. While the Dutch were expanding their trade-in India and in the islands of the Far East, they were opposed by the Dutch government who laid stress on maintaining its primacy over the affairs of the company. This behaviour of the government led to the decline of the company. European in India
The British in India
Sir Francis Drake, a British navigator undertook a voyage around the world in 1579. The completion of his voyage and the victory of the English over the Spanish Armada in 1588, encouraged the people of England to undertake voyages to the Eastern world. The English Queen, Elizabeth I also encouraged many seafarers like James Lancaster, John Mildenhall and Captain Raymond to go to India.
On 31st December 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted the East India Company a Royal Charter giving it the sole right to trade with the East.
The East India Company initially started in the name ‘The Governor and Company of Merchants’ of London Trading into the East Indies. European in India
A royal charter clearly meant that no other trading group in England could now compete with the East India Company. The Company now had the right to undertake voyages to new and unknown markets from where it could buy goods at a cheaper price and sell them back in Europe at higher prices.
The East India Company undertook its early voyages to Sumatra, Java and the Moluccas. In 1608, it made its first attempt to establish factories in India. In 1613, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir issued a Farman permitting the English to establish a factory permanently at Surat.