How the East India Company became the world’s most powerful business – National Geographic

After overseeing the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth I issued a royal charter authorizing British merchants to trade in the East Indies on behalf of the crown.


The trading firm took command of an entire subcontinent and left behind a legacy that still impacts modern life.

THINK GOOGLE OR Apple are powerful? Then you’ve never heard of the East India Company, a profit-making enterprise so mighty, it once ruled nearly all of the Indian subcontinent. Between 1600 and 1874, it built the most powerful corporation the world had ever known, complete with its own army, its own territory, and a near-total hold on trade of a product now seen as quintessentially British: Tea.


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  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On September 28, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Quote: “The trading firm took command of an entire subcontinent and left behind a legacy that still impacts modern life.”
    A similar article was published by BBC three years ago. This article merely touches the British East India Company (BEICo) deleterious impact on India. The behemoth was welcomed into India c.1610 by the foolish Muslim Mughal emperor, Jahangir, and given unrestricted, carte blanche freedom to do whatever it pleased ‘her majesty’. All he wanted in return was some trinkets/rarities for himself/palace.

    The company then set about to usurp control in various parts of India and by 1757-64 began to run Indian as its personal space draining India of its tax revenues (handed over by the effete Mughal emperor), riches and ruining the economy which was 23% of the world’s economy on entry. When the Co and its masters, the British gov’t left India GDP had dropped to 4% of the world’s.

    The Indians finally rebelled in 1857. Soon after, the British Crown/Raj took over from BEICo until 1947. So, for close to 350 years the two entities enriched Britain and provided much of the financing of the Industrial Revolution, while impoverishing India and destroying her social fabric, etc.

    During their rule they manufactured numerous famines killing out 20-30 million Indians. They shifted the economy from its food production (and her world-renowned small business handicraft, clothing and local industrial products) to mainly large scale industrial products such as Indigo, hemp, tea and Opium production for export. Aside from Opium for export to China and local use, the other products were destined for British mills with the finished products returning to flood Indian markets thus further destroying India’s small business base.

    Of the remaining food production, the British exported much of the grains and wheat to England and to the two world war efforts to fatten Britons and allied soldiers. In the meantime, the Indians were starved and became destitute.

    Australian biochemist Dr. Gidgeon Polya has written extensively on the “manmade holocaust” by the British Government with Churchill being the architect in the 1943 one where 3-4 million died. Yet [incongruously] 1942 was a “bountiful year” but the British diverted the food to Britain and other places causing massive food shortages’. Churchill regarded ‘wheat as too precious a food to expend on Indians
    Overall, Dr Polya writes: “The British brought an unsympathetic and ruthless economic agenda to India. Economic exploitation damaged the indigenous Indian economy and resulted in a decline in the standard of living. The British disinclination to respond with urgency and vigour to food deficits resulted in a succession of about 2 dozen appalling famines during the British occupation of India.”

    So what are the British enduring legacy impacts on India? Here are my quick three:
    • The lack of appropriate sanitation/toilet facilities in India. See my most recent comments here.
    • The caste system, which the British ‘cast in stone’ by assigning all Indians to over 2,000 castes, into a rigid hierarchical social order. (I deal with this in my current book: The Mauling of Indians – Prof. Seecharan’s Noxious “Revisionist” Falsehoods of Ind0-Guyanese History)
    • Creation of a class of “Macaulay’s Children” – modern sepoys or Gunda Dins – ‘coconuts’ (as I refer to them). These Indians comprise today’s powerful Indian ‘Secularists’ of India who were indoctrinated to hate the 80+ % Hindus. Lord Macaulay, the president of the colonial education board, argued for a class of people: “Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect”. This also describes Susan Smith’s idea of Prof Seecharan.

    On the matter of Seecharan, what the reader should note is that our dear emeritus Prof of history, Clem Seecharan, a recent D.Litt recipient from UWI, never mentions these horrendous degradations by his British colonial friends – “benefactors” as Susan Smith refers to his relationship with the British universities – in his 2014 GT lecture. Instead he chose to maul Hindus/Indians for allegedly introducing racism to Guyana; and claiming indentured Indians, including 10-yr old girls, fled arid (hence unproductive) India (and patriarchy) to get away to Guyana and other colonies (forgetting to tell us that they set out on a 10,500 miles, 3 ½ month journey mainly to fill their bellies). See Susan Smith’s comments here.

    Seecharan is, of course, much more than a ‘coconut’. That alone would not have earned him the honorary D.Litt. I explain in my book.


  • marc matthews  On September 29, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Check Covent Garden it there..

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