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East India Company
The East India Company (Honourable East India Company [HEIC] East India Trading Company, East India Company, and sometimes British East India Company) was a society of investors who got on December 31, 1600 the Royal License hands of Queen Elizabeth I of England with the intention of guaranteeing the privileges of trade in India. The royal license gave the new company the artificial monopoly on all trade in the East Indies. The Company changed from a simple trade union, and became the company that virtually ruled India until the dissolution of the company in 1858. It had its headquarters in London.
The company’s business focused on cotton, silk, indigo and tea. They started some business into the field of spices, previously monopolized by the Dutch. In 1711 they established a trading post in China, to trade with tea and silver.
In 1670, King Charles II granted the company the right to lead armies and form alliances, declare war or make peace and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction in areas where it functioned .En 1689, the Company was almost a ‘state’ within the continental India, which administered independently areas of Bombay, Madras and Bengal and possessed an extremely intimidating military force.
During mid-nineteenth century, the control of the Company extended over most of India, Burma, Singapore and Hong Kong; one fifth of the world population was under its authority. It solved some problems of liquidity to buy tea in China, exporting Indian opium, but in 1813 the company was deprived of trade monopoly and in 1833 got out of the tea trade in China. Finally, in 1858, the company lost its administrative functions, which were taken off by the government after the revolt of the sepoys in 1857; India formally became a British colony. In early 1860, all the possessions of the company passed to the Empire. The Company continued to control the tea trade. Finally, the company was dissolved on January 1, 1874.
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