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Example research essay topic: British East India Company - 689 words

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The British East India Company was the main source of trade between the east and Britain for more that 200 years. I chose to do my research paper on the British east India Company. The British east India Company was the most important of the various East India companies; this company was a major force in the history of India for more than 200 years. Queen Elizabeth I granted the original charter on December 31, 1600, under the title of "The Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies. " The company was granted a monopoly of trade in the East Indies, with the formal restriction that it might not contest the prior trading rights of "any Christian prince. " A governor and 24 directors chosen from its stockholders managed the company. In early voyages the company penetrated as far as Japan, and in 1610 and 1611 its first factories, or trading posts, were established in India in the provinces of Madras and Bombay. Under a perpetual charter granted in 1609 by King James I, the company began to compete with the Dutch trading monopoly in the Malay Archipelago, but after the massacre of Amboina the company conceded to the Dutch the area that became known as the Netherlands East Indies.

Its armed merchantmen, however continued sea warfare with Dutch, French, and Portuguese competitors. In 1650 and 1655 the company joined rival companies that had been incorporated under the Commonwealth and Protectorate by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. In 1657 Cromwell ordered it reorganized as the sole joint-stock company with rights to the Indian trade. During the reign of Charles II the company acquired sovereign rights in addition to its trading privileges.

In 1689, with the establishment of administrative districts called presidencies in the Indian provinces of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, the company began its long rule in India. Traders who were not members of the company and were not licensed by the Crown to trade continually harassed it. In 1698, under a parliamentary ruling in favor of free trade, these private newcomers were able to set up a new company, called the New Company or English Company. The East India Company, however, bought control of this new company, and in 1702 an act of Parliament compounded the two as "The United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies. " The charter was renewed several times in the 18 th century, each time with financial concessions to the Crown. The victories of Robert Clive, a company official, over the French at Arcot in 1751 and at Plassey in 1757 made the company the dominant power in India. All formidable European rivalry vanished with the defeat of the French at Pondicherry in 1761.

In 1773 the British government established a governor-generalship in India, thereby greatly decreasing administrative control by the company; however, its governor of Bengal, Warren Hastings, became the first governor-general of India. In 1784 the India Act created a department of the British government to exercise political, military, and financial control over the Indian affairs of the company, and during the next half century British control was extended over most of the subcontinent. In 1813 the company's monopoly of the Indian trade was abolished, and in 1833 it lost its China trade monopoly. Its annual dividends of 10. 5 percent were made a fixed charge on Indian revenues. The company continued its administrative functions until the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 - 1859. In 1858, by the Act for the Better Government of India, the Crown assumed all governmental responsibilities held by the company, and its 24, 000 -man military force was incorporated into the British army.

The company was dissolved on January 1, 1874, when the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act came into effect. As you have read above the British east India Company has played a major part in history. If not for the company the British would have little if any trading with the east. They were the first to have factories and trading posts in India and Japan and make eastern items accessible to the western world. Bibliography:


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Research essay sample on British East India Company

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