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Given here is the history of the British East India Company. Read about English East India Company.

East India Company

The British East India Company was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I for developing trade and commerce with Asia. The principle cause for introducing the British East India Company was to break the monopoly of the Dutch in spice trade with the East Indies. The English East India Company established its first factory in the year 1611 at Machilipatnam located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Mughal emperors who were ruling India at that time gave the British unlimited privileges and control over many things in the economy. Read about the history of East India Company.

The East India Company started to flourish and reap profits from exports. It began to transform from a trading company to a ruling endeavor after it won the battle of Plassey against the ruler of Bengal, Siraj - ud - daullah in the year 1757. Slowly, the company got the rights to collect revenues and taxes from people in place of the Mughal ruler. However, the administration of the East India Company was disastrous and the people turned against them in no time.

East India Company During the famine of 1769-70, the East India Company did absolutely nothing to help the people and the state of Bengal was reduced from a rich princely state to an impoverished state. Almost one third of the people died as a result of the famine which triggered off resentment among the rest of the population. The employees of the company were busy saving themselves and were very harsh and greedy.

Though the East India Company had profits in exports and trading, it incurred huge expenses in military maintenance due to which it was evident that the company would be destroyed. The state government intervened in time and gave funds to the company so that it would function like before. In 1773, the Regulating Act was passed which provided the company with greater parliamentary control over the state and placed India under the rule of a Governor General.

Warren Hastings was the first British Governor General to rule India. He expanded the British rule rapidly in India. He was succeeded by Lord Cornwallis in the year 1784. Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement wherein it was stated the British would collect land revenues from the Zamindars till eternity. The East India Company did its best to remove all Indian rivals it had and during the administration of Lord Wellesley the expansion of British Empire took place with ruthless force. It was during his administration that the kingdom of Mysore was annexed after fierce battle with Tipu Sultan and then eventually the state of Punjab was conquered. The East India Company thus had the control over entire India with the annexation of Punjab.

Lord Dalhousie was the next Governor who introduced the Doctrine of Lapse, which agitated the rulers of the princely states. According to the doctrine, a province would automatically go to the British if there is no male heir to the throne. Pensions were stopped and it was announced that rulers after Bahadur Shah would not be given the title of King. All these factors were responsible for triggering the Indians against them and they revolted against the East India Company. Thus, East India Company saw its downfall and the administration of India went directly under the crown.