The Establishment of English of East India Company
1. Backgrounds and establishment
1) Merchants benefited from The Great Geographical Discovery and Price Revolution. 2) Dutch had monopolized the sea routes and spice trade.
3) The trade route between London and Antwerp was stopped.
4) The Invincible Armada was beat by English in 1588.
The voyages were very risky and need substantive money, so merchants need unity. Granted an English Royal Charter by Elizabeth I, it was founded in 1600.
2. Its management organization
1) It was founded by a coterie of enterprising and influential businessmen.
2) It was led by one Governor and 24 directors who made up the Court of Directors.
3) For the first 10 years, each voyage was counted as a separate venture. By 1615, they amalgamated into a single joint stock, and really this is the beginning of a modern concept of shareholdings and dividends.
3. The foundation years
1) It challenged Dutch and Portugal who were stronger in Far East and wanted to destroy their trade but it made little impression on the Dutch control of the spice trade.
2) In 1602, it established the first mercantile point in Bantam and returned with spice.
3) The Stuart Dynasty stopped its grant in 1604, 1617 and 1635.
4) In 1609, James I renewed the charter given to it for an indefinite period.
5) 1613-1623, it established many mercantile points in Japan.
4. Foothold in India
1) 1608-1610, established a trade transit point and the first factory in Surat, India.
2) In 1612, it achieved a major victory over the Portuguese in the Battle of Swally.
3) In 1615, the Mughal emperor gave it exclusive rights to reside and build factories.
4) It established points in Banda(1616),in Madras(1620) and in Calcutta(1633).
5. Its voyages and trade
1）The First Voyage of the Company set out in Feb, 1601, with a successful result.
2）Between 1601 and 1612, there were twelve voyages to the East.
3) It often got pepper, clove and spice, etc. from Far East and sold them in Europe.
4) It had many routes from London to Far East. Key points: Cape of Good Hope, East African coast, Somalia, Yemen, the Bay of Bengal, Malay lands, Canton.
Antony Wild, The East India Company: trade and conquest from 1600, (New York, 2000), p.p.13-63.