East India Company: Difference between revisions

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{{About|the 16th–19th-century English and British trading company|theits currentrule Eastin India Companyduring (foundedthe 2010)|Sanjivperiod Mehta1757–1857, (Britishsee businessman)|other[[Company usesrule in India]]}}
{{other uses of|HEIC| HEIC (disambiguation)}}
{{short description|16th through 19th-century British trading company}}
{{EngvarB|date=August 2017}}
{{Colonial India}}
 
The '''East India Company''' ('''EIC'''), also known as the '''Honourable East India Company''' ('''HEIC'''), '''East India Trading Company''' ('''EITC'''), the '''English East India Company''' or the '''British East India Company''', and informally known as '''John Company''',<ref>{{cite book|last1=Carey|first1=W. H.|title=1882 – The Good Old Days of Honourable John Company|date=1882|publisher=Argus Press|location=Simla |url=http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/texts/empire/good/1882good.html|accessdate=30 July 2015}}</ref> '''Company Bahadur''',<ref>{{cite web |title=Company Bahadur |url=https://www.britannica.com/topic/Company-Bahadur |website=Encyclopaedia Britannica}}</ref> or simply '''The Company''', was an English and later British [[joint-stock company]] founded in 1600.<ref>The [[Dutch East India Company]] was the first to issue public stock.</ref> It was formed to [[Indian Ocean trade|trade in the Indian Ocean region]], initially with the [[East Indies]] (the [[Indian subcontinent]] and [[Southeast Asia]]), and later with [[Qing dynasty|Qing China]]. The company ended up seizing [[Company rule in India|control of large parts of the Indian subcontinent]], [[European colonisation of Southeast Asia|colonised parts of Southeast Asia]] and [[British Hong Kong|Hong Kong]] after the [[First Opium War]], and maintained trading posts and colonies in the [[Persian Gulf Residency|Persian Gulf Residencies]].<ref>{{Cite book|last=Henige, David P.|url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/299459478|title=Colonial governors from the fifteenth century to the present : a comprehensive list|date=1970|publisher=University of Wisconsin Press|isbn=0-299-05440-3|oclc=299459478}}</ref> The company is also known as the '''Honourable East India Company''' ('''HEIC'''), '''East India Trading Company''' ('''EITC'''), the '''English East India Company''' or the '''British East India Company''', and informally known as '''John Company''',<ref>{{cite book|last1=Carey|first1=W. H.|title=1882 – The Good Old Days of Honourable John Company|date=1882|publisher=Argus Press|location=Simla |url=http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/texts/empire/good/1882good.html|accessdate=30 July 2015}}</ref> '''Company Bahadur''',<ref>{{cite web |title=Company Bahadur |url=https://www.britannica.com/topic/Company-Bahadur |website=Encyclopaedia Britannica}}</ref> or simply '''The Company''',
 
Originally [[Chartered company|chartered]] as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies",<ref name="jiscuk">{{cite web |last1=Scott |first1=William |title=East India Company, 1817-1827 |url=https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/a9ee8afa-3ebe-340e-83c6-2e45bd014d1c |website=archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk |publisher=Senate House Library Archives, University of London |accessdate=20 September 2019 |archiveurl=https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb96-ms938 |archivedate=1994 |language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |author1=Parliament of England |title=Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth to the East India Company |url=https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Charter_Granted_by_Queen_Elizabeth_to_the_East_India_Company |website=en.wikisource.org |publisher=Wikimedia |accessdate=20 September 2019 |date=31 December 1600 |quote=Governor and Company of Merchants of London, Trading into the East-Indies}}</ref> the company rose to account for half of the world's trade{{when|date=August 2019}},<ref name=onlinegallery /> particularly in basic commodities including [[cotton]], [[silk]], [[indigo dye]], [[salt]], [[spice]]s, [[niter|saltpetre]], [[tea]], and [[opium]]. The company also ruled the beginnings of the [[British Empire]] in India.<ref name=onlinegallery>{{cite book |last1=Farrington |first1=Anthony |title=Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia 1600–1834 |date=2002 |publisher=British Library |isbn=9780712347563 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=6g5XwAEACAAJ |accessdate=21 September 2019 |language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/trading/booksgifts1.html|title=Books associated with Trading Places – the East India Company and Asia 1600–1834, an Exhibition|url-status=dead|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140330215843/http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/trading/booksgifts1.html|archivedate=30 March 2014}}</ref> In his speech to the [[House of Commons]] in July 1833, [[Lord Macaulay]] explained that since the beginning, the East India Company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.<ref name="speech">{{cite web|first=Thomas Babington|last=Macaulay|author-link=Thomas Babington Macaulay |url=http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/macaulay/txt_commons_indiagovt_1833.html | title=Speech delivered to the House of Commons (10 July 1833) | publisher=Columbia University and Project Gutenberg | accessdate=21 September 2018 | website=Columbia University in the City of New York }}</ref>
 
The company eventually came to rule large areas of India, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. [[Company rule in India]] effectively began in 1757 after the [[Battle of Plassey]] and lasted until 1858 when, following the [[Indian Rebellion of 1857]], the [[Government of India Act 1858]] led to the [[British Crown]] assuming direct control of India in the form of the new [[British Raj]].
The company received a [[Royal Charter]] from [[Elizabeth I of England|Queen Elizabeth I]] on 31 December 1600, coming relatively late to trade in the Indies. Before them the Portuguese [[Portuguese India|Estado da Índia]] had traded there for much of the 16th century and the first of half a dozen Dutch companies sailed to trade there from 1595. These Dutch companies amalgamated in March 1602 into the [[Dutch East India Company|United East India Company]] (VOC), which introduced the first permanent joint stock from 1612 (meaning investment into shares did not need to be returned, but could be traded on a [[stock exchange]]). By contrast, wealthy merchants and [[Aristocracy|aristocrats]] owned the EIC's shares.<ref>{{cite journal |last=Baladouni |first=Vahe |date=Fall 1983 |title=Accounting in the Early Years of the East India Company |journal=The Accounting Historians Journal |volume=10 |issue=2 |pages=63–80 |jstor=40697780|doi=10.2308/0148-4184.10.2.63 }}</ref> Initially the government owned no shares and had only indirect control until 1657, when permanent joint stock was established.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.britannica.com/place/India|title=India - The British, 1600–1740|website=Encyclopedia Britannica}}</ref>
 
Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances. The company was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the [[East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873|East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act]] passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless, and obsolete. The official [[Machinery of government|government machinery]] of [[British Raj]] had assumed its governmental functions and absorbed its armies.
During its first century of operation, the focus of the company was trade, not the building of an empire in India. Following the [[First Anglo-Mughal War]],<ref>{{Cite journal|title=Conflict and Cooperation in Anglo-Mughal Trade Relations during the Reign of Aurangzeb|first=Farhat|last=Hasan|journal=Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient|volume=34|issue=4|date=1991|pages=351–360|doi=10.1163/156852091X00058|jstor=3632456}}</ref> the company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the [[Mughal Empire]] declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the [[French East India Company]] (''Compagnie française des Indes orientales'') during the [[Carnatic Wars]] of the 1740s and 1750s in [[South India|southern India]]. The battles of [[Battle of Plassey|Plassey]] and [[Battle of Buxar|Buxar]], in which the company defeated the [[Nawabs of Bengal]], left the company in control of the [[proto-industrialization|proto-industrialised]] [[Mughal Bengal]] with the ability to collect revenue, in [[Bengal]] and [[Bihar]],<ref>{{cite book |last1=Brown |first1=Judith M. |author-link=Judith M. Brown |year=1994 |orig-year=First published 1984 |title=Modern India: The Origins of an Asian Democracy |publisher=Oxford University Press |page=46 |isbn=978-0-19-873113-9}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Peers |first1=Douglas M. |year=2006 |title=India under Colonial Rule 1700–1885 |publisher=Pearson Longmans |page=30 |isbn=978-0-582-31738-3}}</ref> and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the extent of its territories, controlling the majority of the Indian subcontinent either directly or indirectly via local [[puppet state]]s under the threat of force by its [[Presidency armies]], much of which were composed of native Indian [[sepoy]]s. The company invaded the island of [[Dutch Ceylon]] (now [[Sri Lanka]]) in 1795.<ref>{{Cite book|last=Mills, Lennox A. (Lennox Algernon), 1896–1968.|url=https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/821079195|title=Ceylon under British rule, 1795–1932 : with an account of the East India Company's embassies to Kandy, 1762–1795|date=2012|publisher=Routledge|isbn=978-1-136-26264-7|location=New York|oclc=821079195}}</ref>
 
By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the [[British Army]], with Indian revenues of £13,464,561 (equivalent to £{{Inflation|US|13.464561|1803|r=1}}&nbsp;million in {{Inflation/year|UK}}) and expenses of £14,017,473 (equivalent to £{{Inflation|US|14.017473|1803|r=1}}&nbsp;million in {{Inflation/year|UK}}).<ref name="eic">{{cite news|last1=Dalrymple|first1=William|title=The East India Company: The original corporate raiders|url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/04/east-india-company-original-corporate-raiders|accessdate=8 June 2017|work=The Guardian|date=4 March 2015}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/workingPapers/economicHistory/home.aspx|title=The finances of the East India Company in India, c. 1766–1859|first=John F.|last=Richards|date=19 August 2011|website=www2.lse.ac.uk}}</ref> The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and seizing administrative functions.<ref>This is the argument of Robins (2006).</ref> [[Company rule in India]] effectively began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, when, following the [[Indian Rebellion of 1857]], the [[Government of India Act 1858]] led to the [[British Crown]]'s assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new [[British Raj]].
 
The company's army played a notorious role in the unsuccessful 1857–58 rebellion, in which Indian soldiers in the company's employ led an armed revolt against their British officers that quickly gained popular support as a war for Indian independence.<ref name="britannica.com">{{Cite web|url=https://www.britannica.com/story/5-fast-facts-about-the-east-india-company|title=5 Fast Facts About the East India Company|website=Encyclopedia Britannica|language=en|access-date=3 April 2020}}</ref> During more than a year of fighting, both sides committed atrocities, including massacres of civilians, though the company's reprisals ultimately far outweighed the violence of the rebels. The rebellion brought about the effective abolition of the East India Company in 1858.<ref name="britannica.com"/>
 
Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances. It was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the [[East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873|East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act]] passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless, and obsolete. The official [[Machinery of government|government machinery]] of [[British India]] assumed the East India Company's governmental functions and absorbed its navy and its armies in 1858.
{{TOC limit|4}}
 
|-
| 1755–1759||307,776||106,646||55,770||||470,192||321,251||||||||791,443
|-
| 1760–1770||||||||||||||||||||0
|-
| 1771–1774 ||652,158||182,588||||93,683||928,429||||||||||928,429
|-
| 1775–1779 ||584,889||197,306||||48,412||830,607||||||||||830,607
|-
| 1780–1784||435,340||79,999||||40,488||555,827||||||||||555,827
|-
| 1785–1789||697,483||67,181||||38,800||803,464||||||||||803,464
|-
| 1790–1799|| 787,000|| || || || 2,200,000|||||||||| 4,500,000
|-
| – 1790–1792||727,717||170,442||||38,707||936,866||||||||||936,866
|-
| 1800–1809||1,331,000|| || || || 1,824,000||||||||||
|-
| 1810–1819|| || || || || 1,358,000||||||||||
|-
| 1820–1829|| || || || || 431,000||||||||||
|-
| 1830–1839|| 6 || || || || 271,000||478,000||||||||3,000,000
|-
| 1840–1849|| || || || || 304,000|||||||||| 2,606,000
|-
| 1850–1859|| || || || || |||||||||| 2,279,000
|}
 
Eventually, the East India Company seized control of Bengal and slowly the whole Indian subcontinent with its private armies, composed primarily of Indian [[sepoy]]s. As historian [[William Dalrymple (historian)|William Dalrymple]] observes,
{{Quote|We still talk about the British conquering India, but that phrase disguises a more sinister reality. It was not the British government that seized India at the end of the 18th century, but a dangerously unregulated private company headquartered in one small office, five windows wide, in London, and managed in India by an unstable [[Sociopathy|sociopath]] – [[Robert Clive|[Robert] Clive]].<ref name="eic" />}}
 
=== Slavery 1621–18431621–1757 ===
 
The East India Company's own archives suggest that its involvement in the slave trade began in 1684, when a Captain Robert Knox was tasked with purchasing 250 slaves from Madagascar to be transported to St. Helena.<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Pinkston|first=Bonnie|date=3 October 2018|title=Documenting the British East India Company and their Involvement in the East Indian Slave Trade|url=https://aquila.usm.edu/slisconnecting/vol7/iss1/10|journal=SLIS Connecting|volume=7|issue=1|pages=53–59|doi=10.18785/slis.0701.10|issn=2330-2917|doi-access=free}}</ref> However, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was the early 1620s when the East India Company began transporting slave labor to and using it in its facilities across Asia and the Atlantic.<ref>{{Cite web|title=East India Company {{!}} Definition, History, & Facts|url=https://www.britannica.com/topic/East-India-Company|access-date=21 June 2020|website=Encyclopedia Britannica|language=en}}</ref> Allen (2015) suggests that it was 1621.<ref name=":0">{{Cite web|title=European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500–1850|url=http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/European+Slave+Trading+in+the+Indian+Ocean%2C+1500%E2%80%931850|access-date=21 June 2020|website=Ohio University Press • Swallow Press|language=en}}</ref>
 
The East India Company also supplied the Anglo-African slavers with a substantial proportion of the trade goods, used to barter for slaves till abolition at the start of the 19th century, with Indian cottons the most significant element in exchange for African slaves, accounting for up 30% of the total exported value, by the mid-eighteenth century.<ref>{{Cite web|date=27 June 2013|title=Indian cotton textiles in the eighteenth-century Atlantic economy|url=https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/southasia/2013/06/27/indian-cotton-textiles-in-the-eighteenth-century-atlantic-economy/|access-date=19 August 2020|website=South Asia @ LSE}}</ref>
 
According to Bonnie Pinkston's paper, the East India company continued to use slaves across their territories until abolition. This would be 1843 when the British India – Indian Slavery Act of 1843 came into force,<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=PmZjAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA585|title=The Acts of the Legislative Council of India, with a Glossary; an Analytical Abstract Prefixed to Each Act, and Copious Indexes. By W. Theobald|date=1844|language=en|author1=India}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|last=1843 CHAPTER 98|first=United Kingdom Slave Trade Act 1843|date=24 August 1843|title=Slave Trade Act 1843 – 1843 CHAPTER 98|url=http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/6-7/98/enacted/data.pdf|url-status=live|access-date=21 June 2020|website=Official Home of United Kingdom Legislation}}</ref> and this is confirmed by the explicit exclusion of the East Indian Company's territories from the United Kingdoms Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire. The East India Company did pass an Act in 1811 ending the transportation of new slaves into its territories.
 
Professor Richard B. Allen's book European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean 1500–1850 includes sources on the British East Indian Company's involvement and other European nations' activities.<ref name=":0" /> In 1758, 500 people were transported to Bombay to meet a shortfall in local labour. The East India Company was facing financial difficulties, so an order came from the directors to purchase and transport these slaves.<ref>{{Cite journal|last=ALLEN|first=RICHARD B.|date=2010|title=Satisfying the "Want for Labouring People": European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500–1850|url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/20752925|journal=Journal of World History|volume=21|issue=1|pages=45–73|jstor=20752925|issn=1045-6007}}</ref>
 
=== Japan ===
File:Captain Every (Works of Daniel Defoe).png|Depiction of [[Henry Every|Captain Every]]'s encounter with the Mughal Emperor's granddaughter after his September 1695 capture of the Mughal trader Ganj-i-Sawai
</gallery>
 
=== Attempt at annexing Afghanistan ===
{{main|First Anglo-Afghan War}}
The British East India Company unsuccessfully attempted to annex Afghanistan in 1839.<ref name="Kohn">{{Cite book |last=Kohn |first=George Childs |date=2013 |title=Dictionary of Wars. Revised Edition |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=qTDfAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA5 |location=London/New York |publisher=Routledge |page=5 |isbn=9781135954949}}</ref><ref name=baxter>{{cite encyclopedia|last=Baxter|first=Craig|title=The First Anglo-Afghan War|encyclopedia=Afghanistan: A Country Study|year=2001|publisher=Claitor's Pub. Division|location=Baton Rouge, LA|isbn=1-57980-744-5|url=http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+af0012)|editor=Federal Research Division, Library of Congress|accessdate=23 September 2011}}</ref>
 
== Forming a complete monopoly ==
 
=== East India Company Army and Navy ===
{{Main|Presidency armies|Company rule in India}}
In its first century and half, the EIC used a few hundred soldiers as guards. The great expansion came after 1750, when it had 3,000 regular troops. By 1763, it had 26,000; by 1778, it had 67,000. It recruited largely [[sepoy|Indian troops]] and trained them along European lines.<ref>{{cite journal |author=Gerald Bryant |year=1978 |title=Officers of the East India Company's army in the days of Clive and Hastings |journal=The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History |volume=6 |issue=3 |pages=203–227 |doi=10.1080/03086537808582508}}</ref> The military arm of the East India Company quickly developed into a private corporate armed force used as an instrument of geo-political power and expansion instead of its original purpose as a guard force. Because of this, the EIC became the most powerful military force in the [[Indian subcontinent]]. As it increased in size, the army was divided into the [[Presidency Armies]] of [[Bengal Army|Bengal]], [[Madras Army|Madras]] and [[Bombay Army|Bombay]], each of which recruited its own [[infantry]], [[cavalry]], and [[artillery]] [[:Category:Honourable East India Company regiments|units]]. The navy also grew significantly, vastly expanding its [[:Category:Ships of the British East India Company|fleet]]. Although heavily armed merchant vessels, called East Indiamen, composed most of the fleet, it also included warships.
 
==== Expansion and conquest ====
The company, fresh from a colossal victory, and with the backing of its own private, well-disciplined, and experienced army, was able to assert its interests in the [[Carnatic (region)|Carnatic region]] from its base at [[Madras]] and in Bengal from Calcutta, without facing any further obstacles from other colonial powers.<ref>{{cite book|author1=James Stuart Olson |author2=Robert Shadle |title=Historical Dictionary of the British Empire|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=L-X-XYB_ZkIC&pg=PA252|year=1996|publisher=Greenwood |pages=252–254|isbn=978-0-313-29366-5}}</ref>
 
[[File:Shah Alam II, 1790s.jpg|thumb|upright|left|The Mughal Emperor [[Shah Alam II]], who with his allies fought against the East India Company during his early years (1760–1764), accepted the protection of the British in the year 1803, only after he had been blinded by his enemies and deserted by his subjects]]
 
It continued to experience resistance from local rulers during its expansion. Robert Clive led company forces against [[Siraj Ud Daulah]], the last independent [[Nawab]] of Bengal, [[Bihar]], and Midnapore district in Odisha to victory at the [[Battle of Plassey]] in 1757, resulting in the conquest of Bengal. This victory estranged the British and the Mughals, since Siraj Ud Daulah was a Mughal feudatory ally. That led to the [[Battle of Buxar]].
 
With the gradual weakening of the [[Maratha]]s in the aftermath of the three [[Anglo-Maratha wars]], the British also secured the Ganges-Jumna Doab, the Delhi-Agra region, parts of Bundelkhand, Broach, some districts of Gujarat, the fort of [[Ahmednagar]], [[Cuttack district|province of Cuttack]] (which included Mughalbandi/the coastal part of [[Odisha]], Garjat/the princely states of Odisha, [[Balasore]] Port, parts of [[Midnapore]] district of West Bengal), Bombay ([[Mumbai]]) and the surrounding areas, leading to a formal end of the Maratha empire and firm establishment of the British East India Company in India.
 
[[Hyder Ali]] and [[Tipu Sultan]], the rulers of the [[Kingdom of Mysore]], offered much resistance to the British forces. Having sided with the French during the Revolutionary War, the rulers of Mysore continued their struggle against the company with the four [[Anglo-Mysore Wars]]. Mysore finally fell to the company forces in 1799, in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war during which Tipu Sultan was killed.
 
[[File:2-12th Madras Native Infantry at the Battle of Assaye, 1803. Painting by JC Stadler (1780-1822), c. 1815..jpg|thumb|right|[[Battle of Assaye]] during the [[Second Anglo-Maratha War]]. Company replaced the Marathas as Mughal's protectors after the second Anglo-Maratha war.<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=aqqBPS1TDUgC&pg=PA28|title=Delhi, the Capital of India|first=John|last=Capper|date=7 July 2017|publisher=Asian Educational Services|isbn=978-81-206-1282-2|page=28}}</ref>]]
[[File:Tipu death.jpg|thumb|right|The fall of [[Tipu Sultan]] and the [[Sultanate of Mysore]], during the [[Battle of Seringapatam]] in 1799]]
The last vestiges of local administration were restricted to the northern regions of Delhi, [[Oudh]], [[Rajputana]], and [[Punjab region|Punjab]], where the company's presence was ever increasing amidst infighting and offers of protection among the remaining princes. The hundred years from the Battle of Plassey in 1757 to the [[Indian Rebellion of 1857]] were a period of consolidation for the company, during which it seized control of the entire Indian subcontinent and functioned more as an administrator and less as a trading concern.
 
A [[1817–1824 cholera pandemic|cholera pandemic]] began in Bengal, then spread across India by 1820. 10,000 British troops and countless Indians died during this pandemic.<ref>{{cite news |archiveurl= https://web.archive.org/web/20081216071746/http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/09/f-cholera-outbreaks.html |archivedate=16 December 2008 |title=Cholera's seven pandemics |url=http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/09/f-cholera-outbreaks.html |date=2 December 2008 |publisher=CBC News |accessdate=7 March 2016}}</ref> Between 1760 and 1834 only some 10% of the East India Company's officers survived to take the final voyage home.<ref>{{cite book |author=Holmes, Richard |title=Sahib: the British soldier in India, 1750–1914 |publisher=HarperCollins |location=London |year=2005 |page=474 |isbn=978-0-00-713753-4 }}</ref>
 
In the early 19th century the Indian question of [[geopolitical]] dominance and empire holding remained with the East India Company.{{efn|As of 30 December 1600, the company's official name was: Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies.}} The three independent armies of the company's Presidencies, with some locally raised irregular forces, expanded to a total of 280,000 men by 1857.<ref>{{cite book| last=McElwee| first=William| title=The Art of War: Waterloo to Mons| publisher=Purnell Book Services| year=1974| page=72}}</ref> The troops were first recruited from mercenaries and low-caste volunteers, but in time the [[Bengal Army]] in particular was composed largely of high-caste Hindus and landowning Muslims.
 
Within the Army, British officers, who initially trained at the company's own academy at the [[Addiscombe Military Seminary]], always outranked Indians, no matter how long the Indians' service. The highest rank to which an Indian soldier could aspire was Subadar-Major (or Risaldar-Major in cavalry units), effectively a senior [[Subaltern (military)|subaltern]] equivalent. Promotion for both British and Indian soldiers was strictly by seniority, so Indian soldiers rarely reached the commissioned ranks of Jamadar or Subadar before they were middle aged at best. They received no training in administration or leadership to make them independent of their British officers.
 
During the wars against the French and their allies in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the East India Company's armies were used to seize the colonial possessions of other European nations, including the islands of [[Réunion]] and [[Mauritius]]. Many [[East Indiaman|East India ships]] were seized by the French based on these islands during the [[Napoleonic Wars]]. They were taken by the British in a [[Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811|hard fought campaign]] by 1811 and the French threat defeated. In the middle of 1809 the Colonial Governor of India, the [[Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto|1st Earl of Minto]] wanted to conquer the lucrative Dutch owned [[Spice islands]] famous for nutmeg, mace and cloves. For the EIC the occupation of these islands meant not only a curtailment of Dutch and French trade and power in the East Indies but also an equivalent gain to the company of the rich trade in spice. In 1810 the islands including [[Banda Neira]], [[Ambon Island|Ambon]] and [[Ternate]] fell to a [[Invasion of the Spice Islands|British invasion]] with little loss. The following year [[Invasion of Java (1811)|Java fell to the British]] which completed the conquest of the Dutch East Indies. Minto appointed Sir [[Thomas Stamford Raffles]] as lieutenant governor of Java. The British held on to the islands until the end of the war – the [[Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814]] meant that they were handed back to the Dutch. The EIC nevertheless had uprooted a lot of the spice trees for [[Transplanting|transplantation]] throughout the [[British Empire]]. By the 1790s the EIC had established a number of spice gardens in [[Penang]]; by 1815 the gardens had significantly expanded to 13,000 nutmeg trees and as many as 20,000 clove trees.<ref name="Milne">{{cite news |title=Banda, the nutmeg treasure islands |first=Peter |last=Milne |url=http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/01/16/banda-nutmeg-treasure-islands.html |newspaper=The Jakarta Post|location=Jakarta |date=16 January 2011 |pages=10–11 |accessdate=22 December 2011 |quote=But the economic importance of the Bandas was only fleeting. With the Napoleonic wars raging across Europe, the British returned to the Bandas in the early 19th century, temporarily taking over control from the Dutch. The English uprooted hundreds of valuable nutmeg seedlings and transported them to their own colonies in Ceylon and Singapore, breaking forever the Dutch monopoly and consigning the Bandas to economic decline and irrelevance.}}</ref>
 
There was a systemic disrespect in the company for the spreading of [[Protestantism]], although it fostered respect for [[Hindu]] and [[Muslim]], [[caste]]s, and ethnic groups. The growth of tensions between the EIC and the local religious and cultural groups grew in the 19th century as the Protestant revival grew in Great Britain. These tensions erupted at the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the company ceased to exist when the company dissolved through the [[East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873]].<ref name="Europe and the Islamic World: A History">{{cite book|author1=Tolan, John |author2=Veinstein, Gilles |author3=Henry Laurens |title=Europe and the Islamic World: A History|year=2013|publisher=Princeton University Press|isbn=978-0-691-14705-5|pages=275–276}}</ref>
 
== Opium trade ==
 
When the American colonists and tea merchants were told of this Act, they boycotted the company tea. Although the price of tea had dropped because of the Act, it also validated the [[Townshend Acts]], setting the precedent for the king to impose additional taxes in the future. The arrival of tax-exempt Company tea, undercutting the local merchants, triggered the [[Boston Tea Party]] in the [[Province of Massachusetts Bay]], one of the major events leading up to the [[American Revolution]].
 
=== Regulating Acts of Parliament ===
 
==== East India Company Act 1773 ====
By the [[Regulating Act of 1773]] (later known as the East India Company Act 1773), the [[Parliament of Great Britain]] imposed a series of administrative and economic reforms; this clearly established Parliament's sovereignty and ultimate control over the company. The Act recognised the company's political functions and clearly established that the "[[acquisition of sovereignty]] by the subjects of the Crown is on behalf of the Crown and not in its own right".
 
[[File:Nawab Mubarak al-Daula of Murshidabad (1770-93) enthroned in durbar.jpg|thumb|Nawab [[Mubarak Ali Khan (Nawab of Bengal)|Mubarak Ali Khan]] with his son in the Nawab's ''[[Durbar (court)|Durbar]]'' with [[British Resident]], Sir [[Sir John D'Oyly, 6th Baronet|John Hadley]]]]
 
Despite stiff resistance from the East India lobby in Parliament and from the company's shareholders, the Act passed. It introduced substantial governmental control and allowed British India to be formally under the control of the Crown, but leased back to the company at £40,000 for two years. Under the Act's most important provision, a governing Council composed of five members was created in Calcutta. The three members nominated by Parliament and representing the government's interest could, and invariably would, outvote the two Company members. The council was headed by [[Warren Hastings]], the incumbent governor, who became the first [[governor-general of Bengal]], with an ill-defined authority over the Bombay and Madras Presidencies.<ref>Keay, John (1991). ''The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company''. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York p. 385.</ref> His nomination, made by the Court of Directors, would in future be subject to the approval of a [[Council of Four from India|Council of Four]] appointed by the Crown. Initially, the Council consisted of Lieutenant General Sir [[John Clavering (British Army officer)|John Clavering]], Sir [[George Monson]], Sir [[Richard Barwell]], and Sir [[Philip Francis (English politician)|Philip Francis]].<ref name="Anthony, Frank Pages 18- 19">Anthony, Frank. Britain's Betrayal in India: The Story of the Anglo Indian Community. Second Edition. London: The Simon Wallenberg Press, 2007, pp. 18–19, 42, 45.</ref>
 
Hastings was entrusted with the power of war and peace. British judges and magistrates would also be sent to India to administer the legal system. The governor-general and the council would have complete legislative powers. The company was allowed to maintain its virtual monopoly over trade in exchange for the biennial sum and was obligated to export a minimum quantity of goods yearly to Britain. The costs of administration were to be met by the company. The company initially welcomed these provisions, but the annual burden of the payment contributed to the steady decline of its finances.<ref name="Anthony, Frank Pages 18- 19" />
Governor Hastings proved a major reformer. According to historian [[William Dalrymple (historian)|William Dalrymple]] :
:He got quickly to work, beginning the process of turning the EIC into an administrative service. Hastings first major change was to move all of all the functions of government from Murshidabad to Calcutta....Throughout 1773, Hastings worked with extraordinary energy. He unified currency systems, ordered the codification of Hindu laws and digests of Muslim law books, reformed the tax and customs system, fixed land revenue and stopped the worst oppression being carried out on behalf of private traders by the local agents. He created an efficient postal service, back a proper cartographic survey of India by [[James Rennell]] and built a series of public granaries, including the great Gola at Patna, to make sure the famine of 1770–71 was never repeated.... Underlying all Hastings' work was a deep respect for the land he had lived in since his teens....Hastings genuinely liked India, and by the time he became Governor spoke not only good Bengali and Urdu but also fluent court and literary Persian.<ref>William Dalrymple, ''The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire'' (2019) pp. 238, 239.</ref>
 
==== East India Company Act 1784 (Pitt's India Act) ====
The East India Company Act 1784 ([[Pitt's India Act]]) had two key aspects:<ref>Hoh-Cheung, and Lorna H. Mui. "William Pitt and the Enforcement of the Commutation Act, 1784–1788." ''English Historical Review'' (1961): 447–465 [https://www.jstor.org/stable/558296 online].</ref>
* Relationship to the British government: the bill differentiated the East India Company's political functions from its commercial activities. In political matters the East India Company was subordinated to the British government directly. To accomplish this, the Act created a [[India Board|Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India]], usually referred to as the Board of Control. The members of the Board were the [[Chancellor of the Exchequer]], the [[Secretary of State (United Kingdom)|Secretary of State]], and four [[Privy Council of the United Kingdom|Privy Councillors]], nominated by the King. The act specified that the Secretary of State "shall preside at, and be [[President of the Board of Control|President of the said Board]]".
* Internal Administration of British India: the bill laid the foundation for the centralised and bureaucratic British administration of India which would reach its peak at the beginning of the 20th century during the governor-generalship of [[George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston|George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Curzon]].
 
Pitt's Act was deemed a failure because it quickly became apparent that the boundaries between government control and the company's powers were nebulous and highly subjective. The government felt obliged to respond to humanitarian calls for better treatment of local peoples in British-occupied territories. [[Edmund Burke]], a former East India Company shareholder and diplomat, was moved to address the situation and introduced a new Regulating Bill in 1783. The bill was defeated amid lobbying by company loyalists and accusations of nepotism in the bill's recommendations for the appointment of councillors.
 
==== Act of 1786 ====
[[File:Surrender of Tipu Sultan.jpg|thumb|General [[Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis|Lord Cornwallis]], receiving two of [[Tipu Sultan]]'s sons as hostages in the year 1793]]
 
The Act of 1786 (26 Geo. 3 c. 16) enacted the demand of [[Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis|Earl Cornwallis]] that the powers of the governor-general be enlarged to empower him, in special cases, to override the majority of his Council and act on his own special responsibility. The Act enabled the offices of the governor-general and the commander-in-chief to be jointly held by the same official.
 
This Act clearly demarcated borders between the Crown and the company. After this point, the company functioned as a regularised subsidiary of the Crown, with greater accountability for its actions and reached a stable stage of expansion and consolidation. Having temporarily achieved a state of truce with the Crown, the company continued to expand its influence to nearby territories through threats and coercive actions. By the middle of the 19th century, the company's rule extended across most of India, [[British rule in Burma|Burma]], [[British Malaya|Malaya]], [[Singapore in the Straits Settlements|Singapore]], and [[British Hong Kong|Hong Kong]], and a fifth of the world's population was under its trading influence. In addition, [[Penang Island]], ceded from the [[Kedah Sultanate]] in Malaya, became the fourth most important settlement, a presidency, of the company's Indian territories.<ref>Langdon, Marcus; [http://arecabooks.com/product/penang-the-fourth-presidency-of-india-vol-1/ "Penang: The Fourth Presidency of India 1805–1830, Volume One: Ships, Men and Mansions"] {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140703023731/http://arecabooks.com/product/penang-the-fourth-presidency-of-india-vol-1/ |date=3 July 2014 }}, Areca Books, 2013. {{ISBN|978-967-5719-07-3}}</ref>
 
==== East India Company Act 1793 (Charter Act) ====
The company's charter was renewed for a further 20&nbsp;years by the [[Charter Act of 1793]]. In contrast with the legislative proposals of the previous two decades, the 1793 Act was not a particularly controversial measure, and made only minimal changes to the system of government in India and to British oversight of the company's activities. Sale of liquor was forbidden without licence. It was pointed that the payment of the staff of the board of council should not be made from the Indian revenue.<ref>Arthur Berriedale Keith, ''A Constitutional History of India 1600–1935'' (Methuen, 1936), p. 100</ref>
 
==== East India Company Act 1813 (Charter Act) ====
[[File:Major-General the Hon. Arthur Wellesley being received in durbar at the Chepauk Palace Madras by Azim al-Daula Nawab of the Carnatic 18th February 1805.jpg|thumb|[[Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington|Major-General Wellesley]], meeting with [[Nawab]] Azim al-Daula, 1805]]
 
The aggressive policies of [[Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley|Lord Wellesley]] and [[Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings|the Marquess of Hastings]] led to the company's gaining control of all India (except for the Punjab and Sindh), and some part of the then kingdom of Nepal under the [[Sugauli Treaty]]. The Indian princes had become vassals of the company. But the expense of wars leading to the total control of India strained the company's finances. The company was forced to petition Parliament for assistance. This was the background to the [[Charter Act of 1813]] which, among other things:<ref>Anthony Webster, "The political economy of trade liberalization: the East India Company Charter Act of 1813." ''Economic History Review'' (1990) 43#3: 404–419 [https://www.jstor.org/stable/2596940 online].</ref>
* asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Indian territories held by the company;
* renewed the charter of the company for a further twenty years, but
** deprived the company of its Indian trade monopoly except for trade in tea and the trade with China
** required the company to maintain separate and distinct its commercial and territorial accounts
* opened India to missionaries
 
==== Government of India Act 1833 ====
The Industrial Revolution in Britain, the consequent search for markets, and the rise of ''[[laissez-faire]]'' economic ideology form the background to the [[Saint Helena Act 1833|Government of India Act 1833]] (3 & 4 Will. 4 c. 85). The Act:
* removed the company's remaining trade monopolies and divested it of all its commercial functions
* renewed for another twenty years the company's political and administrative authority
* invested the Board of Control with full power and authority over the company. As stated by Professor Sri Ram Sharma,<ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.houseofdavid.ca/Ind_uni.htm#Kapur|title=British Ruled India Print Bibliography by David Steinberg|website=www.houseofdavid.ca}}</ref> "The President of the Board of Control now became Minister for Indian Affairs."
* carried further the ongoing process of administrative centralisation through investing the Governor-General in Council with full power and authority to superintend and control the Presidency Governments in all civil and military matters
* initiated a machinery for the codification of laws
* provided that no Indian subject of the company would be debarred from holding any office under the company by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent, or colour
* vested the Island of [[St Helena]] in the Crown<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Will4/3-4/85/section/112|title=Saint Helena Act 1833|publisher=legislation.gov.uk|accessdate=7 July 2017}}</ref>
 
British influence continued to expand; in 1845, Great Britain purchased the Danish colony of [[Tranquebar]]. The company had at various stages extended its influence to China, the Philippines, and [[Java island|Java]]. It had solved its critical lack of cash needed to buy tea by exporting Indian-grown opium to China. China's efforts to end the trade led to the First Opium War (1839–1842).
 
==== English Education Act 1835 ====
{{Main|English Education Act 1835}}
[[File:Charles D'Oyly00.jpg|thumb|View of the Calcutta port in 1848]]
The English Education Act by the Council of India in 1835 reallocated funds from the East India Company to spend on education and literature in India.<ref>B. Kathiresan, and G. Sathurappasamy, "The People's English." ''Asia Pacific Journal of Research'' 1#33 (2015) [http://www.apjor.com/downloads/0403201830.pdf online].</ref>
 
==== Government of India Act 1853 ====
This Act (16 & 17 Vict. c. 95) provided that British India would remain under the administration of the company in trust for the Crown until Parliament should decide otherwise. It also introduced a system of open competition as the basis of recruitment for civil servants of the company and thus deprived the directors of their patronage system.<ref>M. Laxhimikanth, Public Administration, TMH, Tenth Reprint, 2013</ref>
 
Under the act, for the first time the legislative and executive powers of the governor-general's council were separated. It also added six additional members to the governor-general's executive committee.<ref>Laxhimikanth, Public Administration, TMH, Tenth Reprint, 2013</ref>
 
== Indian Rebellion and disestablishment ==
The East India Company introduced a system of merit-based appointments that provided a model for the [[Indian Civil Service (British India)|British and Indian civil service]].<ref name="The Economist 2011, p. 111">"The Company that ruled the waves", in The Economist, 17–30 December 2011, p. 111.</ref>
 
Widespread corruption and looting of Bengal resources and treasures during its rule resulted in poverty. A proportion of the loot of Bengal went directly into Clive's pocket.<ref name="eic">{{cite news|last1=Dalrymple|first1=William|title=The East India Company: The original corporate raiders|url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/04/east-india-company-original-corporate-raiders|accessdate=8 June 2017|work=The Guardian|date=4 March 2015}}</ref> Famines, such as the [[Great Bengal Famine|Great Bengal famine of 1770]] and [[Great Bengal Famine of 1943|subsequent famines]] during the 18th and 19th centuries, became more widespread, chiefly because of exploitative agriculture promulgated by the policies of the East India Company and the forced cultivation of [[opium]] in place of grain.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Davis|first1=Mike|title=Late Victorian Holocausts|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/d/davis-victorian.html|accessdate=6 June 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|last1=Moxham|first1=Roy|title=Lecture: THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S SEIZURE OF BENGAL AND HOW THIS LED TO THE GREAT BENGAL FAMINE OF 1770|url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oye9VIieRGc|website=You Tube|publisher=Brick Lane Circle|accessdate=6 June 2015}}</ref> When the Company first arrived, India produced over a third of the world's GDP. Critics have argued the company damaged the Indian economy through exploitive economic policies and looting.<ref>{{cite news|last1=Bharucha|first1=Nauzer|title=The English looted India, and they looted the word 'loot'|url=https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/the-english-looted-india-and-they-looted-the-word-loot/articleshow/71986425.cms|accessdate=12 November 2019|agency=Times News Network|date=10 November 2019}}</ref>
 
== Symbols ==