Exploration and Exploitation in India – Advent of Europeans -1


In modern times India was invaded by the Europeans.  The Portuguese, The Dutch, The English and The French.  The Portuguese are the 1st to come to India.  Finally, it was the British who remained in India.

There were several factors which made the Europeans come to India.  The capturing of Constantinople by the ottoman trucks in 1453, the demand for spices of the east in Europe and the monopoly of the Arabs over trade and commerce in the East.


Vasco-DA-coma came to India in 1498.  He landed at Calicut and received by Zamorin a Hindu ruler of Calicut.  He was successful to established a sea route from India to Europe.  Also this route led to establishment of trading station in the India.  Therefore the Portuguese had a monopoly of the highly profitable eastern trade for nearly a century.   Portuguese had early capital at Cochin, later Goa replaced it.

Francisco De Almeida was the first governor of Portuguese east India company.  He was successful to capture Goa from Bijapur ruler.  They lost Hugli in 1631 due to a fight with Shajahan.



In 1595, the first fleet to the east was sent from Holland.             After that the Dutch east India Company was formed in 1602 with power to make war, acquri territories, fortreness building and conclude treaties.  They were remain successful to make center at Pulicat in 1960 and after that Negapatam.



An English East India Company to trade Eastern country India formed in 1600.  John Mildenhall, who was a merchant adventurer, was the first English man who proposed of trade with India in 1599.  After that captain William Hawkins want to open a factory at surat under the reign of Jahangir, but he failed.  Later Jahangir issued to open a Farman to the English.  After that sir Thomas Roe came to India and set up a permanent factory in surat under the reign of Jahangir in 1613.

Three villages Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata were acquired by British East India company and they established factories in these villages.  Later these villages grew into city to Calcutta.  They develop a pattern of trade.  Their main articles were cotton and cotton made prodects.  The company fortified the Calcutta factory int fort William in 1696.



In 1616, the Danish East India Company was formed.  Their head quarter was at Serampur from 1676 to 1845.  They sold their settlements to the English in 1845.



Colbert formed the French East India Company in 1664.  Francois Caron Established First French factory at 1668 in Surat. Later they also built another factories at Masulipattanum in 1669.  The arrival of Dupleix in 1742 started of Anglo-French conflict and as a result French were defeated in India.


The Establishment of British Supremacy in India

Even since the British came to India they have to face the contention of the Europeans powers like the Dutch, the Portuguese and the French.

The Portuguese and the Dutch however were not serious competitor to the English.  The only real arrival of the English was the French.  The objective of the English to establish a complete monopoly of trade and commerce in India brought them into conflict with the French.  As a result was fought the carnatic wars between the English, the French was because of the difference existed between them outside India.