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East India Company

British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies

East India Company (EIC) was a joint-stock company. Its headquarters were in London. It was started for trading with the East Indies, but mostly traded with India and China. It was given a charter in 1600. It traded many things in India. It even had its own presidency armies. It went from trading with India to ruling India. It was dissolved in 1874.[1]

The Company had armed forces and armed ships. It fought against various Indian rulers and struggled against the Dutch East India Company and other European nations. It was ruled by one governor and 24 directors. It became a monopoly in most parts of India.[2]

The company was dissolved in 1874. Its role was taken over by the Government of India (the British Raj). At its height, the Indian Empire covered a huge area from Baluchistan in the west to Burma in the east, plus Ceylon and a number of other islands.


  1. Gardner, Brian 1972. The East India Company: a history. McCall Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8415-0124-6
  2. Chaudhury S. 1999. Merchants, companies, and trade: Europe and Asia in the early modern era. London: Cambridge University Press.