Clio Edition 4 - page 17

I that he hoped ‘[their] friendship may be interchanged and
eternal’. Thus the East India Company’s takeover had begun.
Although only established in a small corner of India, it was a
It didn’t take long for the expansion to commence. The
company’s leadership was smart, realising that sticking to
spices would limit its expansion and it would therefore not
achieve global domination Hence, it turned its attention to
cotton and silk from India.
By 1647 the company had 23 factories in India, and had
trading posts in Surat, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta by the
1690s. The major factories became walled forts (Fort William
in Bengal, Fort St George in Madras, and the Bombay Castle
in Bombay). The main-stay business was in cotton, silk,
indigo dye, saltpetre (also known as potassium nitrate, used
in gunpowder and fertilizers) and tea. The company taxed
people who lived within its boundaries and had an army that
was ready to defeat any insurgents.
The prosperity that the senior officers of the company
enjoyed became obvious as they returned to Britain as
wealthy businessman, capable of accumulating massive
estates and leading the most important business ventures of
the day. Even more important for the expansionist ambitions
of the company was its growing political power; the company
developed a considerable sway in the English
A Watercolour of an East India Official in the
centre of a procession
1...,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,...46
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