Friday, December 31, 2010

India's Trade in different times.

Right from the ancient times till the establishment of the British Empire, India was famed for her fabulous wealth due to its trade through Asia and Europe, Greece and Rome. Even during the medieval period, i.e., roughly from the 12th to the 16th centuries, the country was prosperous despite the frequent political upheavals. A notable feature of this period was the growth of towns in various parts of the countries. The development was the result of the political and and economic policies followed by the Muslim rulers. These towns  grew into trade and industrial centres which in turn led to the general prosperity. During the Sultanate period ( 13th to 17th century)  this prosperity grew  tremendously so that  India became the richest country of the world in Mughal period due to a sound currency system based on silver tanka was in circulation. The peace and security during this period led to such development.  The bourgeoning foreign trade helped not only  in the development of towns but also in villages.
Products and Manufactures of Trade :From ancient times India was gamous for its textiles, which formed one of the chief items of export. A kind silk dyed in natural colours, was highly popular in south-east Asia, It was  very much popular amongst the wealthy classes in Malayesia, Indonesia, and the Philiipines. In East Bengal there was another variety textiles including the embroidered tussar raped in quiltor munga on a cotton or jute, silk, silk and brocade edged handkerciefs. Dacca Muslin was remarkable for its fineness.Similarly, Malabar in Kerala was also famous  for its coloured and printed cloth material.Hardwood furniture was modelled on the European design but the expensive carvings were the other items of export.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

(Video) E3 2009 East India Company Part1

French East India Company (contd-1)

Maximum extent of French influence 1741-1754
French East India Company was a commercial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the British and Dutch East India companies in colonial India. This was formed by the amalgamation of three companies in 1660. The first Director general was for the Company was De Faye, .
The first state sponsored French voyage to the Indies occurred in 1603. The French King authorised the the first granting the firm a 15-year monopoly ofbthe Indies trade.  
With the decline of the Mughal Empire , the French decided to intervene in Indian political affairs to protect their interests, notably by forging alliances with local rulers in south India. From 1741 the French under Joseph Francois Dupleix pursued an aggressive policy against both the Indiansand the British until they ultimately were defeated by Robert  Clive.The company was abolished due to financial reasons in 1769.
Several Indian trading ports, including Pondicherry and Chandernagore, remained under French control until 1954.   

Ananda Ranga Pillai, a service man employed in the French East India Company.
The French were constantly in conflict with the Dutch, and later with the British in India and was defeated in the battle of Plassey in 1757, and 1761 in the battle of Wandiwash.   

Monday, December 27, 2010

French East India Company

French India is a general name for the French possession in India . These included Pondichery  (now Ponduchery), Karikal and Yanaon (now Yanam) on the Coromandel Coast, Mahe on the malabar Coast, and Chandannagar in Bengal . In addition there were lodges located at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat, but they were merely nominal remanants of French factories. 
The total area amounted to 526 km sq. ( 203 sq. miles),of which 113 sq. miles belonged to the territory of Pondichery. In 1948 the total population amounted to 362,000.     
The first French expedition to India is believed to have taken place in the reign of Francois I , when two ships were fitted out by some merchants of Rouen to trade to trade in Eastern seas, they sailed from Le Havre and were never afterwards heard of. In 1604, a company was granted letters parent by Henry IV, but the project failed. Fresh letters patent r  

(video)East India Company Battle of Trafalgar Announcement Trailer

Friday, December 24, 2010

Danish East India Company (contd-1)

III) Danish India a Danish Colony : In 1777 the company assets were taken over by Denmark.   During the Napoleonic Wars, Danish India was occuppied by the British. The Danish possessions were returned to Denmark after the Viena Congress.While in the terrirory administrated by the British East India Company , missionaries were forbidden to engage in proselytization, the Danish administration actively promoted such activity.The small territories on the subcontinent became centers of education and book printing (the first missinary, Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, had arrived in Trankebar in 1705; Serampore College, established by William Carey, became a model for the Universities founded in British India after the supression of the Sepoy Mutiny and Rebellion.
In 1845, Denmark sold its possessions on the Indian mainland to EIC. In  1848 Denmark renounced its claims on the Nicobar Islands, which became a center of piracy until the British took over in 1869, after friendly negotiations with the Danish Government, and annexed into the British india.         

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Danish East India Company

1.) Danish India under the Administration of the Ostindiske Kompagni
In 1616 the Ostindiske Kompagni (Danish East India Company) was established, in 1620 a trade factory in Trankebar (Tranquebar, Modern, Tharamgambadi) was acquired. From 1689 to 1722 the company maintained a trade factory at Oddeway Torre on the Malabar coast, from 1698-1714, another one at Dannemarksnagore (Gondalpara) in Bengal.
II) Danish India under the Administration of the Asiatiske Kompagni : The initiative for an attempt to receive the enterprise was taken up in 1727; in 1732 the Ostindiske Kompagni was succeeded by the Asiatiske Kopagni (Danish Asiatic Company). In 1755 a trading post at Frederiksnagore ( Serampore in Bengal) was acquired. Denmark also claimed possession of the Nicobar Islands., which renamed Frederiksnagore  (King Frederik Islands.   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Other European Trade Companies

Other European Trade Companies in Order of the year of Establishment :
1. The British East India Company, founded in 1600,
2. The Danish East India Company,  ,,          ,, 1616,
3. The Dutch West India Company,   ,,         ,, 1621,
4. The French East India Company    ,,         ,, 1664,
5. The Ostend Company,                  ,,         ,,  1715.

East India Company Video Dev Diary #1

E3 2009 East India Company Part1

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company (20 March 1602 - 17 March 1798 : was a chartered Company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia.
It eas the first multinational company in the worldand the first company to issue stock.It was also arguably world's first megacorporation, possissing quasigovernmental poers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts.
Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC eclipsed all its rivals in the Asia trade and sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships and metted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian goods. By contrast the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British)East India Company, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC.The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.
The Dutch East India Company remained a trading concern for about two centuries paying 18% annual dividend for 200 years.
During the 16th century, the spice trade was dominated by the Portuguese. But due to its insufficient trade system it was unable to supply the demand for spice specially pepper.During 16th and 17th century there were heavy competition between the Europeans for trade of spice in Asia. By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees , a private army of 10,000 personnels,and a dividend payment of 40% of the original investment.            

Monday, December 20, 2010

Indian Colony (contd-2)

Nicolau Coetho returned to Lisbon (since Vasco da gama had stayed in Azores to take care of his sick brother) and announced that Portugal had found the naval path to India.
Goa became the capital of the Indian Portuguese State (since it was the best commercial port of the region). Portuguese wanted Goa to be an extension of Lisbon in the east, therefore they built institutions several churches in order to expand christianity ; and forts to defend the city from external attacks.The arrival of the inquisition :     Thousands of local residents were violently converted to christianity ( by missionaries); if they refused to convert they'd lose their land, titles, assets, and receive a severe punishment. 
In 1661 Portugal was at war with Spain and needed support from England which led to the signing of the agreement of marriage between princess Cathorine of Portugal and Charles II of England with a most generous dowry that included the city of Bombay. This was the beginning of the British Rule in India.  

Colonial India (contd-1)

4 Vessels (St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, Berrio, Food Vessel) weighed anchor in Lisbon towards India . (Below the route they used- black line)

Vasco da Gama arrived in India (Calicut, in the present state of Kerala, to be more precise). He had to negotiate with the local Governor (the SaamoothiriManavikraman Raja) in order to obtain favourable commercial deals  - these negotiations proved to be very difficult due to the cultural differences ( in thed west, Kings expected to receive  opulent presents), therefore the merchandise introduced by the portuguese did not impress the local zamorins ( Saamoothiris = a title used by the Eradi Rulers). Still, Vasco da Gama insisted and in the end he managed to get a letter ( from the zamorin) conceding Portugal the trade of cinnamon, clove, ginger, pepper, and gems. In exchange, Manavikraman Raja wanted gold, silver, coral, and scarlet.     

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Colonial India

( European Settlement in India, 1501-1739)  The Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama was the first European to reach India in May 1498 with his fleet of ships. Having arrived in Calicut he obtained permission from Saamoothiri rajah ( Zamorin) to trade in the city. Pedro Alvares Cabral was commissioned in 1500 by the king Manuel I of Portugal as ambassador to Indian and on the way to India he discovered Brazil.
The colonial era in Inida began in 1502, when Portuguese established the first European trading center at Kollam, Kerala. In 1505 the king of Portugal appointed Don Francisco de Almeida as the first Viceroy of India followed in 1509 by Dom Afanso de Albuquerque . In 1510, Afanso de Albuquerque established an important trading presence in Goa, by conquering the city , until then dominated by Muslims. Albuquerque inaugurated the policy of marrying Portuguese soldiers and sailors with local India girls, which had  as consequence a great miscegenation in Goa and other Portuguese territories in Asia, reason why still nowadays Portuguese family names such as Silva Sousa, Pereira, etc are so common in India.

Indian Colony by European Countries

A vessels ( St. Gabriel, St Raphael, Berrio, Food Vessel ) weighed anchor in Lisbon towards India . vasco da Gama arrived in India ( Calicut, in the present state of Kerala) , He had to negotiate to with the local Governor ( The Saamoothiri Manavikraman Raja) in order to obtain  favourable commercial deals - these ngotiations proved to be very difficult due to the cultural differences (in the West, Kings would offer gifts to their foreign guests ; but in the east, Kings expected to receive opulent presents ); therefore the merchandise introduced by the Portuguese did not impress the local zamorins (Saamoothiris = a title used by the Eradi Rulers).
Still Vasco da Gama insisted and in the end he managed to get a letter (from the Zamorin) conceding Portugal the trade of cinnamon , dove, ginger, pipper and gems. In exchange, Manavikraman Raja wanted gold, silver, coral ad scarlet.   


Friday, December 10, 2010

Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company, officially,VOC,was a chartered company established in 1602,when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia . It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock.It was also the world's first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including ability to wage war, imprison and excute convicts, negotiate treaties , coin money, and establish colonies.
Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all the trade routes of its rivals. Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods.By contrast, the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795 and the fleet of the British East India Company , the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total trafficwith 2,690 ships  and a mere one-ffth the tonnage of goods carried bybthe VOC. The VOC enjoyed a huge ptofits from its spice monopoly through through most of the 17th century.         

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Portuguese India

Portuguese India was the set of areas within India occuppied and administered by Portugal Govt.. The Govt. started functioning in India in 1505, six years after the discovery of sea route of India by Vasco da Gama , with the nomination of first Viceroy Francisco de Almeida, then settled at Cochi. Until 1752, the name "India " included all Portuguese possessions in the Indian ocesn, from southern Africa to South East Asia, governed -either by a Viceroy or Governor - from its headquarters, established in Goa since 1510. In 1752 Mozambique got its own Government and in 1844 the Portuguese Govt. of India stopped administeringthhe territory of Macau. Solor and Timor, being then confined to Malabar.
After India's independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to accede to India's request to relinquish control of its Indian possessions. But from 24 July 1954 to December 1961 Portuguese had to relinquish its control to the Indian Government.    

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Second and third Voyages of Gama

Second Voyage :
On 12 Feb 1502, Gama commanded the 4th Portuguese Armada to India, a fleet of 15 ships and eight hundred men, with the object of enforcing Portuguese interests in the east. On reaching India in Oct 1502, Gama started capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters. While the Zamorin was willing to sign a treaty, Gama made a preposterous call to the Hindu King to expel all Muslims from Calicut which was naturally turned down. He bombarded the city that destroyed several houses on the sea shore and captured several rice vesssels and barbariously cut off the crew's hands, ears and noses. He returned to Portugal in Sept 1503. He then sailed south to Cochin , a small vessel kingdoms of Calicut where he was  given a small welcome. He returned to Europe with silver and gold.
Once he had reached the normal parts of the Indian Ocean, Gama waited for a ship to return from Mecca and seized all the merchandise on it. He then ordered the hundreds of passengers be locked in the hold and the ship - named Miri, and which contained many wealthy Muslim merchants - to be set on fire
Gama assaulted and exacted tribute from the Arab - controlled port of Kilwa in East Africa, one of these ports involved in frustrating the Portuguese. His ships engaged in privateer actions against Arab merchant ships.
Third Voyage :
In 1519 he became the first Count of Vidigueira, a count title created king Manuel I of Portugal on a royal decree issued in Evora in Dec 29, 1519, after an agreement with Dom Jairne, Duke of Braganza, who cede him on payment the towns of Vidigueira and Vila dos Frdes, granting Vasco da Gama and his heirs all the revenues and privileges related, thus becoming the first Portuguese count (earl) who was born with royal blood.
Having acquired a fearsome reputation as a "fixer " of problems that arose in India, Vasco da Gama was sent to the subcontinent once more in 1524. The intention was that he has to replace the incompetent Eduardo de Menezes as viceroy (representative)of the Portuguese possessions, but Gama contracted malaria not long after arriving in Goa and died in the city of Cochin on Christmas Eve in 1524.       

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vasco da Gama in India

In February, 1498, Vasco da Gama continued north , landing at the frienlier port of Malindi - whose leaders were then in conflict with those of Mombasa - and there the expedition first noted evidence of Indian traders . Gama and his crew contracted the services of a pilot whose knowledge of the monsoon winds allowed him  to bring the expedition the rest of the way to Calicut(Kozhikode), located on the south west coast of India.Sources differ over the identity of the pilot, calling him variously a Christian, a Muslim, and a Gujarati. One traditional story describes the pilot as the famous Arab navigator Ibn Majid, but other contemporaneous accounts place Majid elsewhere, and he could not have been near the vicinty at the time. Also, none of the Portuguese historians of the time mention Ibn Majid.
Calicut, India
The fleet arrived in Kappad near Calicut, India on 20 May 1498. The king of Calicut, the Samoothiri (Zamorin), who was at that time staying in his second capital at Ponnani, returned to Calicut on hearing the news of the European fleets's arrival. The king ordered the visitors to move to the then famous port of Panthalayani. de Gama landed at panthalayani ( not kapped as some say) that is 6 km away from kappad.The navigator was received with traditional hospitality, including a grand procession of at least 3,000 armed Nairs, but an interview with the Zamorin failed to produce any concrete results. The presents that da Gama sent  to the Zamorin as gifts from Dom Manuel - four cloaks of scarlet cloth, six hats , four branches of corals, twelve almosares, a box with seven  vessels, a chest of sugar, two barrels of oil and a cask of honey - were trivial , and failed to cut any ice. While Zamorin's officials wondered at why there was no gold  or silver, the Muslim merchants who considered da gama their rival suggested that the latter was only an ordinary pirate and not a royal ambassador. Vasco da gama's request for permission to leave a behind him in charge of the merchandise he could not sell was turned down by the king, who insisted that da Gama pay customs duty  - preferably in gold - like any other trader, which strained the relation between the two . Annoyed by this, da Gama carried a few Nairs and sixteen Mukkuva fishermen off with him by force. Neverthless, da Gama's expedition was successful beyond all reasonable expedition, bringing in cargo that was worth sixty times the cost of the expedition.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Portuguese in India

It is not unfair to say that Portugal's emergence as the first great exploring country was due to a single person, Prince Henry the Navigator who lived from 1394-1460. Henry was initially interested in expanding the mercantile opportunities to Portugal and  secondarily interested in spreading Christianity. He was called "The Navigator"because he founded the first school of navigation in Europe. The graduates of this school would lead expeditions further and further south along the coast of  Africa, the continent south of the Sahara was a great unknown.
Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) was a Portuguese explorer, the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships directly from Europe to India.
Vasco da Gama : was born in 1460 or 1469 on the  south west coast of Portugal. Little is known of Vasco da Gama's early life. It is known that he studied at the inland town of Evora and learnt mathematics, navigation and astronomy. He studied astronomy from the  astronomer Abraham Zacuto.
In 1492 King John II of Portugal sent Gama to the port of Setubal, south of Lisbon and to the Algarve to seize French ships in retaliation for peace time depredations against Portuguese shipping  -a task that Vasco da Gama rapidly and effectively performed. Since early 15th century attempt was made by the nautical school of Henry the Navigator to find a route round the African subcontinent to gain easier access to the riches of India. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Largest Empires, i) by Population,ii) by Economy

European Colonial Empires (contd-2)

French Empire
Dutch Empire

British Empire
Subsequent global empires included the French, Dutch,  and Britishempires.The latter consolidated during the period of British maritime hegemony in the 19th century, became the largest of all empires by virtue of the improved transportation technologies of the time.At its height, the British empire covered a quarter of the earth's land area and comprised a quarter of ts population. Germany and Italy were unified later than the other major European countries and so they joined other Europesn powers in establishing colonies overseas only during the "Scramble for Africa" in the 19th century. By the 1860s , the Russian Empire -- continued as the Soviet Union- became the largest contiguous state in the world.Russia continues this distinction , despite having "lost" in Soviet periphery IRussia today includes slightly ove half the world's longitude.