East India Company
The East Indian companies were companies in several nations in Europe that were privileged for trade with India ( India trade ) and East Asia (especially with the so-called Spice Islands and the Empire of China ).
They emerged in the 17th century , some not until the 18th century , when the heyday of the colonial empires of Spain and Portugal was already over. In contrast to their colonial policy, which is mainly for gold and real estateaspired, the East India companies sought to earn the greatest possible trading profit. They competed with each other and with numerous local traders (mostly Chinese), whose advantage was their intimate knowledge of local conditions and who had numerous relationships with local princes and traders. The administrative costs of the companies were typically much higher than that of the smaller trading houses.
They used both diplomatic and military means to enforce their trade policy. For example, Siam was twice forced by the Dutch to give way due to a sea blockade in the port of Ayutthaya . The companies had so-called trading offices in all major ports and capitals , which were run by governors and governors-general. Their task was to cultivate relations with the rulers and local traders and to ensure that the agreed privileges and trading margins were enforced.
The East India Companies are in the order of their establishment:
- the English or British East India Company - founded in 1600
- the Dutch East India Company - founded in 1602
- the Danish East India Company - founded in 1616
- the Swedish East India Company - founded in 1626, changed in 1731
- the Portuguese East India Company - founded in 1628
- the French East India Company - founded in 1664
- the Imperial East India Company - founded in 1719 and dissolved in 1731 by the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI.
- the Prussian Emder East Asian Trading Company ("Royal Prussian Asian Compagnie in Emden to Canton and China") - founded in 1751 and dissolved in 1765 by King Frederick II of Prussia (the Great), which was the smallest of those listed here.
- the Triestiner Ostindische Handelskompanie or Ostindische Compagnie - Triest-Antwerp - founded in 1775, dissolved in 1785
The first two companies mentioned in particular have achieved world-historical importance in the course of their history.
- Jürgen G. Nagel : The adventure of long-distance trading. The East India Companies , Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-534-18527-6 (also the review by Ulrich Baron, in: Die Zeit No. 11 (2008) of March 6, 2008, available online )
- East India Company , collective name for European trade associations, in the large art dictionary by PW Hartmann .