East India Company

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 first two companies mentioned in particular have achieved world-historical importance in the course of their history.

See also


Web links

  • East India Company , collective name for European trade associations, in the large art dictionary by PW Hartmann .