The profound changes in world order that resulted in the subjection of most of Asia to European Colonial rule, economic domination and varying degrees of political interference began in India.
- The East India Company began trading with India as early as 1600. At that point the Mughal Empire ruled India.
- When it collapsed in 1750, the merchants and traders of the company found themselves in an incredible position.
- Their role of trader became one of politician as they sought to play the emerging regional states against each other.
- Opportunities for trade grew and grew as did opportunities to control more of the region.
In every sense the East India Company became a global business.
In terms of family history, everyone of our families were impacted by their activities. It changed the way we lived and how we thought we could live. Merchants became millionaires and sought roles in government. Land was bought, houses and estates built with new money.
What parallels can we see with multinational businesses today?
This fully interactive site tells the history of the East India Company and events around it. Use the timeline whilst listening to the videos, it gives a very good resume of events.
There are several time lines dealing with the East India Company, click here for a timeline that is more narrative in style but still offers a good synopsis of events and could be used within a family history project to enrich it.
Link to other posts on intriguing history to find resources that could help you to track down your colonial ancestors