The East Indian Company

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  • The East India Company was founded in England in 1599 and soon began building trading warehouses in India.
  • At the same time, the French had their own East India Company. Competition between the British and the French was fierce. In 1700 it escalated into a full scale war and the armies were dragged into the conflict.  
  • The British agreed that they would help any Indian ruler who would help them trade and they would defeat any ruler who blocked their trade.  
  • In 1757 Robert Clive persuaded an Indian general to fight with him and overthrow Siraj-ud-Daula the ruler of Bengal. The battle was won and Siraj-ud-Daula was captured and killed. This gave the British control of Bengal.
  • Robert Clive was treated as a hero in England. In 1765 he was sent back to India to rule over Bengal. From then on he took more and more Indian states under British control. The French were soon defeated and pushed out of India. 
  • By the 1850s, the British ruled about 60% of India. The British banned traditional Indian ceremonies and wanted India to use the British education system. Some people in India resented (disliked) British rule
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