Trade relations between England and India

The trade relations between England and India can be studied through the English East India Company in two phases: (a) between 1600 and 1757; (b) between 1757 and 1857. Between 1600 and 1757, the role of the East India Company was that of a trading corporation in which it came into competition first with the Portuguese, then with the Dutch and finally with the French, bringing all the three companies either coned to small regions in India or ousting them out of the competition and capturing for itself vast Indian territories between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries. During the hundred and y years or so (between 160 0 and 1757) the Company bought pepper, cloves, mace, nutmegs, gum, lac, indigo, and textiles, and paid in gold. The Company’s profit was about five times more than what it would pay for its purchases while selling these products in the European market. The Company’s trade and profits began booming.

The 1600-1757 phase of Indian industry was a period of golden age when the country possessed flourishing manufactures and whose products found a market in the world, especially in Europe. The European trading companies had a booming business, competing among themselves, though the English East India Company had emerged victorous in the long run. India, then, had a prosperous agriculture, significant indigenous industry, sizable exports, and above all, a surplus which could be exported. England, at that time, had nothing to export which India could buy.

The 1757-1857phase was a period of colonialization of India by the English East India Company, which witnessed the destruction of native industries and impoverishment of the agriculture. The Company had found India rich and made it poor. Following the grant of Diwani and Nizamat, there came a qualitative change in the commercial relations with India. The Company could now, and really use its political influence to acquire monopolistic control over the Indian trade, the British banks would have found it impossible

With the Diwani helping the Company to use wealth to fund the industrialization of Britain which took place obtained though the collection of revenue, the export during the 18th and the 19th centuries. The 1812 report of the Indian goods to England and through England to the English East India Company stated. ‘The importance Europe increased, reaching for example to ‘ 5.8 million of that immense empire to this country is rather to be in 1797-98 from ‘ 1.5 million in 1750-51, but in the estimated by the great annual addition it makes to the process, the Company took advantage of its monopolistic wealth and capital of the kingdom”.’. William Digby power to dictate lower prices to the weavers. At about tells us: ‘During the last thirty years of the century (i.e.; this time, the industrial revolution began showing its the 19th century), the average drain would not have been results, especially in the manufacturing industry. What” far short of ‘ 30 million per year or, in the thirty years, was a mere ‘ 156 worth the British cotton exports to ‘ 900 million, not reckoning interest.’ The amount of the East, and mostly to India in 1794 rose to nearly ‘treasure, an another estimate says, transferred from India 1100,000 worth British cotton exports in 1813. This was to English banks between the battle of Plassey (1757) a great blow to Indian cotton-textile industry when it and battle of Waterloo (around 1815) had been from $ not only lost its foreign markets but its own market in 2500 to $ 5000 million: Hyndman was of the opinion


India began losing grounds against the British that at least $ 175 million was drained away every year manufactured products. The imported British cotton from India without a percent’s return. The Company and goods increased from ‘ 1100,000 worth in 1813 to its employees kept adding to their personal profits with ‘ 6,300,000 worth in 1856, thanks to the free trade policy unbounded ocean of wealth’the Company used every followed by the British Government. The prohibitive means, mostly foul, to keep the power in India through, import duties sealed the destiny of the Indian goods as Lord Macaulay says, the presents of shawls and silks, exports: 67′ % duty on the Indian calicos, 37′ % on birds’ nests and attar of roses, bulses of diamonds, and Indian muslins, the duty of three times its cost price bags of diamonds. ‘to ministers, mistresses and priests on sugar while the British imports to India faced only while its employees kept feeding themselves with wealth two to four per cent duty in India.

Heavy duties were earned through their private trade or gifts from the imposed on the Indian imports to Britain in other Indian princes’. Clive, for example, obtained a quarter industries such as silk goods, iron, pottery, glassware of a million pounds by way of corruption; Thomas Pitt, and paper. All this led to the destruction of the Indian great grandfather of William Pitt, was another who industries, rendering, the Indian artisans either out made his fortunes as the Governor of Madras; Warren of job or to become landless agriculture workers. As Hastings (1773-85) was tried on charges of corruption. A result, India, during the period 1780-1860, changed By 1780, about a tenth of the seats in Parliament were from being an exporter of processed goods for which it held by ‘nabobs’, or as Horace Walpole said in 1773: received payment in bullion, to become an exporter of ‘What is England now?

A sink of Indian wealth, filled raw-materials and a buyer of the British manufactured by nabobs’ We may, thus, conclude that India, before the goods. (In 1856, India exported ‘ 4,300,000 worth of advent of the Company, was second biggest economy in raw cotton, ‘ 810,000 worth of cotton manufactures, the world contributing 22% to the overall world GDP ‘ 2,900,000 worth of food grains, ‘ 1,730,000 worth of and by the time, the Company le, it was around 12% in indigo, and ‘ 770,000 worth of raw silk). The Company’s ‘1857 which went down to less than 0.1%. The Company contribution to the Indian industry was to destroy India’s made India poor whereas the British Government’s rule capacity as an industrial state and transform India into over India made both the country and her people poorer. A consumer of the British manufactured products and

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply