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The East India Company was originally incorporated as an English Joint Stock company with the overriding objective of initiating British trade objectives in the East Indies. The company’s evolution from trading corporation into a central vehicle for expanding the British…
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Download file to see previous pages role of the East India Company in the expansion of the British Empire directly correlates to the activities of key individuals such as Robert Clive and Lord Hastings and the focus of this analysis is to critically evaluate the roles of Clive, the East India Company and Lord Hastings in the expansion of the Empire in India. To this end, it is submitted that it is vital to consider the historical backdrop and evolution of the Company from trading entity to leading military strategist for the British objectives in expanding political and economic control in India.
Moreover, whilst the expansion of the East India Company symbolised increasing British executive control in India, it is submitted that this was significantly contributed to by the roles of key individuals such as Clive and Hastings, which is further evidenced by the contrasting British position in China. Indeed, it is submitted in this paper that the very contrast between British power in China and the Crown Jewel of India highlights how the roles of Clive and Lord Hastings effectively engineered the status of the East India Company towards achieving British political goals in the expansion of the empire.
Accordingly, on this basis I shall undertake a background overview and analysis in section 1. In section 2, I shall critically evaluate the role of Clive, followed by a comparative analysis of the role of Hastings in section 3. I shall then conclude with an overview of the interrelationship between Clive, Hastings and the East India Company in the expansion of the British Empire in India.
In Pirenne’s “History of the Universe”, he comments that “in the middle of the seventeenth century, Asia still had a far more important place in the world than Europe2”. This was primarily due to the trading opportunities offered in India and China, which the British and their European counterparts wanted to exploit for profit and increasing political control in the race for empire3. Directly correlated to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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