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For Queen And Country Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

When most people think of the British East India Company, they think of tea, but the English trading group was so much more. The state-backed company used game-changing policies in their business with India and other countries that interacted with Great Britain. While the Company was wildly successful in many of those ventures, they were also involved in many important political events of their time. The British East India Company’s innovative policies and practices, such as their achievements in trade, their adaption of inventive business customs, and their aid in the success of the British Empire, have shaped the way that business is conducted in the modern world.
One of the reasons why others have followed in the Company’s footsteps is its impressive track record with trade. The British East India Company did business with many nations across the globe, but perhaps its most well known relationship was with India, Britain’s “jewel in the crown.” The British created their branch of the East India Company in the year 1600, when they were granted a charter from Queen Elizabeth I. The Company set up its first Indian trading post in Machilipatnam on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in 1608, but it took two years to be recognized by others as a serious opponent of the Dutch, French, and Portuguese East India Companies. They made relative peace with the Mughal Emperor of India and agreed to provide rare valuables from Europe in exchange for the rights to build factories in Surat. As the years slipped by, the British steadily overshadowed other foreign competition for trade in India. They were able to create a thriving business and even some English settlements in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta, their more successful trade posts. One professor explained, “These settlements had evolved from 'factories' or trading posts into major commercial towns under British jurisdiction” (Marshall). After establishing themselves as strong players in the trading game, the Company became more of a governing venture than a simple trade group. Organizations today are inspired by the Company’s ability to grow and evolve in the fast-paced business of trade.
Much of the British East India Company’s influence has been a result of the fact that they were innovators of their time. Before the Company, small groups or families owned and ran businesses. When a business was profitable, the people who owned it made money. If that business were to get into financial trouble, the owners had very few options when it came to protecting their assets. The Company offered its profits to its personnel through joint stocks. Employees did not all know each other and in the Company, ownership did not necessarily mean control. British officers had power and controlled certain areas of trade, but they weren’t all high ranking officials. To paraphrase, many investors didn’t get to make major decisions; rather, they simply chose whether to accept decisions that had been made for them or to sell...

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