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Global Economy Policy
Outline the emergence and
demise of the British East
British East India Company
In French « La Compagnie anglaise des Indes Orientales »
In German « Die Britische Ostindien-Kompanie »
In Spanish « La Compañía Británica de las Indias Orientales »
In Italian « La Compagnia Inglese delle Indie Orientali »
What is an East India Company?
- An East India company is a merchant association(private) which receives
from the royal power the monopole of trade on some far countries and
different privileges to use it.
- Some are called Occidental India companies(the ones which go for America)
and the others East India companies.
- The main East India Companies have been: the British one, the Dutch one, the
Portuguese and the French one.
- A huge capital
- A company which was moving with its own army, so it is own employees
- Model of company: dividends, shareholders, one of the biggest capitalist
company which never existed.
- A state within the state(tribunals).
- Created in 1600 and disappeared in 1874.
- The first steps of the British Empire in India as a base to
export products from this region and China to Europe.
- Recruit locally
Ideas behind the BEIC:
- Enlarging the British Empire
- A 24h/24 system
- A pacific integration
- Made a lot of money for privates
- No investment in local business
Nb of Nb of inventions: 152
inventions: 1 Nb of
1400 1500 1700 1800 1900 2000
inventions: 2 Nb of Nb of inventions: 174
A new kind of company was needed
- Partners in the company did not have to know
each other;(not a family company)
- The owners of the company did not directly
control the companies;(just want a ROI)
- The companies were designed to be
permanent(until now such company were only
existing for a single trip)
Idea linked to the course
Last time Professor Sherrer told us that the issue
with Kingdom and capitalism is that they hardly
ever fit together.
1600: Portuguese, French and Dutch East Indian
Companies were settled there
1757: Battle of Plassey
Once this battle won the British Empire took more
and more power in India.The emergence of the
BEIC is launched.
To go further
- A good strategy(corruption, implementation,
- A very competitive market but once won no one
could go back into the competition
- Regarding the British Empire, everything was
fine, the BEIC enriches the British Empire so why
changing a method which is working
- Not a single event
- First war of India independence(1857)
- Opium war in China
- Huge losses and debts
To go further
- They did not take in account cultural differences;
- A short term strategy, no investment in local
companies, creating inequalities
- Chose the wrong product(opium)
- They had to change their « brand » image
- The interests of the British Empire are
jeopardized then it took back the control of it
The East India companies in general were the
beginning of the companies we know nowadays.
Even if it is true the rules and the internal way of
running the company was different, the concept
was almost the same that we have today.
As all the companies the British East India
Company one got up and downs situations which
finally drove it to his end.