Modern Indian History – An Introduction to the beginning of Modern History of India

The article gives review of Modern Indian History, its art and culture and perspective of past events.

Modern scholars accepted that Modern Age began with an important movement that took place in Europe in 13th& 14th century.This movement was in the form of ‘Cultural Rebirth’ also known as RENAISSANCE. Spirit of scientific inquiry among European rulers was promoted by this movement.

For the satisfaction of scientific thirst several European leaders began to sponsor their sailors to different parts of the world.The European leaders wanted to search a route towards Indian territory, as it was believed that Indian territory had abundant amount of resources.

One of the Portuguese sailor Vasco de Gama started to search Indian territory.On 17th may 1498, he reached the Southern coast of India via Cape of Good Hope, (the southern tip of African Continent). The sailor procured large amount of species from India to be sold in European Markets.

With the discovery of route to India, large numbers of Portuguese traders began to arrive in India and later they established their trading Headquarters (on the islands of Bombay & Goa)

Portuguese were followed by Dutch traders (inhabitants of Hollands /Netherland). Dutch began to arrive in the beginning of 17th century.

In 1602 they established a company known as Dutch East India Company.After sometime, they realised that species were produced in abundant amount in the south East Asian island of Jawa & Sumatra. Thus, they gradually shifted their area of activity to south east Asian region.

Thereafter they ceased to play any effective role in Indian politics.

By the end of 16th century private traders of Britain decided to establish healthy trade relationship with the eastern part of the world.

Having this objective, they established a close group in London known as Merchant Adventures in 1599.It was mandatory for the group to get the formal permission from Monarch in order to trade with Eastern regions of the world.Queen Elizabeth granted this permission on 31st Dec 1600.With the beginning of 17th century large no. of traders arrived in India and they established a company- EIC (East India Company).

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For maintaining healthy relationship with India, they decided to establish ‘Factory’ in different parts of Indian territory.But there was no manufacturing activity undertaken.It was only to act as storehouse to keep necessary articles of trade in safe custody.For the permission of establishing such factory EIC officers went to Mughal Monarch Jahangir(1605-27). As a result, necessary permission was granted to British officer Captain Hawkins in 1609.

Thus, BEIC established its 1st factory at Masulipatnam (near Mysore) in 1611.

Later factory at Surat was established in 1613.

Healthy trade began between British & Indian Products.A group of private traders came together to provide financial support as this trade was highly profitable.This group of investors in Britain came to be known as Court of Directors and they became the real owners of BEIC.This healthy trade relationship continued for almost 150 years, also contributing in India’s economic growth.

But by the middle of 18th century officers of BEIC realised that India is just a geographical entity, as there is complete absence of feeling of Nationalism.This facilitated them to recruit Indian soldiers at a large scale in their army and acquire political powers in India.

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