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British East India Company

Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, the British East India Company was founded to break the Dutch monopoly on the spice trade. It gradually acquired unequalled trade privileges in India, reaping huge profits. Guarding against foreign and domestic competition, it began to intervene in Indian politics, sometimes with military force. The British government came to increasingly control the company. What prompted the government to finally take over the company—and India—in 1858? More… Discuss