Europeans In India

In 1498 the Portuguese reached India by sea and established trading posts. For a century they had no competition from other European nations. Then the Dutch, English, and French East Indian companies began gaining footholds in India.

In the intense commercial rivalry that followed, the English company was eventually victorious. About 1700 it had started what amounted to a conquest of the country, extending control from its three major bases, Madras (now Chennai), Calcutta (now Kolkata), and Bombay (now Mumbai). British East India Company forces, under the leadership of Robert Clive, expelled the French from Bengal in 1757 and put down Indian rebellions during 1756–64. The expansion of company authority was continued under Warren Hastings and Richard (later Marquess) Wellesley.

British East India Company.British East India Company. The British East India Company controlled much of the Indian subcontinent by the early 1800's. The company had direct control over most of the northern part of the subcontinent and most of the coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal. The Indian states of Hyderabad, Mysore, Oudh, and Travancore were not directly held by the company but were allied states. Only the Maratha Confederacy in central India was not allied to the company.

Much of India was brought under the direct control of the East India Company. The Mogul emperor and the native princes of independent states retained nominal rule under British supervision. In 1857 a native rebellion (variously called the Indian Mutiny, the Sepoy Mutiny, the Indian Revolt, and the First War of Independence) broke out among Bengal troops, who seized Delhi. When it was put down in 1858, the Mogul emperor was deposed and administration of the country, including the nominally independent states, was transferred from the East India Company to the British government. With the exception of a few remaining French and Portuguese coastal communities, India was, for the first time in its history, politically united. In 1876 Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress of India.

British India.British India. British India was set up in 1858. The United Kingdom took over East India Company lands and also had indirect control of the remaining states of Baluchistan, Hyderabad, Kashmir, Mysore, Rajputana, and Travancore.