Home / STUDY MATERIALS / MODERN HISTORY : Part 1 | General Awareness for all Competitive Examinations | at a glance

MODERN HISTORY : Part 1 | General Awareness for all Competitive Examinations | at a glance

The Advent of the Europeans


1. Discovery of the New Sea Route “the Cape route” was discovered from Europe to India by Vasco da Gama. He reached the port of Calicut on the May 17th 1498, & was received by the Hindu ruler of Calicut (known by the title of Zamorin). This led to the establishment of trading stations at Calicut, Cochin & Cannanore. Cochin was the early capital of the Portuguese in India.Later Goa replaced it.

2. Alfonso d’ Albuquerque arrived in India in 1503 as the governor of the Portuguese in India in 1509 (The first governor being Francisco de Almeida between 1503-09) . He captured Goa from the ruler of Bijapur in 1510.

Other Governors
Nino da Cunha (1529-38)— transferred his capital from Cochin to Goa (1530) & acquired Diu & Bassein (1534) from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.
Martin Alfonso de Souza (1542-45) —the famous Jesuit saint Francisco Xavier arrive in India with him.
The Portuguese rule began to decline afterwards & in the end they left only with GOA, DAMAN & DIU which they retained till 1961.



Before the East India Company established trade in the India,
1. John Mildenhall a merchant adventurer was the first Englishman who arrived in India in 1599 by the land route, for the purpose of trade with Indian merchants.
2. Popularly known as the ‘English East India Company’. It was formed by a group of merchants known as the “Merchant Adventures’ in 1599 & in 1600 the company was given rights to trade in the entire east by QUEEN ELIZABETH I.
3. Following the decision of the East India Company to open a factory at Surat (1608). Captain Hawkins arrived at Jahangir’s court (1609) to seek permission. A farman was issued by Jahangir permitting the English to build a factory at Surat (1613).
4. Sir Thomas Roe came to India as ambassador of James I to Jahangir’s court in 1615 to obtain the permission to trade & establish factories in different parts of the empire.



1. The French East India Company was formed by Colbert in 1664.
2. The first French factory was established at Surat by Francois Caron in 1664. A factory at Masulipatam was set up in 1669.
3. The French power in India was revived under Lenoir & Dumas (governors) between 1720 & 1742. They occupied Mahe in the Malabar,Yanam in Coromandal & Karikal in Tamil Nadu (1739).
4. The arrival of Dupleix as French governor in India in 1742 saw the beginning of Anglo-French conflict (Carnatic wars) resulting in their final defeat in India.


Establishment of Factories by EAST INDIA COMPANY

The East India Company acquired Bombay from Charles II on lease. Gerald Aungier was its first governor from 1669 to 1677. The first factory was built at Surat in (160S). Later, Surat was replaced by Bombay as the headquarters of the Company on the west coast in 1687.

In 1639 Francis Day obtained the site of Madras from the Raja of Chandragiri with permission to build a fortified factory, which was named Fort St. George. Madras soon replaced Masulipatam as the headquarters of the English on the Coromandal coast.

In 1690 Job Charnock established a factory at Sutanuti & the zamindari of the three villages of Sutanuti, Kalikata and Govindpur was acquired by the British (1698). These villages later grew into the city of Calcutta. The factory at Sutanuti was fortified in 1696 & this new fortified settlement was named fort William’ in 1700.

In 1694, the British Parliament passed a resolution giving equal rights to all Englishmen to trade in the East. A new rival company, known as the ‘English Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies’ (1698) was formed.

The final amalgamation of the company came in 1708 under the title of ’The United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies’. This new company continued its existence till 1858.

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