British East India Company and Its International Trades

Topics: British Empire, Tea, First Opium War Pages: 4 (1406 words) Published: March 2, 2014

British East India Company and Its International Trades
British East India Company played a non-ignorable role in history and economic field. From 1600 when it was established by a group of British entrepreneurs to 1874, in which it was dissolved eventually, the company not only monopolized various international trades, but also acted significant military power by the support of British government. Its aim is plundering other countries’ resources and make their own country wealthy. But its failure tell us that unfair trade such as smuggle and monopoly could not work for a long time and colonial people would fight for their freedom. British East India Company’s first important event was the tea trade with China. In the 17th century, Chinese tea was really popular in England. It was said that “each man, woman and child almost consumed three hundred cups every year” (Labaree, 1975). Not only upper class like drinking tea, but also middle class and even lower classes’ people. Due to the thirsty market, British East India Company started exporting large amounts of tea from China back to Britain, which made Britain become the largest importing country at that time. In 1644, British East India Company established its first agency in Xiamen port in China. Then the British government officially emphasized that the tea could only be sold from British East India Company in Europe to support the company’s monopoly statue in the tea trade. However, the trade’s impact on these two countries were significantly different. From the point of China, its areas of tea gardens were increased rapidly and Chinese domestic tea trade was also enhanced. On the contrary, Britain did not make profit as it previous estimated because Qing Dynasty only required hard cash—silver at that time. The Qing Empire was not interested in British manufactured goods at all because of two reasons. Firstly, Chinese were satisfied with their handmade goods, they thought their crafts were the best....

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7. Labaree, Benjamin Woods. The Boston Tea Party. Northeastern classics ed. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1975.
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