Talk:East India Company

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Origin of East India Company's flag[edit]

Why is it that that article says "it is argued that the EIC flag was inspired by Majapahit Empire's flag"? Is there any doubt that it isn't inspired? I find it poignant that there is no such qualification when indicating the relationship between the East India Company flag and the US Stars and Stripes. Why is that one connection is not written in the same language with tendentious and biased qualifications like "it is argued that..."? Why the double standards? Or perhaps this is a question of Wikipedia has some unstated policy that doesn't recognize any local (Malaysian/Indonesian) scholarship as a reliable source on this issue and are waiting for a English speaking person to come out and write a completely redundant English language book or article on this topic (redundant since the matter is not scientifically contested, there is no doubt that the Majapahit Empire flag became the EIC flag, just as there is no doubt that the thirteen colonies Stars and Stripes were carry overs from the EIC flag. Loginnigol (talk) 21:09, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Please understand that wikipedia is not an attack on Malaysian or Indonesian scholars.

The "double standard" which certain corporate and revisionist editors seek to promote is primarily "intellectual" clan-mentality, secondly most wikipedia editors are based in the usa, and they have a certain lack-of-comprehension of corporate history which pre-dates their "revolution". With regards to both the East-Indian companies incorporated in England as well as Amsterdam, they are regarded as corporate behemoths which were essential to the incorporation of the thirteen colonies. Also, it is noticable that there is a double-standard in that the early Islamic uprising against corporate exploitation in Indonesia is not included in the Jihad article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.147.235.216 (talk) 00:47, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Revival section Added[edit]

I added a new section regarding the revival of this company. It's small with two paragraphs. Kindly expand it. -BW60 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betawarrior60 (talkcontribs) 14:44, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

No! We've been here before. Previous inclusions of this "revived" company were removed on grounds of conflict of interest HLGallon (talk) 16:13, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

original flag needs to be added ?[edit]

I suggest this flag of the East India Company, used from 1707-1801, be added to this article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_British_East_India_Company_(1707).svg — Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.255.68.35 (talk) 04:28, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Keay's book[edit]

I was surprised to find John Keay's book on the East India Company missing from the references. Is it just by chance or is Keay not considered a reliable source? AshLin (talk) 16:06, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, he's a popular historian, who's written a bunch of popular history books on India. He's sort of in the same class as William Dalrymple. In other words, OK, but not as reliable (in my opinion) as an academic history text author. But no reason why it can't be added to the references here. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 10:48, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PS Have added. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 11:29, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, Fowler&fowler. AshLin (talk) 11:49, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Sanjive Mehta[edit]

The Infobox lists Sanjive Mehta as one of the key people, but there is no mention of him anywhere in the article.

If this article is limited to the defunct East India Company, the information about the modern company should be removed from the Infobox. utcursch | talk 15:56, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I disagree with you on this, this is about same company not new company and we cannot have two article for same company. KuwarOnline Talk 16:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
How can it be the same Company? The Company was dissolved 150 years ago. How can anyone buy the shares? That is ludicrous. Please provide a reliable source. In fact for such a major claim provide a couple of reliable academic sources; otherwise, your chances of getting the edit in are smaller than a snowball's chance in hell. I have accordingly rolled back your edits. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:07, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Mehta's store has its own Wikipedia page: The East India Company Fine Food Limited. Please help improve it. It's in shambles. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:31, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Fowler and Utcursh. These are two different entities. Anything more than a dablink is undue.--Sodabottle (talk) 09:57, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
The article says about East India Company not anything else. Please read this article KuwarOnline Talk 14:49, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Like I said it is not a reliable source. Britannica (2011) says, "The East India Company's commercial monopoly was broken in 1813, and from 1834 it was merely a managing agency for the British government of India. It was deprived of this after the Indian Mutiny (1857), and it ceased to exist as a legal entity in 1873." You'll need some reliable academic sources that say the historical EIC is still alive. The Mehta guy is an obscure Indian diamond merchant who is attempting to sell knick knacks. His knowledge of the historical EIC is shallow, for he claims EIC brought marmalade and port to Asia. EIC never traded in either item. It was British and other European businessmen who imported those items to India to provision the burgeoning British presence there. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:09, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PS In fact, I'm sure there are a bunch of other EIC coattailers. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:15, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PPS The website "www.eastindiaco.com" already belongs to a restaurant: East India Company Restaurant. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:19, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PPS There's also the East India Company Tandoori. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:20, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PPPS There are 38 other East India Companies. Mr Mehta apparently is a Johnny Come Lately at the scene. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:31, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PPPPS There's even an Honourable East India Company that's been carrying on for 19 years. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:34, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
PPPPPS I've now added the speedy deletion template to The East India Company Fine Food Limited. There's no reason why one among forty companies with EIC in their name should be rewarded with a Wikipedia page. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:17, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It's been deleted. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 23:46, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

timesonline.co.uk is not reliable source? that kind of really funny to hear, anyways please read the above reference and think then reply KuwarOnline Talk 20:02, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Timesonline may be a reliable source in this case. However, note that the source says that the company was dissolved in 1874. That Mehta is trying to revive the name of the company is a titillating piece of information but it is not relevant to the dissolved company. If the new company is notable in its own right, then an article on that company is where this information should go. --regentspark (comment) 20:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
The article reads more like an advert than a serious piece of journalism, and a subscription is required to search for or read other articles on the same subject. It can be challenged on grounds of fact, or at least imprecision. (The Times failed to define what they meant by "dissolved". In common legal usage, that means the business has been formally wound up, and one cannot buy shares in it.) Corroborating sources are required. HLGallon (talk) 21:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Ganj-i-Sawai[edit]

The Ganj-i-Sawai did carry enormous wealth. It may, as the East India Company believed, have carried a relative of the Grand Mughal. But if there is "no evidence to suggest that it was his daughter and her retinue", why even suggest that possibility?

Deleted lead[edit]

User:Haldraper has just (11 Jan 2012) heavily pruned the lead section on grounds of "cut undue and unreferenced bits and tidied up for readability". I'm loath to revert because I agree the previous version had become over-long and convoluted. However, I think s/he's thrown a lot of babies out with the bathwater, on subjects which may interest many readers: for example on the different names of the company, on the union of the two companies in 1708 etc. Many of these points should be reinstated, if not in the lead then somewhere in the body of the article. This is likely to be a time-consuming job to do properly, and I haven't got time myself at the moment, so I'm copying the whole of the previous lead here in the hope that someone else may be inspired:

The East India Company (also known as the English East India Company,[1] and, after the Treaty of Union, the British East India Company)[2][3] was an early English joint-stock company[4] that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China.

The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1599,[5] making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies, the largest of which was the Dutch East India Company.

The Company was granted status as a limited liability business.[6]

After a rival English company challenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in 1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, commonly styled the Honourable East India Company,[7][8][9] and abbreviated, HEIC;[10] the Company was colloquially referred to as John Company,[11] and in India as Company Bahadur (Hindustani bahādur, "brave"/"authority").[12]

The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt , saltpetre, tea, and opium. The Company also came to rule large areas of India, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions, to the exclusion, gradually, of its commercial pursuits; it effectively functioned as a megacorporation.[13] Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, lasted until 1858.

Following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct administration of India in the new British Raj. The Company itself was finally dissolved on 1 January 1874, as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873. The East India Company often issued coinage bearing its stamp in the regions it had control over.

The Company long held a privileged position in relation to the British Government. As a result, it was frequently granted special rights and privileges, including trade monopolies and exemptions. These caused resentment among its competitors, who saw unfair advantage in the Company's position. Despite this resentment, the Company remained a powerful force for over 250 years.

  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008, "East India Company"
  2. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia 2007, "East India Company, British".
  3. ^ Marx, Karl (25 June 1853), "The British rule in India", New York Daily Tribune  republished in Carter, Mia; Harlow (editors), Barbara (2003), Archives of Empire, Raleigh: Duke University Press. Pp. 802, ISBN 0822331640 . Quote (p. 118): "I do not allude to European despotism, planted upon Asiatic despotism, by the British East India Company, forming a more monstrous combination than any of the divine monsters startling us in the temple of Salsette."
  4. ^ The Dutch East India Company was the first to issue public stock.
  5. ^ The Register of Letters &c. of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies, 1600–1619. On page 3, a letter written by Elizabeth I on 23 January 1601 ("Witnes or selfe at Westminster the xxiiijth of Ianuarie in the xliijth yeare of or Reigne.") states, "Haue been pleased to giue lysence vnto or said Subjects to proceed in the said voiadgs, & for the better inabling them to establish a trade into & from the said East Indies Haue by or tres Pattents vnder or great seale of England beareing date at Westminster the last daie of december last past incorporated or said Subjecte by the name of the Gournor & Companie of the merchaunts of London trading into the East Indies, & in the same tres Pattents haue geven them the sole trade of theast Indies for the terme of XVteen yeares ..."
  6. ^ "The Company that ruled the waves", in The Economist, December 17–30, 2011, p. 110.
  7. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (Draft Edition, September 2008, requires subscription) entry for "honourable": "2b. Applied as an official or courtesy title of honour or distinction." Usage: ... the prefix ‘Honourable’ ... is also applied to the House of Commons collectively; ... also formerly to the East India Company, etc. Examples: 1698 FRYER Acc. E. India & P. 38 "In pay for the Honourable East India Company."
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, "HONOURABLE (Fr. honorable, from Lat. honorabilis, worthy of honour), a style or title of honour common to the United Kingdom, the British colonies and the United States of America.... The epithet is also applied to the House of Commons as a body and to individual members during debate ("the honourable member for X"). Certain other corporate bodies have, by tradition or grant, the right to bear the style; e.g. the Honourable Irish Society, the Inns of Court (Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, &c.) and the Honourable Artillery Company; the East India Company also had the prefix "honourable" . The style may not be assumed by corporate bodies at will, as was proved in the case of the Society of Baronets, whose original style of "Honourable" Society was dropped by command."
  9. ^ Birdwood, George (1891), Report on the Old Records of the India Office, London: W. H. Allen & Co., Limited, and at Calcutta  Quote (p. 14): "The English Company [Including The General Society chartered by William III, 3 September 1698] trading with the East , commonly called "the New Company," was incorporated by William III, 5 September 1698; its charter running to 1714. The above Company of Merchants of London and the English Company, were finally incorporated under the name of "The United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East [commonly styled, "the Honourable East India Company"] in 1708-9."
  10. ^ Hawes, Christopher J. (1996), Poor Relations: The Making of a Eurasian Community in British India, 1773-1833, London: Routledge. Pp. 217., ISBN 0700704256  Quote (p. xiii): "Abbreviations: Honourable East India Company (HEIC)."
  11. ^ Ride, Lindsay; Ride, May; Mellor, Bernard (1995), An East India Company Cemetery: Protestant Burials in Macao, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Pp. 304, ISBN 9622093841  Quote (p. 7): "In 1709, the Company amalgamated with a rival group, which had been chartered in 1698 by William III. This union took the title 'The Honourable East India Company,' which was shortened for general use to 'the Honourable Company' and more often still to John Company, until it ceased operations in 1834, after its monopoly of British trade with China was discontinued."
  12. ^ Gandhi, M. K. (1997), Hind Swaraj and other writings, (Edited by Anthony J. Parel) Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 208., ISBN 0521574315 . Quote (p.39): "... They came to our country originally for the purpose of trade. Recall the Company Bahadur. Who made it Bahadur? They had not the slightest intention at the time of establishing a kingdom. Who assisted the Company's officers? Who was tempted by their silver? Who bought their goods? History testifies that we did all this. ... †: 'the Company Bahadur': an honorific title by which the East India Company was known among Indians. 'Bahadur' means brave, powerful, sovereign."
  13. ^ This is the argument of Robins 2006.

GrindtXX (talk) 18:22, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

The East India Company?[edit]

There has been several East India companies (Dutch, English, French, Danish, etc). en.Wikipedia has an international readership and I really think the title should be changed to "English East India Company" to make it clear from the outset which one of the East India companies we're dealing with here (as I'm neither a Briton nor an Indian, it was not clear to me until I started reading the article).

As an example, John Keay's great book is titled: "The Honourable Company, A History of the English East India Company".--Lubiesque (talk) 13:08, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

um... Good point. I guess it omits the "English" because historically most sources were written by British authors. That said, the Dutch East India Company is normally referred to as the VOC and the others are pretty obscure. I have no axe to grind either way but it's likely to cause issues if the article is moved. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 16:55, 6 April 2012 (UTC) p.s. Agree with you re John Keay, excellent author, his book "China" is also superbly written.
It's by far the most common usage in English, and therefore there's no need for us to disambiguate. -- MichiganCharms (talk) 01:23, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Plus, the "East India Company" is the official name of only this company. The others are called "X East India Company" colloquially:
  • Swedish EIC - Svenska Ostindiska Companiet
  • French EIC - Compagnie française pour le commerce des Indes orientales
  • Portuguese EIC - Companhia do commércio da Índia
  • Danish EIC - Dansk Østindisk Kompagni
  • Dutch EIC - Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie
utcursch | talk 02:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

It should be noted that this is standing custom with the English: Royal Air Force, The Tolkien Society, Royal Society for this or that. It might if you were generous be attributed to the assumption that non-English organizations would be using their own languages, not English; but it annoys the dickens out of Yanks (and to lesser extent Canadians, Enzeds, and Aussies). --Orange Mike | Talk 02:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

This would almost be true, except that the companies are of course named after countries, not languages, hence why this custom actually has no effect on "Yanks" or any of the others. -- Fyrefly (talk) 16:32, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

The Bengal famine: to little information?[edit]

Shouldn't there be more information, preferably a whole section for the Bengal famine of 1770? It was the most deadly natural disaster in recorded history, killing 10,000,000, and it was caused by the East India Company. I realize the article does mention it, but shouldn't there be more? -Garet (talk) 02:28, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Is initial capital in pounds sterling?[edit]

The "Founding" section has the following statement in its second paragraph:

Two years later, on 24 September 1598, another group of merchants having raised 30,133 in capital, met in London to form a corporation. Although their first attempt was not completely successful, they nonetheless sought the Queen's unofficial approval, bought ships for their venture, increased their capital to 68,373, and convened again a year later.[5]

The numbers are presumably in pounds sterling. Is this correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lcaretto (talkcontribs) 17:05, 16 April 2013 (UTC)