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This book is the first to explore the deep and lasting impacts of the largest colonial trading company, the British East India Company on the natural environment. The contributors – drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines - illuminate the relationship between colonial capital and the changing environment between 1600 and 1857.
This groundbreaking study examines how the East India Company founded an empire in India at the same time it started losing ground in business. For over 200 years, the Company’s vast business network had spanned Persia, India, China, Indonesia and North America. But in the late 1700s, its career took a dramatic turn, and it ended up being an empire builder. In this fascinating account, Tirthankar Roy reveals how the Company’s trade with India changed it—and how the Company changed Indian business. Fitting together many pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle, the book explores how politics meshed so closely with the conduct of business then, and what that tells us about doing business now. ‘One of the first major attempts to tell the company’s story from an Indian business perspective’—Financial Express
This book employs a wide range of perspectives to demonstrate how the East India Company facilitated cross-cultural interactions between the English and various groups in South Asia between 1600 to 1857 and how these interactions transformed important features of both British and South Asian history. Rather than viewing the Company as an organization projecting its authority from London to India, the volume shows how the Company’s history and its broader historical significance can best be understood by appreciating the myriad ways in which these interactions shaped the Company’s story and altered the course of history. Bringing together the latest research and several case studies, the work includes examinations of the formulation of economic theory, the development of corporate strategy, the mechanics of state finance, the mapping of maritime jurisdiction, the government and practice of religions, domesticity, travel, diplomacy, state formation, art, gift-giving, incarceration, and rebellion. Together, the essays will advance the understanding of the peculiarly corporate features of cross-cultural engagement during a crucial early phase of globalization. Insightful and lucid, this volume will be useful to scholars and researchers of modern history, South Asian studies, economic history, and political studies.
The first multi-disciplinary history of the English East India Company, one of the most powerful commercial companies ever to have existed.

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