Charter granted to the East India Company - HISTORY
Year
1600

Charter granted to the East India Company

Queen Elizabeth I of England grants a formal charter to the London merchants trading to the East Indies, hoping to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade in what is now Indonesia.

In the first few decades of its existence, the East India Company made far less progress in the East Indies than it did in India itself, where it acquired unequaled trade privileges from India’s Mogul emperors. By the 1630s, the company abandoned its East Indies operations almost entirely to concentrate on its lucrative trade of Indian textiles and Chinese tea. In the early 18th century, the company increasingly became an agent of British imperialism as it intervened more and more in Indian and Chinese political affairs. The company had its own military, which defeated the rival French East India Company in 1752 and the Dutch in 1759.

In 1773, the British government passed the Regulating Act to reign in the company. The company’s possessions in India were subsequently managed by a British governor general, and it gradually lost political and economic autonomy. The parliamentary acts of 1813 ended the East India Company’s trade monopoly, and in 1834 it was transformed into a managing agency for the British government of India.

In 1857, a revolt by Indian soldiers in the Bengal army of the company developed into a widespread uprising against British rule in India. After the so-called Indian Mutiny was crushed in 1858, the British government assumed direct control over India, and in 1873 the East India Company was dissolved.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Soviets test supersonic airliner

The Soviet Union’s TU-144 supersonic airliner makes its first flight, several months ahead of the Anglo-French Concorde. The TU-144 so closely resembled the Concorde that the Western press dubbed it the “Konkordski.”In 1962, 15 years after U.S. pilot Chuck Yeager first broke the ...read more

Patriots defeated at Quebec

During the American Revolution, Patriot forces under generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery are defeated by the British defenders of the city of Quebec in Canada.On December 2, Arnold and Montgomery met on the outskirts of Quebec and demanded the surrender of the city. ...read more

Edison demonstrates incandescent light

In the first public demonstration of his incandescent lightbulb, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison lights up a street in Menlo Park, New Jersey. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company ran special trains to Menlo Park on the day of the demonstration in response to public enthusiasm ...read more

Panama Canal turned over to Panama

On this day in 1999, the United States, in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, officially hands over control of the Panama Canal, putting the strategic waterway into Panamanian hands for the first time. Crowds of Panamanians celebrated the transfer of the 50-mile canal, ...read more

Hungary declares war on Germany

On this day, the provisional government of Hungary officially declares war on Germany, bringing an end to Hungary’s cooperation—sometimes free, sometimes coerced—with the Axis power.Miklas Horthy, the anticommunist regent and virtual dictator of Hungary, who had once hoped to ...read more

U.S. annual casualty figures down

The gradual U.S. withdrawal from the conflict in Southeast Asia is reflected in reduced annual casualty figures. The number of Americans killed in action dropped to 1,386 from the previous year total of 4,204. South Vietnam losses for the year totalled 21,500 men, while the ...read more

Bloodiest year of the war ends

The bloodiest year of the war comes to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese ...read more

Plane carrying Roberto Clemente crashes

On December 31, 1972, an airplane chartered by the professional baseball player Roberto Clemente to bring food and other relief supplies to survivors of a recent earthquake in Nicaragua crashes shortly after takeoff from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Five people were killed in the ...read more

John Denver born in New Mexico

John Denver, musician and actor, is born on this day in Roswell, New Mexico. Denver is remembered for the music he created, and for helping people begin thinking of the West as a pristine unspoiled wilderness rather than an area where cowboys, miners, and homesteaders earned ...read more

Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash

Former teen idol Rick Nelson dies in plane crash in De Kalb, Texas, on December 31, 1985.When the teenage Ricky Nelson launched his pop career in 1957 by picking up a guitar and singing at the end of an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet, he established a template for ...read more

Pete Hamill quits drinking

On this day, 37-year-old journalist Pete Hamill quits drinking. Hamill’s bestselling memoir, A Drinking Life, details the influence of alcohol throughout the author’s life.Hamill was born and raised in an Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn. The oldest of several children, Hamill grew ...read more

Anthony Hopkins born

On this day in 1937, Anthony Hopkins, who will become known for playing one of the greatest villains in movie history, the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and its two sequels, is born in Port Talbot, Wales. In addition to portraying Lecter, ...read more

Baseball star dies in plane crash

Roberto Clemente, future Hall of Fame baseball player, is killed along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico. Clemente was on his way to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake there a ...read more

Subway vigilante turns himself in

Bernhard Goetz, the white man dubbed the “subway vigilante” after he shot four young black men on a New York City subway train, turns himself in at a police station in Concord, New Hampshire. Goetz claimed that the men, all of whom had criminal records, were trying to rob him and ...read more

Battle of Parker’s Crossroads

On this day in 1862, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest narrowly escapes capture during a raid at Parker’s Crossroads in western Tennessee. Despite the close call, the raid was instrumental in forcing Union General Ulysses S. Grant to abandon his first attempt to capture ...read more