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The East India Company: The Company that changed the World


Humanities & Arts


What was the East India Company? What role did it play in creating the British Empire in Asia? We focus on the rise of the Company, from its modest origins as a small Elizabethan trading venture, to a global empire which controlled Britain’s trade with Asia for nearly 250 years. It is a story of wealth, power and the pursuit of fortune. But it is also one of conflict, conquest and piracy on the high seas, as well as politics and intrigue on land.

Why this is important?

The East India Company’s activities are an early example of globalisation in action. By introducing a range of coveted commodities to European consumers, the Company changed the lives of millions of people around the world. In Britain, it affected what we eat, what we drink, the clothes we wear, and the language we speak. And in India, the Company laid the foundations of the British Empire in the subcontinent.

Key descriptors:

Empire; globalisation; Britain; India

Suggested age range:

Years 12 and 13



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