Advent of the Europeans in India

Advent of the Europeans in India


  • Vasco-de-Gama reached Calicut via cape of good hope in 1498
  • Was warmly welcomed by Zamorin (Ruler of Calicut)
  • Francis – De – Almeida →  1st Portuguese governor in India
  • In 1510, Albuquerque became governor → Captured Goa from the ruler of Bijapur
  • Goa became capital of Portuguese settlements in India
  • Built fort at Calicut & encouraged his countrymen to marry Indian girls
  • Albuquerque died in 1515 leaving Portuguese as strongest Naval power in India


Dutch (Netherlands)

  • In 1602, Dutch East India company came to India
  • Subsequently they won over Portuguese & emerged as most dominant European trade power
  • Pulicat was their main center in India, later replaced by Nagapattinam
  • 1650 (17th century), English began to emerge as big colonial power in India.
  • Anglo Dutch rivalry lasted for 70 years, during which Dutch lost their settlements to British one by one



  • English east India Company was established in 1600
  • Charter for the same was issued by Queen Elizabeth of England
  • Captain Hawkins of England arrived at royal court of Jahangir in 1609 seeking permission to establish England trade center at Surat, but was refused by Jahangir due to Portuguese pressure

Europeans in India

  • Later in 1613, Jahangir issued a farman (permission letter) to English to establish their trade center hence British established their 1st trading factory at Surat in 1613
  • In 1615Sir Thomas Roe came to India as ambassador of James 1 (King of England) & obtained permission from Jahangir to settle English trading factories in different parts of India
  • Bombay, Madras & Calcutta became 3 presidency towns of English settlements in India by 1700 with capital Calcutta



  • French east India Company was formed in 1664 establishing their 1st factory at Surat →  by Francis Caron
  • Francis Martin founded Pondicherry in 1673 & became 1st governor of Pondicherry
  • Henceforth Pondicherry became headquarter of French possessions in India
  • In beginning of 18th century, English & French were competing for their supremacy in India, Mainly in Karnatic & Bengal region.
  • After 3 Karnatic wars, finally French were crushed & limited to Pondicherry


Dane (Denmark Settlements)

  • Settled at Tranquebar & Serampore (Headquater) in Bengal
  • Failed to strengthen themselves in India
  • Sold all their settlements to British in 1845

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