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The Anglo-Mughal War (1684-1690)

Despite the fact that Jahangir had given the British East India company permission to set up trading outposts and build factories in Surat, ties between the company and the Mughals would remained strained and these ties would be sorely tested following the death of Jahangir.
Shah Jahan, would be the next to assume the Mughal throne, after a brief battle of ascendency with his brother Shahryar Mirza, a contest that Shah Jahan would win.
During the reign of Shah Jahan, the British East India Company would be left mostly to its own devices, to expand and propagate trade, while the Mughals were busy consolidating their empire which was under threat at the time from local sultanates that were trying to break free and assert their independence, and the Mughals would be forced to fight wars on numerous fronts.
Following the death of Shah Jahan, his third son Aurangzeb would become emperor, and Aurangzeb would prove to be much more astute than his father and would successfully consolidate the …

Bombay; The second major trading outpost

Approximately 91 years prior to the formation of the British East India Company, and 11 years after they reached Calicut, a Portuguese expedition landed on the Isle of Mahim, 1 of the 7 islands in the Bombay archipelago, in 1509. Realizing that the deep natural harbor was well suited to their needs, they sought an audience with the Sultan of Gujarat; Bombay was at the time under the control of the Gujarat Sultanate to seek permission to build a fort on the isle of Mahim. It is unclear whether permission was granted or given, or if the Gujarat Sultanate refused, but in 1517 the commander of the Gujarat Sultanate on the island was defeated and the Portuguese acquired Mahim.
The victory paved the way for a Portuguese expansion in Bombay and 9 years later the Portuguese established their first factory in Bassein. Following the building of the factory, some 2 years later, the reigning Sultan of Gujarat, Sultan Bahadur Shah, sent an emissary to the governor of Portuguese possessions in Indi…

Kalinga

Kalinga was an Indian Kingdom, bordered to the east by the Bay of Bengal that included the whole of present day Odisha, parts of Chhattisgarh, and the northern part of Andhra Pradesh. The kingdom was well in existence when Chandragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan Empire.
The kingdom of Kalinga is mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ancient kingdom of Kalinga according to the Mahabhrata was also located in present day Odisha, so it’s been there for some time. Its capital is given as Rajapura and the daughter of Chitrangada who was the king of Kalinga at the time was married to Duryodhana.
The Kalinga lineage extents all the way back to the five adopted sons of King Vaali or as he was more commonly known, Bali Asura, a devout worshiper of Vishnu.
While Chandragupta Maurya expanded the Mauryan Empire, from its capital, Pataliputra, in Bihar, an empire that would eventually cover the whole of north and central India, Kalinga remained more or less what it was, and the fact that Chandragupta Ma…

Madras; The first major trading outpost

In 1639 the British East India Company acquired its first major trading outpost in India. There were in total three major trading outposts, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. The acquisition of the Madras outpost was without bloodshed, and it could easily be dubbed an astute acquisition. Madras was in fact the first major British East India trading outpost in the subcontinent.
The history of Madras spans some 2,000 years and it was initially known as Puliyur Kottam. Much of its early history is written down in a series of manuscripts known as the Mackenzie Manuscripts or the Mackenzie Collection which codifies the oral history of the ancient city of Madras.
At the time of the acquisition, Madras was known as Madraspatnam. The word Madraspatnam is a combination of two words, the word “Madras” which denotes the name of the town and the word “pattanam” which means town, and “Madraspatnam” or “Madraspattanam” simply means the town of Madras or Madras town. At the time of the acquisition, the tow…

A brief history of the Deccan Plateau

The Deccan Plateau is a plateau that is located in south-central India and covers four states, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka and bits of Tamilnadu and Kerala and it is bordered in the west by the Western Ghats and in the east by the Eastern Ghats and it is bordered further west by the Arabian Sea and further east by the Bay of Bengal. It covers an area of approximately 422,000 km.
In the Vedas the area that is now known as the Deccan Plateau is referred to as Dakshinapatha. The name is most likely derived from the Sanskrit words “Dakshina” which means southern and “Patha” which means “the way” or “the road” and read together it would mean the southern path or the southern way and that to some extent tells us that the plateau was used as a road to the south.
While there are very little records of indigenous ancient kingdoms in the Plateau, it would be fair to surmise that it came under the dominion of the Mauryan Empire, but there may also have been some influenc…

Chhatrapati Shivaji

Thirty years after the formation of the British East India Company and the setting-up of the initial trading outposts, a young warrior-king was born, in Shivneri Fort, in the Pune district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. His name was Shivaji Bhosale and his birth heralded a new chapter in Indian history.  
Shivaji in the early years was active in the Deccan Plateau, which at that time was divided between three different Sultanates, and after his initial training, the young Shivaji was an astute learner, and even at an early age he had an uncanny ability to come to terms with the on-going three-way power struggle in the Deccan Plateau, he aligned himself with the Sultan of Bijapur under whose auspice he was formally trained and educated. He was first sent to Pune and from there he was transferred to Bangalore.
In 1645, at the tender age of 15, Shivaji gained control of Torna Fort after bribing its commander, and started launching raids into neighboring territories. He would s…

The First British Settlement in India

In 1608, 8 years after the formation of the British East India Company, the first British ships arrived in the port city of Surat in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The initial reception was somewhat cold and in 1611, the company sought the help of King James I who’d assumed the throne following the death of his predecessor Elizabeth I, and King James sent William Hawkins the commander of the Hector to meet with Jahangir to obtain permission to trade but nothing would pan out.
The East India Company however, having invested a substantial amount in the venture, was not about to give up, and in 1615, King James sent Sir Thomas Roe, an ambassador, to negotiate on behalf of the East India Company. The negotiations met with some measure of success and the company was allowed to set up factories in India, and Surat became the first British settlement in India.
Ironically, the first goods that were transported from the factories in Surat were not spices as many would have expected but rat…

The British East India Company

The British East India Company was created in 1600 to secure the lucrative South Asian spice market and to give British businessmen access to the market.
At the time it was created, there were five other European nations that were seeking to establish themselves in South Asia; Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Denmark. The company was established by royal charter on the 31st of December 1600 and would continue to operate until the 1st of June 1874 and would not only allow Britain to gain access to the lucrative spice markets in India but would also pave the way for the colonization of India.
British businessmen fearing that their European rivals would gain the advantage approached Queen Elizabeth I to grant them a royal charter that would allow them to travel to the subcontinent and establish trading outposts that would enable them to purchase goods from the subcontinent, and were prepared to invest a sizable sum to finance the venture.
The charter was duly approved and onc…

Samoa

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Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific that comprises of 19 islands some 3,916 km northeast of Brisbane, Australia, with a total population of approximately 203,744 inhabitants.
The islands cover an area of 2,831 sq km, of which 2,821 sq km or 99.65% is land while the remaining 10 sq km or 0.35% is water, averaging 72 persons per sq km. Of the total land available 12.4% or 351 sq km is used for agriculture. Almost 60.4% of the total land available or 1,710 sq km is covered with forests.
The nation’s total GDP is valued at $841 million. The services sector is the nation’s largest GDP contributor accounting for 66% of total GDP or $555.06 million. The services sector is followed by the industrial sector which accounts for 23.6% or $198.48 million of total GDP and agriculture which accounts for 10.4% or $87.46 million of total GDP.
The nation’s total labor force is estimated at 50,700 or 24.88% of the total population. Of the total labor force available 65% or 32,955 are employed …

Tahiti

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Tahiti or French Polynesia is an archipelago in the South Pacific that comprises of 118 islands some 5,955 km east of Brisbane, Australia, with a total population of approximately 295,121 inhabitants.
The nation covers an area of 4,167 sq km, of which 3,287 sq km or 78.88% is land while the remaining 340 sq km or 8.16% is water, averaging 71 persons per sq km. Of the total land available 12.5% or 521 sq km is used for agriculture. Almost 43.7% of the total land available or 1,821 sq km is covered with forests.
The nation’s total GDP is valued at $4.795 billion. The services sector is the nation’s largest GDP contributor accounting for 84.5% of total GDP or $4.05 billion. The services sector is followed by the industrial sector which accounts for 13% or $0.62 billion of total GDP and agriculture which accounts for 2.5% or $0.12 billion of total GDP.
The nation’s total labor force is estimated at 126,300 or 43% of the total population. Of the total labor force available 68% or 85,884 are e…