Queen Elizabeth the First was the creator of the Charter presented to the East India Company. The economic policy of Elizabeth the First was based on the principles of protectionism. The royal power patronized national production and trade and encouraged the development of the mining industry. Under Elizabeth the First, England’s commercial and colonial expansion intensified. It was within the framework of this policy that not only the Indian but also the Oriental (1579) and Levantine (1581) trading companies were organized.
Place and Time
The East India Company was established in 1599 by a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I of December 31, 1600, which established its merchant position in the East (Pettigrew and Gopalan 2017). A legal charter for London traders operating in the East Indies was granted by the English queen to interfere with Dutch dominance of the spice trade in contemporary Indonesia. The Royal Charter of the East India Company entitled it to conduct warfare, and it initially utilized military forces to self-defence and to confront rival traders.
A special aspect of the East India Company is its ambivalent character. On the one hand, the company was a merchant corporation aimed at the importation of different commodities from the East. It at once received from the Crown the right of monopoly trade with the East and later backed it up with trade privileges from the rulers of Asian politicians. On the other hand, from its inception the Company displayed attributes that differentiated it among other commercial organizations and described it as a political entity. Comprehension of the authority structure of the East India Company is a challenge for both political and economic history. It allows us to understand more adequately the specific functioning of this political-economic agent of Britain, which has largely shaped the modern world.
The primary audience targeted by the Charter was London merchants. This group later formed the foundation of the English East India Company. According to the Charter, the crown devolved to the East India Company law-making, administrative and judicial functions over its servants and the power of an autonomous external relations. The delegation of such wide-ranging rights was not accidental; the very nature required it of the Company’s activities. After all, it was a monopoly organization, trading in another part of the world, where England as a state was not yet present in any way. The East India Company was for England a mercantile instrument as well as a naval and political tool for entering Asia.
Queen Elizabeth the First issued the Charter with the primary goal of commercial penetration of the spice market. Her goal was to create a competitive organization that could help break up the Dutch monopoly on the market (Pettigrew and Gopalan 2017). The Charter also had a political purpose – diplomatic entry into Asia, territories not yet under the control of the English Crown at the time.
The primary idea of the Charter was to give the Company economic and political rights that would allow it to expand abroad. Originally, the British East India Company had a political capacity because in order to successfully operate its business, the English state devolved a certain sovereignty upon its employees. This was enshrined as one of the main points of the Charter, as it reflects its main idea.
This remarkable organization played a remarkable role in the rise of British capitalism. It made a significant contribution to the evolution of the business organization, as it was one of the first joint-stock companies in history. It also contributed significantly to the accumulation of capital, the formation of the public credit system, and even to production through the stimulation of import substitution. It also contributed decisively to the rise of the Second British Empire, Britain’s dominion in the Afro-Asian world. The Company acted as conqueror and administrator of the imperial territories, first on its initiative, then with the support of its state.
Pettigrew, William, and Mahesh Gopalan, eds. 2017. The East India Company, 1600-1857: Essays on Anglo-Indian connection. Routledge India. Web.