The Arrival of European in India-Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danes and finally French

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The Europeans Advent in India: The arrival of Europeans in India started after the Portuguese navigator, Vasco Da Gama reached Calicut in Kerala. The Europeans who came to India in the order are Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danes and last French.

Two fact are important in relation to the beginning of European entry into india

  • In 1492, Spain’s Columbus started the journey to arrive in India. However ,he reached America.
  • In 1498, Portugal’s Vasco Da Gama discovered a new sea route via Cape of Good Hope to reach india from Europe.

The Arrival of European in India-Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danes and finally French

Portuguese in India

  • Vasco-da-Gama reached the port of Calicut on 17 may 1498 during the reign of king Zamorin (Hindu ruler of Calicut).• Currently, Calicut is the name of Kozhikode city in Kerala.
  • Vasco da Gama is known to have stayed for nearly three months and returned to India again in 1502 AD.

Portuguese settlement

  • Daman, Salsette, Chaul, and Bombay (West coast), San Thome (near Madras) and at Hooghly.
  • Cochin was the Portuguese capital in India. Goa took its place later and became the Portuguese capital in India.
  • Some other people from the time of portugues accept Vasco Da Gama,and their work are given in table form.
  • Alfonso de Albuquerque, the second Governor of India (first being Fransisco de Almeida) arrived in 1509 and captured Goa in AD 1510.

Decline of Portuguese

  • 1631: Portuguese lost Hugli at the hands of Qasim Khan (Shahjahan’s Mughal noble).
  • 1661: Bombay was given by the King of Portugal to England’s Charles II as dowry.
  • 1739: Portuguese lost Salsette and Bassein to Marathas.
  • Portuguese retained Goa, Diu and Daman till 1961.

Dutch in India

  • Dutch East India Company was formed in AD 1602.
  • Dutch were defeated by English at the Battle of Bedara in AD 1759 and as per the agreement, the Dutch gained control over Indonesia and the British over India, Sri Lanka and Malaya.

Settlement of Dutch

  • They set-up their first factory at Masulipatnam in 1605. Their other factories were at Pulicat, Chinsura, Patna, Balasore, Naga pattanam, Cochin, Surat, Karikal, and Kasimbazar.

Declination of Dutch

  • 1741, Dutch fought the Battle of Colachel with an army of the State of Travancore.
  • English defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Bedera, Bengal, in 1759. This battle is also known as the Battle of Chinsurah or the Battle of Hoogly.

English in India

  • The English East India Company was formed in 1599 under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1600. Jahangir granted Farman to Captain William Hawkins permitting the English to erect a factory at Surat (1613).
  • In 1615, Sir Thomas Roe succeeded in getting an imperial Farman to trade and establish a factory in all parts of the Mugh Empire by ruler Jahangir.
  • In 1690, a factory was established at Suttanati by Jab Charnock. In 1698, following the acquisition of zamindari of three villages of Suttanati, Kalikata and Govindpur, the city of Calcutta was founded. Fort William was set-up in 1700.
  • In 1717, John Surman obtained a Farman from Farrukhsiyar, which gave large concessions to the company. This Farman has been called the Magna Carta of the Company.
  • Battle of Plassey (1757) English defeated Sirajuddaula, the Nawab of Bengal.
  • Battle of Buxar (1764) Captain Munro defeated joint forces of Mir Qasim (Bengal), Shujauddaula (Awadh) and Shah Alam II (Mughal).

Danes in India

  • The Danish East India Company was formed in 1616.
  • The Danish colony ‘Tranquebar’ was established on the Southern Coromandel coast of India


  • Settlements Serampur (Bengal) and Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu) sold their settlements to the English in 1845.

French in India

  • The French East India Company was formed by Colbert under state patronage in 1664. The First French factory was established at Surat by Francois Caron in 1668. A factory at Masulipatnam was set-up in 1669.
  • French were defeated by English in the Battle of Wandiwash (1760).


•Francois Caron set up the first French Factory at Surat in 1668. In 1669, the factory was founded at Masulipatnam by Mercara, a Persian who came with Caron.

•In 1673, Shaista Khan permitted them to develop a township at Chandernagore. He was the Mughal Subahdar of Bengal.

• In 1674, Pondicherry was established and Francois Martin became French governor in place of Caron. In 1693, Pondicherry was captured by Dutch.

Mahe, Karaikal, Balasore and Qasim Bazar were some of the French factories and trading centres.

•French got Pondicherry back through the Treaty of Ryswick signed in 1697.

• In 1720, the French company was organised in a new way as ‘Perpetual Company of the Indies.

Declination of french

  • Anglo-French wars (also called Carnatic wars) started after the coming of Dupleix as French governor in India in 1742.
  • Coromandel Coast and areas located away from it were called Carnatic by Europeans.
  • Anglo-French rivalry started in India with the beginning of the Austrian War of Succession. The rivalry stopped with the end of the Seven Years War (1756-63).

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