40 Violent Realities in the Making of the British Empire
40 Violent Realities in the Making of the British Empire

40 Violent Realities in the Making of the British Empire

Larry Holzwarth - March 25, 2019

40 Violent Realities in the Making of the British Empire
A trading post of the Dutch East India Company near the Ganges River in Bengal. Wikimedia

7. Trade in the Indies led to further expansion and bitter rivalries.

In the 16th century, Portugal dominated trade with Asia, a position which began to be challenged by the rival British and Dutch companies. By the end of the century, both the English (later British) and Dutch East India Companies were engaged in the spice trade, which was highly lucrative, particularly the market for pepper. Following the Glorious Revolution in 1688, William of Orange became King of England, and the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century came to an end. The English ceded the spice trade to the Dutch, obtaining in return the textiles trade with India. Both companies became financial juggernauts; but the textiles trade eventually grew to be the larger of the two, further strengthening the British economy.

40 Violent Realities in the Making of the British Empire

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