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Modern History / Arrival of Europeans

Arrival of Europeans in India

The arrival of Europeans in India started after the Portuguese navigator, Vasco Da Gama reached Calicut in Kerala. So, the Europeans, who came to india first, were the Portuguese. The Europeans who came to India in the order are Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danes and finally the last to come were the French. The Europeans came to India for trading in spices and other agriculture based products like cotton, handicrafts, etc.

Sequence of European Arrival in India

  • In 1453 (most important event in the history of mankind) Constantinople (Byzantine Empire) was conquered by the Turkish Sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror. The Byzantine Empire was ruling for about 1000 years. From 1453, the beginning of modern age got started.

  • After the fall of Constantinople, the trade between Western and Eastern parts of the world came to end. So, Europeans started exploring new routes.

Advent of Europeans in India

  • Portugal Prince Henry the Navigator started an exploration college. In 1486, Bartolomeu Dias took an expedition to India. He started from Lisbon and came to South Africa where he encountered with storms. He named it as Cape of Storms and later it got renamed as Cape of Good Hope.

  • In 1492, king Ferdinand of Spain sponsored Italian traveler Columbus for his expedition. He started in the western direction. He reached Bahamas Islands, where he found the indigenous people and he named them as Red Indians.

  • Italian traveler, Amerigo Vespucci travelled in the same direction and found that there was altogether a new world. After his name, the continents of South and North Americas were named.

  • On 20th May, 1498 by reaching Calicut, Vasco Da Gama discovered the sea route to India. Vasco Da Gama took the route of Bartolomeu Dias in 1497. He reached Cape of Good Hope and later he reached Malindi in Kenya, where he met with a Gujarati merchant and with his help he reached Calicut.

  • This route is known as Cape route. It was the route until 1869, the year in which Suez Canal was dug. Suez canal reduced the distance by 10,000 km.

  • King Zamorin of Calicut welcomed Vasco Da Gama. Vasco Da Gama bought pepper from Calicut and sold it in Europe for a profit of about 60 times his voyage cost. He came to India for the second time also.

  • After Vasco Da Gama, modern merchants started arriving in India. Modern merchants were representatives of companies.

  • Modern merchants were not humble. They were permitted to wage wars and to do diplomacy. They were allowed to have an army of their own. They were allowed to have settlements with fortification. They started promoting Christianity. The arrival of European traders in India created conflicts with the local rulers as well as among the traders themselves.