French East India Company

(redirected from Compagnie des Indes Orientales)
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East India Company, French,

1664–1769, commercial enterprise planned by Jean Baptiste Colbert and chartered by King Louis XIV for the purpose of trading in the Eastern Hemisphere. It failed to found a colony on Madagascar but established ports on the nearby islands of Bourbon and Île-de-France (now Réunion and Mauritius). By 1719 the company had established itself in India but was near bankruptcy. In that year it was combined under John LawLaw, John,
1671–1729, Scottish financier in France, b. Edinburgh. After killing a man in a duel (1694) he fled to Amsterdam, where he studied banking. Returning to Scotland (1700), he proposed to Parliament plans for trade and revenue reforms and published
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 with other French trading companies to make the Compagnie des Indes (see Mississippi SchemeMississippi Scheme,
plan formulated by John Law for the colonization and commercial exploitation of the Mississippi valley and other French colonial areas. In 1717 the French merchant Antoine Crozat transferred his monopoly of commercial privileges in Louisiana to Law, who, with
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). It resumed independence in 1723. With the decline of the MughalMughal
or Mogul
, Muslim empire in India, 1526–1857. The dynasty was founded by Babur, a Turkic chieftain who had his base in Afghanistan. Babur's invasion of India culminated in the battle of Panipat (1526) and the occupation of Delhi and Agra.
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 empire, the French found it necessary to intervene in Indian political affairs to protect their interests. From 1741 the French under Joseph François DupleixDupleix, Joseph François
, 1697–1763, French colonial administrator in India. He went to India in 1721 as an officer of the French East India Company. In 1731 he was appointed governor of Chandannagar, where he made a considerable fortune, and in 1742 he became
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 pursued an aggressive policy against both the Indians and the English until they ultimately suffered defeat by Robert CliveClive, Robert, Baron Clive of Plassey
, 1725–74, British soldier and statesman. He went to India in 1743 as a clerk for the British East India Company and entered the military service of the company in 1744; he soon distinguished himself in the fighting against the French.
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. Despite its apparent success, the French company had never been able to maintain itself financially, and in 1769 it was abolished.

French East India Company:

see East India Company, FrenchEast India Company, French,
1664–1769, commercial enterprise planned by Jean Baptiste Colbert and chartered by King Louis XIV for the purpose of trading in the Eastern Hemisphere.
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.

East India Company, French

 

a trading company active from 1664 to 1719. It was organized on the initiative of J. B. Colbert to monopolize trade with India.

The French East India Company had several trading posts on the Indian coast, including Masulipatam, Mahe, and Chandannagar. Pondicherry was the center of its possessions in India. The directorship of the company, which was feudal in character, was exercised by the royal government. The company’s development was hindered by petty supervision and regulation of its activities by government commissioners. At the beginning of the 18th century the French East India Company was absorbed by the India Company, which monopolized all of France’s overseas trade.

References in periodicals archive ?
After minor attempts to found a French trading company in the 1600s, Colbert founded the Compagnie des Indes Orientales in the 1660s with the king as the largest investor, but the company failed as a result of petty jealousies and war in Europe.

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