Duration: 1 hour
Dan Snow looks at the rise and fall of the East India Company, in this version of the BBC Two series made specially for schools.
Just over 400 years ago, a group of London merchants arrived on the Indian coast. Over the course of 200 years, the company they formed grew into a commercial titan. Its wealth rivalled that of the British state. The East India Company had its own army and eventually ruled over 400 million people. Its trade was vital to Britain's commercial success and it revolutionised the British lifestyle. By accident, it created one of the most powerful empires in history. But the company's rise was followed by a dramatic fall into profiteering and corruption. Unchecked greed led to devastating consequences.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.