History KS3: The Rise of a Trading Colossus

Dan Snow outlines the development of the East India Company, which grew from a trading enterprise to possess the powers of a small state.

At the time, India was a collection of provincial states ruled by different dynasties, with the most powerful being the Mughal Empire.

When it began to crumble in 1707, the Company stepped into the power vacuum and within decades this private company no longer had to ask permission to trade but was virtually a sovereign state in its own right – empowered to wage war, annex nations, forge foreign alliances, mint its own money and administer justice.

Teacher Notes

Before watching this short film, pupils could be asked to explain what they understand of the term 'empire' and provide reasons why countries create empires.

This short film could be used to introduce a task where pupils have to describe the main features of India at the start of the eighteenth century.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching KS3 history in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Third / Fourth level in Scotland.

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