Caribdus: Dark Waters
British East India Company
The British East India Company was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company and megacorporation formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent.
The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium. The Company was granted a Royal Charter in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. It was an example of an English joint stock company. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey and lasted until 1858 when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the new British Raj.