World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

French East India Company

Article Id: WHEBN0000156062
Reproduction Date:

Title: French East India Company  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: French India, Yanaon, Puducherry, Anosy Region, History of Puducherry
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

French East India Company

French East India Company
Type Public company
Industry Trade
Fate Dissolved and activities absorbed by the French Crown in 1769; reconstituted 1785, bankrupt 1794
Founded 1664
Headquarters Paris
Regiment's flag of East India company.

The French East India Company (French: Compagnie française pour le commerce des Indes orientales) was a commercial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the English (later British) and Dutch East India companies in the East Indies.

Planned by François Caron, who had spent 30 years working for the Dutch East India Company, including more than 20 years in Japan,[1] and Marcara Avanchintz, a trader from Ispahan, Persia.[2]

History

French king Henry IV authorized the first Compagnie des Indes Orientales, granting the firm a 15-year monopoly of the Indies trade.[3] This precursor to Colbert's later Compagnie des Indes Orientales, however, was not a joint-stock corporation, and was funded by the Crown.

The initial capital of the revamped Compagnie des Indes Orientales was 15 million livres, divided into shares of 1000 livres apiece. Louis XIV funded the first 3 million livres of investment, against which losses in the first 10 years were to be charged.[3] The initial stock offering quickly sold out, as courtiers of Louis XIV recognized that it was in their interests to support the King’s overseas initiative. The Compagnie des Indes Orientales was granted a 50-year monopoly on French trade in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, a region stretching from the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan.[3] The French monarch also granted the Company a concession in perpetuity for the island of Madagascar, as well as any other territories it could conquer.

The Company failed to found a successful colony on Madagascar, but was able to establish ports on the nearby islands of Bourbon and Île-de-France (today's Réunion and Mauritius). By 1719, it had established itself in India, but the firm was near bankruptcy. In the same year the Compagnie des Indes Orientales was combined under the direction of John Law with other French trading companies to form the Compagnie Perpétuelle des Indes. The reorganized corporation resumed its operating independence in 1723.

With the decline of the Joseph François Dupleix pursued an aggressive policy against both the Indians and the British until they ultimately were defeated by Robert Clive. Several Indian trading ports, including Pondichéry and Chandernagore, remained under French control until 1954.

French East India Company cannon ("Canon de 4"). Bronze, 1755, Douai. Caliber: 84mm, length: 237cm, weight: 545kg, ammunition: 2kg iron balls.

The Company was not able to maintain itself financially, and it was abolished in 1769, about 20 years before the French Revolution. King Louis XVI issued a 1769 edict that required the Company to transfer to the state all its properties, assets and rights, which were valued at 30 million livres. The King agreed to pay all of the Company’s debts and obligations, though holders of Company stock and notes received only an estimated 15 percent of the face value of their investments by the end of corporate liquidation in 1790.[3]

The company was reconstituted in 1785[4] and issued 40,000 shares of stock priced at 1,000 livres apiece.[3] It was given monopoly on all trade with countries beyond the Cape of Good Hope[4] for an agreed period of seven years.[3] The agreement, however, did not anticipate the French Revolution, and on 3 April 1790 the monopoly was abolished by an act of the new French Assembly which enthusiastically declared that the lucrative Far Eastern trade would henceforth be "thrown open to all Frenchmen".[4] The company, accustomed neither to competition nor official disfavor, fell into steady decline and was finally liquidated in 1794.[3]

Liquidation scandal

Even as the company was headed consciously toward extinction, it became embroiled in its most infamous scandal. The [6] and can be said to have led to the downfall of the Montagnards as a whole.[5]

Coins

See also

Monument to Joseph François Dupleix in Pondicherry.

Notes

  1. ^ Caron lived in Japan from 1619 to 1641. A Collector's Guide to Books on Japan in English By Jozef Rogala, p.31 [1]
  2. ^ McCabe, p.104
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Shakespeare, Howard (2001). "The Compagnie des Indes". Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ a b c Soboul, p.192.
  5. ^ a b c d Soboul, pp.360–363.
  6. ^ Doyle, pp. 273–274.

Sources

External links

  • Museum of the French East India Company at Lorient
  • The French East India Company (1785-1875) History of the last French East India Company on the site dedicated to its business lawyer Jean-Jacques Regis of Cambaceres.
  • French East Indies Company nowadays
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.