Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Modern Reform Movements

  • Carl Olson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_461-1

With Muslims controlling northern India in the late fifteenth century, Western Europeans began to make contacts in India attracted by the spice trade needed for meats, wines, and ales to make them more palatable or sweet tasting. In 1498, Vasco da Gama of Portugal arrived at the port of Calicut located on the Malabar Coast with a small fleet seeking spices and Christian converts only to discover Syrian Christians already present. This adventure lead to Portugal’s lucrative monopoly of spice trade for decades until the British defeated the Spanish armada in 1588. On December 31, 1600, Queen Elizabeth granted a royal charter to a company of London adventurers, which became the East India Company led by Thomas Smythe. To protect its investment and interests, the British fortified factory warehouses and hired and trained Indian sepoys (police) to protect the forts, a procedure that leads to private company armies. The company did not allow proselytizing by Christians because it did not...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesAllegheny CollegeMeadvilleUSA