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Indian History: Why Europeans Wanted to Come to India? Why Portuguese were the first? #IndianHistory #compete4exams #eduvictors

Indian History: Why Europeans Wanted to Come to India? Why Portugese were the first?

European Arrival in India: The 1940s Encounter

Why Europeans Wanted to Come to India?

The following were the main reasons:

1. To establish direct connections with Indians and reduce reliance on Arab Muslim middlemen.

2. India offered convenient access to highly-bought commodities such as spices, textiles, silk, and gemstones.

3. The yearning to explore the seas and reach the East gripped all Europeans due to the Spirit of the Renaissance that was combined with developments in Shipbuilding and Navigation.

4. Economic progress in various European regions during this era heightened the demand for exotic goods from the East, particularly spices essential for cooking and preservation.

Who was the first?

The Portuguese were the first ones to come, followed by the Dutch, the French and the English.

It was the British who were able to capture vast Indian territories and make themselves the leading power of the industrial age.

Why did The Portuguese Become The First To Reach India?

1. Portugal was the leader in Christendom’s resistance against Islam, so they aimed at spreading their empire geographically. 

2. In 1454, Pope Nicholas V presented a bill to Prince Henry of Portugal who was also known as ‘Navigator’; the document allowed him to explore the eastern coastlines to the Indian Ocean.

3. Under the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), in 1497 an imaginary line in the Atlantic was drawn by Portugal and Spain dividing the non-Christian world 1,300 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Portugal got the privilege to take possession of and inhabit lands eastward of the line, whereas Spain received the same rights toward western territories. This separation launched explorations by Portuguese ships sailing towards India.

4. Bartholomew Dias sailed to the Cape in 1487, then sailed up the eastern part of Africa around 1487 mistakenly believing the continent to be India before finally landing in May 1498.

Did You Know?

Vasco Da Gama visited India three times - 1498, 1501 and 1524. He died in Cochin in 1524, three months after his arrival.

👉See Also:

 Governors and Viceroys of India

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