Why did the English East India Company succeed so spectacularly in India when others, European and Indian, did not?
1. Britain was better than all rivals on the front of Control of the seas
2. East India Company had gained control of India’s richest province after battle of Plassey
3. East India Company was devoid of corruption
Choose the correct option:

Answer: [B] 1 & 2

Much of the answer lies in Europe. An island nation for whom overseas trade was vital, Britain was committed to securing its Indian interests at all costs. Control of the seas, in an era in which export trade brought the greatest profit, gave Britain an edge over all rivals. For India, the eighteenth century thus offers a dramatic contrast with the Mughal agrarian order of the seventeenth, when overseas commerce was of secondary importance. Furthermore, although the industrial revolution was not yet underway, the British economy had already become suffused with a dynamic commercial ethos sustained by secure private property rights. In India the British could hold out to indigenous mercantile classes, first in the presidency capitals and then in the countryside, as local rulers did not, the attractive prospect of freedom from arbitrary exaction. Part of the reason for Britain’s success too lies, quite simply, in the fact that after 1757, by its conquest of Bengal, the East India Company had gained control of India’s richest province. This gave it the resources to dominate the other players in the continuing contests among India’s regional states. With a larger revenue base, the Company could field a larger army than its Indian rivals, and organize a more efficient state structure. As a result, even though the British state in Bengal was forged, in large part, from the same elements of ‘military fiscalism’ as other states throughout the subcontinent, it could over time subdue them all one by one. (Cambridge History of India)

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