Colonialism in India
East India Company (EIC) was the hallmark of brutal British Colonialism in India. Moreover, It was formed by the intensive exploitation of labour in South Asia, especially in the Indian sub-continent. It is not a hidden fact that EIC established a cruel monopoly over the trade and services throughout. As the influence of EIC expanded, they dipped their toes in the political atmosphere of India where it became a catalyst for the expansion of British influence.
Why was East India Company so successful?
Through the exploitation and monopolistic approach, EIC accumulated unimaginable wealth and assets. But just how much was that wealth anyways?
Inevitably, we suffer from a lack of awareness in this regard because we lack a reference point for most of these things. Consequently, in this article, we will be trying to visualize the magnitude of wealth that EIC had through various visual aids and analogies.
How much was East India Company worth?
If we take the assets and wealth of EIC, they will be above $8 trillion. That is $8000+ billion!
1Richest Man on Earth? Not even a match.
Currently, the richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos, is worth $193 billion. Let’s round it off to $200 billion because who cares?
This means that not even 40 Jeff Bezos would be able to match up to the wealth of EIC.
2US Military Budget? Meh.
The US military is the most funded military in the world. The current budget is nearly $750 billion. However, if EIC wished, it could fund the US military for more than 10 consecutive years!
If we look at other major armed forces, these are the year-figure those $8000 billion could fund for them:
People’s Liberation Army Budget [$175 bn] — 45 years.
Russia Army Budget [$69 bn] — 115 years.
India Army Budget [$57 bn] — 140 years.
Saudi Army Budget [$50 bn] — 160 years.
Pakistan Army Budget [$13 bn] — 615 years.
3GDPs of entire countries? How about we combine them?
If we compare the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of various countries, EIC had more assets than the GDP of, India [$2700 bn], Pakistan [$314 bn], Australia [$1400 bn], and Japan [$4000 bn] combined.
4The most expensive jet in the world? Yeah, I’ll take a couple thousand of them.
Another analogy can be given from one of the most expensive jets ever manufactured in the world, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.
Furthermore, the jet costs a meagre $2 bn when it comes to comparing it with EIC’s assets. Considering that, EIC could easily acquire 4000 of these jets. Let’s just not consider the fact that only 21 of these were ever manufactured by the United States.
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of how East India Company exploited the territories of sub-continent and amassed unimaginable amount of wealth.
Further Reading: East India Company.