The Portuguese sailor Cabral set up the first European factory in Calicut on this day. About 100 years after this, the East India Company came and soon the whole of India became a slave.
September 13 has an important place in the history of India. The story of India’s enslavement began on this day 521 years ago. The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral established the first European Factory in Calicut on 13 September in 1500 AD. After this the European companies gradually subjugated the whole of India.
Cabral reached India after the discovery of Brazil
In the first phase of expansionism of European countries, Portugal and Spain dominated. Both countries encouraged courageous sailors to explore new sea routes and reach other continents. Cabral was also a sailor of that era. After discovering Brazil for Europe, Cabral set out on a trip to India. He reached Calicut in September, where he obtained approval from the king to build a factory and a warehouse. This was followed by the first European factory being set up in Calicut on 13 September.
Bombs were hurled at the Portuguese in Calicut
This European factory of Cabral did not run well for long. On 16–17 December that year, a group of Arab traders and local people attacked the factory. Several of Cabral’s allies were killed in this attack. This attack was considered by the Portuguese as an insult and asked the ruler of Calicut to give an explanation within 24 hours. Angered by no response, Cabral ordered to bomb the city of Calicut. His ships rained bombs throughout the day, killing thousands.
Cabral Launches Gunboat Diplomacy
This incident weakened the position of Arab traders in India. This is where the infamous Gunboat Diplomacy of European countries started. The Portuguese benefited greatly from India’s spice trade, which eventually brought European countries like Spain, France and Britain to India. However, the trade between India and Europe was dominated by Portugal and Spain for almost a century.
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East India Company came after 100 years
With the advent of the East India Company, the dominance of Portugal began to decline. The company established the first factory at Masulipatnam in 1611 and the second at Surat in 1612. In 1612, the East India Company defeated Portugal in the Battle of Suvali. Soon the East India Company obtained permission to trade with the Mughal Empire as well.