The East India Trading Company, otherwise referred to as the East India Company or abbreviated as EITC, was a joint-stock company and megacorporation formed for pursuing and monopolizing trade with the East Indies and the Caribbean. The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpeter, tea and opium. The Company was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600. Shares of the Company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions.
The English East India Trading Company was established by British explorers who discovered the exotic riches of the East Indies, particularly India, during their initial voyages to the region. With trading voyages sponsored by English merchants hoping to profit from gold, silver, ivory, silk and spices, the company grew in size and power. It began to expand into the Caribbean when the attention of the company's leaders turned to the area's rich plantations. This expansion was led by its Governor/Chairman Lord Cutler Beckett. The company ultimately expanded so much that any threat posed to it was a threat to Great Britain itself.
Piracy was one of the biggest problems for the Company. In the late 1720s, several EITC ships was sent to join Admiral Lawrence Norrington's Royal Navy fleet and participate in his hunt for Edward Teague, Keeper of the Code and one of the most notorious pirates on the Seven Seas. Though Norrington managed to capture Teague for a brief time, his mission miserably failed.
The company was based in London, led by a single Governor and a Court of Directors. Through one of its employees, Cutler Beckett, it was known to have condoned the transport of slaves from Africa to the Caribbean. However, Jack Sparrow, captain of the Wicked Wench, refused to carry out this sinful task, and Beckett had his ship torched and Sparrow himself branded a pirate.
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