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European Traders

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European Traders - Lesson Summary

In the 15 th century, European sailors embarked on new sea routes to obtain Indian spices and cotton. Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, discovered the ocean route from Portugal to India and reached Calicut in 1498 after a year. 

As the discovery of new sea route increased the demand for spices and cotton the English, Dutch and French businessmen formed their respective East India Companies. The Indian traders thus lost their trading rights as the Europeans were more powerful and had to work as the European agents.

The demand for textiles led to a great expansion of the crafts like spinning, weaving, bleaching and dyeing. However, the high demand resulted in artisans losing the liberty of creating their own patterns, and producing designs that would sell in European markets.

This led to the rise of commercial cities like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The business of the European traders multiplied many fold due to the discovery of sea routes to India.

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