The story of Indian events in the seventeenth century, so far as they relate to the internal history of the country during the time of the zenith and decline of the Moghul Empire, has already been told in the fourth and fifth volumes; what may be called the external history of India during this period is contained in the present volume and consists in a narrative of the struggle between the three rival European powers, Portuguese, Dutch, and English, for supremacy in Hindustan. The story is an involved one, but is remarkably clear and logical in its sequence.
The foothold established by the East India Company in 1600 was strengthened more and more by the separate voyages of the Company; and so vigorous was the advance made that it resulted in bringing England into conflict first with the Portuguese and afterwards with the Dutch as to which should have the upper hand in India. Bloodshed and international difficulties were the issue, but the ultimate outcome was the paramount establishment of English supremacy on
the Bombay coast, the Madras coast, and the Bengal coast, forming the basis eventually of the three great organized presidencies of Hindustan and the absolute dominion of England which made India a part of the British Empire.
The narrative of the successive events by which all this was gradually accomplished forms one of the most instructive chapters in the world’s history and is to be commended to the thoughtful reader.
This collection transcribed by Chris Gage