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Alexander, son of Philip, King of Macedonia (Greece)crossed the Indus in 327 B.C. After defeating Porus, he retreated as his army refused to proceed further. He returned by the way of Indus and died on his way to Babylon in 323 B.C. Alexander’s invasion opened the land route from Europe to India and it paved the way for the political unity of India.
THE COMING OF THE EUROPEANS : The Portuguese were the first among the European nations to trade with India. In 1498, Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India and reached Calicut. Alfonso Albuqurque laid the real foundation of the Portuguese power in India. Following them were the Dutch, the English, the Danish and the French.
THE ENGLISH EAST INDIA COMPANY : The East India Company was incorporated in 1600 to trade with India by a charter given to it by Queen Elizabeth I. In 1615, the company built the first factory at Surat with the permission of Jahangir, secured through Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador to James I. Dupleix, the last Governor General of the French possession in India, wanted to drive the English out of India but the arrival of Robert Clive on the scene dashed all hopes. The French challenge to the British supremacy in India came to an end with the Battle of Wandiwash. The crowning achievement of Clive was in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 in which he defeated Siraj-ud- Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal and laid the foundation of the company ’s power in Bengal. The conquest was complete in the Battle of Buxar in 1764. Bengal was the first province in India to be conquered by the English. Robert Clive was the first Governor of Bengal.

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