American Independence and India Connection

American Independence and India Connection

Ship India

In the 1700’s big parts of India and America were  ruled by the British. Trade drove the Brits to both countries and so it is not surprising that there are connections between America’s fight to become and stay independent and the role of the British.

  • The British East India Company had a royal charter to be the only entity to conduct trade with India (and to some extent with China). The Sons of Liberty armed with an assortment of axes  dumped 340 chests of British East India Company Tea,  onboard the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor into Boston Harbor the night of December 16, 1773. The cargo was worth more than $1.7 million in today’s money. This was a seminal event in the American Revolution that led to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. But there is more…
  • The British Navy commissioned a Zoroastrian (Parsi) shipbuilder Jamshedji Bomanji Wadia to built a 74-gun teak ship that was launched in 1810 from the Duncan Docks in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. The “HMS Minden” participated in the invasion of the island of Java, then sailed for Great Britain and escorted convoys to the East Indies, the Cape of Good Hope, South America, and the coast of Africa. The ship was in Chesapeake Bay off the cost of Maryland during the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key was  imprisoned aboard the Minden when he wrote the poem “The Defense of Ft. McHenry”, which became the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

What this means

The two largest democracies in the world are bound together by ties that go back to the birth of each country as a republic.  Stay tuned for an updated closer to August 15, when I will talk about the role of America in India’s Independence movement.

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