1600-1858, company chartered by the Crown for trade with Asia. It acquired unequaled trade privileges from the Mogul emperors in India, and began to reap large profits by exporting textiles and tea. As Mogul power declined, the company intervened in Indian political affairs. Its agent, Robert CLIVE, defeated (1751-60) the rival French East India Company, and Warren HASTINGS, the first governor general of British India, assumed more control of the company.