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Why was indigo so sought after by the British?

Asked by E.Charles, Last updated: May 22, 2020

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E. Austin

E. Austin

Answered Nov 02, 2018

Indigo was sought after by the British because of the economic importance of the dye. The dye was rare, it was extracted from certain leaves. The indigo was a valuable commodity in Europe in the early decades of the seventeenth century.

The British East India Company’s most valuable export commodity in this era was the indigo dye. Most European countries used colonization to their advantage, the demand for dye was exploited. The British acquired the arable land for growing indigo through trading markets in Lahore.

 

S. Hughes

S. Hughes

Answered Jun 14, 2018

Indigo was so sought after by the British was because of its importance and high economic value. “Indigo’s vibrancy, so scarce in the natural world, combined with its versatility as a dye, made it a valuable and prized commodity.” During the beginning of the seventeenth century, indigo was the “British East India Company’s most valuable export commodity”.

Just as the British did, many other European powers used colonization as a means to “exploit the demand for indigo”. “Agents of the East India Company instigated the large-scale, commercial production of indigo dye in Bengal. By the early nineteenth century Bengal was the principal producer of indigo in the world, its production and trade monopolized by Great Britain.”

 

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