Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Lisa Cody

Reader 2

Jonathan Petropoulos

Rights Information

© 2017 Richard G Newman


This paper argues against the common historical belief that the British East India Company’s actions benefited the British Public. While many recent historical works argue that the Company had detrimental effects on India, the common consensus believes that the Company’s actions while pillaging India benefited Britain through economic treasures and access to luxuries.

In the first section of the text, the author describes the British East India Company’s corruption, propaganda, and lobbying efforts to enrich individual members of the Company and protect personal and corporate profits. The next section describes the Company’s impact on Britain and argues that the Company was an overwhelmingly negative investment for the British taxpayer.

The author compares the East India Company’s historic actions and impacts on Britain to the impact of modern big corporations on their own nations. The text concludes with an argument that the popular narrative, which holds that large corporations’ interests coincide with that of the nation’s public interest, is both inherently mistaken and fraught with danger. The author argues against a zero-sum worldview and for a corporate sector with checks and balances.