John Company and the Evangelical Influence

The East India Company, writes R. Cecil, had at first shown a ‘modest interest’ in the civilization of their native subjects; but Evangelical pressure groups recommended a very different attitude.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century there emerged in Britain a current of opinion strongly favouring the conversion of India to Christianity. There had, of course, been European missionaries of various denominations in India for a long time, especially in Southern India, where Hindus, who were tolerant of other creeds, predominated; but no British missionaries had been admitted to the territories of the East India Company, because ‘John Company’ did not wish to disturb the pattern of culture and society, and run the risk of also disturbing the economy and the established pattern of trade.

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