A complete ecosystem for UPSC Civils and State PSC Preparation

Modern History MCQs – 1 (Arrival of Europeans in India)

Arrival of Europeans MCQs with answers and explanations for preparation of UPSC, BPSC, UPPSC and other State PSC Examinations

Q 1. The first European to arrive in India using the sea route was ?

A. Vasco da Gama

B. Selukas Niketar

C. Columbus

D. Zamorin

Correct Answer: [A] Vasco da Gama

From 7th century onwards, India’s merchandise trade with European countries was dominated by Arabs who did not allow any other to encroach these routes.

However, it was the Portuguese who discovered alternative sea routes to India. Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama discovered an alternate route from Portugal to India via Cape of Good Hope. He first reached India in May 1498 in Calicut.

Portuguese were also the first Europeans to settle and colonise India. They came to India mainly to trade in spices but gradually made their colonies here.

Q 2. The English East India Company was established in the year ?
A. 1600
B. 1608
C. 1613
D. 1664

Correct Answer: [A] 1600

The English East India Company was established on 31 December 1600 as per the Royal Charter issued by the Queen of England, Elizabeth I.

It was the first among various East India Companies formed by different European countries. The list of other East India Companies are as follows:

  • British East India Company, founded in 1600
  • Dutch East India Company, founded in 1602
  • Portuguese East India Company, founded in 1628
  • French East India Company, founded in 1664

Q 3. Who among the following is regarded as the real founder of the Portuguese colonial empire in India ?

A. Vasco da Gama

B. Francisco de Almeida

C. Columbus

D. Afonso de Albuquerque

Correct Answer: [D] Afonso de Albuquerque

  • Albuquerque is known as the real founder of the Portuguese colonial empire in India.
  • Afonso de Albuquerque invaded Goa in 1510 and fought the Battle of Goa (1510) with the forces of Sultan of Bijapur Adil Shah and established a Portuguese colony in Goa.
  • He started the first Portuguese mint and issued coins in Gold, Silver and Bronze.
  • He encouraged Portuguese to have marriage alliances with Indian women. 
  • He was first to abolish the practice of Sati, which was in vogue in that time, in the Portuguese colonies in Goa.
  • He maintained friendly relations with the rulers of Vijayanagar Empire.

Q 4. Who among the following was the last East India company to be formed ?

A. British East India Company
B. Dutch East India Company
C. Portuguese East India Company
D. French East India Company

Correct Answer: [D] French East India Company

  • The French East India Company was the last to be formed. It was founded by Jean-Baptiste Colbert in 1664.
  • They established their first factory at Surat in 1668, and in 1669, they built another factory at Masulipatam.
  • They also established a factory at Chandranagar in Bengal.
  • In 1701, Pondicherry was made the capital of the French settlements in India.

Q 5. Joseph Francois Dupleix belonged to ?
A. British East India Company
B. Dutch East India Company
C. Portuguese East India Company
D. French East India Company

Correct Answer: [D] French East India Company 


  • Joseph Marquis Dupleix was Governor-General of French establishments in India and a rival of British general Robert Clive. 
  • He was made the Governor General of all French territories in India in 1742.
  • He was very ambitious and dreamt of establishing a French colonial empire in India. 
  • He made alliances with many local rulers and also interfered in their succession disputes. 
  • Dupleix’s plans for territorial expansion became a reason for conflict between French and British which led to the Carnatic wars.

Q 6. English East India Company established their first factory in ?

A. Goa

B. Surat

C. Bombay

D. Masulipatnam


Correct Answer: [B] Surat

  • The English East India Company had sent Captain Hawkins to the court of the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir in 1608 to secure permission to establish a factory at Surat.
  • Initially their request was turned down by Jahangir However, in 1613, Jahangir agreed and issued a firman permitting the East India Company to establish its first factory at Surat.
  • English established their second factory at Masulipatnam in 1616.

Q 7. Fort Saint George, the first fort built by the British in India was located at ?
A. Goa
B. Kolkata
C. Bombay
D. Madras

Correct Answer: [D] Madras

  • In 1639, the British purchased the land in Madrasapattinam from Raja of Chandragiri and established Fort Saint George there.
  • The fort was completed on 23 April 1644 coinciding with St George’s Day, celebrated in honor of the patron saint of England.
  • Soon, It became the hub of merchant activity and gave birth to a new settlement area surrounding it called George Town.

Q 8. The privileges of free trade rights were granted to the English East India Company in 1717 by the Mughal Emperor ?
A. Bahadur Shah
B. Shahjahan
C. Jahangir
D. Farrukh-Siyar

Correct Answer: [D] Farrukh-Siyar

  • Farrukh-Siyar became the Mughal Emperor in 1713.
  • During his reign, in 1717, he issued a Farman which gave the British East India company the right to trade freely except for an annual payment of 3000 rupees.
  • They were also given the right to issue a ‘Dastak’ or trade permits for the transportation of goods.
  • The farman also allowed the British East India Company to mint their own coins.
  • This was a great diplomatic achievement for the company as it allowed the British to expand their trade and granted undue advantages to the English over other traders.

Q 9. Bombay was handed over to East India Company by ?
A. Portuguese
B. Charles II
C. Jahangir
D. French

Correct Answer:

[B] Charles II

  • Bombay was acquired by the Portuguese from the Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah by the Treaty of Bassein in 1534.
  • Because of the strategic location of Bombay as a port, all European powers wanted to establish their hegemony on it.
  • In May 1661, as per the marriage alliance between Charles II of England and Catharine of Braganza, the Portuguese king’s daughter, Bombay was given to Charles II as dowry.
  • In 1668, a royal charter was issued which gave Bombay to the East India Company for the rent of 10 pounds per year.

Q 10. Peace treaty of ‘Aix-la-Chapelle’ was signed between the British and ?
A. Portuguese
B. Mughals
C. Dutches
D. French

Correct Answer: [D] French

  • Though the British and the French came to India for trading, they slowly became involved in the politics of India as both wanted to maintain their hegemony in India.
  • This led to Anglo-French rivalry in India.
  • Three Carnatic wars that occurred between the English and French finally established British hegemony in India.
  • Carnatic was the name given by the Europeans to the Coromandel coast and its hinterland.
  • The First Carnatic War was an extension of the ‘Anglo-French War’ in Europe which was caused by the ‘Austrian War of Succession’.
  • This war was concluded with the Peace treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.