The multinational companies that we are familiar with today are quite different than the ones that originated long ago. The emergence of multinational companies began in the early 1600’s, with the founding of The East India Company in Britain. Queen Elizabeth I granted the company a royal charter and permission to seek trade in the Indian Ocean. The company began to open up factories, a majority of them being in India, and eventually held a monopoly on trade.
It is most interesting to think about the end of the first, and one of the most powerful, multinational companies. The company’s demise came when the British parliament eventually intervened and passed the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act of 1873.
Articles that appeared in major publications (such as the Chicago Tribune) in 1873, discussed the significance of The East India Company, especially as it was nearing the date of its closing (June of 1874). Some articles even suggested that the company helped to introduce and foster the idea of globalization and the possibility of businesses operating in numerous countries at the same time.