Why were European nations keen to trade directly with India?

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farouk23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Europeans were keen to trade with India for a number of reasons: 

  1. It was a large potential market.
  2. It was the source of the spices which were in high demand at the time.
  3. Stories of Marco Polo’s adventures in Asia initiated an era of curiosity regarding China, India and Asia in general.

The Europeans had already had trade with India but it was done through intermediaries, mostly the Italian city states (who traded through the Arab/Turkish Asian caravan routes). It was the desire to cut out the middle man that galvanized a lot of their direct trade efforts.