The the Indies or the Eastern Indies is a term used to indicate the territories of South Asia and South-eastern, i.e. the Iranian Béloutchistan , the Pakistan, the Indian Union, the Nepal, the Bhutan, the Bangladesh, the Myanmar, the Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Thailand, the Malaysia, the Vietnam, the Kampuchea, the Laos, the Filipino , the Brunéi, Singapore and the Eastern Timor and the Indonesia (called the Eastern Indies Dutchwomen before independence), except for the Irian Jaya, which belongs to the Mélanésie.
This plural term was also used to define the current Indian country in Europe.
The Européens started to explore these territories at the 16th century. The trade with this area developed gradually. Specialized commercial companies were create in order to import many goods of them, inter alia cotton, indigo and spices. One can in particular quote various the Compagnies of the Eastern Indies (17th century).
Christophe Colomb believed initially that the New World was the Far-Eastern part of the the Indies . It largely had under estimation the distance which separates Europe from Asia by the West. Later, in order to avoid confusion, the New World was called the Western Indies and the authentic Indies “the Indies Eastern”.
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