The Dutch East India Company
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Published: Thu, 11 May 2017
Business of trading had began during the mid 15th century on April 2, 1595, when very first three ships named Mauritius, Hollandia, Amsterdam had left of together in the search of the eastern coast. By august of 1595 only three ships had successfully returned with only 87 alive out of 249 crew sailors. They had earned moderate amount of profit. Their first attempt to sail towards the east had been miraculously successful which opened several trading routes with numerous others traders wanting to trade as well, including traders from Zeeland, Holland and Portugal. The English were not happy as it was a free trading business and every other country were taking advantage of it, especially the Portuguese. Due to this the spice trade in 16th century, were overpowered by the Portuguese.
Investment in a venture during those days was very risky, due to the inelastic demand and elastic supply of spices that would bring prices up and down. Therefore in order to limit the competition Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt decided to monopolize the trade by establishing a trading company named Dutch East India Company, which would be only operated by a group of Dutch merchants. The company was granted a monopoly over Asian market trades. The first Dutch trading post was established on March 20th, 1602 in Banten West Java that marked the beginning of the independent trading companies. On that day, with the monopoly to trade spices all over the Asian markets and Asian Waters from the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch East India company was also known as “Vereenigde Landsche Ge-Oktroyeerde Oostindische Compagnie”, or VOC, or “United East Indian Company”. The executive directors of VOC were called “Heeren Swewtien” or “Lord Seventeen”. The company had six chambers in Amsterdam, Middleburg Enkhuizen, Delft, Hoorn and Rotterdam. VOC was granted an official monopoly for trading spices all over East Asia.
Henry Hudson was an English explorer navigator, was in search for finding a shortest northeast route, but he sailed into a “Half Moon” to Spitsbergen in the Barents Sea in the northern coast of Russia to a stop with an extreme ice and cold. In 1608 Hudson was hired by Dutch East India Company. Dutch East India Company wanted Henry to find the shortest sailing route to Asia from the coast of Russia, in order to expand its business. Hudson had faced failure every time he left with his ship “Good Hope” and crew, in search for finding the shortest route, most of the time due to the severe weather conditions, had forced him return to England. Due to this Dutch East India Company had lost his hope in Hudson. In 1611 Hudson made his final journey to the east with his crew in the same ship “Good Hope” and never returned back as they had starved to death, as he was never heard again.
The Dutch East India Company was the first northern Europe Company that took trading routes away from the “Germanic Hanseatic League”, which was a group of seven German merchants who established trading through northern Europe, before VOC. This company controlled trading mostly in Italy, but when VOC came along it started off with a great success in trading all across Europe. They usually bought goods in bulk which were rarely sold at reduced cost by their competitor “Germanic Henseatic League.” Further on Dutch East India Company set up factories in Bandar, on Persian Gulf and bantam on Malay Archipelago, and in Zealander (new name Taiwan) to help Portuguese in their spice trade for eastern coast. By 1620, the Dutch East India Company had the biggest trading corporation in all across Europe.
The Dutch East India Company was a joint venture stock company that monopolized the trade of spice in the 16th and 17th century. They established trading ports all across Asia. The 17th Century was ruled by the Dutch, were Amsterdam was their major spice trading center. Their trading would include colonial goods such as pepper and Nutmeg. The company had signed authoritarian power treaties, under the name of “Republic”, which gave the company authorities to wage war and to conquer territories. In 1619 VOC had conquered Jayakarta by the false use of authoritarian powers and founded Batavia there. By conquering territories it was believed that by doing this it will now help them seek to become other territories friends, which later on turned out incorrect. Populations of several other territories in Mulluccas islands in Indonesia were empowered to forcefully cultivate spices; similar enforcement were applied in Asia either by persuasion or violence.
Forts were forcefully built in South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. China and Japan had refused in letting any foreigners coming in by closing countries borders. But VOC had received permission to continue its trading activity by the nearby island named Decima near Nagasaki.
Main Line of Business
Dutch trades had taken over the world in their trading business; their controlled trade routes include Baltic and North Sea, establishing factories, ports and settlements all across Asia and pacific including Arabia, India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan. By doing this Dutch East India Company has been able to stock its warehouses with colonial goods with foreign spices, and goods. Out of all the territories Asia had suffered the most being forcefully cultivating spices and giving up their minerals such as spices, textiles, coffee, tea, tobacco, opium, tropical wood, iron, copper, silver, gold, porcelain, dyes, shells etc, were forcefully captivated and transported by the Dutch East India Company.
In 1652 Dutch trade expands by setting refueling stations in Africa, at the Cape of Good Hope. They had also opened several other ports in India and Malay Archipelago. But their headquarters were tactfully placed at Batavia and in Malay Archipelago. In 1641 VOC had conquered Malacca from Portuguese. Meanwhile, by 1656 another few headquarters were strategically build in Chinsura, Benegal, Colombo (Sri Lanka), and followed by placing harbor at Malbar in India. Upon Japan’s refusal in being involved with any foreign Trade with VOC, VOC enforced exclusive authoritarian rights to trade at Nagasaki in 1639. In next few years their Expansion of ports, headquarters and refueling stations, numerously increased, with that increased their authoritarian power over all the territories into forcing them to cultivating what they wanted them to.
Managed and Governed
The Dutch East India Company was in power from 1602-1798; it was governed and chartered by Governor-Generals of Netherlands which were assigned by the Dutch Government. The first Governor-General ever appointed by the Dutch Government was Pieter Both in 1610. There were hundreds of Governor-General that came along in the Dutch East India Company, each of them approximately ruled between 2-10 years, and all of their aims were to expand the trade as much as possible and maintain close relations between government and its entrepreneur enterprises across the world, focusing mostly on Asia.
The company had a charter granted by States of General of the United Netherlands, on March 20th, 1602. The company was entitled to follow every written in the charter.
One of the major historical significance of VOC in the history of business is that they were the first ones to build an entire empire of trading in numerous countries. Their dedicating effort and willingness to find the sailing routes, to Asia, turned out to be a great success, which opened tremendous amount of opportunity for them to trade, and VOC strategically took complete advantage of the opportunities available out there.
Impacts of Dutch East India Company in history are like two sides of coin, there are good and bad effects. Yet we can learn from both kinds of impacts. One of the major historical entrepreneurial importance of VOC was that, that they the first ever multinational corporation in the entire world, with the joint venture stock company. They were also the world’s largest commercial entity in 17th and 18th century, which employed approximately 30,000 people. Yet the Dutch East India Company’s historical significance still remains remarkably iniquitous, to several territories as to upon their strict refusal to trade goods; VOC were still able to get them to cultivate and trade goods against their will with either by persuasion or violence.
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