Dutch East India Company

  • Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch) is considered to be the First Multinational Corporation of the World.
  • It was also the first company to issue stock.
  • It was the first company which was given power to engage itself in colonial activities including waging a war and execute the convicts, mint the coins and establish the colonies

This company did wonders in India and Indonesia for 2 centuries but later the pompous acronym of VOC became Vergaan Onder Corruptie meaning “marred by the Corruption”.

The Dutch East India Company was created in 1602 as “United East India Company” and its first permanent trading post was in Indonesia.

  • In India, they established the first factory in Masulipattanam in 1605, followed by Pulicat in 1610, Surat in 1616, Bimilipatam in 1641 and Chinsura in 1653.
  • In Bengal they established a factory in Pipli, but it was abandoned by the,

The main objective of the Dutch remained aggressive in eliminating the Portuguese and British merchandise powers from India and South East Asia, and they were successful in abandoning the Portuguese as most dominant power in the European Trade.

  • When the established a factory in Pulicat, in 1610, it became their main center of activities. It was later known as Fort Geldria.

While the Portuguese suffered because of the bad successors of Albuquerque and their severity and intolerance, the Dutch failed due to the rising English and French powers and their corruption. The Government of Netherlands also interfered a lot which ultimately caused the Dutch to get extinct from India.

  • From 1638-1658, the Dutch were able to expel the Portuguese from the Ceylon.
  • In 1641, they occupied Malacca.
  • In 1652, they were able to capture the Cape of Good Hope.

The climax of the Dutch East India Company was in 1669, when it was the richest private company of the world with 150 merchant ships, 40 warships and 50 thousand employees and an army of 10 thousand soldiers.

  • In India, the most important event was the Battle of Colachel in 1741, which was fought between the Dutch East India Company and State of Travancore army. This was a major defeat of a European power in India and marked beginning of the end of the Dutch Influence.

Following the corruption and bankruptcy, the Dutch East India Company was formally dissolved in 1800.

The Dutch influence from India had finished long ago but they were dominant in Indonesia. The government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalized colony later which was more or less the within the boundaries of the modern Indonesia.

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