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The UNITED EAST INDIA COMPANY or the UNITED EAST INDIAN COMPANY, also known as the UNITED EAST INDIES COMPANY (Dutch : _VEREENIGDE OOST-INDISCHE COMPAGNIE_; or VERENIGDE OOSTINDISCHE COMPAGNIE in modern spelling; VOC), referred to by the British as the DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY, or sometimes known as the DUTCH EAST INDIES COMPANY, was originally established as a chartered company in 1602, when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade . A multinational company , it is also often considered to be the world's first truly transnational corporation . In the early 1600s, the VOC became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the world's first formally listed public company , because it was the first corporation to be ever actually listed on an official (formal) stock exchange . As the first historical model of the quasi-fictional concept of the megacorporation , the VOC possessed quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins , and establish colonies.

With its pioneering institutional innovations, the company played a crucial role in business , socio-politico-economic, and financial history of the world. In the early modern period , the VOC was also the driving force behind the rise of corporate-led globalization , corporate identity , corporate social responsibility , corporate governance , corporate finance , and financial capitalism . As a transcontinental employer , the VOC was an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment at the dawn of modern capitalism . The company was considered by many to be the first major and the most successful corporation in history. The VOC was historically a military-political-economic complex rather than a pure trading company (or shipping company ). The company, along with the Dutch West India Company
Company
(WIC/GWIC ), was also seen as the international arm of the Dutch Republic and the symbolic power of the Dutch Empire . As a major force behind the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (ca. 1590s–1720s), the VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (_ Duyfken _), Henry Hudson (_ Halve Maen _) and Abel Tasman revealed largely unknown landmasses to the civilized world. In the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography , the VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the modern world as we know them today. The commercial networks of Dutch transnational companies, like the VOC and GWIC , provided an infrastructure which was accessible to people with a scholarly interest in the exotic world.

The company was formed to profit from the Malukan spice trade, and in 1619 it established a capital in the port city of Jayakarta , changing the name to Batavia (now Jakarta
Jakarta
). Over the next two centuries the Company
Company
acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory. It remained an important trading concern and paid an 18% annual dividend for almost 200 years. Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in international trade for almost 200 years of existence. Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods. By contrast, the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British ) East India Company
East India Company
, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC. The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.

Due to structural changes, the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War , and French invasion of the Netherlands, the company was nationalised in 1800, and its possessions and debt were taken over by the government of the Dutch Batavian Republic . The VOC's territories became the Dutch East Indies and were expanded over the course of the 19th century to include the whole of the Indonesian archipelago, which would later become the modern Republic of Indonesia.

CONTENTS

* 1 Company
Company
name, logo and flag

* 2 History

* 2.1 Origins

* 2.2 Formation, rise and fall

* 2.2.1 Formative years * 2.2.2 Growth * 2.2.3 Reorientation * 2.2.4 Decline and fall

* 3 Organizational structure

* 3.1 VOC outposts * 3.2 Council of Justice in Batavia

* 4 Shareholder activism at the VOC and the beginnings of modern corporate governance

* 5 Main trading posts, settlements and colonies

* 5.1 Asia
Asia

* 5.1.1 Indonesia
Indonesia
* 5.1.2 Indian subcontinent * 5.1.3 Japan
Japan
* 5.1.4 Taiwan
Taiwan
* 5.1.5 Malaysia * 5.1.6 Thailand
Thailand
* 5.1.7 Vietnam

* 5.2 Africa
Africa

* 5.2.1 Mauritius
Mauritius
* 5.2.2 South Africa
Africa

* 6 Main competitors * 7 Conflicts and wars involving the VOC

* 8 Historical roles and legacy

* 8.1 Institutional innovations and contributions in business and financial history * 8.2 Impacts on economic and social history of the Netherlands
Netherlands
* 8.3 Influences on Dutch Golden Age art * 8.4 VOC world as a knowledge network in the Dutch maritime world-system * 8.5 Roles in the global economy and international relations

* 8.6 Contributions in the Age of Exploration

* 8.6.1 _Halve Maen\'_s exploratory voyage and role in the formation of New Netherland * 8.6.2 Dutch exploration and mapping of Australia
Australia
and Oceania
Oceania

* 9 Criticisms * 10 Cultural depictions of people and things associated with the VOC * 11 Non-fiction works relating to the history of the VOC * 12 Places and things named after the VOC and its people

* 13 VOC\'s important heritage sites

* 13.1 Populated places established by people of the VOC

* 14 VOC scholars * 15 VOC archives and records * 16 VOC coins * 17 Notable VOC ships * 18 VOC timeline and the firsts in history * 19 Gallery * 20 See also * 21 Notes * 22 References

* 23 Bibliography

* 23.1 English sources * 23.2 Dutch sources

* 24 External links

COMPANY NAME, LOGO AND FLAG

See also: Colonial Indian companies , Colonial India , Greater India , Dutch East Indies , Spanish East Indies , Category:Colonial Indian companies , and East Indiaman The logo of the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Chamber of the VOC Flag of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company

Around the world and especially in English-speaking countries, the VOC is widely known as the "Dutch East India
East India
Company". The name ‘Dutch East India
East India
Company’ is used to make a distinction with the East India Company
East India Company
(EIC) and other East Indian companies (such as the Danish East India Company
East India Company
, French East India Company
East India Company
, Portuguese East India Company
East India Company
, and the Swedish East India Company
East India Company
). The abbreviation "VOC" stands for "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie" or "Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie" in Dutch , literally meaning "United East-Indian Company", "United East- India
India
Company", or "United East-Indies Company".

The VOC monogram was possibly the first globally-recognized corporate logo . The logo of the VOC consisted of a large capital 'V' with an O on the left and a C on the right leg. It appeared on various corporate items, such as cannon and coins. The first letter of the hometown of the chamber conducting the operation was placed on top (see figure for example of the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
chamber logo). The adaptability, elegance, flexibility, simplicity, symbolism, and symmetry were considered notable characteristics of the VOC's well-designed monogram-logo, those ensured its success at a time when the concept of the corporate identity was virtually unknown. An Australian vintner has used the VOC logo since the late 20th century, having re-registered the company's name for the purpose.

The flag of the company was orange, white, and blue (see Dutch flag ), with the company logo embroidered on it.

HISTORY

ORIGINS

See also: First Dutch Expedition to Indonesia and Second Dutch Expedition to Indonesia
Indonesia
Further information: Spice trade and Cape Route

Before the Dutch Revolt , Antwerp had played an important role as a distribution centre in northern Europe
Europe
. After 1591, however, the Portuguese used an international syndicate of the German Fuggers and Welsers , and Spanish and Italian firms, that used Hamburg as the northern staple port to distribute their goods, thereby cutting Dutch merchants out of the trade. At the same time, the Portuguese trade system was unable to increase supply to satisfy growing demand, in particular the demand for pepper. Demand for spices was relatively inelastic , and therefore each lag in the supply of pepper caused a sharp rise in pepper prices.

In 1580 the Portuguese crown was united in a personal union with the Spanish crown, with which the Dutch Republic was at war. The Portuguese Empire therefore became an appropriate target for Dutch military incursions. These factors motivated Dutch merchants to enter the intercontinental spice trade themselves. Further, a number of Dutchmen like Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman obtained first hand knowledge of the "secret" Portuguese trade routes and practices, thereby providing opportunity. VOC headquarters in Amsterdam
Amsterdam

The stage was thus set for the four-ship exploratory expedition by Frederick de Houtman in 1595 to Banten
Banten
, the main pepper port of West Java, where they clashed with both the Portuguese and indigenous Indonesians. Houtman's expedition then sailed east along the north coast of Java
Java
, losing twelve crew to a Javanese attack at Sidayu and killing a local ruler in Madura . Half the crew were lost before the expedition made it back to the Netherlands
Netherlands
the following year, but with enough spices to make a considerable profit.

In 1598, an increasing number of fleets were sent out by competing merchant groups from around the Netherlands. Some fleets were lost, but most were successful, with some voyages producing high profits. In March 1599, a fleet of eight ships under Jacob van Neck
Jacob van Neck
was the first Dutch fleet to reach the ' Spice
Spice
Islands' of Maluku, the source of pepper, cutting out the Javanese middlemen. The ships returned to Europe
Europe
in 1599 and 1600 and the expedition made a 400 percent profit.

In 1600, the Dutch joined forces with the Muslim
Muslim
Hituese on Ambon Island in an anti-Portuguese alliance, in return for which the Dutch were given the sole right to purchase spices from Hitu. Dutch control of Ambon was achieved when the Portuguese surrendered their fort in Ambon to the Dutch-Hituese alliance. In 1613, the Dutch expelled the Portuguese from their Solor fort, but a subsequent Portuguese attack led to a second change of hands; following this second reoccupation, the Dutch once again captured Solor, in 1636.

East of Solor, on the island of Timor, Dutch advances were halted by an autonomous and powerful group of Portuguese Eurasians called the Topasses . They remained in control of the Sandalwood trade and their resistance lasted throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, causing Portuguese Timor to remain under the Portuguese sphere of control.

FORMATION, RISE AND FALL

See also: History of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) See also: Evolution of the Dutch Empire , Dutch East India Company
East India Company
in Indonesia , Economic history of the Dutch Republic , and Financial history of the Dutch Republic

Formative Years

Reproduction of a map of the city of Batavia c. 1627, collection Tropenmuseum
Tropenmuseum
Dutch Batavia in 1681, built in what is now North Jakarta
Jakarta

At the time, it was customary for a company to be set up only for the duration of a single voyage and to be liquidated upon the return of the fleet. Investment in these expeditions was a very high-risk venture, not only because of the usual dangers of piracy, disease and shipwreck, but also because the interplay of inelastic demand and relatively elastic supply of spices could make prices tumble at just the wrong moment, thereby ruining prospects of profitability. To manage such risk the forming of a cartel to control supply would seem logical. The English had been the first to adopt this approach, by bundling their resources into a monopoly enterprise, the English East India
India
Company
Company
in 1600, thereby threatening their Dutch competitors with ruin.

In 1602, the Dutch government followed suit, sponsoring the creation of a single "United East Indies
East Indies
Company" that was also granted monopoly over the Asian trade. With a capital of 6,440,200 guilders , the charter of the new company empowered it to build forts, maintain armies, and conclude treaties with Asian rulers. It provided for a venture that would continue for 21 years, with a financial accounting only at the end of each decade.

In February 1603, the Company
Company
seized the _Santa Catarina_ , a 1500-ton Portuguese merchant carrack , off the coast of Singapore. She was such a rich prize that her sale proceeds increased the capital of the VOC by more than 50%.

Also in 1603 the first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia
Indonesia
was established in Banten
Banten
, West Java
Java
, and in 1611 another was established at Jayakarta (later "Batavia" and then "Jakarta"). In 1610, the VOC established the post of Governor General
Governor General
to more firmly control their affairs in Asia. To advise and control the risk of despotic Governors General, a Council of the Indies (_Raad van Indië_) was created. The Governor General
Governor General
effectively became the main administrator of the VOC's activities in Asia, although the _Heeren XVII_, a body of 17 shareholders representing different chambers, continued to officially have overall control. _ The Isle of Amboina_, a 17th-century print, probably English

VOC headquarters were located in Ambon during the tenures of the first three Governors General (1610–1619), but it was not a satisfactory location. Although it was at the centre of the spice production areas, it was far from the Asian trade routes and other VOC areas of activity ranging from Africa
Africa
to India
India
to Japan. A location in the west of the archipelago was thus sought. The Straits of Malacca were strategic but had become dangerous following the Portuguese conquest, and the first permanent VOC settlement in Banten
Banten
was controlled by a powerful local ruler and subject to stiff competition from Chinese and English traders.

In 1604, a second English East India Company
East India Company
voyage commanded by Sir Henry Middleton reached the islands of Ternate , Tidore , Ambon and Banda . In Banda, they encountered severe VOC hostility, sparking Anglo-Dutch competition for access to spices. From 1611 to 1617, the English established trading posts at Sukadana (southwest Kalimantan
Kalimantan
), Makassar
Makassar
, Jayakarta and Jepara in Java
Java
, and Aceh, Pariaman and Jambi in Sumatra
Sumatra
, which threatened Dutch ambitions for a monopoly on East Indies trade.

Diplomatic agreements in Europe
Europe
in 1620 ushered in a period of co-operation between the Dutch and the English over the spice trade. This ended with a notorious but disputed incident known as the ' Amboyna massacre ', where ten Englishmen were arrested, tried and beheaded for conspiracy against the Dutch government. Although this caused outrage in Europe
Europe
and a diplomatic crisis, the English quietly withdrew from most of their Indonesian activities (except trading in Banten) and focused on other Asian interests.

Growth

_ Graves of Dutch dignitaries in the ruined St. Paul\'s Church, Malacca
Malacca
, in the former Dutch Malacca Trade
Trade
lodge of the VOC in Hooghly, Bengal_, by Hendrik van Schuylenburgh , 1665

In 1619, Jan Pieterszoon Coen was appointed Governor-General of the VOC. He saw the possibility of the VOC becoming an Asian power, both political and economic. On 30 May 1619, Coen, backed by a force of nineteen ships, stormed Jayakarta, driving out the Banten
Banten
forces; and from the ashes established Batavia as the VOC headquarters. In the 1620s almost the entire native population of the Banda Islands was driven away, starved to death, or killed in an attempt to replace them with Dutch plantations. These plantations were used to grow cloves and nutmeg for export. Coen hoped to settle large numbers of Dutch colonists in the East Indies, but implementation of this policy never materialised, mainly because very few Dutch were willing to emigrate to Asia.

Another of Coen's ventures was more successful. A major problem in the European trade with Asia
Asia
at the time was that the Europeans could offer few goods that Asian consumers wanted, except silver and gold. European traders therefore had to pay for spices with the precious metals, which were in short supply in Europe, except for Spain
Spain
and Portugal. The Dutch and English had to obtain it by creating a trade surplus with other European countries. Coen discovered the obvious solution for the problem: to start an intra-Asiatic trade system, whose profits could be used to finance the spice trade with Europe. In the long run this obviated the need for exports of precious metals from Europe, though at first it required the formation of a large trading-capital fund in the Indies. The VOC reinvested a large share of its profits to this end in the period up to 1630.

The VOC traded throughout Asia. Ships coming into Batavia from the Netherlands
Netherlands
carried supplies for VOC settlements in Asia. Silver and copper from Japan
Japan
were used to trade with India
India
and China
China
for silk, cotton, porcelain, and textiles. These products were either traded within Asia
Asia
for the coveted spices or brought back to Europe. The VOC was also instrumental in introducing European ideas and technology to Asia. The Company
Company
supported Christian missionaries and traded modern technology with China
China
and Japan. A more peaceful VOC trade post on Dejima
Dejima
, an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki
Nagasaki
, was for more than two hundred years the only place where Europeans were permitted to trade with Japan. When the VOC tried to use military force to make Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
China
China
open up to Dutch trade, the Chinese defeated the Dutch in a war over the Penghu islands from 1623–24, forcing the VOC to abandon Penghu for Taiwan. The Chinese defeated the VOC again at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay in 1633.

The Vietnamese Nguyen Lords defeated the VOC in a 1643 battle during the Trịnh–Nguyễn War , blowing up a Dutch ship. The Cambodians defeated the VOC in the Cambodian–Dutch War from 1643–44 on the Mekong River. Dutch factory of Hugly–Chinsurah in Bengal
Bengal

In 1640, the VOC obtained the port of Galle
Galle
, Ceylon , from the Portuguese and broke the latter's monopoly of the cinnamon trade. In 1658, Gerard Pietersz. Hulft laid siege to Colombo
Colombo
, which was captured with the help of King Rajasinghe II of Kandy
Kandy
. By 1659, the Portuguese had been expelled from the coastal regions, which were then occupied by the VOC, securing for it the monopoly over cinnamon. To prevent the Portuguese or the English from ever recapturing Sri Lanka, the VOC went on to conquer the entire Malabar Coast from the Portuguese, almost entirely driving them from the west coast of India. When news of a peace agreement between Portugal
Portugal
and the Netherlands reached Asia
Asia
in 1663, Goa was the only remaining Portuguese city on the west coast.

In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope (the southwestern tip of Africa, now Cape Town
Cape Town
, South Africa) to re-supply VOC ships on their journey to East Asia. This post later became a full-fledged colony, the Cape Colony , when more Dutch and other Europeans started to settle there.

VOC trading posts were also established in Persia
Persia
, Bengal
Bengal
, Malacca , Siam , Canton , Formosa (now Taiwan), as well as the Malabar and Coromandel coasts in India. In 1662, however, Koxinga expelled the Dutch from Taiwan
Taiwan
(_see_ History of Taiwan ).

In 1663, the VOC signed the " Painan Treaty" with several local lords in the Painan area that were revolting against the Aceh Sultanate . The treaty allowed the VOC to build a trading post in the area and eventually to monopolise the trade there, especially the gold trade.

By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40% on the original investment.

Many of the VOC employees inter-mixed with the indigenous peoples and expanded the population of Indos in pre-colonial history

Reorientation

VOC monogram formerly above the entrance to the Castle of Good Hope . The abbreviation “VOC” stands for Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie in Dutch , literally meaning “United East Indian Company ” or “United East India Company
East India Company
”. The VOC's monogram, possibly in fact the first globally-recognized corporate logo . This Kraak porcelain dish (in a museum in Malacca
Malacca
) was emblazoned with the V.O.C. monogram Trade
Trade
area of the VOC around 1700 VOC ships in Chittagong
Chittagong
, Bengal
Bengal
Sword of the East India
East India
Company, featuring the V.O.C. monogram of the guard. On display at the Musée de l\'Armée in Paris.

Around 1670, two events caused the growth of VOC trade to stall. In the first place, the highly profitable trade with Japan
Japan
started to decline. The loss of the outpost on Formosa to Koxinga in the 1662 Siege of Fort Zeelandia and related internal turmoil in China
China
(where the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
was being replaced with the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
) brought an end to the silk trade after 1666. Though the VOC substituted Bengali for Chinese silk other forces affected the supply of Japanese silver and gold. The shogunate enacted a number of measures to limit the export of these precious metals, in the process limiting VOC opportunities for trade, and severely worsening the terms of trade. Therefore, Japan
Japan
ceased to function as the lynchpin of the intra-Asiatic trade of the VOC by 1685.

Even more importantly, the Third Anglo-Dutch War temporarily interrupted VOC trade with Europe. This caused a spike in the price of pepper, which enticed the English East India Company
East India Company
(EIC) to enter this market aggressively in the years after 1672. Previously, one of the tenets of the VOC pricing policy was to slightly over-supply the pepper market, so as to depress prices below the level where interlopers were encouraged to enter the market (instead of striving for short-term profit maximisation). The wisdom of such a policy was illustrated when a fierce price war with the EIC ensued, as that company flooded the market with new supplies from India. In this struggle for market share, the VOC (which had much larger financial resources) could wait out the EIC. Indeed, by 1683, the latter came close to bankruptcy; its share price plummeted from 600 to 250; and its president Josiah Child was temporarily forced from office.

However, the writing was on the wall. Other companies, like the French East India Company
East India Company
and the Danish East India Company
East India Company
also started to make inroads on the Dutch system. The VOC therefore closed the heretofore flourishing open pepper emporium of Bantam by a treaty of 1684 with the Sultan. Also, on the Coromandel Coast , it moved its chief stronghold from Pulicat to Negapatnam , so as to secure a monopoly on the pepper trade at the detriment of the French and the Danes. However, the importance of these traditional commodities in the Asian-European trade was diminishing rapidly at the time. The military outlays that the VOC needed to make to enhance its monopoly were not justified by the increased profits of this declining trade.

Nevertheless, this lesson was slow to sink in and at first the VOC made the strategic decision to improve its military position on the Malabar Coast (hoping thereby to curtail English influence in the area, and end the drain on its resources from the cost of the Malabar garrisons) by using force to compel the Zamorin of Calicut to submit to Dutch domination. In 1710, the Zamorin was made to sign a treaty with the VOC undertaking to trade exclusively with the VOC and expel other European traders. For a brief time, this appeared to improve the Company's prospects. However, in 1715, with EIC encouragement, the Zamorin renounced the treaty. Though a Dutch army managed to suppress this insurrection temporarily, the Zamorin continued to trade with the English and the French, which led to an appreciable upsurge in English and French traffic. The VOC decided in 1721 that it was no longer worth the trouble to try to dominate the Malabar pepper and spice trade. A strategic decision was taken to scale down the Dutch military presence and in effect yield the area to EIC influence. City hall of Batavia in 1682

The 1741 Battle of Colachel by Nair
Nair
warriors of Travancore
Travancore
under Raja Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch. The Dutch commander Captain Eustachius De Lannoy was captured. Marthanda Varma agreed to spare the Dutch captain's life on condition that he joined his army and trained his soldiers on modern lines. This defeat in the Travancore-Dutch War is considered the earliest example of an organised Asian power overcoming European military technology and tactics; and it signalled the decline of Dutch power in India. Natives of Arakan sell slaves to the Dutch East India
East India
Company, c. 1663

The attempt to continue as before as a low volume-high profit business enterprise with its core business in the spice trade had therefore failed. The Company
Company
had however already (reluctantly) followed the example of its European competitors in diversifying into other Asian commodities, like tea, coffee, cotton, textiles, and sugar. These commodities provided a lower profit margin and therefore required a larger sales volume to generate the same amount of revenue. This structural change in the commodity composition of the VOC's trade started in the early 1680s, after the temporary collapse of the EIC around 1683 offered an excellent opportunity to enter these markets. The actual cause for the change lies, however, in two structural features of this new era.

In the first place, there was a revolutionary change in the tastes affecting European demand for Asian textiles, coffee and tea, around the turn of the 18th century. Secondly, a new era of an abundant supply of capital at low interest rates suddenly opened around this time. The second factor enabled the Company
Company
easily to finance its expansion in the new areas of commerce. Between the 1680s and 1720s, the VOC was therefore able to equip and man an appreciable expansion of its fleet, and acquire a large amount of precious metals to finance the purchase of large amounts of Asian commodities, for shipment to Europe. The overall effect was approximately to double the size of the company.

The tonnage of the returning ships rose by 125 percent in this period. However, the Company's revenues from the sale of goods landed in Europe
Europe
rose by only 78 percent. This reflects the basic change in the VOC's circumstances that had occurred: it now operated in new markets for goods with an elastic demand, in which it had to compete on an equal footing with other suppliers. This made for low profit margins. Unfortunately, the business information systems of the time made this difficult to discern for the managers of the company, which may partly explain the mistakes they made from hindsight. This lack of information might have been counteracted (as in earlier times in the VOC's history) by the business acumen of the directors. Unfortunately by this time these were almost exclusively recruited from the political _regent _ class, which had long since lost its close relationship with merchant circles.

Low profit margins in themselves do not explain the deterioration of revenues. To a large extent the costs of the operation of the VOC had a "fixed" character (military establishments; maintenance of the fleet and such). Profit levels might therefore have been maintained if the increase in the scale of trading operations that in fact took place had resulted in economies of scale . However, though larger ships transported the growing volume of goods, labour productivity did not go up sufficiently to realise these. In general the Company's overhead rose in step with the growth in trade volume; declining gross margins translated directly into a decline in profitability of the invested capital. The era of expansion was one of "profitless growth".

Specifically: "he long-term average annual profit in the VOC's 1630–70 'Golden Age' was 2.1 million guilders, of which just under half was distributed as dividends and the remainder reinvested. The long-term average annual profit in the 'Expansion Age' (1680–1730) was 2.0 million guilders, of which three-quarters was distributed as dividend and one-quarter reinvested. In the earlier period, profits averaged 18 percent of total revenues; in the latter period, 10 percent. The annual return of invested capital in the earlier period stood at approximately 6 percent; in the latter period, 3.4 percent."

Nevertheless, in the eyes of investors the VOC did not do too badly. The share price hovered consistently around the 400 mark from the mid-1680s (excepting a hiccup around the Glorious Revolution in 1688), and they reached an all-time high of around 642 in the 1720s. VOC shares then yielded a return of 3.5 percent, only slightly less than the yield on Dutch government bonds.

Decline And Fall

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Fort Batavia, seen from West Kali Besar ( Andries Beeckman
Andries Beeckman
, c. 1656). It was in Batavia on the island of Java
Java
, that the VOC established its administrative center, with a Governor-General in charge from 1610 onwards.

However, from there on the fortunes of the VOC started to decline. Five major problems, not all of equal weight, can be used to explain its decline in the next fifty years to 1780.

* There was a steady erosion of intra-Asiatic trade because of changes in the Asiatic political and economic environment that the VOC could do little about. These factors gradually squeezed the company out of Persia, Suratte , the Malabar Coast, and Bengal. The company had to confine its operations to the belt it physically controlled, from Ceylon through the Indonesian archipelago. The volume of this intra-Asiatic trade, and its profitability, therefore had to shrink. * The way the company was organised in Asia
Asia
(centralised on its hub in Batavia), that initially had offered advantages in gathering market information, began to cause disadvantages in the 18th century because of the inefficiency of first shipping everything to this central point. This disadvantage was most keenly felt in the tea trade, where competitors like the EIC and the Ostend Company
Ostend Company
shipped directly from China
China
to Europe. * The "venality" of the VOC's personnel (in the sense of corruption and non-performance of duties), though a problem for all East-India Companies at the time, seems to have plagued the VOC on a larger scale than its competitors. To be sure, the company was not a "good employer". Salaries were low, and "private-account trading" was officially not allowed. Not surprisingly, it proliferated in the 18th century to the detriment of the company's performance. From about the 1790s onward, the phrase _perished under corruption_ (_vergaan onder corruptie_, also abbreviated VOC in Dutch) came to summarise the company's future. * A problem that the VOC shared with other companies was the high mortality and morbidity rates among its employees. This decimated the company's ranks and enervated many of the survivors. * A self-inflicted wound was the VOC's dividend policy . The dividends distributed by the company had exceeded the surplus it garnered in Europe
Europe
in every decade but one (1710–1720) from 1690 to 1760. However, in the period up to 1730 the directors shipped resources to Asia
Asia
to build up the trading capital there. Consolidated bookkeeping therefore probably would have shown that total profits exceeded dividends. In addition, between 1700 and 1740 the company retired 5.4 million guilders of long-term debt. The company therefore was still on a secure financial footing in these years. This changed after 1730. While profits plummeted the _bewindhebbers_ only slightly decreased dividends from the earlier level. Distributed dividends were therefore in excess of earnings in every decade but one (1760–1770). To accomplish this, the Asian capital stock had to be drawn down by 4 million guilders between 1730 and 1780, and the liquid capital available in Europe
Europe
was reduced by 20 million guilders in the same period. The directors were therefore constrained to replenish the company's liquidity by resorting to short-term financing from anticipatory loans, backed by expected revenues from home-bound fleets.

Despite of all this, the VOC in 1780 remained an enormous operation. Its capital in the Republic, consisting of ships and goods in inventory, totalled 28 million guilders; its capital in Asia, consisting of the liquid trading fund and goods en route to Europe, totalled 46 million guilders. Total capital, net of outstanding debt, stood at 62 million guilders. The prospects of the company at this time therefore need not have been hopeless, had one of the many plans to reform it been taken successfully in hand. However, then the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War intervened. British attacks in Europe
Europe
and Asia
Asia
reduced the VOC fleet by half; removed valuable cargo from its control; and devastated its remaining power in Asia. The direct losses of the VOC can be calculated at 43 million guilders. Loans to keep the company operating reduced its net assets to zero.

From 1720 on, the market for sugar from Indonesia
Indonesia
declined as the competition from cheap sugar from Brazil increased. European markets became saturated. Dozens of Chinese sugar traders went bankrupt which led to massive unemployment, which in turn led to gangs of unemployed coolies . The Dutch government in Batavia did not adequately respond to these problems. In 1740, rumours of deportation of the gangs from the Batavia area led to widespread rioting. The Dutch military searched houses of Chinese in Batavia for weapons. When a house accidentally burnt down, military and impoverished citizens started slaughtering and pillaging the Chinese community. This massacre of the Chinese was deemed sufficiently serious for the board of the VOC to start an official investigation into the Government of the Dutch East Indies
East Indies
for the first time in its history.

After the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, the VOC was a financial wreck, and after vain attempts by the provincial States of Holland
Holland
and Zeeland to reorganise it, was nationalised on 1 March 1796 by the new Batavian Republic . Its charter was renewed several times, but allowed to expire on 31 December 1799. Most of the possessions of the former VOC were subsequently occupied by Great Britain during the Napoleonic wars , but after the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created by the Congress of Vienna , some of these were restored to this successor state of the old Dutch Republic by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 .

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

17th-century etching of the Oost-Indisch Huis (Dutch for "East India
India
House"), the headquarters of the United East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) in Amsterdam. Considered by many to be the first truly (modern) transnational corporation , while the VOC established its administrative center in Batavia (present-day Jakarta
Jakarta
), the company also had important operations elsewhere. A bond from the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC), dating from 7 November 1623. The VOC was the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. It was the VOC that invented the idea of investing in the company rather than in a specific venture governed by the company. The VOC was also the first company to use a fully-fledged capital market (including the bond market and the stock market ) as a crucial channel to raise medium-term and long-term funds.

The VOC is generally considered to be the world's first truly transnational corporation and it was also the first multinational enterprise to issue shares of stock to the public. Some historians such as Timothy Brook and Russell Shorto consider the VOC as the pioneering corporation in the first wave of the corporate globalization era. The VOC was the first multinational corporation to operate officially in different continents such as Europe
Europe
, Asia and Africa
Africa
. While the VOC mainly operated in what later became the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), the company also had important operations elsewhere. It employed people from different continents and origins in the same functions and working environments. Although it was a Dutch company its employees included not only people from the Netherlands, but also many from Germany
Germany
and from other countries as well. Besides the diverse north-west European workforce recruited by the VOC in the Dutch Republic , the VOC made extensive use of local Asian labour markets. As a result, the personnel of the various VOC offices in Asia
Asia
consisted of European and Asian employees. Asian or Eurasian
Eurasian
workers might be employed as sailors, soldiers, writers, carpenters, smiths, or as simple unskilled workers. At the height of its existence the VOC had 25,000 employees who worked in Asia
Asia
and 11,000 who were en route. Also, while most of its shareholders were Dutch, about a quarter of the initial shareholders were Zuid-Nederlanders (people from an area that includes modern Belgium and Luxembourg
Luxembourg
) and there were also a few dozen Germans.

The VOC had two types of shareholders: the _participanten_, who could be seen as non-managing members, and the 76 _bewindhebbers_ (later reduced to 60) who acted as managing directors. This was the usual set-up for Dutch joint-stock companies at the time. The innovation in the case of the VOC was that the liability of not just the _participanten_ but also of the _bewindhebbers_ was limited to the paid-in capital (usually, _bewindhebbers_ had unlimited liability). The VOC therefore was a limited liability company . Also, the capital would be _permanent_ during the lifetime of the company. As a consequence, investors that wished to liquidate their interest in the interim could only do this by selling their share to others on the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Stock
Stock
Exchange . _Confusion of confusions _, a 1688 dialogue by the Sephardi Jew Joseph de la Vega analysed the workings of this one-stock exchange.

The VOC consisted of six Chambers (_Kamers_) in port cities: Amsterdam
Amsterdam
, Delft
Delft
, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
, Enkhuizen , Middelburg
Middelburg
and Hoorn
Hoorn
. Delegates of these chambers convened as the _Heeren XVII_ (the Lords Seventeen). They were selected from the _bewindhebber_-class of shareholders.

Of the _Heeren XVII_, eight delegates were from the Chamber of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
(one short of a majority on its own), four from the Chamber of Zeeland, and one from each of the smaller Chambers, while the seventeenth seat was alternatively from the Chamber of Middelburg- Zeeland or rotated among the five small Chambers. Amsterdam had thereby the decisive voice. The Zeelanders in particular had misgivings about this arrangement at the beginning. The fear was not unfounded, because in practice it meant Amsterdam
Amsterdam
stipulated what happened.

The six chambers raised the start-up capital of the Dutch East India Company:

CHAMBER CAPITAL (GUILDERS )

Amsterdam 3,679,915

Middelburg 1,300,405

Enkhuizen 540,000

Delft 469,400

Hoorn 266,868

Rotterdam 173,000

TOTAL: 6,424,588

The raising of capital in Rotterdam
Rotterdam
did not go so smoothly. A considerable part originated from inhabitants of Dordrecht . Although it did not raise as much capital as Amsterdam
Amsterdam
or Middelburg-Zeeland, Enkhuizen had the largest input in the share capital of the VOC. Under the first 358 shareholders, there were many small entrepreneurs, who dared to take the risk . The minimum investment in the VOC was 3,000 guilders, which priced the Company's stock within the means of many merchants. Various VOC soldier uniforms, c. 1783

Among the early shareholders of the VOC, immigrants played an important role. Under the 1,143 tenderers were 39 Germans and no fewer than 301 from the Southern Netherlands (roughly present Belgium and Luxembourg, then under Habsburg
Habsburg
rule), of whom Isaac le Maire was the largest subscriber with ƒ85,000. VOC's total capitalisation was ten times that of its British rival.

The _Heeren XVII_ (Lords Seventeen) met alternately 6 years in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and 2 years in Middelburg-Zeeland. They defined the VOC's general policy and divided the tasks among the Chambers. The Chambers carried out all the necessary work, built their own ships and warehouses and traded the merchandise. The _Heeren XVII_ sent the ships' masters off with extensive instructions on the route to be navigated, prevailing winds, currents, shoals and landmarks. The VOC also produced its own charts .

In the context of the Dutch-Portuguese War the company established its headquarters in Batavia, Java
Java
(now Jakarta
Jakarta
, Indonesia
Indonesia
). Other colonial outposts were also established in the East Indies
East Indies
, such as on the Maluku Islands , which include the Banda Islands , where the VOC forcibly maintained a monopoly over nutmeg and mace . Methods used to maintain the monopoly involved extortion and the violent suppression of the native population, including mass murder . In addition, VOC representatives sometimes used the tactic of burning spice trees to force indigenous populations to grow other crops, thus artificially cutting the supply of spices like nutmeg and cloves.

VOC OUTPOSTS

Organization and leadership structures were varied as necessary in the various VOC outposts:

_Opperhoofd_ is a Dutch word (pl. _Opperhoofden_), which literally means 'supreme chief'. In this VOC context, the word is a gubernatorial title, comparable to the English Chief factor , for the chief executive officer of a Dutch _factory _ in the sense of trading post, as led by a factor , i.e. agent. See more at VOC _OPPERHOOFDEN_ IN JAPAN

COUNCIL OF JUSTICE IN BATAVIA

The Council of Justice in Batavia was the appellate court for all the other VOC Company
Company
posts in the VOC empire.

SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM AT THE VOC AND THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Both sides of a duit , a coin minted in 1735 by the VOC

The seventeenth-century Dutch businessmen, especially the VOC investors, were possibly the history's first recorded investors to consider the corporate governance 's problems. Isaac Le Maire , who is known as history's first recorded short seller , was also a sizeable shareholder of the VOC. In 1609, he complained of the VOC's shoddy corporate governance. On 24 January 1609, Le Maire filed a petition against the VOC, marking the first recorded expression of shareholder activism . In what is the first recorded corporate governance dispute, Le Maire formally charged that the VOC's board of directors (the Heeren XVII) sought to "retain another’s money for longer or use it ways other than the latter wishes" and petitioned for the liquidation of the VOC in accordance with standard business practice. Initially the largest single shareholder in the VOC and a _bewindhebber_ sitting on the board of governors, Le Maire apparently attempted to divert the firm's profits to himself by undertaking 14 expeditions under his own accounts instead of those of the company. Since his large shareholdings were not accompanied by greater voting power, Le Maire was soon ousted by other governors in 1605 on charges of embezzlement, and was forced to sign an agreement not to compete with the VOC. Having retained stock in the company following this incident, in 1609 Le Maire would become the author of what is celebrated as "first recorded expression of shareholder advocacy at a publicly traded company".

In 1622, the history's first recorded shareholder revolt also happened among the VOC investors who complained that the company account books had been "smeared with bacon" so that they might be "eaten by dogs." The investors demanded a "reeckeninge," a proper financial audit. The 1622 campaign by the shareholders of the VOC is a testimony of genesis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in which shareholders staged protests by distributing pamphlets and complaining about management self enrichment and secrecy.

MAIN TRADING POSTS, SETTLEMENTS AND COLONIES

Main article: List of Dutch East India Company
East India Company
trading posts and settlements See also: Former settlements and colonies of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) See also: Former trading posts of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) See also: Populated places established by the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC)

ASIA

Scale model of Dutch trading post on display in Dejima
Dejima
, Nagasaki
Nagasaki
(1995). Overview of Fort Zeelandia (Fort Anping) in Tainan
Tainan
, Taiwan, painted around 1635 (National Bureau of Archives , The Hague ). The Dutch Square in Malacca
Malacca
, with Christ Church (center) and the Stadthuys (right). Gateway to the Castle of Good Hope , a bastion fort built by the VOC in the 17th century.

Indonesia

Main article: Dutch East India Company
East India Company
in Indonesia
Indonesia
See also: Dutch East Indies
East Indies

* Batavia, Dutch East Indies

Indian Subcontinent

Main article: Dutch India

* Dutch Coromandel (1608–1825) * Dutch Suratte (1616–1825) * Dutch Bengal (1627–1825) * Dutch Ceylon (1640–1796) * Dutch Malabar (1661–1795)

Japan

See also: VOC Opperhoofden in Japan

* Hirado, Nagasaki
Nagasaki
(1609–1641) * Dejima
Dejima
, Nagasaki
Nagasaki
(1641–1853)

Taiwan

Main article: Dutch Taiwan

* Anping (Fort Zeelandia ) * Tainan
Tainan
( Fort Provincia ) * Wang-an, Penghu , Pescadores Islands (Fort Vlissingen; 1620–1624) * Keelung (Fort Noord- Holland
Holland
, Fort Victoria) * Tamsui (Fort Antonio )

Malaysia

* Dutch Malacca (1641–1795; 1818–1825)

Thailand

* Ayutthaya (1608–1767)

Vietnam

* Thǎng Long / Tonkin
Tonkin
(1636–1699) * Hội An (1636–1741)

AFRICA

Mauritius

* Dutch Mauritius (1638–1658; 1664–1710)

South Africa

* Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony
(1652–1806)

MAIN COMPETITORS

YEARS COMPANY

1581–1825 Levant Company

1600–1874 British East India Company
East India Company

1616–1729 Danish East India Company
East India Company

1621–1791 Dutch West India Company

1628–1633 Portuguese East India Company
East India Company

1664–1794 French East India Company
East India Company

1722–1734 Ostend Company
Ostend Company

1731–1813 Swedish East India Company
East India Company

1752–1757 Emden Company

CONFLICTS AND WARS INVOLVING THE VOC

See also: Military history of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
and Battles involving the Dutch East India Company
East India Company

* Sino-Dutch conflicts
Sino-Dutch conflicts
(1620s–1662) * Trịnh–Nguyễn War * Dutch–Portuguese War * Malayan–Portuguese War * Sinhalese–Portuguese War * Travancore–Dutch War * Fourth Anglo-Dutch War

HISTORICAL ROLES AND LEGACY

Founded in 1602, the VOC – the first company ever listed on an official stock exchange (the world's first publicly traded company on the world's first official stock exchange) – started off as a spice trader. In the same year, the VOC undertook the world's first recorded IPO . "Going public " enabled the company to raise the vast sum of 6.5 million guilders quickly. The VOC's institutional innovations helped lay the foundations for modern corporations (especially large-scale business enterprises or multinational corporations) and capital markets that now dominate the world's economic system.

With regard to the VOC's importance in global corporate history, Australian journalist Hugh Edwards (1970) writes, "The Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie was the most powerful single commercial concern the world has ever known. General Motors
General Motors
, British Tobacco , Ford , The Shell Company
Company
, Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
, Standard Oil
Standard Oil
– any of the other giant holdings of today are on the level of village bootmakers compared with the might and power and influence once wielded by the VOC." In his book _Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City_ (2013), Russell Shorto summarizes the VOC's greatness: "Like the oceans it mastered, the VOC had a scope that is hard to fathom. One could craft a defensible argument that no company in history has had such an impact on the world. Its surviving archives—in Cape Town
Cape Town
, Colombo, Chennai
Chennai
, Jakarta
Jakarta
, and The Hague —have been measured (by a consortium applying for a UNESCO
UNESCO
grant to preserve them) in kilometers. In innumerable ways the VOC both expanded the world and brought its far-flung regions together. It introduced Europe
Europe
to Asia and Africa, and vice versa (while its sister multinational, the West India
India
Company
Company
, set New York City in motion and colonized Brazil and the Caribbean Islands). It pioneered globalization and invented what might be the first modern bureaucracy. It advanced cartography and shipbuilding. It fostered disease, slavery, and exploitation on a scale never before imaged." _ Replica
Replica
of the VOC ship Amsterdam_ .

The company was arguably the first megacorporation the world has ever seen, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money and establish colonies. Many economic and political historians consider the VOC as the most valuable, powerful and influential corporation in world history.

The VOC existed for almost 200 years from its founding in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly over Dutch operations in Asia
Asia
until its demise in 1796. During those two centuries (between 1602 and 1796), the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia
Asia
trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods. By contrast, the rest of Europe
Europe
combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British ) East India Company
Company
, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC. The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.

The company was also considered by many to be the very first major and the greatest corporation in history. The VOC's territories were even larger than some countries. By 1669, the VOC was the richest company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40% on the original investment.

INSTITUTIONAL INNOVATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS IN BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL HISTORY

Further information: Economic history of the Dutch Republic , Financial history of the Dutch Republic , Dutch Financial Revolution , Financial capitalism , Financial system , Global financial centre (international financial centre) , Capital markets , History of financial markets , History of capitalism , and Corporate globalization A 17th-century engraving depicting the Amsterdam Stock
Stock
Exchange (Amsterdam's old bourse , a.k.a. Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser in Dutch), built by Hendrick de Keyser (c. 1612). The Amsterdam Stock
Stock
Exchange (Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser), launched by the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
in the early 1600s, was the world's first official (formal) stock exchange when it began trading the VOC's freely transferable securities, including bonds and shares of stock. Courtyard of the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Stock
Stock
Exchange (Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser) by Emanuel de Witte
Emanuel de Witte
, 1653. The process of buying and selling the VOC's shares, on the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Stock
Stock
Exchange, became the basis of the world's first official (formal) stock market , a milestone in the history of capitalism .

The VOC played a crucial role in the rise of corporate-led globalization , corporate governance , corporate identity , corporate social responsibility , corporate finance , modern entrepreneurship , and financial capitalism . During its golden age, the company made some fundamental institutional innovations in economic and financial history . These financially revolutionary innovations allowed a single company (like the VOC) to mobilize financial resources from a large number of investors and create ventures at a scale that had previously only been possible for monarchs. In the words of Canadian historian and sinologist Timothy Brook , "the Dutch East India
East India
Company—the VOC, as it is known—is to corporate capitalism what Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
's kite is to electronics : the beginning of something momentous that could not have been predicted at the time." The birth of the VOC is often considered to be the official beginning of the corporate globalization era with the rise of modern corporations as a powerful socio-politico-economic system that significantly affect humans lives in every corner of the world today. As the world's first publicly traded company and first listed company (the first company to be ever listed on an official stock exchange), the VOC was the first company to issue stock and bonds to the general public. Considered by many experts to be the world's first truly (modern) multinational corporation , the VOC was also the first permanently organized limited-liability joint-stock company , with a permanent capital base. The VOC shareholders were the pioneers in laying the basis for modern corporate governance and corporate finance . The VOC is often considered as the precursor of modern corporations, if not the first truly modern corporation. It was the VOC that invented the idea of investing in the company rather than in a specific venture governed by the company. With its pioneering features such as corporate identity (first globally-recognized corporate logo ), entrepreneurial spirit, legal personhood , transnational (multinational) operational structure, high and stable profitability, permanent capital (fixed capital stock), freely transferable shares and tradable securities , separation of ownership and management , and limited liability for both shareholders and managers, the VOC is generally considered a major institutional breakthrough and the model for the large-scale business enterprises that now dominate the global economy . The Dam Square in Amsterdam, by Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde , c. 1660. In the picture of the centre of highly cosmopolitan and tolerant Amsterdam, Muslim / Oriental
Oriental
figures (possibly Ottoman or Moroccan merchants) are shown negotiating. While the VOC was a major force behind the economic miracle of the Dutch Republic in the 17th-century, the VOC's institutional innovations played a decisive role in the rise of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
as the first modern model of a (global) international financial centre .

The VOC was the driving force behind the rise of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
as the first modern model of (global) international financial centres that now dominate the global financial system . During the 17th century and most of the 18th century, Amsterdam
Amsterdam
had been the most influential and powerful financial centre of the world. The VOC also played a major role in the creation of the world's first fully functioning financial market , with the birth of a fully fledged capital market . The Dutch were also the first who effectively used a fully-fledged capital market (including the bond market and the stock market) to finance companies (such as the VOC and the WIC ). It was in the 17th-century Dutch Republic that the global securities market began to take on its modern form. And it was in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
that the important institutional innovations such as publicly traded companies, transnational corporations, capital markets (including bond markets and stock markets), central banking system, investment banking system, and investment funds (mutual funds ) were systematically operated for the first time in history. In 1602 the VOC established an exchange in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
where VOC stock and bonds could be traded in a secondary market . The VOC undertook the world's first recorded IPO in the same year. The Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Stock
Stock
Exchange (_Amsterdamsche Beurs_ or _Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser_ in Dutch) was also the world's first fully-fledged stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they didn't develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully fledged capital market: corporate shareholders. The Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) became the first company to offer shares of stock . The dividend averaged around 18% of capital over the course of the company's 200-year existence. The launch of the Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Stock
Stock
Exchange by the VOC in the early 1600s, has long been recognized as the origin of 'modern' stock exchanges that specialize in creating and sustaining secondary markets in the securities (such as bonds and shares of stock) issued by corporations. Dutch investors were the first to trade their shares at a regular stock exchange. The process of buying and selling these shares of stock in the VOC became the basis of the first official stock market in history. It was in the Dutch Republic that the early techniques of stock-market manipulation were developed. The Dutch pioneered stock futures , stock options , short selling , bear raids , debt-equity swaps, and other speculative instruments . Amsterdam businessman Joseph de la Vega 's _Confusion of Confusions_ (1688) was the earliest book about stock trading .

IMPACTS ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS

Further information: Economic history of the Netherlands (1500–1815) , Dutch economic miracle (ca. 1590s–1600s) , Dutch Financial Revolution , and Dutch Golden Age The shipyard of the United East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
(1726 engraving by Joseph Mulder ). The shipbuilding district of Zaan , near Amsterdam, became one of the world's earliest known industrialized areas, with around 900 wind-powered sawmills at the end of the 17th century. By the early seventeenth century Dutch shipyards were producing a large number of ships to a standard design, allowing extensive division of labour , a specialization which further reduced unit costs .

The VOC was a major force behind the financial revolution and economic miracle of the Dutch Republic in the 17th-century. During their Golden Age , the Dutch Republic (or the Northern Netherlands), as the resource-poor and obscure cousins of the more urbanized Southern Netherlands , rose to become the world's leading economic and financial superpower. The VOC's shipyards also contributed greatly to the Dutch domination of global shipbuilding and shipping industries during the 1600s. "By seventeenth century standards," as Richard Unger affirms, Dutch shipbuilding "was a massive industry and larger than any shipbuilding industry which had preceded it." By the 1670s the size of the Dutch merchant fleet probably exceeded the combined fleets of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Until the mid-1700s, the economic system of the Dutch Republic (including its financial system) was the most advanced and sophisticated ever seen in history. However, in a typical multicultural society of the Netherlands
Netherlands
, the VOC's history (and especially its dark side) has always been a potential source of controversy. In 2006 when the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Pieter Balkenende referred to the pioneering entrepreneurial spirit and work ethics of the Dutch people and Dutch Republic in their Golden Age , he coined the term "VOC mentality" (_VOC-mentaliteit_ in Dutch). It unleashed a wave of criticism, since such romantic views about the Dutch Golden Age ignores the inherent historical associations with colonialism, exploitation and violence. Balkenende later stressed that "it had not been his intention to refer to that at all". But in spite of criticisms, the "VOC-mentality", as a characteristic of the selective historical perspective on the Dutch Golden Age, has been considered a key feature of Dutch cultural policy for many years.

INFLUENCES ON DUTCH GOLDEN AGE ART

Further information: Art of the Dutch Golden Age and Dutch Golden Age painting

From 1609 the VOC had a trading post in Japan
Japan
(Hirado, Nagasaki
Nagasaki
), which used local paper for its own administration. However, the paper was also traded to the VOC's other trading posts and even the Dutch Republic. Many impressions of the Dutch Golden Age artist Rembrandt
Rembrandt
's prints were done on Japanese paper. From about 1647 Rembrandt
Rembrandt
sought increasingly to introduce variation into his prints by using different sorts of paper, and printed most of his plates regularly on Japanese paper. He also used the paper for his drawings . The Japanese paper types – which was actually imported from Japan
Japan
by the VOC – attracted Rembrandt
Rembrandt
with its warm, yellowish colour. They are often smooth and shiny, whilst Western paper has a more rough and matt surface. Moreover, the VOC's imported Chinese porcelain wares are often depicted in many Dutch Golden Age genre paintings , especially in Jan Vermeer 's paintings.

VOC WORLD AS A KNOWLEDGE NETWORK IN THE DUTCH MARITIME WORLD-SYSTEM

Further information: Rangaku , Science and technology in the Dutch Republic , Cartography in the Dutch Republic , Jan Jansz. Weltevree , Hendrick Hamel , Johan Nieuhof
Johan Nieuhof
, Cornelis de Bruijn , Andries Beeckman , Isaac Titsingh , Dodo
Dodo
, Hansken , Black swan
Black swan
, and Black swan
Black swan
theory Adult black swan with a cygnet in New Zealand
New Zealand
. The thousand-year-old conclusion "all swans are white" was disproved by the VOC navigator Willem de Vlamingh 's 1697 discovery.

During the Dutch Golden Age , the Dutch – using their expertise in doing business, cartography, shipbuilding, seafaring and navigation – traveled to the far corners of the world, leaving their language embedded in the names of many places . Dutch exploratory voyages revealed largely unknown landmasses to the civilized world and put their names on the world map . The Dutch came to dominate the map making and map printing industry by virtue of their own travels, trade ventures, and widespread commercial networks. As Dutch ships reached into the unknown corners of the globe, Dutch cartographers incorporated new geographical discoveries into their work. Instead of using the information themselves secretly, they published it, so the maps multiplied freely. For almost 200 years, the Dutch dominated world trade . Dutch ships carried goods, but they also opened up opportunities for the exchange of knowledge. The commercial networks of the Dutch transnational companies, i.e. the VOC and West India Company
Company
(WIC/GWIC), provided an infrastructure which was accessible to people with a scholarly interest in the exotic world. The VOC's bookkeeper Hendrick Hamel was the first known European/Westerner to experience first-hand and write about Joseon -era Korea
Korea
. In his report (published in the Dutch Republic) in 1666 Hendrick Hamel described his adventures on the Korean Peninsula and gave the first accurate description of daily life of Koreans
Koreans
to the western world. The VOC trade post on Dejima
Dejima
, an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki
Nagasaki
, was for more than two hundred years the only place where Europeans were permitted to trade with Japan. Rangaku (literally 'Dutch Learning', and by extension 'Western Learning') is a body of knowledge developed by Japan
Japan
through its contacts with the Dutch enclave of Dejima
Dejima
, which allowed Japan
Japan
to keep abreast of Western technology and medicine in the period when the country was closed to foreigners, 1641–1853, because of the Tokugawa shogunate 's policy of national isolation (sakoku ).

ROLES IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Further information: Foreign relations of the Dutch Republic , Corporate globalization (economic globalization) , World-systems theory , and History of capitalism _ The arrival of King Charles II of England in Rotterdam, 24 May 1660_ by Lieve Verschuier . King Charles II of England sailed from Breda to Delft
Delft
in May 1660 in a yacht owned by the VOC. _ HMY Mary _ and _ HMY Bezan _ (both built by the VOC) were given to Charles II, on the restoration of the monarchy, as part of the Dutch Gift . Overview of Fort Zeelandia in Dutch Formosa (in the 17th-century). It was in the Dutch rule period of Taiwan
Taiwan
that the VOC began to encourage large-scale mainland Chinese immigration. As an early modern pioneer of outward foreign direct investment (FDI), the VOC's economic activities changed the demographic and economic history of the island forever. Vineyard
Vineyard
in the Paarl ward of Franschhoek
Franschhoek
( Western Cape Province ). The South African wine industry ( New World wine ) is among the lasting legacy of the VOC era.

Considered by many political and economic historians as an autonomous quasi-state within another state , the VOC, for almost 200 years of its existence, was a key (non-state) player in Asia-related trade and politics. More than just a pure multinational trading company, the VOC – although privately financed – was the international arm of the Dutch Republic government . The company was much an unofficial representative of the States General of the United Provinces in foreign relations of the Dutch Republic with many states, especially Dutch-Asian relations.

The VOC had seminal influences on the history of some countries and territories such as New York ( New Netherland ), Indonesia
Indonesia
, Australia , New Zealand
New Zealand
, South Africa
Africa
, Taiwan
Taiwan
and Japan
Japan
.

CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE AGE OF EXPLORATION

_More information: Maritime history of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
; Dutch Republic in the Age of Discovery _; _Cartography in the Dutch Republic _; _ Golden Age of Dutch cartography / Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography _ Regions of Oceania
Oceania
(including Australasia , Polynesia
Polynesia
, Micronesia
Micronesia
, and Melanesia
Melanesia
). "The Island Continent" Australia
Australia
was the last human-inhabited continent to be largely known to the civilized world . The VOC's navigators were the first non-natives to undisputedly discover, explore and chart coastlines of Australia
Australia
, Tasmania
Tasmania
, New Zealand
New Zealand
, Tonga
Tonga
, and Fiji . Abel Tasman 's routes of the first and second voyage.

The Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) was also a major force behind the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (ca. 1590s–1720s). The VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (_ Duyfken _), Henry Hudson (_ Halve Maen _) and Abel Tasman revealed largely unknown landmasses to the civilized world. Also, in the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography (ca. 1570s–1670s), the VOC's navigators and cartographers helped shape modern geographical and cartographic (like world map ) knowledge as we know them today.

_Halve Maen\'_s Exploratory Voyage And Role In The Formation Of New Netherland

Further information: Halve Maen , New Netherland , History of New York , and History of New York
History of New York
City _ A replica of the VOC's Halve Maen _ (captained by Henry Hudson , an Englishman in the service of the Dutch Republic) passes modern-day lower Manhattan
Manhattan
, where the original ship would have sailed while investigating New York harbor.

In 1609, English sea captain and explorer Henry Hudson was hired by the VOC émigrés running the VOC located in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
to find a north-east passage to Asia, sailing around Scandinavia
Scandinavia
and Russia. He was turned back by the ice of the Arctic in his second attempt, so he sailed west to seek a north-west passage rather than return home. He ended up exploring the waters off the east coast of North America aboard the _vlieboot _ _ Halve Maen _. His first landfall was at Newfoundland and the second at Cape Cod
Cape Cod
.

Hudson believed that the passage to the Pacific Ocean was between the St. Lawrence River and Chesapeake Bay , so he sailed south to the Bay then turned northward, traveling close along the shore. He first discovered Delaware Bay and began to sail upriver looking for the passage. This effort was foiled by sandy shoals, and the _Halve Maen_ continued north. After passing Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook
, Hudson and his crew entered the narrows into the Upper New York Bay. (Unbeknownst to Hudson, the narrows had already been discovered in 1524 by explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano ; today, the bridge spanning them is named after him. ) Hudson believed that he had found the continental water route, so he sailed up the major river which later bore his name: the Hudson . He found the water too shallow to proceed several days later, at the site of present-day Troy, New York .

Upon returning to the Netherlands, Hudson reported that he had found a fertile land and an amicable people willing to engage his crew in small-scale bartering of furs, trinkets, clothes, and small manufactured goods. His report was first published in 1611 by Emanuel Van Meteren , an Antwerp émigré and the Dutch Consul at London. This stimulated interest in exploiting this new trade resource, and it was the catalyst for Dutch merchant-traders to fund more expeditions.

In 1611–12, the Admiralty of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
sent two covert expeditions to find a passage to China
China
with the yachts _Craen_ and _Vos_, captained by Jan Cornelisz Mey and Symon Willemsz Cat, respectively. In four voyages made between 1611 and 1614, the area between present-day Maryland
Maryland
and Massachusetts
Massachusetts
was explored, surveyed, and charted by Adriaen Block , Hendrick Christiaensen , and Cornelius Jacobsen Mey . The results of these explorations, surveys, and charts made from 1609 through 1614 were consolidated in Block's map, which used the name _ New Netherland _ for the first time.

Dutch Exploration And Mapping Of Australia
Australia
And Oceania

Further information: Dutch exploration and mapping of Australia
Australia
(New Holland) , Nova Hollandia , Van Diemen\'s Land (Anthoonij van Diemenslandt) , Nova Zeelandia , Australasia , and Exploration of the Pacific Further information: History of Australia , History of the Northern Territory (Australia) , History of Western Australia , History of South Australia , History of Tasmania , History of New Zealand , History of Fiji , History of Tonga , and History of Oceania
Oceania
A typical map from the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography . Australasia during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (ca. 1590s–1720s): including Nova Guinea ( New Guinea
New Guinea
), Nova Hollandia (mainland Australia
Australia
), Van Diemen\'s Land ( Tasmania
Tasmania
), and Nova Zeelandia ( New Zealand
New Zealand
). Australia
Australia
(Nova Hollandia ) was the last human-inhabited continent to be explored and mapped (by non-natives). The Dutch were the first to undisputedly explore and map Australia\'s coastline . In the 17th century, the VOC's navigators and explorers charted almost three-quarters of the Australian coastline , except the east coast.

In terms of world history of geography and exploration, the VOC can be credited with putting most of Australia's coast (then Hollandia Nova and other names) on the world map, between 1606 and 1756. While Australia's territory (originally known as New Holland
Holland
) never became an actual Dutch settlement or colony, Dutch navigators were the first to undisputedly explore and map Australian coastline. In the 17th century, the VOC's navigators and explorers charted almost three-quarters of Australia's coastline, except its east coast. The Dutch ship, _ Duyfken _, led by Willem Janszoon , made the first documented European landing in Australia
Australia
in 1606. Although a theory of Portuguese discovery in the 1520s exists, it lacks definitive evidence. Precedence of discovery has also been claimed for China
China
, France
France
, Spain
Spain
, India
India
, and even Phoenicia .

Hendrik Brouwer 's discovery of the Brouwer Route , that sailing east from the Cape of Good Hope until land was sighted and then sailing north along the west coast of Australia
Australia
was a much quicker route than around the coast of the Indian Ocean, made Dutch landfalls on the west coast inevitable. The first such landfall was in 1616, when Dirk Hartog landed at Cape Inscription on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island , off the coast of Western Australia, and left behind an inscription on a pewter plate . In 1697 the Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and discovered Hartog\'s plate . He replaced it with one of his own, which included a copy of Hartog's inscription, and took the original plate home to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
, where it is still kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Amsterdam
.

In 1627, the VOC's explorers François Thijssen and Pieter Nuyts discovered the south coast of Australia
Australia
and charted about 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi) of it between Cape Leeuwin and the Nuyts Archipelago . François Thijssen , captain of the ship _\'t Gulden Zeepaert _ (The Golden Seahorse), sailed to the east as far as Ceduna in South Australia
Australia
. The first known ship to have visited the area is the _Leeuwin_ ("Lioness"), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622. The log of the _Leeuwin_ has been lost, so very little is known of the voyage. However, the land discovered by the _Leeuwin_ was recorded on a 1627 map by Hessel Gerritsz : Caert van\'t Landt van d\'Eendracht ("Chart of the Land of Eendracht"), which appears to show the coast between present-day Hamelin Bay and Point D’Entrecasteaux. Part of Thijssen's map shows the islands St Francis and St Peter, now known collectively with their respective groups as the Nuyts Archipelago . Thijssen's observations were included as soon as 1628 by the VOC cartographer Hessel Gerritsz in a chart of the Indies and New Holland. This voyage defined most of the southern coast of Australia
Australia
and discouraged the notion that "New Holland
Holland
" as it was then known, was linked to Antarctica.

In 1642, Abel Tasman sailed from Mauritius
Mauritius
and on 24 November, sighted Tasmania
Tasmania
. He named Tasmania
Tasmania
Anthoonij van Diemenslandt ( Anglicised as Van Diemen\'s Land ), after Anthony van Diemen , the VOC's Governor General, who had commissioned his voyage. It was officially renamed Tasmania
Tasmania
in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856.

In 1642, during the same expedition, Tasman's crew discovered and charted New Zealand
New Zealand
's coastline. They were the first Europeans known to reach New Zealand. Tasman anchored at the northern end of the South Island in Golden Bay (he named it Murderers\' Bay ) in December 1642 and sailed northward to Tonga
Tonga
following a clash with local Māori. Tasman sketched sections of the two main islands' west coasts. Tasman called them _ Staten Landt _, after the _States General of the Netherlands
Netherlands
_, and that name appeared on his first maps of the country. In 1645 Dutch cartographers changed the name to _Nova Zeelandia _ in Latin, from _Nieuw Zeeland_, after the Dutch province of _ Zeeland _. It was subsequently Anglicised as _New Zealand_ by James Cook . Various claims have been made that New Zealand
New Zealand
was reached by other non-Polynesian voyagers before Tasman, but these are not widely accepted.

CRITICISMS

See also: Criticisms of corporations The VOC's economic activity in Mauritius
Mauritius
largely contributed to the extinction of the dodo , a flightless bird that was endemic to the island.

In spite of the VOC's historical successes and contributions, the company has long been criticized for its quasi-absolute commercial monopoly , colonialism , exploitation (including use of slave labour ), slave trade , use of violence, environmental destruction (including deforestation ), and overly bureaucratic in organizational structure.

CULTURAL DEPICTIONS OF PEOPLE AND THINGS ASSOCIATED WITH THE VOC

See also: Works about the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) _ Charles Davidson Bell 's 19th-century painting of Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
, the founder of Cape Town
Cape Town
, arrives in Table Bay in 1652. Monument to the "Tsar-Carpenter" Peter I of Russia in St. Petersburg, Russia.

* Batavia _: a shipwreck on the Houtman Abrolhos in 1629, made famous by the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors. * _ Flying Dutchman _: a legendary ghost ship in several maritime myths, likely to have originated from the 17th-century golden age of the VOC. * _ Hansken _: a female Asian elephant from Dutch Ceylon . The young elephant _Hansken_ was brought to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
in 1637, aboard a VOC ship. Dutch Golden Age artist Rembrandt
Rembrandt
made some historical drawings of _Hansken_. * _ Batavia, Dutch East Indies _: 1650s/1660s paintings of scenes from everyday life by Dutch Golden Age painter Andries Beeckman
Andries Beeckman
, one of the few painters who travelled to the Dutch East Indies in the 17th-century. * _Cosmos: A Personal Voyage _: in the 6th episode _Travellers\' Tales _ of the popular documentary TV series _ Cosmos
Cosmos
_ (1980), American astronomer Carl Sagan , who also served as host, took a look at the voyage to Jupiter and Saturn, and compared these events with the adventuring spirit of the Dutch Golden Age explorers (including the VOC's navigators). * _ The Sino-Dutch War 1661 _: 2000 Chinese historical drama film. The film is loosely based on the life of Koxinga ( Zheng Chenggong
Zheng Chenggong
) and focuses on his battle with the VOC for control of Dutch Formosa
Dutch Formosa
at the Siege of Fort Zeelandia . * _Ocean\'s Twelve _: a 2004 American comedy heist film inspired by the historical story from the VOC's IPO and the first shares of stock ever traded publicly in history. The VOC's stock certificate is the focused heist by the burglars in the movie. * _ The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet _, 2010 historical novel by British author David Mitchell . * _My Father's Islands: Abel Tasman's Heroic Voyages_: a 2012 juvenile fiction by Christobel Mattingley, written from the perspective of Tasman 's young daughter, Claesgen. The fictional story was inspired by a 1637 painting of the Tasman family by the Dutch Golden Age painter Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp , one of the treasures of the National Library of Australia. * _The Tsar-Carpenter _: a cultural depiction of Tsar Peter the Great ( Peter I of Russia ) in his undercover visit to the Dutch Republic as part of the Grand Embassy mission (1697–1698). When Peter the Great wanted to learn more about the Dutch Republic's sea power , he came to study seamanship , shipbuilding industry and carpentry in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and Zaandam (Saardam). Through the agency of Nicolaas Witsen , mayor of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and an expert on Russia, Tsar Peter I worked as a ship\'s carpenter in the VOC's shipyards in Holland
Holland
. * _ Megacorporation _ or _mega-corporation _: a quasi-fictional term/concept derived from the combination of the prefix _mega- _ with the word _corporation _, possibly inspired by the VOC's history. It refers to a (quasi-fictional) corporation that is a massive conglomerate , possessing quasi-governmental powers and holding monopolistic control over markets. * _ Black swan
Black swan
theory _: a metaphor or metatheory of science popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb . It was possibly inspired by Willem de Vlamingh 's 1697 discovery. De Vlamingh was the first known European/Western to observe and describe black swans and quokkas , in Western Australia
Australia
.

NON-FICTION WORKS RELATING TO THE HISTORY OF THE VOC

See also: History books about the Dutch Empire and Works about the Dutch East India Company
East India Company

* _Islands of Angry Ghosts: Murder, Mayhem and Mutiny: The Story of the Batavia _, 1966 book by Hugh Edwards . * _Batavia\'s Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History\'s Bloodiest Mutiny _, 2002 book by Mike Dash . * _Vermeer\'s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World _, 2008 book by Timothy Brook . * _The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World _, 2008 book and an adapted television documentary by Niall Ferguson .

PLACES AND THINGS NAMED AFTER THE VOC AND ITS PEOPLE

_For the full list of places explored, mapped, and named by people of the VOC, see List of place names of Dutch origin _. See also: Australian places with Dutch names

* Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC): 10649 VOC (minor planet) * Willem Blaeu : 10652 Blaeu (minor planet) * Willem Bontekoe : 10654 Bontekoe (minor planet) * Hendrik Brouwer : Brouwer Route * Pieter de Carpentier : Gulf of Carpentaria * Jan Carstenszoon : Mount Carstensz ; Carstensz Pyramid
Carstensz Pyramid
; Carstensz Glacier * Jan Pieterszoon Coen : Coen River * Anthony van Diemen : Anthoonij van Diemenslandt (Van Diemen\'s Land ); Van Diemen Gulf
Van Diemen Gulf
* Maria van Diemen : Maria Island * Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein : Drakenstein (mountain ranges); Drakenstein (local municipality ) * Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff : Graaff-Reinet * Dirk Hartog : Dirk Hartog Island ; Hartog Plate * Wiebbe Hayes : Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort * Frederick de Houtman : Houtman Abrolhos ; 10650 Houtman (minor planet) * Henry Hudson : Hudson River
Hudson River
; Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley
* Joan Maetsuycker : Maatsuyker Islands ; Maatsuyker Island * Pieter Nuyts : Nuyts Archipelago ; Nuyts Land District ; Nuytsia * Francisco Pelsaert : Pelsaert Island ; Pelsaert Group * Petrus Plancius : Planciusdalen ; Planciusbukta ; 10648 Plancius (minor planet) * Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
: Riebeeckstad ; Riebeek-Kasteel ; Riebeeckosaurus * Joost Schouten : Schouten Island * Simon van der Stel : Simonstad (Simon\'s Town ); Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
; Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
University * Hendrik Swellengrebel : Swellendam * Salomon Sweers : Sweers Island * Abel Tasman : Tasmania
Tasmania
; Tasman Sea
Tasman Sea
; Tasmanian devil (see also List of things named after Abel Tasman ) * Maarten Gerritsz Vries : Vries Strait * Nicolaes Witsen : 10653 Witsen (minor planet)

VOC\'S IMPORTANT HERITAGE SITES

See also: Former settlements and colonies of the Dutch East India Company
Company
(VOC) , Former trading posts of the Dutch East India
East India
Company (VOC) , Former properties of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) , Populated places established by the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) , and Buildings and structures associated with the Dutch East India Company
Company
(VOC) The statue of Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
in Heerengracht Street, Cape Town, South Africa.

* Netherlands: Amsterdam
Amsterdam
( Oost-Indisch Huis ); Zaandam * Indonesia: Java
Java
( Jakarta
Jakarta
) * South Africa: Western Cape
Western Cape
( Cape Town
Cape Town
; Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
; Swellendam ; Franschhoek
Franschhoek
; Paarl ) * Taiwan: Tainan
Tainan
(Fort Zeelandia ) * Japan: Nagasaki
Nagasaki
(Hirado & Dejima
Dejima
) * Malaysia: Malacca
Malacca
(Christ Church & Stadthuys ) * Australia: Western Australia
Australia
( Dirk Hartog Island "> Cape Dutch style -influenced eclectic building of the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Swellendam . The Cape Dutch architecture , along with Afrikaans language and Afrikaans literature , is among the lasting legacy of the VOC-era Afrikaans culture in South Africa.

Populated places (including cities, towns and villages) established/founded by people of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC).

* Batavia ( Dutch East Indies ), modern-day Jakarta
Jakarta
* Tainan
Tainan
, the oldest urban area in Taiwan
Taiwan
* Kaapstad ( Cape Town
Cape Town
), the oldest urban area in South Africa
Africa
and one of the first permanent European settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa . Constantia (Cape Town\'s suburb ) is considered one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the Southern Hemisphere . * Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
, the second oldest urban area (town) in South Africa * Swellendam , the third oldest urban area (town) in South Africa * Graaff-Reinet , the fourth oldest urban area (town) in South Africa * Franschhoek
Franschhoek
, a town in the Western Cape Province , South Africa * Paarl , the third oldest European settlement in South Africa
Africa
and the largest town in the Cape Winelands * Simonstad (Simon\'s Town ), a town near Cape Town, South Africa * Dutch Mauritius , the first permanent human settlement ever in Mauritius
Mauritius

VOC SCHOLARS

See also: Historians of the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC)

Some of the notable VOC scholars including Charles Ralph Boxer , Leonard Blussé , Warwick Funnell, Femme Gaastra , Oscar Gelderblom, Joost Jonker, Om Prakash , Jeffrey Robertson, and Günter Schilder.

VOC ARCHIVES AND RECORDS

The VOC's operations (trading posts and colonies) produced not only warehouses packed with spices, coffee, tea, textiles, porcelain and silk, but also shiploads of documents. Data on political, economic, cultural, religious, and social conditions spread over an enormous area circulated between the VOC establishments, the administrative centre of the trade in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta
Jakarta
), and the board of directors (the Heeren XVII/Gentlemen Seventeen) in the Dutch Republic. The VOC records are included in UNESCO
UNESCO
's Memory of the World Register .

VOC COINS

Main article: Dutch East India Company
East India Company
coinage Bronze doit of the VOC, depicting the company's monogram -logo and its date of production.

NOTABLE VOC SHIPS

See also: East Indiaman See also: Category:Ships of the Dutch East India
India
Company
Company
. See also: Category:Ship designs of the Dutch Republic See also: Category: Shipbuilding industry in the Dutch Republic _ Duyfken _ replica under sail. _ A replica of the VOC vessel "Batavia " 1620–1629 Replicas have been constructed of several VOC ships, marked with an (R)

* Akerendam_ * _Amsterdam_ (R) * _Arnhem_ * _Batavia_ (R) * _Braek_ * _Concordia_ * _Dromedaris _ ("Dromedary camel") * _ Duyfken _ ("Little Dove") (R) * _Eendracht_ (1615) ("Unity") * _Galias _ * _Grooten Broeck _ ("Great Stream") * _Goede Hoop _ ("Good Hope") * _Gulden Zeepaert _ ("Golden Seahorse") * _ Halve Maen _ ("Half moon") (R) * _Haerlem _ * _Hoogkarspel _ * _Heemskerck_ * _Hollandia_ * _Klein Amsterdam
Amsterdam
_ ("Small Amsterdam") * _Landskroon_ * _Leeuwerik _ ("Lark") * _Leyden_ * _Limmen_ * _Mauritius_ * _Meermin_ (" Mermaid
Mermaid
") * _Naerden _ * _Nieuw Hoorn
Hoorn
_ ("New Hoorn") * _Oliphant_ ("Elephant") * _Pera_ ("Perak", Malay for "silver") * _ Prins Willem
Prins Willem
_ ("Prince William") (R) * _Reijger _ * _Ridderschap van Holland_ ("Knighthood of Holland
Holland
") * _Rooswijk_ * _ Sardam _ * _Texel_ * _Utrecht_ * _ Vergulde Draeck _ ("Gilded Dragon") * _Vianen _ * _Vliegende Hollander_ (" Flying Dutchman ") * _Vliegende Swaan _ ("Flying Swan") * _Walvisch _ ("Whale") * _Wapen van Hoorn
Hoorn
_ ("Arms of Hoorn") * _Wezel _ ("Weasel") * _Zeehaen_ ("Sea Cock") * _Zeemeeuw_ ("Seagull") * _ Zeewijk _ * _ Zuytdorp _ ("South Village")

VOC TIMELINE AND THE FIRSTS IN HISTORY

* 1600s: The VOC's navigators became the first non-natives to undisputedly discover, explore and map coastlines of the Australian continent (including Mainland Australia
Mainland Australia
, Tasmania
Tasmania
, and their surrounding islands ), New Zealand
New Zealand
, Tonga
Tonga
, and Fiji .

* 1602: On March 20, the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC), the world's first true transnational corporation , was originally established as a chartered company . The VOC was the first joint-stock company to get a fixed capital stock and the first recorded (public) company ever to pay regular dividends . * 1606: The first (undisputed) documented European sighting of and landing on the Australian continent (Nova Hollandia ) by the VOC navigator Willem Janszoon aboard the _ Duyfken _. * 1609: The VOC ship _ Halve Maen '_s exploratory voyage, a milestone in the history of New York (including New York City ) and North America . * 1609: Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius wrote _ Mare Liberum _, a foundational treatise on modern international law of the sea , while being a counsel to the Dutch East India Company
East India Company
(VOC) over the seizing of the Santa Catarina Portuguese carrack issue. * 1609: The first recorded corporate governance dispute, took place on January 24 (1609) between the shareholders /investors (most notably Isaac Le Maire ) and directors of the VOC. * 1609: The first recorded short seller in history, Isaac Le Maire , a sizeable shareholder of the VOC. * 1610: An early mechanism of financial regulation practice was the first recorded ban on short selling , by the Dutch authorities. * 1611: The world's first official (formal) stock exchange and stock market were launched by the VOC in Amsterdam. * 1611: The VOC was the first corporation to be ever actually listed on an official (formal) stock exchange . In other words, the VOC was the world's first formally listed public company (or publicly listed company ). * 1611: Discovery of the Brouwer route by the VOC navigator Hendrik Brouwer . * 1616: The VOC navigator Dirk Hartog made the first recorded European landing on the west coast of the Australian continent . * 1616: Hartog Plate , the first known European artefact found on Australian soil ( Dirk Hartog Island ). * 1621: Establishment of the Dutch West India Company (WIC/GWIC). * 1622: On January 24, Amsterdam-based businessman Isaac Le Maire filed a petition against the VOC, marking the first recorded expression of shareholder activism or shareholder rebellion . * 1624–1662: Tainan
Tainan
( Dutch Formosa
Dutch Formosa
), the first urban area to be established in Taiwan
Taiwan
. * 1627: The VOC explorers François Thijssen and Pieter Nuyts made the first recorded European landing on the south coast of the Australian continent and charted about 1,800 kilometres of it between Cape Leeuwin and the Nuyts Archipelago . * 1629: Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort ( West Wallabi Island ), the first known European structure to be built on the Australian continent . * 1636–1637: Tulip Mania , generally considered to be the first recorded economic bubble (or speculative bubble ) in history. * 1638–1710: Dutch Mauritius , the first permanent human settlement to be established in Mauritius
Mauritius
. * 1641–1853: Beginnings of Rangaku (first phase: 1641–1720). After 1641, the VOC businessmen were the only Western allowed to trade with or to enter isolated Japan
Japan
. * 1642: The VOC explorer Abel Tasman discovered, explored, and charted Tasmania
Tasmania
and its neighboring islands. He named Tasmania Anthoonij van Diemenslandt ( Anglicised as Van Diemen\'s Land ), after Anthony van Diemen , the Dutch East India
East India
Company's Governor General, who had commissioned his voyage. * 1642: On December 13, Abel Tasman 's VOC crew were the first non-natives known to discover, explore and chart New Zealand
New Zealand
's coastline ( Nova Zeelandia ). * 1652–1806: Kaapstad ( Cape Town
Cape Town
), the first urban area to be established in South Africa
Africa
. * 1653–1666: The VOC bookkeeper Hendrick Hamel was the first known non-Asian to experience first-hand and write about Joseon -era Korea (often referred to as the " Hermit Kingdom "). * 1659: Beginnings of the South African wine industry . * 1688–1689: The first large-scale emigration of Huguenots to the Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony
(modern-day Western Cape
Western Cape
, South Africa
Africa
). * 1697: European discovery of black swans for the first time in history, by the VOC navigator Willem de Vlamingh . * 1697: In his undercover visit to the Dutch Republic as part of the Grand Embassy mission (1697–98), Tsar Peter I of Russia (Peter the Great ) worked as a ship\'s carpenter in the VOC's shipyards in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and Zaandam / Saardam .

* 1700s:

GALLERY

*

Pieter Cnoll and his wife Cornelia van Nijenrode by Jacob Coeman (1665) *

Dutch church at Batavia , 1682 *

Engraving of Colombo
Colombo
, c. 1680 *

Panorama of Ayutthaya in the Bushuis , Amsterdam
Amsterdam
*

Kraak porcelain in a museum in Malacca
Malacca
*

The cover of the Hortus Malabaricus by Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakenstein *

The ship _Vryburg_ on a platter, commissioned 1756 *

Anonymous painting with Table Mountain in the background, 1762 *

The VOC factory at Surat

SEE ALSO

* Indonesia
Indonesia
portal * Taiwan
Taiwan
portal * South Africa
Africa
portal * Companies portal

* Chartered companies * Corporatocracy * List of trading companies * Spice
Spice
wars * Whampoa anchorage * Dutch Occupation of the Thiruchendur Temple

OTHER TRADE COMPANIES OF THE AGE OF THE SAIL

* The British East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1600 * The Danish East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1616 * The Danish West India
India
Company
Company
, founded in 1671 * The Dutch West India Company , founded in 1621 * The Portuguese East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1628 * The French East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1664 * The Swedish East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1731 * The Emden Company , founded 1751 * The Swedish West India
India
Company
Company
, founded in 1786 * The Austrian East India Company
East India Company
, founded in 1775

GOVERNORS GENERAL OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY

* Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies

NOTES

* ^ A transnational corporation differs from a traditional multinational corporation in that it does not identify itself with one national home. While traditional multinational corporations are national companies with foreign subsidiaries, transnational corporations spread out their operations in many countries sustaining high levels of local responsiveness. An example of a transnational corporation is the Royal Dutch Shell corporation whose headquarters may be in The Hague , Netherlands
Netherlands
but its registered office and main executive body is headquartered in London
London
, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. Another example of a transnational corporation is Nestlé who employ senior executives from many countries and try to make decisions from a global perspective rather than from one centralized headquarters. While the VOC established its main administrative center , as the second headquarters, in Batavia ( Dutch East Indies , 1610–1800), the company's main headquarters was in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
( Dutch Republic ). Also, the company had important operations elsewhere. * ^ Edward Stringham (2015) notes: "Companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were usually not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed (Neal, 1997, p. 61)." * ^ A public company , also called a publicly traded company , publicly held company , or public corporation. A public company can be listed company (publicly listed company ) or unlisted company (unlisted public company ). Kevin Kaiser another, chartered the same year, was a company with the intriguing title Guinea Adventurers.) The Dutch East India Company
East India Company
was the first joint-stock company to have a permanent charter." * ^ Wu Wei Neng (2012) noted: "17th century Amsterdam
Amsterdam
was the world's first modern financial centre — the city hall, Wisselbank, Beurs (stock exchange), Korenbeurs (commodities exchange), major insurance, brokerage and trading companies were located within a few blocks of each other, along with coffee houses which served as informal trading floors and exchanges that facilitated deal-making. Financial innovations such as maritime insurance, retirement pensions, annuities, futures and options, transnational securities listings, mutual funds and modern investment banking had their genesis in 17th and 18th century Amsterdam." * ^ Richard Sylla (2015) notes: "In modern history, several nations had what some of us call financial revolutions. These can be thought of as creating in a short period of time all the key components of a modern financial system . The first was the Dutch Republic four centuries ago." * ^ As Witold Rybczynski (1987) notes, the Dutch Republic or the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in its Golden Age of the 17th-century, "had few natural resources—no mines, no forests—and what little land there was needed constant protection from the sea. But this "low" country surprisingly quickly established itself as a major power. In a short time it became the most advanced shipbuilding nation in the world and developed large naval, fishing, and merchant fleets. (...) The Netherlands
Netherlands
introduced many financial innovations that made it a major economic force—and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
became the world center for international finance. Its manufacturing towns grew so quickly that by the middle of the century the Netherlands
Netherlands
had supplanted France
France
as the leading industrial nation of the world." * ^ As Immanuel Wallerstein (1980) remarked, the Dutch shipbuilding industry was "of modern dimensions, inclining strongly toward standardised, repetitive methods. It was highly mechanized and used many labor-saving devices — wind-powered sawmills, powered feeders for saw, block and tackles, great cranes to move heavy timbers — all of which increased productivity." * ^ In Balkenende's own words: "Let us be optimistic! Let us say, ‘It is possible again in The Netherlands!’ That VOC mentality: looking across borders with dynamism!" . * ^ See also Jan Jansz. Weltevree * ^ The Dutch Republic or officially the Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands
Netherlands
(_Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden _ or _Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden_ in Dutch). * ^ Also known as the Golden Age of Dutch cartography . * ^ Including some notable representatives of the Netherlandish school of cartography in its golden age (1500s–1600s), such as Petrus Plancius , Willem Blaeu , and Hessel Gerritsz . * ^ Zaandam (Saardam) was a historical center of the Dutch Republic's well-known shipbuilding industry. The shipbuilding district of Zaandam, in Holland
Holland
, was one of the world's earliest known heavily-industrialized areas. * ^ née MARIA VAN AELST, wife of Anthony van Diemen (ANTHOONIJ VAN DIEMEN in Dutch), the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in Batavia . * ^ The town named after the then governor of Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony
, Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff, and his wife, whose maiden name was "Reinet". * ^ i.e., first settled or otherwise came into existence. * ^ named after Maurice of Nassau , Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange
, the Stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic (except for Friesland) from 1585 until his death in 1625.

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Amsterdam
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EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY _.

_ Dutch Wikisource has original text related to this article: OCTROOI VAN DE VOC

* Dutch India – a chronology of Dutch rule in India * Oldest share – the oldest share in the world (VOC 1606) * A taste of adventure – The history of spices is the history of trade, The Economist _, 17 December 1998. * Dutch Portuguese Colonial History * Voyages by VOC ships to Australia

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