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Jan Pieterszoon Coen was an officer of Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General in the Dutch East Indies. He was long considered a national hero in the Netherlands, for providing the impulse that started the VOC on the path to dominance in Indonesia through his aggressive policies. A quote of his from 1618 is well known, "Despair not, spare you enemies not, for God is with us" ("Dispereert niet, ontziet uw vijanden niet, want God is met ons" in Dutch). However in the 20th century he was looked at in a more critical light, as his acts of cruelty and violence approaching genocide were re-examined.

On account of disputes at the head office in Bantam with Chinese, Banten and the English, the VOC desired a better central headquarters. Coen thus directed more of the company's trade through Batavia, where it had established a factory in 1610. However not trusting the native ruler, he captured and destroyed much of the city, deciding in 1618 to build a fort.

He also set about establishing a monopoly over the trade in nutmeg and mace which could be obtained only from the Banda Islands. The inhabitants of Banda had been selling the spices to the English, despite contracts with the VOC which obliged them to sell at low prices. In 1621, he led an armed expedition to Banda, taking the island of Lonthor by force. Most of the inhabitants were killed or exiled to other islands.

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Jan Pieterszoon Coen was an officer of Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General in the Dutch East Indies. He was long considered a national hero in the Netherlands, for providing the impulse that started the VOC on the path to dominance in Indonesia through his aggressive policies. A quote of his from 1618 is well known, "Despair not, spare you enemies not, for God is with us" ("Dispereert niet, ontziet uw vijanden niet, want God is met ons" in Dutch). However in the 20th century he was looked at in a more critical light, as his acts of cruelty and violence approaching genocide were re-examined.

On account of disputes at the head office in Bantam with Chinese, Banten and the English, the VOC desired a better central headquarters. Coen thus directed more of the company's trade through Batavia, where it had established a factory in 1610. However not trusting the native ruler, he captured and destroyed much of the city, deciding in 1618 to build a fort.

He also set about establishing a monopoly over the trade in nutmeg and mace which could be obtained only from the Banda Islands. The inhabitants of Banda had been selling the spices to the English, despite contracts with the VOC which obliged them to sell at low prices. In 1621, he led an armed expedition to Banda, taking the island of Lonthor by force. Most of the inhabitants were killed or exiled to other islands. More...

 
    VOC, Dutch East India Company
  VOC, Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC, "United East India Company") was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial act...
 
       
 
         
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