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197 years

   
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 activities in Asia. It was the second multinational corporation in the world (the British East India Company was founded two years earlier) and the first company to issue stock. It was also arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies.

Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in the Asia trade. 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, 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 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 activities in Asia. It was the second multinational corporation in the world (the British East India Company was founded two years earlier) and the first company to issue stock. It was also arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies.

Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in the Asia trade. 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, 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. More

 
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  Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Dutch Statesman
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    Petrus Plancius, Dutch Cartographer
  Petrus Plancius, Dutch Cartographer
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    Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, Itinerario, 1596
  Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, Itinerario, 1596
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    Hudson, Found New York - 1609
  Hudson, Found New York - 1609
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    Willem Schouten, First to sail Cape Horn, 1616
  Willem Schouten, First to sail Cape Horn, 1616
Willem Cornelisz Schouten was a Dutch navigator for the Dutch East India Company. He was the first to sail the Cape Horn route to the Pacific Ocean. In 1615 Willem Cornelisz Schouten and his younger brother Jan Schouten sailed from Texel in the Ne...
 
    Eighty Years' War of Dutch Independence
  Eighty Years' War of Dutch Independence
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    Dirk Hartog, 1st record visit Australia, 1616
  Dirk Hartog, 1st record visit Australia, 1616
Dirk Hartog was a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artifact to record his visit,the Hartog plate. His name is sometimes alternatively...
 
    Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor VOC
  Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor VOC
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 i...
 
    Witte de With, Dutch Naval Officer
  Witte de With, Dutch Naval Officer
Witte Corneliszoon de With was a famous Dutch naval officer of the 17th century. On his first sea voyage to the Dutch East Indies on 21 January 1616 when he was sixteen, as a cabin boy on Captain Geen Huygen Schapenham's ship the Gouden Leeuw, par...
 
    Dutch Golden Age
  Dutch Golden Age
The Dutch Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. During a large part of the 17th century the Dutch, traditionally able seafare...
 
    Abel Tasman, Tasmania and New Zealand
  Abel Tasman, Tasmania and New Zealand
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer and explorer best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644, in the service of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). His was the first European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) a...
 
    Willem Janszoon finds Australia, Duyfken
  Willem Janszoon finds Australia, Duyfken
In 1606, the small Dutch ship Duyfken sailed from the Indonesian island of Banda in search of gold and trade opportunities on the fabled island of Nova Guinea. Under the command of Willem Janszoon, Duyfken and her crew ventured south-east. They saile...
 
    Jan van Riebeeck, Founder Cape Town, 1652
  Jan van Riebeeck, Founder Cape Town, 1652
Jan van Riebeeck was a Dutch navigator and colonial administrator who arrived in Cape Town in the Dutch Cape Colony at the behest of the Dutch East India Company. He also spent some time in Malaysia as part of his profession and served as an assis...
 
    Coenraad van Beuningen, Mayor of Amsterdam
  Coenraad van Beuningen, Mayor of Amsterdam
Coenraad van Beuningen was the Dutch Republic's most experienced diplomat, burgemeester of Amsterdam in 1669, 1672, 1680, 1681, 1683 and 1684, and from 1681 a VOC (Dutch East India Company) director. He probably was bi-polar, becoming unstable after...
 
    Hendrick Hamel, Journal Kingdom of Korea, 1668
  Hendrick Hamel, Journal Kingdom of Korea, 1668
Hendrick Hamel was the first Westerner to provide a first hand account of Joseon Korea. After spending thirteen years there, he wrote "Hamel's Journal and a Description of the Kingdom of Korea, 1653-1666," which was subsequently published in 1668....
 
    Willem de Vlamingh, Sea-captain VOC
  Willem de Vlamingh, Sea-captain VOC
Willem Hesselsz de Vlamingh was a Dutch sea-captain who explored the central west coast of Australia (then "New Holland") in the late 17th century. Vlamingh joined the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1688 and made his first voyage to Batavia in the...
 
    Nicolaes Witsen, Mayor Amsterdam
  Nicolaes Witsen, Mayor Amsterdam
Nicolaas or Nicolaes Witsen was mayor of Amsterdam thirteen times, between 1682-1706. In 1693 he became administrator of the VOC. In 1689 he was extraordinary-ambassador to the English court, and became Fellow of the Royal Society. In his free time h...
 
    Jacob Roggeveen, Discovery Easter Island
  Jacob Roggeveen, Discovery Easter Island
Jacob Roggeveen was a Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis, but he instead came across Easter Island. On 1 August 1721 he left on his expedition, in the service of the Dutch West India Company, to seek Terra Australis. It consisted of...
 
    William IV, Prince of Orange-Nassau
  William IV, Prince of Orange-Nassau
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    François Le Vaillant, French Explorer
  François Le Vaillant, French Explorer
François Le Vaillant was a French explorer, collector and ornithologist. Hugely popular in his lifetime for his engaging and colourful travel accounts, Le Vaillant is best known today for his spectacular books of ornithology, but his reputation has a...
 
    Philipp F. von Siebold, Japanese flora and fauna
  Philipp F. von Siebold, Japanese flora and fauna
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    Multatuli, Eduard Douwes Dekker
  Multatuli, Eduard Douwes Dekker
Multatuli is the pseudonym of Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887). After 18 years of civil service in the Dutch East Indies, he returned to Europe in 1856 a disillusioned man. The way the natives were treated by their own as well as by the Dutch rulers...
 
    Pakubuwono X, Ruler of Surakarta, Java
  Pakubuwono X, Ruler of Surakarta, Java
Pakubuwono X was the tenth Susuhunan (ruler of Surakarta). His reign corresponded with the political changes happening in the Dutch East Indies at the time, in particular the growth of local indigenous political organizations such as Budi Utomo and S...
 
       
 
         
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