Friday, December 10, 2010

Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company, officially,VOC,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 first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock.It was also the world's first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including ability to wage war, imprison and excute convicts, negotiate treaties , coin money, and establish colonies.
Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all the trade routes of its rivals. 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 British East India Company , the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total trafficwith 2,690 ships  and a mere one-ffth the tonnage of goods carried bybthe VOC. The VOC enjoyed a huge ptofits from its spice monopoly through through most of the 17th century.