East India Company
- The Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC, United East India Company) was founded in 1602 to coordi nate the commercial activities of Dutch merchants in the East Indies (Asia). Its charter, granted by the States General of the Republic, provided the VOC with a monopoly in the regions east of the Cape of Good Hope and west of the Strait of Magellan. Its board was di vided into six chambers, of which Amsterdam, where shareholders had invested half of the capital, was the most important. The “17 Gentlemen” (Heren XVII) acted as directors. The VOC was granted a degree of autonomy that included the power to declare war, to enter into treaties, and to maintain a fleet and an army. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the VOC created a colonial empire with strong holds especially in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), India, Australia, New Zealand, and the Cape Colony. The company was liquidated in 1798.
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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