Compagnie van Verre

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The Compagnie van Verre (long-distance company) was a forerunner of the Dutch East India Company.

Dutch East India Company 17th-century Dutch trading company

The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company(Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early 17th century. It was established on March 20, 1602, as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. It has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, and both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine.. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, VOC became the world's first formally listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period.


It was set up in 1594 by nine citizens of Amsterdam, to break Portugal's monopoly on the pepper trade. To do this, it sent an expedition of three heavily armed ships and a pinnace under the leadership of Cornelis de Houtman, with orders to break into the trade. (Cornelis' brother Frederik also worked for the Company.) On 2 April 1595 the ships set off from Texel, with 248 officers and men on board. The expedition (which became known as the First Schipvaart) followed the routes described by Jan Huygen van Linschoten after he had made the journey in the pay of the Portuguese. On 6 June 1596 the ships arrived at Bantam, the most important pepper port on Java. During the return trip, on 11 January 1597, the Amsterdam was badly damaged and had to be left behind at the island of Bawean. On 14 August 1597 the expedition arrived back in Amsterdam with only 87 survivors. The voyage was not a success commercially, but it proved that not only the Portuguese had the potential to trade in pepper.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Monopoly Market structure with a single firm dominating the market

A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. This contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity's control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly which consists of a few sellers dominating a market. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the possibility of a high monopoly price well above the seller's marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit. The verb monopolise or monopolize refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors. In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices. Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly. A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry.

In 1598 the Compagnie van Verre merged with the Nieuwe Compagnie and in 1597 with the Oude Compagnie . The resulting company then merged with the Nieuwe Brabantsche Compagnie in 1601 to form the Verenigde Amsterdamse Compagnie , which in turn merged with many other companies (including the Verenigde Zeeuwse Compagnie ) in 1602 into the Dutch East India Company (VOC), retaining a room in the VOC's chambers in Amsterdam.

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Dutch West India Company Dutch trading company

Dutch West India Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors. Among its founders was Willem Usselincx (1567–1647). On June 3, 1621, it was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the Dutch West Indies by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and given jurisdiction over Dutch participation in the Atlantic slave trade, Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America. The area where the company could operate consisted of West Africa and the Americas, which included the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. The intended purpose of the charter was to eliminate competition, particularly Spanish or Portuguese, between the various trading posts established by the merchants. The company became instrumental in the largely ephemeral Dutch colonization of the Americas in the seventeenth century. From 1624 to 1654, in the context of the Dutch-Portuguese War, the WIC held Portuguese territory in northeast Brazil, but they were ousted from Dutch Brazil following fierce resistance.

Cornelis de Houtman Dutch explorer

Cornelis de Houtman, brother of Frederick de Houtman, was a Dutch explorer who discovered a new sea route from Europe to Indonesia and who thus begun the Dutch spice trade. At the time, the Portuguese Empire held a monopoly on the spice trade, and the voyage was a symbolic victory for the Dutch, even though the voyage itself was a disaster. Houtman was also a spy, having worked against the Portuguese by bringing back to the Netherlands privileged nautical information obtained during his stay in Portugal.

Frederick de Houtman Dutch explorer

Frederick de Houtman, or Frederik de Houtman, was a Dutch explorer who sailed along the Western coast of Australia en route to Batavia, known today as Jakarta in Indonesia. He made observations of the southern stars and possibly contributed to the creation of 12 new southern constellations.

Willem Schouten Dutch explorer

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.

The Eendracht was an early 17th Century Dutch wooden-hulled 700 tonne East Indiaman, launched in 1615 in the service of the Dutch East India Company(VOC). It was captained by Dirk Hartog when he made the second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, in 1616.

Dutch–Portuguese War Conflict for sea dominance from 1601 through 1661

The Dutch–Portuguese War was an armed conflict involving Dutch forces, in the form of the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, against the Portuguese Empire. Beginning in 1602, the conflict primarily involved the Dutch companies invading Portuguese colonies in the Americas, Africa, India and the Far East. The war can be thought of as an extension of the Eighty Years' War being fought in Europe at the time between Spain and the Netherlands, as Portugal was in a dynastic union with the Spanish Crown after the War of the Portuguese Succession, for most of the conflict. However, the conflict had little to do with the war in Europe and served mainly as a way for the Dutch to gain an overseas empire and control trade at the cost of the Portuguese. English forces also assisted the Dutch at certain points in the war. Because of the cargo of conflict, this war would be nicknamed the Spice War.

Dutch Malacca

Dutch Malacca (1641–1825) was the longest period that Malacca was under foreign control. The Dutch ruled for almost 183 years with intermittent British occupation during the Napoleonic Wars (1795–1818). This era saw relative peace with little serious interruption from the Malay kingdoms due to the understanding earlier on forged between the Dutch and the Sultanate of Johor in 1606. This time also marked the decline of the importance of Malacca. The Dutch preferred Batavia as their economic and administrative centre in the region and their hold in Malacca was to prevent the loss of the city to other European powers and subsequently the competition that would naturally come with it. Thus in the 17th century, with Malacca ceased to be an important port, the Johor Sultanate became the dominant local power in the region, due to the opening of its ports and the alliance with the Dutch.

Gerard Reynst Dutch colonial governor

Gerard Reynst was a Dutch merchant and later the second Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.

Steven van der Hagen Dutch admiral

Steven van der Hagen was the first admiral of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He made three visits to the East Indies, spending six years in all there. He was appointed to the Raad van Indië. Van der Hagen protested against the harsh administration of the administrators, who wanted a monopoly on the clove trade and were willing to fight against their Spanish, Portuguese, English or Asiatic trade competitors in order to get it. Laurens Reael and Steven van der Hagen wrote with disapproval on how the Heren XVII treated the interests and laws of the Maluku population.

The Brabant Company, also known as the New Company was a precursor of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).

Isaac Le Maire Dutch merchant

Isaac Le Maire was a Walloon-born Dutch entrepreneur, investor, and a sizeable shareholder of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He is best known for his constant strife with the VOC, which ultimately led to the discovery of Cape Horn.

Paulus van Caerden Dutch admiral

Paulus van Caerden was a Dutch admiral in service of the Dutch East India Company. He was governor of the Maluku Islands for one month.

First Dutch Expedition to Nusantara first voyage of Dutch ships to Indonesia in 1595-1597

The First Dutch Expedition to Indonesia was an expedition that took place from 1595 to 1597. It was instrumental in the opening up of the Indonesian spice trade to the merchants that eventually formed the Dutch East India Company, and marked the end of the Portuguese Empire's dominance in the region.

Battle of Malacca (1641)

The Battle of Malacca was a successful attempt by the Dutch to capture Malacca from the Portuguese.

Gerrit Bicker member of the Amsterdam regency

Gerrit Pieter Bicker (1554–1604) was a Dutch merchant and one of the founders of the Compagnie van Verre and its successor the Dutch East India Company.

Balthazar de Moucheron

Balthazar de Moucheron was a Dutch trader and ship owner and was one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company. Although he is known for his early trading with India, Balthazar de Moucheron was active in a much wider geographic area, like the Mediterranean Sea, America, the west coast of Africa, the Baltic Sea and the White Sea.


A voorcompagnie (pre-company) is the naming given to the trading companies from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands that traded in Asia between 1594 and 1602, before they all merged to form the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The pre-companies were financed by merchants from the Northern Netherlands and rich immigrants from the Southern Netherlands. Because of the deadly competition, the government forced the smaller trading companies to unite and form the (United) East India Company, that on its turn received the exclusive rights for the trade with Asia for the following 21 years.

Compagnie van De Moucheron

The Compagnie van De Moucheron was a pre-company and precursor of the Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands that was founded by Balthazar de Moucheron, a ship owner from Antwerp in the Southern Netherlands. After the fall of Antwerp he moved his business to Zeeland. The fleet of the Compagnie van De Moucheron was made up of three ships, 'Ram', 'Schaap' (Sheep) and the pinasse 'Lam' (Lamb) and was headed by Joris van Spilbergen. Its fleet left on 5 May 1601 and returned to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1604.

Veerse Compagnie

The Veerse Compagnie was a pre-company from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands that was founded by Balthazar de Moucheron, a ship owner from Antwerp in the Southern Netherlands. After the fall of Antwerp he moved his business to Zeeland. The fleet of the Veerse Compagnie was made up of two ships; 'Leeuw' (Lion) and 'Leeuwin' (Lioness) and was headed by Cornelis Houtman. Its fleet left from Veere on 28 March 1598 and returned to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1600.