|Founded||June 3, 1621|
|Founder||Willem Usselincx (among others)|
Number of locations
|Amsterdam, Hoorn, Rotterdam, Groningen and Middelburg|
Dutch West India Company (Dutch : Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie, Dutch pronunciation: [ɣəʔɔktroːˈjeːrdə ʋɛstˈɪndisə kɔmpɑˈɲi] or Dutch : WIC; English: Chartered West India Company) was a chartered company (known as the "WIC") 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 (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope) 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 (including New Netherland) 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.
A chartered company is an association with investors or shareholders and incorporated and granted rights by royal charter for the purpose of trade, exploration, and colonization.
The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
After several reversals, WIC reorganized and a new charter was granted in 1675, largely on the strength in the Atlantic slave trade. This "New" version lasted for more than a century, until after the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, during which it lost most its assets.
The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from central and western Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans to Western European slave traders, who brought them to the Americas. The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies especially were dependent on the supply of secure labour for the production of commodity crops, making goods and clothing to sell in Europe. This was crucial to those western European countries which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.
The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War was a conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic. The war, contemporary with the War of American Independence, broke out over British and Dutch disagreements on the legality and conduct of Dutch trade with Britain's enemies in that war.
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When the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was founded in 1602, some traders in Amsterdam did not agree with its mono politics. With help from Petrus Plancius, a Dutch-Flemish astronomer, cartographer and clergyman, they sought for a northeastern or northwestern access to Asia to circumvent the VOC monopoly. In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson, in employment of the VOC, landed on the coast of New England and sailed up what is now known as the Hudson River in his quest for the Northwest Passage to Asia. However, he failed to find a passage. Consequently, in 1615 Isaac Le Maire and Samuel Blommaert, assisted by others, focused on finding a south-westerly route around South America's Tierra del Fuego archipelago in order to circumvent the monopoly of the VOC.
The Dutch East India Company 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.
Petrus Plancius was a Dutch-Flemish astronomer, cartographer and clergyman. He was born as Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter, now in Heuvelland, West Flanders. He studied theology in Germany and England. At the age of 24 he became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.
Dutch people or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place.
One of the first sailors who focused on trade with Africa was Balthazar de Moucheron. The trade with Africa offered several possibilities to set up trading posts or factories, an important starting point for negotiations. It was Blommaert, however, who stated that, in 1600, eight companies sailed on the coast of Africa, competing with each other for the supply of copper, from the Kingdom of Loango.Pieter van den Broecke was employed by one of these companies. In 1612, a Dutch fortress was built in Mouree (present day Ghana), along the Dutch Gold Coast.
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.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Kingdom of Loango was a pre-colonial African state, during approximately the 16th to 19th centuries in what is now the western part of the Republic of the Congo and Cabinda. Situated to the north of the more powerful Kingdom of Kongo, at its height in the 17th century Loango influence extended from Cape St Catherine in the north to almost the mouth of the Congo River.
Trade with the Caribbean, for salt, sugar and tobacco, was hampered by Spain and delayed because of peace negotiations. Spain offered peace on condition that the Dutch Republic would withdraw from trading with Asia and America. Spain refused to sign the peace treaty if a West Indian Company would be established. At this time, the Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic was occurring. Grand Pensionary Johan van Oldenbarnevelt offered to only suspend trade with the West in exchange for the Twelve Years' Truce. The result was that, during a few years, the company sailed under a foreign flag in South America. However, ten years later, Stadtholder Maurice of Orange, proposed to continue the war with Spain, but also to distract attention from Spain to the Republic. In 1619, his opponent Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was beheaded, and when two years later the truce expired, the West Indian Company was established.
The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened; this included the beginnings of the Dutch Colonial Empire, which at the time were conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain. The Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again around 1619, as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Lord of Berkel en Rodenrijs (1600), Gunterstein (1611) and Bakkum (1613) was a Dutch statesman who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain.
The West India Company received its charter from the States-General in 1621, but its foundation had been suggested much earlier in the 17th century only to be delayed by the conclusion of the Twelve Years' Truce between Spain and the United Provinces in 1609.
The Twelve Years' Truce was the name given to the cessation of hostilities between the Habsburg rulers of Spain and the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic as agreed in Antwerp on 9 April 1609. It was a watershed in the Eighty Years' War, marking the point from which the independence of the United Provinces received formal recognition by outside powers. For Spain the Truce was seen as a humiliating defeat as they were forced to make several sacrifices but they scarcely got anything in return. For the time of its duration however the Truce allowed King Philip III and his favorite minister the Duke of Lerma to disengage from the conflict in the Low Countries and devote their energies to the internal problems of the Spanish Monarchy. The Archdukes Albert and Isabella used the years of the Truce to consolidate Habsburg rule and to implement the Counter-Reformation in the territories under their sovereignty.
The Dutch West India Company was organized similarly to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Like the VOC, the WIC company had five offices, called chambers (kamers), in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hoorn, Middelburg and Groningen, of which the chambers in Amsterdam and Middelburg contributed most to the company. The board consisted of 19 members, known as the Heeren XIX (the Nineteen Gentlemen).The institutional structure of the WIC followed the federal structure, which entailed extensive discussion for any decision, with regional representation: 8 from Amsterdam; 4 from Zeeland, 2 each from the Northern Quarter (Hoorn and Enkhuizen), the Maas (Rotterdam and Dordrecht), the region of Groningen, and one representative from the States General. Each region had its own chamber and board of directors. The validity of the charter was set at 24 years.
Only in 1623 was funding arranged, after several bidders were put under pressure. The States General of the Netherlands and the VOC pledged one million guilders in the form of capital and subsidy. Although Iberian writers said that crypto-Jews or Marranos played an important role in the formation of both the VOC and the WIC, research has shown that initially they played a minor role, but expanded during the period of the Dutch in Brazil. Emigrant Calvinists from the Spanish Netherlands did make significant investments in the WIC.Investors did not rush to put their money in the company in 1621, but the States-General urged municipalities and other institutions to invest. Explanations for the slow investment by individuals were that shareholders had "no control over the directors' policy and the handling of ordinary investors' money," that it was a "racket" to provide "cushy posts for the directors and their relatives, at the expense of ordinary shareholders." The VOC directors invested money in the WIC, without consulting their shareholders, causing dissent among a number of shareholders. In order to attract foreign shareholders, the WIC offered equal standing to foreign investors with Dutch, resulting in shareholders from France, Switzerland, and Venice. A translation of the original 1621 charter appeared in English, Orders and Articles granted by the High and Mightie Lords the States General of the United Provinces concerning the erecting of a West-Indies Companie, Anno Dom. MDCXII. by 1623, the capital for the WIC at 2.8 million florins was not as great the VOC's original capitalization of 6.5 million, but it was still a substantial sum. The WIC had 15 ships to carry trade and plied the west African coast and Brazil.
Unlike the VOC, the WIC had no right to deploy military troops. When the Twelve Years' Truce in 1621 was over, the Republic had a free hand to re-wage war with Spain. A Groot Desseyn ("grand design") was devised to seize the Portuguese colonies in Africa and the Americas, so as to dominate the sugar and slave trade. When this plan failed, privateering became one of the major goals within the WIC. The arming of merchant ships with guns and soldiers to defend themselves against Spanish ships was of great importance. On almost all ships in 1623, 40 to 50 soldiers were stationed, possibly to assist in the hijacking of enemy ships.It is unclear whether the first expedition was the expedition by Jacques l'Hermite to the coast of Chile, Peru and Bolivia, set up by Stadtholder Maurice with the support of the States General and the VOC.
The company was initially a dismal failure, in terms of its expensive early projects, and its directors shifted emphasis from conquest of territory to pursue plunder of shipping. The most spectacular success for the WIC was Piet Heyn's seizure of the Spanish silver fleet, which carried silver from Spanish colonies to Spain. He had also seized a consignment of sugar from Brazil and a galleon from Honduras with cacao, indigo, and other valuable goods. Privateering was its most profitable activity in the late 1620s.Despite Heyn's success at plunder, the company's directors realized that it was not a basis to build long-term profit, leading them to renew their attempts to seize Iberian territory in the Americas. They decided their target was Brazil.
There were conflicts between directors from different areas of The Netherlands, with Amsterdam less supportive of the company. Non-maritime cities, including Haarlem, Leiden, and Gouda, along with Enkhuizen and Hoorn were enthusiastic about seizing territory. They sent a fleet to Brazil, capturing Olinda and Pernambuco in 1630 in their initial foray to create a Dutch Brazil, but could not hold them due to a strong Portuguese resistance.Company ships continued privateering in the Caribbean, as well seizing vital land resources, particularly salt pans. The company's general lack of success saw their shares plummet and the Dutch and The Spanish renewed truce talks in 1633.
In 1629 the WIC gave permission to a number of investors in New Netherlands to found patroonships, enabled by the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions which was ratified by the Dutch States-General on June 7, 1629. The patroonships were created to help populate the colony, by providing investors grants providing land for approximately 50 people and "upwards of 15 years old", per grant, mainly in the region of New Netherland.Patroon investors could expand the size of their land grants as large as 4 miles, "along the shore or along one bank of a navigable river..." Rensselaerswyck was the most successful Dutch West India Company patroonship.
The New Netherland area, which included New Amsterdam, covered parts of present-day New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey.Other settlements were established on the Netherlands Antilles, and in South America, in Dutch Brazil, Suriname and Guyana. In Africa, posts were established on the Gold Coast (now Ghana), the Slave Coast (now Benin), and briefly in Angola. It was a neo-feudal system, where patrons were permitted considerable powers to control the overseas colony. In the Americas, fur (North America) and sugar (South America) were the most important trade goods, while African settlements traded the enslaved (mainly destined for the plantations on the Antilles and Suriname), gold, and ivory.
In North America, the settlers Albert Burgh, Samuel Blommaert, Samuel Godijn, Johannes de Laet had little success with populating the colony of New Netherland, and to defend themselves against local Amerindians. Only Kiliaen Van Rensselaer managed to maintain his settlement in the north along the Hudson. Samuel Blommaert secretly tried to secure his interests with the founding of the colony of New Sweden on behalf of Sweden on the Delaware in the south. The main focus of the WIC now went to Brazil.
Only in 1630 did the West India Company manage to conquer a part of Brazil. In 1630, the colony of New Holland (capital Mauritsstad, present-day Recife) was founded, taking over Portuguese possessions in Brazil. In the meantime, the war demanded so many of its forces that the Company had to operate under a permanent threat of bankruptcy.In fact, the WIC went bankrupt in 1636 and all attempts at rehabilitation were doomed to failure.
Because of the ongoing war in Brazil, the situation for the WIC in 1645, at the end of the charter, was very bad. An attempt to compensate the losses of the WIC with the profits of the VOC failed because the directors of the VOC did not want to.Merging the two companies was not feasible. Amsterdam was not willing to help out, because it had too much interest in peace and healthy trade relations with Portugal. This indifferent attitude of Amsterdam was the main cause of the slow, half-hearted policy, which would eventually lead to losing the colony. In 1647 the Company made a restart using 1.5 million guilders, capital of the VOC. The States General took responsibility for the warfare in Brazil.
Due to the Peace of Westphalia the seizing of Spanish ships was no longer allowed. Many merchants from Amsterdam and Zeeland decided to work with marine and merchants from Hamburg, Glückstadt (then Danish), England and other countries. In 1649, the WIC obtained a monopoly on gold and enslaved Africans in the kingdom of Accra (present-day Ghana). In 1662 there were contacts with the owners of the Asiento, which were obliged to deliver 24,000 enslaved Africans.In 1663 and 1664 the WIC sold more enslaved Africans than the Portuguese and English together.
The first West India Company suffered a long agony, and its end in 1674 was painless.The reason that the WIC could drag on for twenty years was due to its valuable West African possessions, due to its slaves.
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When the WIC could not repay its debts in 1674, the company was dissolved. But because of high demand for trade with the West (mainly slave trade), and the fact that still many colonies existed, it was decided to establish the Second Chartered West India Company (also called New West India Company) in 1675. This new company had the same trade area as the first. All ships, fortresses, etc. were taken over by the new company. The number of directors was reduced from 19 to 10, and the number of governors from 74 to 50. The new WIC had a capital that was slightly more than 6 million guilders around 1679, which was largely supplied by the Amsterdam Chamber.
From 1694 until 1700, the WIC waged a long conflict against the Eguafo Kingdom along the Gold Coast, present-day Ghana. The Komenda Wars drew in significant numbers of neighbouring African kingdoms and led to replacement of the gold trade with enslaved Africans.
After the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, it became apparent that the Dutch West India Company was no longer capable of defending its own colonies, as Sint Eustatius, Berbice, Essequibo, Demerara, and some forts on the Dutch Gold Coast were rapidly taken by the British. In 1791, the company's stock was bought by the Dutch government, and on 1 January 1792, all territories previously held by the Dutch West India Company reverted to the rule of the States General of the Dutch Republic. Around 1800 there was an attempt to create a third West Indian Company, without any success.
New Netherland was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic that was located on the east coast of America. The claimed territories extended from the Delmarva Peninsula to southwestern Cape Cod, while the more limited settled areas are now part of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, with small outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
The Dutch colonization of the Americas began with the establishment of Dutch trading posts and plantations in the Americas, which preceded the much wider known colonisation activities of the Dutch in Asia. While the first Dutch fort in Asia was built in 1600, the first forts and settlements on the Essequibo River in Guyana date from the 1590s. Actual colonization, with the Dutch settling in the new lands, was not as common as with other European nations. Many of the Dutch settlements were lost or abandoned by the end of the 17th century, but the Netherlands managed to retain possession of Suriname until it gained independence in 1975, as well as the Netherlands Antilles, which remain within the Kingdom of the Netherlands today.
Pieter Pietersen Heyn (Hein) was a Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War between the United Provinces and Spain. Hein was the first and the last to capture a large part of a Spanish "silver fleet" from America.
Kiliaen van Rensselaer was a Dutch diamond and pearl merchant from Amsterdam who was one of the founders and directors of the Dutch West India Company, being instrumental in the establishment of New Netherland.
The Dutch colonial empire comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies and subsequently by the Dutch Republic (1581–1795), and by the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands after 1815. It was initially a trade-based system which derived most of its influence from merchant enterprise and from Dutch control of international maritime shipping routes through strategically placed outposts, rather than from expansive territorial ventures. With a few notable exceptions, the majority of the Dutch colonial empire's overseas holdings consisted of coastal forts, factories, and port settlements with varying degrees of incorporation of their hinterlands and surrounding regions. Dutch chartered companies often dictated that their possessions be kept as confined as possible in order to avoid unnecessary expense, and while some such as the Dutch Cape Colony and Dutch East Indies expanded anyway, others remained undeveloped, isolated trading centres dependent on an indigenous host-nation. This reflected the primary purpose of the Dutch colonial empire: commercial exchange as opposed to sovereignty over homogeneous landmasses.
The Dutch Gold Coast or Dutch Guinea, officially Dutch possessions on the Coast of Guinea was a portion of contemporary Ghana that was gradually colonized by the Dutch, beginning in 1598. The colony became the most important Dutch colony in West Africa after Fort Elmina was captured from the Portuguese in 1637, but fell into disarray after the abolition of the slave trade in the early 19th century. On 6 April 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast was, in accordance with the Anglo-Dutch Treaties of 1870–71, ceremonially ceded to the United Kingdom.
New Netherland Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants.
Dutch Brazil, also known as New Holland, was the northern portion of the Portuguese colony of Brazil, ruled by the Dutch during the Dutch colonization of the Americas between 1630 and 1654. The main cities of the Dutch colony of New Holland were the capital Mauritsstad, Frederikstadt, Nieuw Amsterdam (Natal), Saint Louis, São Cristóvão, Fortaleza, Sirinhaém and Olinda.
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.
House of Hope, also known as Fort Good Hope, was a redoubt and factory in the seventeenth-century Dutch colony of New Netherland. The trading post was located at modern-day Hartford, Connecticut.
The history of Curaçao starts with settlement by the Arawaks, an Amerindian people coming from the South American mainland. They are believed to have inhabited the island for many hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans.
The Evolution of the Dutch Empire can be traced through the history of the various territories which it comprised. This list gives a brief history of the various territories and trading factories that were under the political control of the Netherlands or of the Dutch East and West India Companies. Collectively, these territories are referred to as the Dutch Empire.
Knight Michiel Reiniersz Pauw was a burgemeester of Amsterdam and a director of the Dutch West India Company (WIC).
New Netherlanders were residents of New Netherland, the seventeenth-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the northeastern coast of North America, centered on the Hudson River and New York Bay, and in the Delaware Valley.
The Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, sometimes referred to as the Charter of Privileges and Exemptions, is a document written by the Dutch West India Company in an effort to settle its colony of New Netherland in North America through the establishment of feudal patroonships purchased and supplied by members of the West India Company. Its 31 articles establish ground rules and expectations of the patroons and inhabitants of the new colonies. It was ratified by the Dutch States-General on June 7, 1629.
Samuel Godin, Godyn or Godijn was a wealthy merchant, originally from Southern Netherlands, trading on Spain, Brazil and the Levant. He was one of the administrators of the Noordsche Compagnie, involved in whaling, and of the Dutch West India Company. From 1620 he traded on New Netherland. His name was at first given to the Delaware Bay and he was one of the main investors in Zwaanendael. The colony did not last very long as it was plundered by Native Americans soon after its founding.
The Groot Desseyn was a plan devised in 1623 by the Dutch West India Company to seize the Portuguese/Spanish possessions of Iberian Union in Africa and the Americas, in order that the Spanish would not collect enough money for their war against The Netherlands.
The history of the Dutch economy has faced several ups and downs throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. It has undergone moments of prosperity and was once noted as one of the most dominant world powers in the 17th Century. It was heavily involved in the Atlantic Trade that had a large impact on its economy and growth. There is no clear definition for the Atlantic Trade, but researchers have concluded it may be referred to as: Trade with the New World, and trade with Asia through the Atlantic including, but not limited to, imperialism and slavery based undertakings. Among the most important of these traders were the Dutch and the British. It is noted that these two nations experienced a more rapid growth than most due to their non-absolutist political institutions. This is only one of many benefactors that played a large role in the shaping in the growth and economic change within the Netherlands that occurred throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries.