East India Co., Dutch


East India Co., Dutch

Trading company founded by the Dutch in 1602 to protect their trade in the Indian Ocean and to assist in their war of independence from Spain. The Dutch government granted it a trade monopoly in the waters between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan. Under the administration of forceful governors-general, it was able to defeat the British fleet and largely displace the Portuguese in the East Indies. It prospered through most of the 17th century but then began to decline as a trading and sea power; it was dissolved in 1799. See also East India Co., French East India Co.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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