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Dutch East India Company

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Logo of the VOC

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in old Dutch), started in 1602, when the Netherlands gave it a 21-year monopoly to trade in Asia. It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock.[1] The VOC had the power to start wars, make treaties, make its own money, and start new colonies.[2]

It was an important company for almost 200 years, until it became bankrupt in 1800.[3] The VOC's colonies became the Dutch East Indies which later became Indonesia.

Ships from the VOC were among the early explorers of Australia. The first Europens to live in Australia were left behind after the mutiny on the VOC ship Batavia in 1629. Many of the sailors who took part in the mutiny were executed, but two, Wouter Loos, a soldier, and Jan Pelgrom de Bye, a cabin boy, were left at Wittecarra Gully, near the mouth of the Murchison River. They were never seen again.


  1. Mondo Visione web site: Chambers, Clem. "Who needs stock exchanges?" Exchanges Handbook. -- retrieved February 1, 2008.
  2. Ames, Glenn J. (2008). The Globe Encompassed: The Age of European Discovery, 1500-1700. p. pp. 102-103.
  3. Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. p.110. ISBN 0-333-57689-6 .