The name ‘Dutch East India Company’ is used to make a distinction with the [British] East India Company (EIC) and other East Indian companies (such as the Danish East India Company, French East India Company, Portuguese East India Company, and the Swedish East India Company).
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The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.century to include the whole of the Indonesian archipelago, which would later become the modern Republic of Indonesia.
In spite of the VOC's historical contributions, the company has long been criticized for its monopoly, colonialism, exploitation (including use of slave labour), and environmental destruction (especially deforestation).
View of Table Bay with ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), c. In the 1600s the size of the Dutch merchant fleet probably exceeded the combined fleets of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.
was originally established as a chartered company in 1602, when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade.
The company was formed to profit from the Malukan spice trade, and in 1619 it established a capital in the port city of Jayakarta, changing the name to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta).
Over the next two centuries the Company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory.These factors motivated Dutch merchants to enter the intercontinental spice trade themselves.Further, a number of Dutchmen like Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman obtained first hand knowledge of the "secret" Portuguese trade routes and practices, thereby providing opportunity.It appeared on various corporate items, such as cannon and coins.The first letter of the hometown of the chamber conducting the operation was placed on top (see figure for example of the Amsterdam chamber logo).The stage was thus set for the four-ship exploratory expedition by Frederick de Houtman in 1595 to Banten, the main pepper port of West Java, where they clashed with both the Portuguese and indigenous Indonesians.