Dutch Colonization in Southeast Asia Essay

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The Dutch’s appearance in Southeast Asia was predominantly a two-stage colonization process. The initial stage of this expansion period arose in 1602 with the charter of the Dutch East India Company. The VOC (Dutch East India Trading Company) had been formed by the State-General of the Netherlands to carry out, for a granted 21-year monopolistic control, colonial expansion privileges representing the Dutch in South East Asia. While at first it may have seemed that the VOC were to enlarge the territory size of the Dutch overseas to contest with the other European superpowers, they were in fact predominantly more concerned with maximizing their profits through their many monopolies in the trade system. The most popular products to be exchanged in the trading system taken out of Asian and brought to Europe were spices such as pepper, which were exceedingly valuable for the Europeans and most plentiful in Asia.
From 1602 until the demise of the VOC in 1796, millions of Europeans had been relocated to Asia and almost 5,000 ships had been operating under private control of the VOC in Asian waters bringing back almost 3 million metric tons of Asian products back to Europe. All the other Europeans countries combined would not reach the feats that the Dutch East India Company had accomplished throughout their 194 year trading empire tenure. As like any empire, the VOC had begun to decline during their last 50 years until their eventual shut down in 1796. Even though there are a plethora of reasons for the decline of the VOC, 3 primary reasons are what had truly destroyed this mega-corporation. The first was that during the mid 1600s, there had been a dramatic diminution in trade with China and Japan. While this was not a detrimental occurrence, it had become the foundation of an increased struggle in trading the commodities taken from Asia. The following major blow to the VOC occurred during the mid 18th century. Because of the astronomical success of the company, there had been a rapid entrance into the market by other private enterprises throughout Europe, which would put a tremendous amount of burden on the Dutch company. The increased competition in the marketplace would eventually lead to a decline in the demand for spices and other goods such as silk throughout Europe. The final major shock to the Dutch East India Company was the Dutch war with England in the...

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