When The Dutch Ruled The World: Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company

When The Dutch Ruled The World: Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company

The Netherlands: a tiny European country that
is actually one of the wealthiest and most important economic centers of the continent. The surprising success of the Dutch is invariably
tied to one company, which was arguably the greatest and most successful one in history. Today, we’ll see how the Netherlands transformed
from swampy backwater into a global trading empire thanks to the Dutch East India Company. This video is brought to you by Cheddar, who
made a video about a different kind of spice than the ones the Dutch were trading, but
when you’re finished here make sure to check out their channel. The Netherlands today might be an economic
powerhouse, but back in the 16th century, well, it wasn’t doing too great. To start things off, it wasn’t even independent:
instead it was under the domain of the Spanish Empire. As one of the earliest European colonizers,
the Spanish Empire controlled vast territories across the world and used the money it gained
from slavery and trade to fund numerous wars of conquest and suppression. The Netherlands ultimately became victim of
one such war: they had became part of the empire unwittingly due to marriage and spent
the next 80 years trying to break free. But the Dutch independence effort ran into
a big problem very early on. You see, the Dutch were a seafaring people:
fishing and mercantile shipping was their thing and they had been doing it for centuries. The main goods they shipped were spices coming
from the Far East, but this was before the Dutch had any colonies of their own. Back then Portugal held a virtual monopoly
on the spice trade, controlling all the major trade routes to Asia and back. Thus, what the Dutch did was to buy all their
spices from Lisbon and then ship them around Europe to sell them at a profit. But Portugal was absorbed into the Spanish
Empire in 1580 and, of course, the first thing the Spanish did was to close off Lisbon to
the Dutch merchants. Suddenly the main artery of the Dutch economy
had been cut off and there was really only one thing the Dutch merchants could do: they
had to sail to Far East and build their own trading network. At first this effort was very decentralized:
merchants from various Dutch cities would establish companies for single voyages. Essentially, they would fund a few ships and
their sailors and they would send them off to find a new trade route to the Far East. Some missions were successful and came back
with lots of spices, but most did not go very smoothly. During the first six years of the expedition
effort a total of 65 ships were sent out. 1 in 10 never made it back, and those that
did, came back with only a third of their crew on average. Suffice to say, being a sailor in these early
fleets wasn’t a very safe job. Nevertheless, these early voyages gave the
Dutch the knowledge and experience on how to establish a more permanent trading network. But coordinating individual merchants, each
of whom was competing with the rest, is difficult to say the least and with the English, Spanish
and Portuguese all trying to create their own trading empires, the Dutch knew that they
had to band together. In 1602 under the patronage of the Prime Minister
of Holland, the various expedition companies united into a single company with vast sovereign
power. It’s name wasn’t the Dutch East India
Company, even though that’s how we call it today. It was actually called the United East India
Company, or VOC for short and its creation marked a new chapter in the history of the
Netherlands. The political motivations were clear: the
Dutch needed a new economic engine to fight off the Spanish and to restore their wartorn
country. The VOC was their only hope which is why it
was granted not only a monopoly on trade, but also the ability to train its own army,
to negotiate and declare war, to occupy land and even to enforce slavery. But just getting permission to do all these
things meant nothing if the VOC couldn’t actually do them, and to conquer the Far East
would require a lot of capital. The VOC, however, figured out an ingenious
solution, which would later on become the cornerstone of modern capitalism. In the center of Amsterdam, the VOC built
a trading house, where every Dutch citizen could go and buy shares of the company, effectively
giving the VOC money now in exchange for a claim on its profits in the future. The VOC had effectively created the world’s
first stock market and the VOC itself had become the first publicly-traded company in
history. Pretty much every rich man in the Netherlands
invested in the VOC and even many immigrants did so. In total, the VOC’s initial public offering
raised over 6 million guilders, which is equivalent to about $110 million today. And keep in mind, this is coming from a country
that’s half-occupied by Spain and whose economy had been in the drain for a decade. Of course, circumstances were favorable to
the Dutch: the Spanish Empire was at war with England at the time, allowing the Dutch to
sweep into the Far East and kick out the Portuguese establishment. The first victim of the VOC’s colonial ambitions
was Indonesia: the Dutch conquered modern-day Jakarta in 1611, slaughtering the locals and
building vast spice plantations on nearby islands. With the island of Java as its headquarters,
the VOC spread throughout the Far East. Their factories in India produced exquisite
silks and fabrics, which the VOC then shipped to Japan to trade for their famous and crucial
supply of silver. The VOC got silk from China as well, which
also produced valuable porcelain. What matters though, is that the profits margins
the VOC earned by monopolizing these trade routes were as high as 1500%, and all of this
money was of course being funneled into the Netherlands. They finally won their independence in 1648
and with that out of the way the VOC’s profits were invested in one type of project unique
to the Netherlands: land reclamation. You see, the Netherlands is extremely flat
and is below sea level, which makes it prone to flooding; but, if you build dikes and keep
the water out, you can turn swamps into farmland and that’s exactly what the Dutch did with
their VOC profits. Just by looking at the geography you can tell
when the VOC was running at full force. In total, over one and a half thousand ships
sailed for the VOC during its two centuries of existence and its influence is still felt
to this day. Many former Dutch colonies, for example, still
bear the scars of the oppression they suffered. But the VOC has other interesting legacies
that few people know. Cape Town, for instance, started out as a
VOC resting station in 1652. A decade earlier, a VOC merchant discovered
two big land masses south of the Dutch Indies. He called them New Holland and New Zeeland
and you can guess which name stuck and which one didn’t. But in any case, just as the ideal set of
circumstances gave the Dutch the opportunity to become a colonial empire, a perfect storm
in the late 18th century ended up destroying the VOC. To start things off, the Dutch lost a disastrous
war against the British in 1784 which disrupted the VOC’s network in Asia. Then, just a decade later, the newly-created
French Republic invaded the Netherlands and conquered them. WIth the British attacking in Asia and the
French attacking at home, the VOC really had no chance and officially went into bankruptcy
in 1799. Sadly, without the spice trade the Netherlands
lost their status as a global power. And speaking of spice, Cheddar (who were kind
enough to sponsor this episode) made a great video on how Old Spice was saved by one of
the most iconic marketing campaigns in recent history. If you don’t know, Cheddar’s channel covers
business and technology in fun bite-sized videos that leave you craving for more, so
if you haven’t seen them go check out their channel, watch the video and consider subscribing
if you wanna see more. In any case, thank you for watching. If you liked the story of the VOC consider
liking the video and subscribing if you haven’t already. We’re gonna see each other again in two
weeks, and until then: stay smart.

Comments (100)

  1. Hope you enjoyed the video folks; in case you missed it, I have a class on Skillshare that covers the basics of how the stock market works. A lot of you have already seen it and I'm thankful for all the wonderful reviews. Here's a link for those of you who didn't know:

  2. you guys now voc is bas

  3. They anslaved there own civilians now slavery is โ€œ forbidenโ€
    The v.o.c. Where comon thieves and murderers and slaveowners.
    And shiped there religious nutjobs and crimanals of to the u.s/australia/south Afrika to reak havok there.
    Btw im dutch and ashamed to be so.

  4. 4:36 Do I see a catgirl in the right corner?

  5. We just love money and don't care about to conquer the world.

  6. Ik herinner het me als de dag van gisteren….

  7. VOC brought boers(white farmers) to south Africa which made apartheid which is still fueling political tensions in south Africa(home country) today. Wow. I want a tattoo of this company.

  8. My ancestors died fighting Dutch in the coramandal coasts of Tamil Nadu.

  9. Dutch: discovers South Africa, and colonized it same with India
    Great Britain: MoVE BItCH

  10. What did you say i could not hear you over my spices !!!

  11. Buying shares is certainly not "modern capitalism." It is blatant communism–slavery by other means.

  12. Z E G M A K K E R

  13. The Dutch brought slavery and oppression of the black people, expolited the colonies to the unimaginable extent, robed , raped and destroyed the entire nations and did not leave anything positive . Look what they did with the Moluccans ( Maluku people) . Then there was the WW2 and the Dutch again started "ruling" stealing and robing the money, property and gold of the Jews. Collaborating with the nazis and betraying the Jews to the German Nazis and then taking their entire properties and whatever those poor Jewish people had. Of course there were some Dutch men and women who helped the jews but those were sporadic cases .and nowadays they are exploiting the Moroccan and Turcs and some other nationalities to build their economy. In Nl everything is either stolen or copied . Sad .. I always feel sorry for them ..

  14. Mike Pence, spices are still extremely relevant in trade, honorable trade.

  15. I miss The Dutsch in the New Wold. New York, Dutch Antillen, Brazil, Suriname, The West Indian Company. The part Dutch Slave history.

  16. 4:33 there's anime character? What? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  17. Does this make the Dutch

  18. You talk to fast!It is very annoying!

  19. Who is the anime character in the bottom righthand corner @ 4:34?
    I don't believe it was in the original painting =P


  21. We waren lekker sterker dan jullie…….na na na na na.

  22. Target colonized at Indonesia
    -java (long empire)
    Djakarta (Batavia)
    Sumatraia (wong lay)
    Surabaya (war target)
    Papua (at last)
    Kalimatan (first spices)

  23. ๊ทธ๋Ÿฌ๋‚˜ ๋„์ž… ์ดํ›„ ํ•œ๋™์•ˆ ์•„์ผ๋žœ๋“œ์™€ ํ”„๋ž‘์Šค๋ฅผ ์ œ์™ธํ•œ ๋‹ค๋ฅธ ์œ 
    ๋Ÿฝ์ง€์—ญ์—์„œ๋Š” ๊ฐ์ž๋Š” ์ธ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ ์—†์—ˆ๋‹ค. ๊ฐ์ž๊ฐ€ ๋‚˜๋ณ‘์„ ์ผ์œผํ‚จ๋‹ค
    ๋Š” ์†Œ๋ฌธ๋„ ์žˆ์—ˆ๊ณ , ๊ตํšŒ๋Š” ์„ฑ๊ฒฝ์— ์—†์œผ๋ฉฐ ์ƒ‰๊น”์ด ๊ด€๋Šฅ์ []์ด์ด
    ๋ฉฐ ๋งˆ์น˜ ์‹œ์ฒด๋ฅผ ๋•…์— ๋ฌป๋“ฏ ๋ฌป์–ด์•ผ ๋‚˜๋Š” ์ž‘๋ฌผ์ด๋ผ๋Š” ์ด์œ ๋กœ ์•…
    ๋งˆ์˜ ์ž‘๋ฌผ์ด๋ผ๋Š” ์†Œ๋ฌธ์„ ํผ๋œจ๋ ธ๋‹ค. ๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  ๊ฒฐ์ •์ ์œผ๋กœ ๋‹น์‹œ ์œ 
    ๋Ÿฝ์ธ๋“ค ๊ด€์ ์—์„œ๋Š” ๋ง›์ด ์—†์—ˆ๋‹ค. ๋ง›์ด ๋‚˜์˜๋‹ค๋Š” ๊ฒŒ ์•„๋‹ˆ๋ผ, ๋ง
    ๊ทธ๋Œ€๋กœ ๋ง›์ด ์—†๊ฑฐ๋‚˜ ์žˆ๋‹คํ•ด๋„ ๋จˆ ๊ทธ๋Œ€๋กœ ๋ฐ๋ฐํ•˜๊ธฐ ์ง์ด ์—†์—ˆ

    ์ด๋Š” ๋Œ€๋ถ€๋ถ„์˜ ์ž‘๋ฌผ์ด ํ’ˆ์ข… ๊ฐœ๋Ÿ‰์„ ํ†ตํ•ด ํ˜„์žฌ์˜ ๋ชจ์Šต์ด ๋˜์—ˆ๊ธฐ
    ๋•Œ๋ฌธ์ด๋‹ค. ์œ ๋Ÿฝ์— ๋“ค์–ด์™”์„๋•Œ ๊ฐ์ž๋Š” ํฌ๊ธฐ๋„ ์ž‘์„ ๋ฟ๋”๋Ÿฌ, ๋‹น๋ถ„
    ์„ ๊ฑฐ์˜ ์ถ•์ ํ•˜์ง€ ์•Š์•„ ๋ง ๊ทธ๋Œ€๋กœ ๋ฐ๋ฐํ•œ ๋ง›์ด ๋‚ฌ๋‹ค. ์ด๋Š” ์˜ฅ์ˆ˜
    ์ˆ˜ ๋“ฑ๊ณผ ๋งฅ๋ฝ์„ ๊ฐ™์ด ํ•œ๋‹ค. ๋ฌผ๋ก  ์›์ฃผ๋ฏผ๋“ค ์ž…์žฅ์ด์•„ ๊ฐ์ž๋ฅผ ์ฃผ
    ์‹์œผ๋กœ ๋จน์—ˆ์œผ๋‹ˆ ๋ฐ๋ฐํ•œ ๋ง›์ด๋ผ๋„ ๋”ฑํžˆ ์‹ ๊ฒฝ์“ฐ์ง€ ์•Š์•˜์ง€๋งŒ, ์ฒ˜
    ์Œ ๋จน์–ด๋ณธ ์œ ๋Ÿฝ์ธ๋“ค์—๊ฒ ์ ์‘๋˜์ง€ ์•Š์€ ๊ฒŒ ์‚ฌ์‹ค์ด์—ˆ๋‹ค. ์ง€๊ธˆ์—
    ์™€์„œ๋„ ๊ฐ์ž ์ž์ฒด๋Š” ํฌ๊ฒŒ ๊ฐ•ํ•œ ๋ง›์ด ๋‚˜๋Š” ์ž‘๋ฌผ์ด ์•„๋‹ˆ๋ผ์„œ ๋”ฐ
    ๋กœ ๊ฐ„์ด๋‚˜ ์–‘๋…. ๊ธฐ๋ฆ„์„ ์ฒจ๊ฐ€ํ•ด์„œ ์š”๋ฆฌํ•˜๋Š” ๊ฒŒ ๋ณดํ†ต์ธ๋ฐ ํ•˜๋ฌผ๋ฉฐ
    ์˜›๋‚ ์ด์•ผ… ๋จผ๋‚˜๋ผ ์ด์›ƒ๋‚˜๋ผ์—์„œ๋Š” ๊ท€์กฑ๋“ค์ด ๊ฐ์ž ์š”๋ฆฌ๋ฅผ ๋†“
    ๊ณ  ํŒŒํ‹ฐ๋ฅผ ์—ด๋ฉด์„œ "๋‹ฌ๋‹ฌํ•œ ๊ฒŒ ์ž…์— ์ฐฉ์ฐฉ ๋ถ™๋„ค!!"๋ผ๋ฉฐ ๊ทน์ฐฌํ•˜๋Š”
    ๋ชจ์Šต์ด ๋‚˜์˜ค๋Š”๋ฐ ๊ณ ์ฆ์˜ค๋ฅ˜๋‹ค.[11] ํ† ๋งˆํ† ๋„ ๋จน์œผ๋ฉด ์ฃฝ๋Š”๋‹ค๋Š” ๊ดด
    ์„ค์ด ์žˆ์—ˆ๋Š”๋ฐ. ์ด๋ฅผ ๋ฏฟ์—ˆ๋˜ ์˜› ์‚ฌ๋žŒ๋“ค์€ ๊ฐ์žํŠ€๊น€์— ํ† ๋งˆํ†  ์ผ€
    ์ฒฉ์„ ์ฐ์–ด ๋จน๋Š” ํ˜„๋Œ€์ธ์„ ์ฐธ์œผ๋กœ ๊ดด์•…ํ•˜๊ฒŒ ๋ณผ ๊ฒƒ์ด๋‹ค.[]21

  24. It's pronounced "chedder", like the cheese.

  25. 4:32, look closely at the left side of yhe screen

  26. G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  27. The first public stock market and stock exchange was well before Amsterdam in Antwerp where the present system was first implemented.

  28. Netherlands:
    I used to rule the world colonies would load when I gave the word
    Now every night I go stow away
    Hide from the english I used to slay

    They once were terrified
    Every time I looked into their eyes
    Boeren would cheer my way
    For a hero I was, that's what they'd say

    One minute we had it all
    Next our world began to fall
    Away from all that it had once become
    They all cried for my help, but I stood there numb

    I gaze off into the boundless countrys
    Trompetten choirs playing in the sunshine
    Turn 'round pick up my sword and weed
    The blade that once forced evil english to yield
    And hope one day that this chaos and
    Destruction turns for the better
    Never a colonie in hand
    That was when I ruled the land

  29. Dutch rule the world… Hehehe thats funny.. ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. dutch east indian company
    1602 ~ 1799

  31. The VOC still exists. Ever heard of Glencore! Part of it! The Royals still run the world with the British. The Dutch always been 10 years ahead of anyone else. As a English South African. You have to believe me! They are powerful, smart and extremely brotherly! Lekker jongens! Al is goed? Totziens!

  32. The Dutch with English help, took over from the Spanish who took over from the French king who to over from the Norman French.who took over from the muslims who took over from the Byzantine Greeks who took over from the Romans…real GOT.

  33. Hidoep Toean Radja Willeam

  34. Dutch: I used to rule the world.

  35. pff lots of bullshit

  36. Netherlands: we lost the global power
    united kingdom: thank you for the terretorium

  37. THEY STOLE FROM MALUKU total 999 islands (the SPICE islands)

  38. Two very important factors that contributed to the rise of the Netherlands, first the fact that the kingdom of Portugal was under the Habsburg crown which was the same as that of Spain, and the departure of Portugal from the wealthy Jewish bourgeoisie to Amsterdam, the one that first financed Holland, then England, and later the USA, so without Portugal's navy and economic power, Holland can flourish until the English have let it.


  40. Love Indonesia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ like

  41. Whe used tot ruuulleeee the world. Spices rised when whe gave the world

  42. God glory and gospel
    Kill whoever !!!!

  43. 4:33 waifu on the right

  44. Hello there, im just waiting for some indonesians to yell


    In the comment section

  45. Thieves… Stole the Portuguese empire!
    Show me a city founded by the Dutch. Besides Australia was discovered by the Portuguese

  46. Title should be when the Dutch murdered, pillaged and raped the world

  47. It is against economic fundamentals to operate an entity with zero labour costs.

  48. Thanks to indonesia make u rich


  50. Dutch just lucky .That's all ..


  52. I like Dutch people. They have the best porn movies.

  53. Dude, how do you do the animations??

  54. G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  55. G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  56. The spice must flow!

  57. dutch the ones who won money for transporting slaves from Africa to America?

  58. That thing isn't as OP as Google now

  59. Why were the dutch never part of germany?

  60. You missed out how Marthanda Varma and the Kingdom of Travancore kicked out the VOC from India

  61. Misschien is de akte van verlating ook wel interessant …is de voorloper van independance day in Amerika..

  62. now i know why Indonesia has those scars
    we were so evil
    lucky we have no scars nobody ever waged war on us

  63. Did anyone else notice the Anime Kitten Girl on the right at 4:35?

  64. The map @0:58 was horrid.

  65. Dutch sell the colonies to the another european countries and however netherland so expert of foreign affiar

  66. Do you want to see all my nightmare

  67. The dutch ships is much more land of nethetland thus they usually sleep at ship and working for trade affiar

  68. Germany immigrant with netherland trader all the world

  69. Weapon industry of germany and america why they stronger hahaha

  70. All hail Western Europe (except shitty England)

  71. England found Australia


  73. I lived in there time

  74. G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  75. Why do educational videos feel the need to add background music as if the world is at stake here.

  76. G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  77. I still hate the Dutch that occupied Indonesia for 350 years. Plenty of resources had been taken by the Dutch from mining like: coal,gold,cement,nickel,iron and also farming like: clove,tobacco,sugar,vannila. During its occupation the Dutch also forced Indonesian people to be slave that must work hard to make road, bridge and planted certain crop according to its willingness.

  78. Now please help us … it's all about the money…

  79. Slaughtering the Local… "Dutch should never forget that"

  80. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ india&pak still Not free states till they stop driving on Left,Teaching there children British ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง History & both countries fortune decided in UK . Slave of 21th centry.

  81. Important piece of history

  82. Discriminatie die VOC dus we moeten niet zo trots doen

  83. ik moest van daryl janmaat een opwillempje geven (eigenlijk jur dus)

  84. Don't you think.. that the creators of our societies or the elite.. sees a benefit in pretending that the Dutch condoned slavery.. as to devide 2 groups of people and turn them against each other? It's called devide and conquer.. furthermore. History is always written by the victor.. So what does that tell you? Probably that what is in history books is a bunch of well organized lies and the truth is probably something 180 degrees at the other end of the spectrum.. Look around you in Holland, look what happened to black people.. they integrated. They are happy and wealthy and educated. Look at Africa.. What would have come of the Africans if we left them behind? If anything the Dutch freed Africans from enslavement by their own people.

  85. We Dutch people dont say Dutch EastIndia Company but Dutch EastIndiรซ Company Indiรซ used to be a Dutch nickname for indonesia

  86. One of the most brutal of all the slave traders were the Dutch No love no forgiveness 4 them at all period they deserve none.

  87. Business Casual, what percentage of people watching this video are watching it from the Netherlands?

  88. knights templar(freemasons) rule the world

  89. Ehm, actually we won the anglo-dutch war, england sued for peace after having been repeatedly, for lack of a better word, trolled by our new and improved navy and marines.

  90. My ancestors had shares in the voc. My family hasn't worked in 400 years.

  91. Lank lewe Zoid Afrika

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