March 20–Dutch East India Company is Established!

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Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

March 20, 1602 C.E.

The sun illuminates a group of Dutch statesmen and merchantmen, ink dripping to the beat of their spice-ravenous hearts as the men sign into existence their beloved Dutch East India Company…

Embroiled in a war of independence against the Spanish, the Dutch  found it necessary to establish some sort of trading company in order to fill the state coffers and facilitate the expansion of the Netherland’s vast trading network. Thus, the Dutch government granted the company a trade monopoly stretching from the southern tip of Africa to the windswept shores of Tierra del Fuego in South America. The Dutch East India Company, after successfully deterring both British and Portuguese expansion in the region, would eventually go on to establish Dutch hegemony over the spice islands of Southeast Asia. However, by the 18th century, the company became incredibly corrupt and inept, eventually resulting in the revokement of the charter by the Dutch government in 1799 C.E.