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What Distinguishes the United Dutch East India Company (VOC) from Its European Counterparts, and Why Is It Often Described as ‘a State Within a State’?

The trading company formed by the Dutch Republic was formed in 1602. Dutch East India Company also known as United East India Company. It was formed with the aim to promote trade activities within the Indian Ocean to help Spain. Dutch East India Company make the corporate Dutch Empire most powerful in Indonesia (previously called East Indies). In 1641, the United East India Company entered Malacca. It was ruled by the States-General of United Netherlands and his highness known as the prince of orange. It was considered as the personal property of the United Dutch East India Company. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was formally known as United East India Company which was introduced as a trading company in the 17th century. Before that, it was only referred to as a charter company which promote trade with Mughal during the Proto-industrialization.

Prato-industrialization refers to the period wherein the regional development, agriculture, and handicraft were promoted in the markets. The textiles imported in a large number in Bengal subah which was then a part of a Mughal empire which includes today’s Bangladesh and West Bengal between 16th and 18th century. Bengal was considered as a major trading nation and the wealthiest state of that time. The company started trading with south-east Asian countries with an introduction to the spice trade in context to 21-year monopoly by the Dutch government. There were a lot of merchants included who were in engaged in buying and selling of the products.

Jan Pieterszoon Coen was the government-general of the United East India Company (VOC) which was taking care of the commercial and industrial activities within the international Asian trade. The company was actively working within the period of 1602 to 1796 for almost 200 years. The ventures formed by the United East India Company was quite successful and earned a lot of profits. More and more investors wanted to join VOC in order to become a part of the strong power and to earn more profits. Many individual ships were also executed for the VOC for trade purposes as they require more and more ships and people for the trade. Hundreds and thousands of ships were the part of United East India Company and they know that they have very less risk of failure as they were the part of VOC. Indian spices, Indonesian coffee, sugarcane are some of the products used in trade. The company was dealing with foreign direct investment as an international trading company. VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) was now a public entity established in 1602. The aim of VOC was to promote the trade of Europe’s cotton and silk with Mughal India. It has now become an example for many global entities. The Company was actively fighting against the Spanish and Iberian union empire in the Dutch Republic’s global war. Not only India or Europe, but the company also form its entity in many countries which open the gates of foreign investment for them. Both Dutch West India Company and the Dutch Republic were known as a strong power for the Dutch Empire.

The VOC company’s logo was very famous monogram as it was considered as the first corporate monogram which was also visible on the cannons and coins of the early period. Along with the monogram, VOC has his own legal flag which was coloured red, white, and blue with the monogram in between. People mostly know VOC as “Dutch East India Company”. There are many names which are associated with VOC that are “Dutch East Indies Company”, “United East India Company”, “United East Indian Company”, “United East Indies Company”, “Jan Company”, or “Jan Compagnie”. According to Adrian Kuzminski book, “The Ecology of Money: Debt, Growth and Sustainability,” it has been stated that the Dutch have a lot of money and investment with them and they were indulging in making more money with that money. The belief in investment not on spending which makes them more successful and rich. They invested their money for foreign trade mostly in overseas entities to earn more and more profits which make them different from others. Dutch was always interested in investing and creating unique things which we can understand by seeing today’s Rome. They wanted to be more developed and successful as they expand their economic activities to achieve economic growth. Many a new industry, employment and companies were formed and operated well. They always know how to source their resources and to find a good outcome through that. The VOC people are always interested in establishing new things as they also established the very first urban areas like Taiwan (previously known as Tainan) and South Africa famous towns like Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Swellendam (Andrade & Tonio, 2011). The Dutch government has introduced a trade monopoly between Cape of Good Hope (at the southern top part of Africa) and Magellan (lies between Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean). It was implemented in order to build new construction and to maintain the armed forces in reference to the Dutch government. In 1619, the VOC used Jakarta (previously known as Jacatra Batavia) to conquer Java sea and near islands. Due to this, it was unable to focus on the business which was going well before. The United Dutch East India Company was implemented as a great power and the strong territorial power in the Java Sea. Until the 18th century, the company faced a lot of debts and then took the decision to revoked the company’s charter which took over their debts. British East India Company was referred to as the “state within a state” which has the ability to make war or peace anywhere in the East.

The United Dutch East India Company (VOC) was interested in forming the trade with Asia and sent almost 4,785 ships to expand the trade of Asian goods (Liberman & Victor, 2009). A fleet by East India Company has also been sent to Asia to carry out the goods. By the perfect shape and quality goods, VOC gained a large amount of profit and become more interested in trade.

United Dutch East India Company (VOC) was considered as one of the richest company by 1602, hence they were used to send millions of Europeans for the trade with Asia which in result increased the growth of trade between United Dutch East India Company and European counterparts. The Dutch East India Company along with the Dutch West India Company was considered as an international and a powerful hand of the Dutch Republic which can expand the Dutch Empire to its largest. The United Dutch East India Company was not only a trading company but also indulge in the military-political-economic complex (Adam & Clulow, 2015). The government indirectly helped the United Dutch East India Company which was then referred to as “state within another state”

State within another state is the ruling government which operates independently on their own agendas. It has a team of powerful armed forces, intelligence agencies, formal & secret police service, and bureaucracy. The main aim of “State within the state also called Deep state” is to enhance power and authority with security within the job. Many a country like Netherland, New York, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mauritius, Taiwan and Japan have influences of United Dutch East India Company (VOC).

The Dutch were expert in expanding the business, constructing shipbuilding, maintaining navigation, and so on. They have travelled all around the world and adopt mature knowledge. Dutch symbols can be seen all over the world in the form of language, construction, planning, and so on. The world’s map is enriched by the Dutch’s symbols as the Dutch have a free hand on map making and map printing. They mapped every virtual of their travel and ventures along with all commercial networks (Marx & Karl, 2016). Dutch has already invaded the unknown corners of the world with their skills and talent. The positive thing of Dutch was they were always open to learning and do not have any unnecessary attitude of their capabilities. They always believe in giving and taking knowledge. The United Dutch East India Company along with the United Dutch West India Company gives incredible structures to the world.

The 1590s to 1720s which was considered as the golden age of Dutch era has benefitted the world in several ways. The voyages of the fund in this period was taken by the famous Willem Janszoon, Henry Hudson, and Abel Tasman which fill their talent to the civilised world. Many a navigators and explorers learn during this period and leave the shadow of their talent in the world. Even today we can see how beautifully everything was constructed which also shaped the geographical knowledge.

References for The Transformation of Commodity Capital and Money Capital

Andrade, Tonio, (2017).How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press).

Clulow & Adam., (2015).‘Finding the Balance: European Military Power in Early Modern Asia’, History Compass 13(3). 148–157

Lieberman, & Victor.,(2009).Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, , Vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press).

Marx & Karl (2016). ‘The Transformation of Commodity Capital and Money Capital into Commodity-Dealing Capital and Money-Dealing Capital or into Merchant’s Capital’, in Karl Marx, Marx’s Economic Manuscript of 1864–1865 (Leiden: Brill).

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Accounting and Finance Assignment Help

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