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 History of the ‘Dutch East India Company’

In the greed of India’s wealth and spices, many European countries came to India to do business. The port of trade through the sea route was discovered by the Portuguese for the Europeans. The traders who entered India after the Portuguese were the Dutch.

History of the 'Dutch East India Company'
The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( PHOTO CREDIT-  WIKIPEDIA)

Entry of Dutch East India Company into India

      The inhabitants of the present European country of Netherlands (Holland) are called ‘Dutch’. The Dutch were the only ones after the Portuguese to enter India by sea from Europe. The Dutch were said to be experts in maritime trade. The United East India Company of the Netherlands was established in 1602 AD for the purpose of trading with the eastern countries including India. This company was allowed by the Dutch government to trade with India as well as with East India.

         “In 1605 AD, the Dutch established their first factory in ‘Musalipatam’ of Andhra Pradesh. Later the Dutch established their trade in other regions of India as well.”

     Rise of Dutch Company in India

As we mentioned earlier, the Dutch established their first factory in 1605 AD at Musalipatam in Andhra Pradesh, a state in South India. The Dutch established their trading centers in Surat and Bengal in 1616 and 1627 AD respectively. The Dutch, advancing in the trade competition, won Ceylon from the Portuguese in 1656 AD, and in this sequence of victory, the Dutch also took control of the Portuguese colonies located on the Malabar Coast in 1671 AD.

       The Dutch Company had put its trade in India in a very strong position. They had also conquered Nagapattinam from the Portuguese, after which the Dutch established themselves firmly in South India. The Dutch made huge profits by monopolizing the trade of the South, especially from the ‘pepper’ and spices trade. Apart from this, the Dutch also traded in cotton, opium, indigo, silk and rice.

Coins issued by the Dutch in India

 During the trade in India, the Dutch also did the work of minting coins. The Dutch trade continued to grow and they established coin mints at Pulicat, Cochin, Musalipatnam, Nagapattinam and Pondicherry. The Dutch got Indian gods printed on their coins. The mint at Pulicat issued gold ‘pagoda’ coins with the images of Lord Venkateswara (Vishnu). All the coins issued by the Dutch were based on samples of local coinage.

Decline of Dutch Power in India

      The defeat of the Dutch power in India started soon. After the establishment of the East India Company and its entry into India, the monopoly of the Dutch on India’s trade also ended. The Portuguese, who were very upset with the Dutch, befriended the British and formed a front against the Dutch. The East India Company had far more resources than the Dutch. There were many bloody conflicts between the Dutch and the British. Amboyna Dutch brutally murdered some British merchants, after which the East India Company captured most of the Dutch’s trading bases.

Dutch defeat in Malabar

The Dutch had to face defeat from the British on the one hand and on the other, King Marthanda Varma of Travancore defeated the Dutch badly in the Battle of Colachel (1741 AD). After this defeat, the Dutch power completely collapsed from the Malabar region.

Treaties and conflicts with the East India Company by the Dutch

   Although Dutch Coromandel and Dutch Bengal were regained to the Dutch by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 AD, a new treaty was signed in 1824 AD and these territories were again given to the East India Company. According to the treaty of 1824 AD, it was made binding on the Dutch to transfer all property and territories to the East India Company by 1 March 1825 AD. By 1828, the Dutch Company had lost all its trading areas in India.

    Under an agreement, the East India Company completely separated itself from Indonesia’s trade and the Dutch Company completely stopped trade with India.

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