Dutch East India Company VOC


The Dutch have had a special relationship with water for centuries. Not only did they wrest their territory from the sea, but they also wanted to conquer the rest of the world across the seas. The VOC or Dutch East India Company, the trading company that shipped spices from Asia, is a good example.

Shipping route to Asia

Around the 15th and 16th centuries the spice trade was ruled by the Portuguese, whose Vasco da Gama had discovered the shipping route to Asia. As soon as they were familiar with the routes, the Dutch established trade relationships with Asian countries like Ceylon, Malacca, Thailand, Vietnam and China. At the height of its existence the VOC had 25,000 employees and pretty much ruled the area.

Corrupt trade

Thousands of soldiers hungry for adventure ensured that the people traded with the Dutch. They were also corrupt and lined their pockets through smuggling. The VOC went under in the second half of the 18th century because it could not compete with the English, who took over control of trade in the area.

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