History Establishment and Trade Office VOC in Indonesia


On March 20, 1602, Dutch merchants established the VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) or the Dutch East India Company, which was officially named the East India Company Association.

IPHEDIA.com - The arrival of Europeans by sea was initiated by Vasco da Gama who in 1497-1498 managed to sail from Europe to India via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.

Since then, they no longer need to compete with Middle Eastern traders for access to East Asia, which has been traveled by dangerous land routes.

Initially, the main purpose of European nations to East and Southeast Asia including Indonesia was for trade, as did the Dutch.

Trade missions which were then continued with settlement politics (colonization) were carried out by the Dutch with the kingdoms on Java Islands, Sumatra and Maluku.

Meanwhile, in Suriname and Curaçao, the goal Netherlands from the beginning was purely colonization (settlement). It was against this trade background that the beginning colonialization Indonesian nation (Dutch East Indies) began.

During the 16th century the Portuguese dominated the spice trade, using Lisbon as the main port. Before the revolution in the Netherlands, the city of Antwerp played an important role as a distributor in Northern Europe.

After 1591, the Portuguese cooperated with firms from Germany, Spain and Italy to use Hamburg as the main port as a place to distribute goods from Asia, so that the Portuguese moved trade routes to not pass through the Netherlands.

The cooperation with these firms appeared to be that the trade carried out by the Portuguese was inefficient and unable to supply the ever-increasing demand, especially for pepper. The supply was not smooth causing the price of pepper to skyrocket at that time.

In addition, the Unification of Portugal and the Kingdom of Spain, which was at war with the Netherlands at that time in 1580, raised its own concerns for the Netherlands.

These factors then pushed the Dutch into the intercontinental spice trade, especially after Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman discovered the "secret route" of Portuguese shipping.

Through this route Cornelis de Houtman's first voyage to Banten, the main port on Java in 1595-1597 with ships and their crews suffered much damage.

In 1596, four expedition ships led by Cornelis de Houtman sailed for Indonesia, and it was Indonesia's first contact with the Dutch. This expedition reached Banten, the main pepper port in West Java.

Here, they were involved in feuds with the Portuguese and local residents. Houtman sailed again eastward through the north coast of Java. They were attacked by local residents in Sedayu resulting in the loss of 12 crew members, and were involved in a feud with local residents in Madura resulting in the killing of a local leader.

After losing half of the crew, the following year they decided to return to Holland, but the spices they brought were enough to make a profit.

On 31 December 1600, Britain started a trading company in Asia called the British East India Company and was headquartered in Calcutta. In 1602, the Dutch followed and France did not want to be left behind by establishing the French East India Company in 1604.

On 20 March 1602, Dutch traders founded the VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) or the Dutch East India Company, which was officially named the East India Company Association.

This Dutch trading alliance which has a monopoly for trading activities in Asia. In fact, this company is considered to be the first multinational company in the world, as well as the first company to issue a share sharing system.

Although the VOC was actually an association of trading bodies only, this trading body was special because it was supported by the state and provided with facilities and special privileges (octrooi). For example, the VOC could have an army, own currency, negotiate with other countries and declare war.

Many people refer to the VOC as a state within a state. The VOC has six sections (Kamers) in Amsterdam, Middelburg (for Zeeland), Enkhuizen, Delft, Hoorn and Rotterdam. Delegates from this room gathered as Heeren XVII or 17 masters.

Among Indonesians and even in Malaysia, the VOC was popularly known as kompeni or kumpeni. This term comes from the word compagnie in Dutch which refers to the meaning of the company.

In Indonesia, at that time the company established its headquarters in Batavia (now Jakarta) on Java Island. Other colonial posts were also established elsewhere, such as in the spice islands (Maluku), which included the Banda Islands, where the VOC exercised a monopoly on nutmeg and mace.

In 1603, the VOC obtained permission in Banten to establish a representative office and in 1610, Pieter Both was appointed Governor General first VOC (1610-1614), but chose Jayakarta as the administrative center VOC. Meanwhile, Frederik de Houtman became Governor VOC in Ambon (1605-1611) and after that became Governor of Maluku (162-1623). (as/ip)

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