Spice Trade Case Study

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The history of spice trade between Europe and Asia is one riddled with influences in the political, economic, and cultural area. It was only in the 16th century that the European ships actually sailed regularly to the Asian market. As the Portuguese where the first in the late 15th century to find a trading route around the Cape of Good Hope to get to Southeast-Asia. All distribution of goods from Southeast-Asia was done from Lisbon. To avoid the Portuguese monopoly, the Dutch tried to find North-East passage to the Asian continent. After their unsuccessful attempts finding an alternative route the Dutch eventually overcame their hesitance to follow the same route as the Portuguese. The hesitance was a result of the war which the Dutch Republic…show more content…
The first expeditions were done by relatively smaller enterprises which succeeded to reach the Asian continent, but didn’t get enough goods to cover more than the costs of the trip (25-27). As the competition arose between the Dutch trade enterprises, but also from for example from the national British trade enterprise, the Dutch Republic tried in 1598 to merge the Dutch traders. Only in 1602 the Republic succeeded to create Verenigde Nederlandse Geoctroyeerde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) also known as the Dutch East India Company which created a nearly 200 year lasting trading monopoly in South-East Asia (Ricklefs,31). This essay will focus primarily on the VOC, and its political, economic and cultural impact in the Batavia and Cape of Good Hope. The main goal of the VOC was purely commercial. Parthesius states that the first destination was the commercial centre Bantam on the island Java (27). Bantam with its long history of pepper and spice trade and its International contacts seemed like the Dutch answer to Goa and Malacca which were in possession of the Portuguese. However at the arrival the Dutch found out that the Portuguese also had
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