The lucrative trade which prospered the Portuguese merchants compelled the jealous Dutch to get direct access to the spice markets in South-East Asia. After undertaking a series of voyages since 1596, they set up a small commerical organisation, named the United East India Company in 1602
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The main feature of the Dutch trade in India and South East Asia was their conflict with the Portuguese and the English merchants. Their rivalry with the English was influenced by two motives, first, to take advantage agaianst the Portuguese who were the allies of the Spain, the enemy of the Portuguese, their first object was fulfilled and their second objective brought them in continued hositility with the English.
Highlights of the Dutch activities in India as as follows :-
- Formation of the Company :The Dutch East India Company was formed with powers to make wars, conclude treaties, acquire territories and build fortesses in March, 1602, by a Charter of the Dutch Parliament.
- Establishment of Factories :The Dutch set up factories at Masulipatam (1605), Pulicat (1610), Surat(1616), Bimilipatam (1641), K.Arikal (1645), Chinura (1653), Kasimbazar, Barangore, Patna, Balasore, Negapatam (all in 1658) and Cochin (1663)
- The Dutch replaced the Portuguese as the most dominat power in European trade with the East, including india.
- Pulicat was their main centre in India till 1690, after which Negapatam replaced it.
- The Dutch conceded to English after their defeat in the Battle of Bedera in 1759.
|Cases of the Decline of Portuguese and Dutch Companies
| A. Portuguese
- Inefficient successor of Albuquerque
- Corruption in Portuguese administration
- Religious intolerance of the Portugueses
- Rise of Dutch, French and the British
- Increasing Anglo- French rivalry
- Growing interference from the Dutch governement in the internal affairs of the company
- Dutch government's stress on maintaining its primacy over the affairs of the company raher than focussing on carrying trade.
- Unsatisfactory behaviour of the Dutch.