Page 17 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 returned home safely. In 1599 yet another new combine joined the existing companies in the Asia trade. Apart from two fleets of the Oude Compagnie (0028-0030, i.e. the Derde Schipvaart and the first part of Van Neck's fleet, the Vierde Schipvaart, 0031-0034), four ships sailed in that year under Pieter Both for the Nieuwe Brabantse Compagnie (0035- 0038), which had been formed in Amsterdam by a group of merchants, yet again of Southern Netherlandish origins.1 3
During the next year however a tendency towards cooperation emerged. In Zeeland the Verenigde Zeeuwse Compagnie (United Zeeland Company) developed out of the mergerofanumberofparticipantsintheVeerseandMiddelburgseCompagnie.Balthasar de Moucheron and some others did not join in this cooperation, leaving Zeeland with still two rival companies. In Amsterdam, largely through the good offices of its burgomas- ters, a merger was brought about of the two large enterprises there. This new Eerste Geünieerde Oost Indische Compagnie (First United East India Company) was granted the monopoly on Asiatic shipping within the city of Amsterdam. But it was clear from the preparations for expeditions made elsewhere in Holland, as in Rotterdam and the cities of the Noorderkwartier (North Quarter), that merchants there were not inclined to collaborate of their own accord.
All these Holland and Zeeland enterprises were structured along the same lines as the first Compagnie van Verre. Each voyage was treated as a separate enterprise. Shareholders deposited their investment with one of the directors, but, as V an Brakel and V an Dillen have shown, they nevertheless considered themselves participants in the company as a whole. Shares could be sold, moreover.14 The shareholders had no say at all in the running of the company. The directors received for their services one per cent of the proceeds from the goods imported, as well as usually one per cent of the costs of equipment. Because of liquidation and settlement on return of the ships no permanent organization could develop. Yet there was a measure of continuity. As already mentioned, the capital sum for the first Amsterdam expedition was invested in the second one, and probably part of the proceeds of this Tweede Schipvaart was used for the fourth.15 It is quite possible that shareholders did not demand their money back after the expedition, the directors of the next enterprise being the same. This is why the companies could be given names, and the successive expeditions from Amsterdam were called eerste (first), tweede (second), etc., Schipvaart.
It stands to reason that the sharp divisions and mutual rivalry between the Republic's merchants were hardly strong weapons in the battle against foreign competition. Portugal's way of organizing shipping and trade with Asia was diametrically opposed to that of the Dutch merchants. The Portuguese crown held the monopoly of Asiatic shipping. In Asia the Portuguese had a central government, situated in Goa, in authority over all Portuguese ships and trading posts. But the difference lay not only in centralization. By the fact that the Estado da India, the body administering the crown monopoly, received its income in Asia mainly from tolls and taxes and that by practising the contract system in Europe also there was no active trading by the Portuguese, Steensgaard was persuaded to regard the
13AsurveyofthevoorcompagnieëninTerpstra,'DeVoorcompagnieën';DenHaan,Moedernegotie en grote vaart, 79-99; Gaastra, Geschiedenis van de VOC, 13-18.
14 Van Brakel, De Hollandsche Handelscompagnieën, 99, 153; Van Dillen, Het oudste aandeelhou- dersregister, 20-24.
15 Van Foreest and De Booy, De Vierde Schipvaart, I, 28-29.

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