Page 20 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 modifications in volume or structure of the business: change would only be possible within the officially determined framework, or with support from the authorities. Moreover, the 1602 structure had not been chosen simply from the point of view of suitability, but as a result of a political compromise. The distribution ratio of operations across the chambers, the numerical ratio in the central governing body, all these matters were the result of a compromise aimed at reconciliation between those of Zeeland and of Amsterdam in particular.
Furthermore, in the creation of a central board of management above the six chambers, each with their own governing bodies from which their delegates were chosen, a situation was arrived at very similar to that of the Republic's own form of government. There the Staten assemblies of the provinces consisted of delegations from the towns in particular, while the States-General were made up by delegates from the provincial States. Whereas the local regents, because of their influence on the appointment of directors, came to play a major role in the VOC, many parallels were generated between the government of the Company and that of the state.
After the establishment of the charter regents outside the chamber cities, in particular those in the provinces other than Holland and Zeeland, felt excluded from the direct advantages the Company had to offer. This meant that from time to time the directors had to expect opposition, although this could not really play a role until the renewal of the charter. This opposition could usually be overcome by political pressure from the chamber cities, a certain amount of political accommodation, and material concessions from the VOC. In the Republic the monopoly was in fact never seriously contested, not even in the latter part of the eighteenth century.23
At the first extension of the charter in 1622 some changes were made in the clauses. As a result of complaints from shareholders the latter were granted some rights, while some restrictions were imposed on the directors. The extension was valid for twenty years, until January 1st, 1643, but it took until June 1647 for agreement to be reached about the next extension, the principal cause being a quarrel between shareholders and directors about the disclosure of finance. The VOC now had to pay the state one and a half million guilders, and also yielded director's seats to the cities of Haarlem and Leiden. In 1665 the government was forced out of sheer necessity, due to the onset of the Second Anglo- Dutch War, to grant the third extension for the period 1672-1700 in that self-same year. In exchange the VOC had to commit itself to supporting the state in this war with twenty ships, six of them large East Indiamen. Heavy loss of ships compelled the Company to convert this obligation into the payment of fl 2,060,000 up to September 1667.24
The Nine Years War created a similar situation. Once again the States-General de- manded maritime support, the VOC, in view of past experience, preferring payment of a sum of money. In the end the parties agreed to payment by the Company of three million guilders for the extension of the charter from 1700 to 1740. The directors managed to pay all of it in three instalments in 1696, 1697 and 1698.25 After two short extensions of one year each, it was decided that for the extension of the charter from 1740 to 1756 the state was to be paid yearly three per cent of the annual dividend. In 1748 yet another
23 Schutte, De Nederlandse Patriotten, 104.
24 On extensions of the charter Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 14-21; De Korte, De jaarlijkse
financiƫle verantwoording, 4-8.
25 See also Stapel, De VOC in de grote oorlogen.

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