1590s–1720s), the VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (Duyfken), Henry Hudson (Halve Maen) and Abel Tasman revealed largely unknown landmasses to the western world.
In the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography, the VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the modern world as we know them today.
The VOC was historically a military-political-economic complex rather than a pure trading company (or shipping company).
In terms of exploratory maritime history of the world, as a major force behind the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c.
In spite of the VOC's historical contributions, the company has long been criticized for its monopoly, colonialism, exploitation (including use of slave labour), and environmental destruction (especially deforestation).
The company's economic activity in Mauritius largely contributed to the extinction of the dodo, a flightless bird that was endemic to the island.
Around the world and especially in English-speaking countries, the VOC is widely known as the "Dutch East India Company".
In 1580 the Portuguese crown was united in a personal union with the Spanish crown, with which the Dutch Republic was at war.
View of Table Bay with ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), c. In the 1600s the size of the Dutch merchant fleet probably exceeded the combined fleets of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.
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The logo of the VOC consisted of a large capital 'V' with an O on the left and a C on the right leg.
It appeared on various corporate items, such as cannon and coins.
Further, a number of Dutchmen like Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman obtained first hand knowledge of the "secret" Portuguese trade routes and practices, thereby providing opportunity.