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Dutch East India Company

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The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indian Company") was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock. It was also arguably the world's first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies.

In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope (the southwestern tip of Africa, currently in South Africa) to re-supply VOC ships on their journey to East Asia. This post later became a full-fledged colony, the Cape Colony, when more Dutch and other Europeans started to settle there.

For full history visit Wikipedia.