Dr Thomas Crump moved to Amsterdam in 1972 to take up an appointment in the University's Social Sciences Faculty, which occupies the original corporate headquarters of the VOC - the Dutch East Indies Company. His interest in the VOC goes back to 1980, when he set up a research project in Japan, where, for a period of more than 200 years, starting in the mid-17th century, the Company enjoyed a complete monolopy of foreign trade granted by the ruling shoguns. This was a extension of its successful exploitation of the wealth of the East Indies during the 16th and 17th centuries.

In the first hundred years, by facing off all its european rivals - where necessary by force of arms - the company brought unprecedented wealth to the Netherlands. This will be the subject of the first lecture.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There is currently nearly 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.
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