Batavia: the Capital City of the Transnational Company

The Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagni, (VOC) or the Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted the power to carry out 21 year monoply and colonial activities in Asia. The VOC always considered as the first multinational company and the first company to issue stock. The VOC also granted a quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies in Asia.

Since it establishment in 1602, the VOC finally established  its capital city in 1619 at the location known as Jakarta (or Batavia). Although the Heeren XVII or the Chamber of 17 is the body that have overall control on the all VOC activites, but actually the Governor General of the VOC is the main administrator of the VOC’s activities in Asia. At that time, the Governor General is already accompanied by Council of the Indies (Raad van Indie), an agency that the main task was serves to advise and to monitor the Governor General policy. The creation of the Council of the Indies, because of the nature of the despotic power of a Governor General.

Batavia Map

In 1619, Jan Pieterzoon Coen was appointed as the 4th Governor-General of the VOC. He finally saw the possibility of the VOC becoming an strongest colonial power in Asia, both political and economic. On 30 May 1619, Coen, backed by a force of nineteen ships, destroy the Jayakarta to ashes and and finally he established Batavia as the VOC headquarters.


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