Since the middle of the 16th century, the Dutch had also been making sustained attempts to find out a route to India and the East.
In 1565, Dutch had opened up by trade with Russia and began to explore, through the land, eastwards towards china.
The Dutch company was started in 1592 by a group of Amsterdam merchants.
In 1593, under the famous William Barents, they made their first determined efforts to reach Asia by the northeast passage.
The first Dutch expedition which successfully reached the East Indies was that of Cornelius Houtman in 1596 and returned with large cargo in 1597.
The Indian Archipelago was opened to the Dutch.
In 1602, all the Dutch companies were amalgamated into the Dutch East India Company.
A charter was also given. It gave a monopoly of eastern trade to the company which was also empowered to wage war, make treatises, occupy territories and build fortresses.
The main object of the Dutch Company was trade. The Dutch concentrated their attention on the Spice Islands in the Far East.
The Dutch conquered Malacca from the Portuguese in 1641.
In 1658, they acquired Ceylon.
The Dutch settlements in India, except the fort of Geldria at Pulicat, were all unfortified trading posts.
The spices of the archipelago were exchanged for cotton goods from Gujarat and the Coromandel Coast.
Admiral Van der Haghen opened up trade with the Coromandel Coast and planned to set up a permanent factory at Masulipatam early in 1605.
Another factory was founded at Pettapoli (Nizampatam) but the oppressions of the local governors were heavy and there was little relief even after a mission to the Sultan of Golcunda secured farmans fixing the duty levied at 4%.
In 1610, upon negotiating with the king of Chandragiri, the Dutch were permitted to found another factory at Pulicat.
Textiles, woven according to special patterns sent from Bantam and Batavia, constituted the chief export of the Coromandel ports.
Indigo was exported from Masulipatam. Rice, Diamond and slaves for Batavia were also exported.
Porto Novo was started in 1680 was a prosperous centre of cotton-weaving.
Aurangzeb’s conquest of Golcunda marked the decline of the Coromandel government.
The Dutch failed in their main aim of securing a monopoly of pepper trade based on contracts with the local chiefs and secured at low prices.
In the 17th century, Dutch broke down the Portuguese monopoly by the open and persistent use of force, capturing their ships.
The Dutch dislodged the Portuguese from India’s maritime trade.
The Dutch instead of the spices greatly promoted the export of textiles.
The number of cotton goods sold in Amsterdam alone by the Dutch Company during 1684-89 came to 1.12 million pieces.
Other commodities exported by the Dutch were Indigo, Saltpetre and Bengal raw silk.
The credit for making Indian textiles the premier export from India goes to the Dutch.
The Dutch conceded to the British after their defeat in the Battle of Sedera in 1759.