Genesis and Nemesis of the First Dutch Colonial Empire in Asia and South Africa, 1596–1811
Genesis and Nemesis of the First Dutch Colonial Empire in Asia and South Africa, 1596-1811 by Professor by Special Appointment Gerrit Knaap was recently published by Brill publishers. In this volume, Knaap examines the construction of the Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) empire.
Building an empire
Based upon a sweeping command of VOC primary sources, Knaap’s manuscript offers a thought-provoking thematic examination and chronological survey of the Dutch Republic’s overseas and colonial expansion in Asia and South Africa, mainly through the VOC and its successors, the Batavian Republic, the Kingdom of Holland, and Franco-Dutch Java, over a period of more than two centuries, 1596-1811.
It elucidates and deals with several conceptual and theoretical issues that are intrinsically important and germane to a polity’s definition of and how it chooses to execute the process of expansion overseas in the early modern period.
One of this work’s major arguments and contributions is its advocacy that the Dutch VOC’s expansion in Asia was an imperial project and must be seen as an act of empire, or, at the very minimum, the attempt to construct one via the innovative utilisation of a highly organised and dynamic commercial institution with significant political and diplomatic power and naval and military resources.