chapter  5
30 Pages

Sailors, Soldiers, and Arms Abroad, Part 2

Beyond Europe
WithKees Boterbloem

This chapter addresses the Dutch arms trade and mercenary warfare in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. It tries to establish the nature and role of the seventeenth-century Dutch trading companies, the VOC and WIC. The competition and armed conflicts with European competitors and non-European polities are outlined. The chapter indicates the limitations of political and military power and of the European military revolution. It attempts to assess the link between Dutch bellicosity and their involvement in the violence of the slave trade. The onset of the Dutch decline in military, political, and economic terms is described.