During the 1930s, the young colonial administrator J.C. (Job) van Leur acquired the reputation of a rebel and iconoclast among Dutch historians. This was without doubt owing to his contentious and critical writings. In his doctoral thesis, Eenige beschouwingen betreffende den ouden Aziatischen handel (Some Observations on Traditional Asian Trade, 1934), he questioned in no uncertain terms the Europa-centric and positivistic bias of colonial historiography on early Dutch expansion overseas. Van Leur believed that the consequences of the intrusion of the early-modern European East India Companies into the trading world of Asia were not nearly as wide-ranging as most Dutch historians portrayed them. By contrast, Van Leur argued that not until commercial capitalism was succeeded in the early nineteenth century by industrial capitalism did the European presence in Asia became predominant.