As we have seen, the contrast between the VOC and the Estado, the Dutch Republic and Portugal, may be conceived as that between center and semi-periphery, where Brazil and the West Indies might be conceived as the periphery. The vast flows of capital at the VOC’s disposal, to be poured into hazardous trading ventures, can partly be explained by the prosperity of the Republic and by its role as the central money market in Europe. Again, the Portuguese habitually complained that the Dutch had at their disposal an “infinite number” of ships.