East India Companies: Dutch Versus British

Okay, so there was a “British East India Trading Company” (biggest company in the world at the time) and a “Dutch East India Trading Company”. What is the difference?

The present day INDONESIA was known as the East Indies in the olden days. A trading company by the official name of UNITED EAST INDIA COMPANY – otherwise known as the DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY was established in Netherlands – formerly the Dutch Republic – to take care of the trade, especially SPICES – in the Far East. It flourished between 1602 and 1799.

The EAST INDIA COMPANY – otherwise known as the BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY was chartered by Queen Elizabeth-I in the year 1600 for carrying on trade with Asia – in actual fact, this company was started to break the monopoly the Dutch had over the spice trade in the East. They were not successful, so they concentrated on their trade with India. Soon after, we let them rule us.

It was the British EIC that delivered the tea that was dumped in Boston Harbor.

Other names for the British EIC are: “Honourable East India Company” and “John Company”.


What is the difference between the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company? Why the similar names? Which one was bigger?

Boston Tea Party

East India Company

2 thoughts on “East India Companies: Dutch Versus British

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