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Trillion-dollar mega corporations are a very big deal these days. Only about 2 or 3 exist in the modern world and they’re primarily tech companies that have achieved this status by capitalizing on cutting edge modern technology (and probably a bit of optimistic speculation). But there is one corporation that has snaked its way through history and may have very well been the largest corporation in history.

This was a company that laid the foundations for modern multinationals and created systems, procedures, and expectations that we take for granted today.


📚 Want to learn more about the economics of the Dutch East India Company? We recommend reading “The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire “, by William Dalrymple 👉 (as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases)

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Sources & Citations –

Lucassen, J., 2004. A multinational and its labor force: the Dutch East India Company, 1595–1795. International Labor and Working-Class History

Landwehr, J., 1991. VOC: a bibliography of publications relating to the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1800. Brill Hes & De Graaf.

Van Dyke, P.A., 1997. How and why the Dutch East India Company became competitive in intra-Asian trade in East Asia in the 1630s. Itinerario

Robertson, J. and Funnell, W., 2012. The Dutch East-India Company and accounting for social capital at the dawn of modern capitalism 1602–1623. Accounting, Organizations and Society

Gerstell, D., 1991. Administrative Adaptability: The Dutch East India Company and Its Rise to Power. Journal of Political Economy

Gelderblom, O., De Jong, A. and Jonker, J., 2013. The formative years of the modern corporation: The Dutch East India Company VOC, 1602–1623. The journal of economic history


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