A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
to have found these in the continent or islands proposed to be discovered by Roggewein.  This also accounts for the extraordinary heat and violence of the Dutch East India Company, against those who were engaged on the present expedition, and is the true secret of the dispute so warmly carried on by the two Companies, and so wisely decided by the States-General.  When the Dutch East India Company persecuted and destroyed Le Maire for his voyage of discovery, under pretence of interfering within their exclusive boundaries, the government did not interfere, because at that time the power of the East India Company was of the highest importance to the state:  But, as the government of Holland became better established, and especially since a share in the public administration has been acquired by such as are conversant in trade, the concerns of the East India Company have been viewed in a new light.  The first who explained this matter clearly was that consummate statesman and true patriot, John de Witte, whose words are most worthy the attention of the reader.

[Footnote 5:  A long, indistinct, and uninteresting account of this project is here omitted, which Harris alleges might have transferred the whole commerce of Europe to the Dutch, but for which opinion he advances no substantial reasons, or rather none at all.—­E.]

“When the East India Company had attained to a certain extent of power and grandeur, its interests came not only to clash with, but grew absolutely opposite to those of the country.  For, whereas the advantage of the nation consists in the increase of manufactures, commerce, and freight of ships; the interests of the Company are to promote the sale of foreign manufactures, and that with the smallest extent of traffic and navigation that can be contrived.  Hence, if the East India Company can gain more by importing Japan cloths, India quilts, carpets, and chintzes, than by raw silk; or, if the Company, by creating an artificial scarcity of nutmegs, mace, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices, can raise their price so as to gain as much profit by the sale of 100 tons, as it would otherwise gain by the sale of 1000 tons, we are not to expect that it will import raw silks, or be at the expence of transporting 1000 tons of spice; though the former would assist and encourage our manufactures at home, and the latter would increase our navigation.

This chain of reasoning is so plain, and so evidently agrees with the interests of all nations, as well as with those of Holland, that it is impossible for any unprejudiced person not to discern that all exclusive companies destroy, instead of promoting, the commerce of the countries in which they are established.  The same great statesman already quoted observes, “That the more any country extends its foreign conquests, the more of its stock must necessarily be spent, for the preservation and defence of these conquests:  And consequently, by how much the greater are its dominions, so much the less is that company able to prosecute the trade, for the promotion of which it was erected."[6]—­Harris.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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