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3 - Grotius and the East Indies

from Part I - Grotius in Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2021

Randall Lesaffer
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Janne E. Nijman
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

There has been much speculation about how much Grotius knew about Asian law and maritime trading customs, and at what stage in his early career he familiarized himself with them. This chapter divides Grotius’ early career (before 1618) into four stages, each corresponding to a phase in his intellectual growth on the subject of Asia at large. First, defending the Santa Catarina incident which saw him drafting De Jure Praedae (and with it implicitly Mare Liberum) before 1606/7; second, defending the VOC’s interests in the lead up to the Treaty of Antwerp and the Twelve Years Truce 1606/7-1609; third, acting as the intermediary for VOC admiral Cornelis Matelieff (Cornelis Corneliszoon Matelieff) 1608-1612/3, and participation in the Anglo-Dutch fisheries and colonies conferences of 1613 (London) and 1615 (The Hague). It is argued that in his various capacities in government and as advisor to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), Grotius broadened his knowledge about Asia in different ways, and through his services to the state and company helped lay the intellectual and foundations for what has been sometimes dubbed the First Dutch Empire (c.1605-1795).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

Akvelt, L. (ed.), Machtsstrijd om Malakka. De reis van VOC-admiraal Cornelis Cornelisz Matelief naar Oost-Azië, 1605–1608 (Zutphen, 2013).Google Scholar
Boxer, C.R., The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 (London, 1965).Google Scholar
Boxer, C.R., Jan Compagnie in War and Peace, 1602–1799 (Hong Kong, 1979).Google Scholar
Israel, J., The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World, 1606–1661 (Oxford, 1982).Google Scholar
Khalilieh, H., Islamic Law of the Sea. Freedom of Navigation and Passage Rights in Islamic Thought (Cambridge, 2019).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meilink Roelofsz, M.A.P., Asian Trade and European Influence in the Indonesian Archipelago between 1500 and about 1630 (The Hague, 1962).Google Scholar
Reid, A.J.S., Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680 (2 vols., New Haven and New York, 1988–90).Google Scholar
Wolters, O.W., History, Culture and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives (Singapore, 1982).Google Scholar

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