In the Shadow of the Company: the Dutch East India Company and its Servants in the Period of its Decline (1740-1796)


Is there any truth in the story that the morality of the servants of the Dutch East India Company in the eighteenth century was so rotten that one should believe the Dutch maxim ‘Vergaan Onder Corruptie’ – in translation something like ‘Succumbed to Corruption’ – and use this as an explanation for a very complex phenomenon? Chris Nierstrasz introduces us in his In the Shadow of the Company, to the realities of the decision makers and of the servants in the field. Responding to the changing realities in Asia, the Company could only try to use the mercantile potential of its higher echelons to postpone its downfall. In a situation in which the directors were not able to increase investment from Holland, the servants in Asia were forced to take up the challenge.
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Biographical Note

Chris Nierstrasz (b. 1978) joined the TANAP programme after obtaining his Master degrees in French and History at Leiden University. After obtaining his Ph.D. thesis in 2008 at Leiden University, he joined the Europe’s Asian Centuries project at the University of Warwick.


All those interested in the East India Companies and their roles in establishing empire, trade and fortunes in Asia.


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