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The Dutch West India Company was a corporation formed in 1621. It was modeled on the Dutch East India Company, which was set up to trade in the East Indies. This video segment from Dutch New York describes how this new company had a monopoly on trade and set up trading posts on the West Coast of Africa, on the coast of what is now Brazil, in the Caribbean, and along the Hudson River in what is now New York. The company had a military purpose as well, as it was directed to attack ships sailed by enemies of the Dutch Republic.
Learn more about Dutch New York.