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Economic Warfare and the SeaGrand Strategies for Maritime Powers, c. 1600-1945$
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David Morgan-Owen and Louis Halewood

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621594

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621594.001.0001

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Convoys and Companies: Privatising Economic Warfare at Sea in the Dutch Republic, 1580–1800

Convoys and Companies: Privatising Economic Warfare at Sea in the Dutch Republic, 1580–1800

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter Three Convoys and Companies: Privatising Economic Warfare at Sea in the Dutch Republic, 1580–1800
Source:
Economic Warfare and the Sea
Author(s):

Erik Odegard

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621594.003.0004

When the Dutch Republic and Habsburg Spain went to war again in 1621, the Dutch were confronted by a well-run campaign against its trade and fisheries mainly operating out of Dunkirk. This chapter studies how the Dutch Republic responded to this threat. It argues that consistent efforts were made to outsource protection of trade and fisheries to those groups which profited from it. Rather than centralising decision-making and monopolise violence at sea, the Dutch state devolved responsibility to lower levels of government, corporations and chartered companies, and private firms. These ships were mainly uses for convoy duty. This chapter argues that this devolution was instrumental in protecting Dutch commerce and provided ships to the fleet in crises such as the Battle of the Downs as well. But from the middle of the seventeenth century this system would deteriorate and more tasks would be taken up by the admiralties themselves.

Keywords:   Dutch Republic, Dunkirk, Privateering, Convoy, Chartered companies, Battle of the Downs

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