Founding West Indian Company
When the truce of 1609 between Spain and the Netherlands came to an end in 1621, the Dutch States-General granted a charter to the West India Company. This charter gave the Company a monopoly of twenty-four years of trade with the countries of America and the West Indies. It was also authorised to make, in the name and by the authority of the States-General, contracts, leagues and alliances with the princes and the natives of the lands within its sphere of action. In addition, it could build fortresses, appoint governors, soldiers, and officers of justice, and generally establish colonies under the sovereignty of the States-General.
The general affairs of the Company were managed by an Assembly of Nineteen. There were separate Chambers for several provinces of the Netherlands under the control of Directors representing the shareholders in these provinces. These Chambers might, and frequently did, embark upon ventures of their own in which the Company had no financial interest. The colonisation of Essequibo was carried out by the Chamber of Zeeland acting separately in this way.