A report on Groot Desseyn

Plan devised in 1623 by the Dutch West India Company to seize the Portuguese/Spanish possessions of the Iberian Union in Africa and the Americas, in order that the Spanish would not collect enough money for their war against The Netherlands.

- Groot Desseyn

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Dutch West India Company

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Chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors.

Chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors.

The West India House in Amsterdam, headquarters of the Dutch West India Company from 1623 to 1647
Willem Usselincx, co-founder of the Dutch West India Company
The Swaanendael Colony along the Delaware
Piet Heyn, GWC admiral who captured the Spanish silver fleet in 1628.
Recife or Mauritsstad – capital of Nieuw Holland
Warehouse of the GWC in Amsterdam

A Groot Desseyn ("grand design") was devised to seize the Portuguese colonies in Africa and the Americas, so as to dominate the sugar and slave trade.

Dutch Gold Coast

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Portion of contemporary Ghana that was gradually colonized by the Dutch, beginning in 1612.

Portion of contemporary Ghana that was gradually colonized by the Dutch, beginning in 1612.

The Dutch Gold Coast around 1675
Painting by Johannes Vingboons of both Fort São Jorge at Elmina and Fort Nassau at Moree
The Dutch Gold Coast around 1675
Elmina Castle in the Blaeu-Van der Hem Atlas
Map of the Gold Coast ordered by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter in 1666, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War
The first page of the Treaty of Butre, signed on 17 August 1656
Portrait Governor-General Herman Willem Daendels.
The Ashanti princes Kwasi Boachi and Kwame Poku, who were sent to the Netherlands to receive education
The Dutch Gold Coast after the transfer of forts with the British
Rare photograph of Elmina from around 1865, showing parts of the old town later destroyed during the British bombardment
The bombardment of Elmina
Estimates of the Atlantic slave trade. The blue bar represents the number of slaves that boarded ships in Africa, the red bar the number that disembarked in America, the remainder having died during the voyage.
Map of Elmina around 1665 by Johannes Vingboons
Map of Elmina around 1799 by J.C. Bergeman
Portrait of Jacobus Capitein

After the Twelve Years's Truce ended in 1621, the Dutch West India Company was established, which tried to seize the Portuguese colonies in Africa and America as part of the Groot Desseyn plan.

Dutch Brazil

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Colony of the Dutch Republic in the northeastern portion of modern-day Brazil, controlled from 1630 to 1654 during Dutch colonization of the Americas.

Colony of the Dutch Republic in the northeastern portion of modern-day Brazil, controlled from 1630 to 1654 during Dutch colonization of the Americas.

Map of Dutch Brazil from 1630-1654, overlayed on a modern day map of Brazil
Dutch siege of Olinda and Recife.
Map of Dutch Brazil from 1630-1654, overlayed on a modern day map of Brazil

As part of the Groot Desseyn plan, Admiral Jacob Willekens in December 1623 led a West Indische Compagnie (WIC) force to Salvador, which was then the capital of Brazil and the center of a captaincy famous for its sugarcane.

Piet Pieterszoon Hein

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Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War.

Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War.

After capital had been raised for the Dutch West India Company, the company's directors, the Heeren XIX, devised the Groot Desseyn in October 1623.

Dutch Loango-Angola

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Name for the possessions of the Dutch West India Company in contemporary Angola and the Republic of the Congo.

Name for the possessions of the Dutch West India Company in contemporary Angola and the Republic of the Congo.

The city of Luanda by Johannes Vingboons (1665)
Capture of Luanda by Cornelis Jol of the Dutch West India Company in 1641
The city of Luanda by Johannes Vingboons (1665)

As part of the Groot Desseyn plan, the Dutch West India Company, which had been founded in 1621, tried to capture Luanda after they had captured Salvador da Bahia, the capital of Brazil.

Attack on San Salvador (c. 1624), Oil painting by Andries van Eertvelt (1590–1652)

Capture of Salvador

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Military engagement between Portugal and the Dutch West India Company, that occurred in 1624, and ended in the capture of the Brazilian city of Salvador by the latter.

Military engagement between Portugal and the Dutch West India Company, that occurred in 1624, and ended in the capture of the Brazilian city of Salvador by the latter.

Attack on San Salvador (c. 1624), Oil painting by Andries van Eertvelt (1590–1652)

This capture was part of the Groot Desseyn plan of the Dutch West India Company.

Filips van Zuylen

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Dutch corsair active in the 1620s.

Dutch corsair active in the 1620s.

As part of the Groot Desseyn plan, he was particularly active against the Portuguese in West Africa but failed to capture the colony of Luanda, an important center for the Atlantic slave trade, in early 1624.