On this day, 413 years ago, the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindisch Compagnie) was established. The VOC controlled the territory of Indonesia, which is an archipelago of 18,307 islands in Southeast Asia. It also controlled an area of the Malay Peninsula, which was called Malacca. When the VOC began in 1602, only one part of an island, Java, was controlled. It grew to a few more islands: Seram, Buru, and the Lease Islands of the Maluku Archipelago. It continued to grow until all of the Indonsian islands were controlled by the Netherlands. The VOC used the land of the archipelago to trade crops and other resources to other East/West India Companies. Many of the crops are tropical, as the equator runs through many of the islands. Today, the islands are the Republic of Indonesia, a large country that is the 15th largest and 4th populous nation in the world.