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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Capitalism and the Dutch East India Company

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. Why did the Dutch enter into trade in southeast Asia?
  2. What was the VOC and why was it formed? What powers did it have?
  3. How did low interest rates help the Dutch?
  4. Why was it easy for Dutch citizens to invest?
  5. What were some important financial technologies used by the Dutch?
  6. What key advantage did the VOC have over British companies?
  7. How did the Dutch control trade in Southeast Asia?
  8. What caused the VOC to decline and eventually go bankrupt?
  9. Why isn’t the VOC a good example of modern free market capitalism, according to John Green?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. Does the example of the VOC support or contradict the argument, made elsewhere in this unit, that capitalism was the main system supporting European overseas trade in this period? Why?
  2. John Green closes the video by claiming that, “the VOC provides a chilling example of what has happened in the past when corporations become more powerful than states.” Is this convincing? What other sources or facts support, extend, or challenge this assertion?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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