Denmark as a colonial powerTheme
Spices, sugar, slaves and a special relationship
The great European naval powers underwent an expansion in the 16th and 17th centuries that saw them establish colonies and trading posts around the world. Denmark took part, but as a bit player. Denmark's colonies fell into three categories, each defined by their geographical location – North Atlantic, South Atlantic and the Far East - and the way they were exploited – trading monopoly to market-oriented production.
In 1620, an expedition sent by King Christian IV was granted control of part of southern India in exchange for an annual payment to the local raja. The fishing village of Tranquebar was to become a fortified trading station with the aim of buying and storing Indian spices and textiles. The colony and its trade were administered for more than a century by companies that had a monopoly on certain items. The first, the Danish East India Company, was set up and went bankrupt in the early 1600s. It took more than …