the amsterdam stock exchange

In the 17th century, the Netherlands—a tiny republic in Western Europe—became the most commercial country in the world. This was examplified by the Stock Exchange of Amsterdam, founded in 1611. The exchange allowed businessmen to buy stocks of various companies, allowing these companies to finance expensive projects, including their massive fleet (see the previous post).

Although shareholder companies had existed in earlier times (at least as far back as Ancient Rome), the Amsterdam Stock Exchange is generally regarded as the world's first proper stock exchange.