Decades: 1550s 1560s 1570s 1580s 1590s - 1600s - 1610s 1620s 1630s 1640s 1650s
Years: 1597 1598 1599 1600 1601 - 1602 - 1603 1604 1605 1606 1607
March 20 - The Dutch East India Company is established as The United East India Company by the Dutch States-General
May 15 - Bartolomew Gosnold becomes the first European to discover Cape Cod.
June - James Lancaster's East India Company fleet arrives at Achin, Sumatra to deal with the local ruler. Having defeated Portugal's ally, the ruler is happy to do business, and Lancaster seizes a large Portuguese Galleon and loots it.
The Netherlands begins establishing itself as ruler of Indonesia.
Ben Jonson writes Poetaster
William Shakespeare writes The Merry Wives of Windsor