Dutch

During the colonial period, the Dutch played a role in the settlement of North America. More importantly, Dutch expansion intensified the economic development of Europe and the Atlantic world. Dutch Expansion The Dutch became part of European expansion while under the control of Spain. At the time of the 1579 creation of the United Provinces, which marked partial independence from Spain, the Dutch possessed substantial practical experience in oceanic trade, which they soon turned to their own benefit. After gaining independence, the Dutch displaced Antwerp as the major trading center of Europe, and, by 1597, Dutch merchants had made their first voyage to Asia. Their goal was to supplant Portuguese dominance in the Asiatic trade, and, as part of this successful endeavor, they were introduced to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In the seventeenth century, Dutch expansion and economic development occurred in two separate, but intertwined, regions and through two joint-stock companies. The first area was the Indian Ocean trade, where the Dutch East India Company successfully struggled to define a place for itself; the second involved the Atlantic Ocean and the Dutch West India Company. In 1602, the Dutch state created the well-funded East India Company, controlled by seven governing boards, each representing a province. The company’s success stemmed from its ability to send out well-armed and well-supplied fleets, as well as from its position in the much-desired Indian Ocean trade. Instead of trying to take on the Portuguese and English directly, the Dutch focused on establishing trade enclaves close to the supply of spices. This hurt the Portuguese, who controlled commercial centers rather than production points. The company took control of Jakarta and renamed it Batvia, and this became the major trading center from which the Dutch expanded. To avoid conflict with Mughal, English, and Portuguese fleets, the Dutch followed a new route to Asia that involved sailing to Australia and then heading north. Their success in this region made them important and successful middlemen. As the Dutch worked to establish themselves in the lucrative Indian Ocean trade, they also played a vital role in the development of the plantation complex in the Americas. In the 1500s, the Netherlands was the center of European sugar distribution, and, as sugar production developed in the Americas, especially in Brazil under the Portuguese, the Dutch became involved through financial investment. Although planters still relied on slave labor from Africa, Dutch capital modernized sugar production through new technology. By the early 1600s, the Dutch, along with the English, began to challenge the position of the Spanish and Portuguese in the Americas. One of the results of these efforts was the Dutch seizure of part of Brazil (modern Suriname) from the Portuguese. The Dutch West India Company then sought to expand its role in the American carrying trade. From this base, the Dutch played an important role in expanding sugar production in the West Indies, especially after the capture of Cura§ao. Again, their position as middlemen gave the Dutch great economic power throughout the Atlantic world. At the same time, their focus upon shipping and exchange traditional middlemen activities made them less concerned with colonization. Dutch in New Netherland Dutch activities in North America centered on their colony of New Netherland, which lay along the Hudson River from Manhattan inland to modern Albany. Initial Dutch claims in North America came from an English explorer, Henry Hudson, whom the Dutch East India Company had hired in 1609 to search for a Northwest Passage to the Far East. Hudson, traveling on the Half Moon, claimed the land along the river for the Netherlands, but on his return to Europe, he stopped in England, where officials seized his ship and challenged Dutch claims. Dutch merchants saw an opportunity to become involved in the fur trade, and the Dutch States-General in 1614 incorporated the New Netherland Company and granted it a monopoly on trading rights along the Hudson River. Most of the company’s activity occurred at Fort Nassau, near Albany, but its failure to create a permanent settlement caused its grant, which expired in 1618, not to be renewed. In 1621, the joint-stock West India Company took control of the Dutch claims along the Hudson. The Dutch West India Company established two main settlements: New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island and Fort Orange near Albany. The first settlers in both were not Dutch; instead, they were French-speaking Belgians called Walloons. The company was more interested in the short-term profits of the fur trade than the long-term profits of settlement and ignored colonization while working to develop a trading relationship with the Iroquois Confederacy. In 1626, Peter Minuit took control of the colony and quickly brought stability to it by focusing the settlement on the island of Manhattan, which his predecessor, Willem Verhulst, had purchased for 60 guilders in trade goods. The Dutch used this purchase to defend their claims to the land from English challenges. In his purchase, Verhulst established the policy that all land the Dutch acquired from the local Native Americans would come through purchase or negotiation and not from expropriation. The Stadthuys in New Amsterdam (today’s New York City) served as the Dutch town hall from 1654 to 1699. Adjacent to the large stone building, at what was then the corner of Pearl Street and Coenties Slip, was the slave market. (New-York Historical Society, New York/Bridgeman Art Library) Minuit successfully centralized the colony, and, after his removal from office in 1631, the company worked to develop ways to entice settlers into the region. From this, they developed the patroonship system. Each patroon who brought over fifty settlers would receive his own manor along the Hudson River. The patroon would possess great power over his holdings, but while many patroonships were planned, only one, Rensselaerswyck, was actually created. By the late 1630s, the patroonship idea had come to little, and the company began granting more liberties and freedoms, especially economic ones. While this increased freedom expanded economic activity, it did little to increase the number of settlers. For the next two decades, the colony suffered from several unpopular governors and from increasing conflict with various neighboring English settlements. In modern Connecticut, the Dutch lost territory to the English, but, to the north, a Dutch-sponsored Iroquois army defeated the Hurons, thus drawing the Great Lakes fur trade away from Montreal to New Netherland. While Dutch relations with the Iroquois remained stable, under the leadership of Willem Kieft, relations with other tribes deteriorated. Kieft worked to acquire more Native American land, along with the ability to tax indigenous peoples. This led to Kieft’s War (1643 1645), the first of three wars against the local Algonquin tribes, which, while brutal and deadly, did not diminish Native American resistance to Dutch settlement. A truce occurred briefly in 1642, but in 1643, the Iroquois attacked the Algonquin along the lower Hudson River, and Kieft, eager to demonstrate his ability as a military leader, led a group of soldiers who massacred eighty people at Pavonia. This caused the Algonquin to unite and wreak devastation throughout the Dutch and English settlements of the region. In reaction, the Dutch fortified New Amsterdam (in the process, constructing a wall on what would become Wall Street). In March 1644, the Dutch attacked the Algonquin at Stamford, where they killed all but eight of 700 warriors. Both sides agreed to peace in 1645. In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant arrived to replace Kieft, and during his seventeen-year period in office (1647 1664), the colony grew and prospered. One of his most important reforms involved granting local governments more power, but as the colony flourished, it became a growing threat to English interests in North America. During Stuyvesant’s governorship, the Peach War of 1655 began when a Dutch farmer killed a native woman who was stealing peaches. In reaction, 2,000 Native Americans attacked New Amsterdam, causing the Dutch to attack local villages. A fragile peace was soon established. The final war with the native peoples of the region, the Esposus War (1658 1664), occurred when Native Americans attempted to halt Dutch advances onto their land. The war resulted in an important Algonquin defeat, after which they lost much of their land to the Dutch. In 1667, an English fleet sailed into New Amsterdam’s harbor, causing Stuyvesant to surrender the town without firing a shot. But the Dutch and English continued to struggle for control of the territory as a whole, and, in 1673, the Dutch recaptured the land during the third Anglo-Dutch War, only for it to be restored to the English the following year. The three Anglo-Dutch Wars (1652 1654, 1665 1667, and 1672 1674) diminished Dutch resources and hurt their global position. During this struggle between England and the Netherlands, England passed a series of Navigation Acts designed to curtail Dutch economic power. The transformation of Dutch New Amsterdam into British New York did not end Dutch influence in the region. During the seventeenth century, New Amsterdam was one of the colonies’ most culturally diverse settlements, and it included Walloons, Germans, Norwegians, Englishmen, Native Americans, and African slaves. The British authorities did not force out the Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, and New York grew not only because of British economic development but also because of its continued ties to the Dutch economy. The settlers of New Amsterdam proved capable of creating a place for themselves within New York. Ty M. Reese See also: Dutch West India Company; Fort Orange; Hudson, Henry; New Amsterdam; New Netherland; New York; New York and New Netherland (Chronology); New York City; Stuyvesant, Peter; William III of Orange and Mary II. Bibliography Boxer, C. R. The Dutch in Brazil, 1624 1654. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1957. Boxer, C. R. The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600 1800. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965. Condon, Thomas J. New York Beginnings: The Commercial Origins of New Netherland. New York: New York University Press, 1968. Israel, Jonathan I. The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness and Fall, 1477 1806. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1995. Kammen, Michael. Colonial New York: A History. New York: Scribner, 1975. Dutch West India Company The Dutch West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie) was a joint-stock company endowed with a monopoly of Dutch business in the Atlantic. Although its success was shorter-lived than that of its famous counterpart in the Eastern hemisphere, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde OostIndische Compagnie), the West India Company essentially contributed to the development of the Atlantic economy and the colonization of the North St. Nicholas Center ::: The Evolution of Zwarte Piet holidaymapq

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