European colonization, Spice Islands, Banda islands, Bandanese, Anglo-Dutch conflict, Portuguese, French, Dutch East India Company, Neira island, Lonthor
Europeans began to colonize different areas of the world as soon as they became aware of their existence. Explorers sailing out of England, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands worked tirelessly to comb the vast regions of the world for suitable additions to their respective empires. Islands and whole continents quickly became annexed to the European powers without any consideration of native interests. European conquerors had little consideration for indigenous people and those that did not submit to European influence were summarily annihilated. As their international influence grew, European countries soon began to use their far-flung colonies as staging grounds for their inter-European conflicts.
[...] The conflict between the English and Dutch interests in the Spice Islands led to the near extinction of the Bandanese peoples. Disputes over the price of nutmeg and the effect of British interference on the European spice market spilled over into the lives of the innocent natives. The desire to introduce flavor into seemingly bland cuisine led to the deaths of thousands of women and children. Following the massacre on Lonthor, the Dutch were able to acquire their nutmeg monopoly and help it for nearly two hundred years. [...]
[...] The history of Anglo-Dutch involvement in the Banda Islands is a result of the spices and the desire for a monopoly on their production and exportation: “from the very first English and Dutch presence conflicting interests put relations under such tension that they immediately erupted into violent clashes” (Loth, 709). The Dutch and the British sailed to Banda for the sole purpose of nutmeg and mace and thousands of Bandanese natives died for that same spice. The Portuguese were the first to arrive at the Banda Islands in 1511, following the explorations of Antonio d'Abreu, but were treated with caution and distrust by the locals. (Villiers, 740). The Bandanese stubbornly resisted Portuguese efforts of establishing control over the islands and were wary of the Catholic ministers. [...]
[...] The Dutch responded by massacring an entire village and built a fort on Neria, an island close to Lonthor (Loth, 711). Furthermore, the Dutch forced the remaining chiefs on Lonthor to submit to the Dutch presence by blockading their ports. As the Bandalese ran out of food and began to starve, they had no choice but to give in to Dutch demands: They submitted to a monopolistic contract that was henceforth misinterpreted by the Dutch as to be valid for all Banda, including the outer islands. [...]
[...] Troubled by the fear of an alliance between the British and the Bandanese, the Dutch responded to the British interference with force. In 1616, the Dutch sent a squadron of nine ships to the island of Ay to prevent further British occupation. Shortly before the Dutch had arrived, the English had entered into an agreement with the local chiefs for protection and hastily sent over four of their own ships. The Dutch ships fired on the British, who quickly fled, and the Dutch descended on the Bandanese. [...]
[...] Works Cited Hanna, Willard Anderson. Indonesian Banda: Colonialism and Its Aftermath on the Nutmeg Island. New York: Institute for the Study of Human Issues Loth, C. Vincent. “Armed Incidents and Unpaid Bills: Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in the Banda Islands in the Seventeenth Century.” Modern Asian Studies, Vol (1995): pp 740. Villiers, J. [...]
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