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European colonization and its effects in the Spice islands and Banda islands

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  1. The Banda Islands and the arrival of the Portuguese
  2. Trading disputes between the Dutch and the English
  3. The refusal of the Bandanese to submit to Dutch trading terms

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 had become aware of another English factory on Lonthor and an agreement between the British and Bandanese that including a transfer of guns. As Governor- General of the company Coen was well suited for punishing the Bandanese; notorious for his use of force to achieve his end, he once proclaimed, ?Despair not, spare you enemies not, for God is with (Hanna, 97). In 1621 Coen landed a large force of trained soldiers on Lonthor and began a conquest that has become known as of the blackest pages in the history of Dutch overseas expansion? (Hanna, 103). [...]

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