The Spice Islands

There are approximately 255 million people living in this archipelago which goes by the motto bhinneka tunggal ika (unity in diversity). And we'll talk more about that soon. Out of these quarter of a billion residents less than one million live in West Papua. Maluku and Papua together make up about 24 percent of Indonesia's land mass and only 2,6 percent of the population. 87 percent of the population are Muslims of one stream or another. So let's get on to talking about the Maluku Islands.

Set far off the beaten track a large group of islands, some no more than tiny slivers of volcanic rock, others of significant size make up an archipelago within an archipelago; these islands are called the Moluccas or the Maluku Islands. There are approximately 1,000 islands in the Moluccas. Population is around Two million. The largest islands in the Moluccas are Halmahera and Seram. They lie in the northern part of the Moluccas. Other significant islands include Buru, Ambon, Ternate and Tidore. Up until 1999 the Maluku Islands were one province, but were split into North Maluku home to the largest island in the Moluccas, Halmahera. The capital of the province is Sofifi. North Maluku is predominately Muslim.

The province of Maluku has its capital in Ambon and has a large Christian population. Starting in 1999 the Moluccas were wracked by terrible strife between Muslims and Christians with thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of residents being displaced and major damage to homes, businesses, government buildings and places of worship.

The Moluccas once played an important role in world history and were a driving force in the Age of Exploration. Within this archipelago lies the core of what have been known as the Spice Islands: the only islands in the world (at the time) that grew nutmeg, mace and cloves. These spices were worth a fortune and Europeans went to a great deal of hardship, violence and deception to reach the islands and seize control of these fabled spices. By the mid-18th century their importance began to die out as the desire for their spices was replaced by the desire for coffee and tea which became the major money crops. Also, around this time nutmeg and clove were smuggled out of the Spice Islands and planted in Africa, the Caribbean and India. We'll be looking at the story in this article, but first a little anthropology and geography.

Geology, geography, wildlife

The islands' geology and geography include a wide range of ecosystems: coral reefs, tropical jungles, rainforests, swamps and marshes in the low elevation islands, active volcanoes, mangroves, salt marshes, and vast areas of sea grasses. Among the fauna are mammals such as pigs, deer, dwarf tree kangaroos of only 30cm in height, tree-dwelling cuscus, 90 species of butterflies, including the swallowtail, 25 of which are endemic to the area, frilled lizards, the quince monitor, a multitude of rare insects and birds. Birds include honey eaters, 22 species of parrots, the racket-tailed kingfisher, the giant red-crested cockatoo, nutmeg eating pigeons, birds of paradise, the maleo a megapode bird that builds its nest in rotting vegetation, cassowaries, and brown boobies. Sea creatures are extensive. But what the Moluccas are really known for are its spices.

Humans seem to have been resident in the Moluccas for about 32,000 years according to archeological evidence. The population is a mix of Melanesians and Austronesians: various populations in Asia, Oceania and Africa that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of Malaysia, East Timor, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia, as well as the Malay people of Singapore, the Polynesian peoples of New Zealand and Hawaii, and the non-Papuan people of Melanesia..

Now let's take a look at the Banda Islands. This is a group of nine or ten small islands depending on your source That lie in the southern part of the Moluccas. The islands are: Banda Neira, Banda Besar, Banda Api, Pulau Ai, Pulau Run, Pulau Hatta, Pulau Pisang, Pulau Neilaka,

The largest is Banda Besar at about 44 square km. The Banda Islands were the only source of nutmeg in the world until the mid-19th century. They are popular now for their diving and snorkeling as well as historical sights. Banda Api is an active volcano with a height of 670 meters.

Banda Neira is the main administrative center and has about 6,000 of the island groups population which is 20,000. This was the center of the trade in nutmeg. Banda Neira is just an amazingly cool island. It's small and easy to walk around. There is a basic infrastructure for tourism: a dive company, some small hotels both upscale and economy, a number of restaurants catering to tourists and some decent diving and snorkeling nearby. Transport there is still a problem however. There is a small plane that is usually full when it flies; the way that most tourists visit is by boat from Ambon. It's a long trip (six hours or so), but it's worth it.

Up until the troubles of 1999 that started in Ambon and then spread across the Moluccas, the population of Banda Neira was about 60 percent Muslims and 40 percent Christians. Ethnicity was mixed within this religious configuration. In 1999 as the trouble began to spread south of Ambon, the Indonesian navy arrived in Banda and offered to move Christians to other islands. Almost all of them accepted. Later, after the troubles had subsided, an offer was made to move the back to Banda Neira, but the overwhelming majority of them elected to stay at their new homes: Bali, Sulawesi, islands to the farther south, etc. They sold their houses to the Muslim residents. Banda Neira is now about 99% Muslim. This is evident when you walk the streets of the island.

Banda Neira has government offices, schools, a wharf, an old church from the Dutch period, several mosques, a Chinese temple, traditional markets, several cemeteries, including one with old Dutch graves, Fort Nassau which is being renovated, and Fort Belgica which is a tourist draw. A small airstrip is on the island as well, with plans to build a larger one in order to make it easier for tourists to visit. The first vice-president of the Republic of Indonesia and the co-signer of the declaration of independence, Mohammad Hatta was exiled here.

Now back to the spices again.

The Spice Islands and the Spice Route

The story of the Banda Islands and Maluku in general is the story of spices: cloves, nutmeg and mace. It's a story of colonial expansion, the opening up of the world to the Europeans, empire building, conquest, greed, violence, murder, and the way - long before the term globalization came into vogue - that the politics and finances of Europe affected this small group of Islands far away from Europe and its wars and machinations. And it's also the story of how the residents, kings and traders of the islands in the Moluccas schemed and finagled and traded loyalties all in a desperate attempt to keep their freedom, their lives and make a living at the same time. Because while our history in the west tends to focus on the rulers and the winners, the colonial subjects did not go willingly into the hands of the Spice Invaders. For a while, they gave as good as they got.

The Magical Spices

Cloves and nutmeg along with mace which comes from the nutmeg were only grown here in the Moluccas but their use was global. The clove tree is indigenous to only five islands in the north of the Moluccas: the twin islands of Ternate and Tidore , Moti, Machian and Bacan. The nutmeg is only found on the islands of Banda, Lontar, Ai and Run. The clove tree produces a seed that has a short life. The tree itself may grow up to ten meters and produces buds that change color through the maturation period: first green, then yellow and pink and eventually a deep red. They have a powerful odor that is instantly recognizable and it is said that sailors could smell the cloves from out in the ocean as they approached a clove growing island. The buds are harvested before they flower and are placed out on mats to dry in the sun. If you ever take a ride on the road from Kubutambahan in north bali to Kintamani in the mountains you will pass through the main clove growing area of bali and you can smell the cloves set out in the sun alongside the road long before you see them.

As the clove buds and stems dry out they take on the shape of nails. Their name is derived from this shape: clavus in Latin which means nail. Indonesians call them cengkeh which comes from the Fujian word zhen ka which means scented nail. Cloves were used for their flavor and aroma, for their antibacterial and analgesic properties (so important in the ancient world without the benefits of modern medicine). 3000 flower buds make only one kilogram of dried cloves.

We know that the Chinese were using cloves from at least the third century BC. The Emperor of the Han Dynasty would not let people approach him without first chewing on a clove to sweeten their breath. They used the oil for toothaches and headaches, to treat intestinal infections and parasites, for athlete's foot and fungal infections. Indian traditional healers used them for respiratory infection and stomach pains, they applied them to the skin to treat wounds and other dermatological infections. The Romans thought that the smell of cloves was a prophylactic against a variety of illnesses. During the Middle Ages cloves were used to help preserve meat or at least cover up the smell of meat going bad and as a room freshener as well called Queen's Delight. Upper class ladies wore them on a neck chain to keep away illness and bad smells. Cloves were used to enhance the taste of wine as well as hiding the taste of wine already gone off. And let's not forget sex. Cloves and nutmeg were considered an aphrodisiac as well as an aid in conception. Of course, they were used to season food as well. And they are a big business in Indonesia in making kretek cigarettes. So, these two spices had many uses and were as valuable if not more than gold. Profits from the sale of these could reach as high as 1000 percent.

The nutmeg is an apricot like fruit and the grated nut gives off the lovely aroma of nutmeg. Mace comes from the red outer covering of the seed. Nutmegs were breath fresheners, they cleared the eyes, eased stomach aches, cleared up liver and spleen ailments and helped in the digestion of meat.

The Spice Route

Trade in these two magical and legendary spices began long before the age of exploration. The first traders were Austronesian sailors who brought cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to India around 300BC. From India trade followed the Arabian coastlines often in short spurts - from one trading city to another stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. These routes became a main part of the Spice Route which would be an important factor in the development of civilization for over a thousand years.

The ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt was a center for the economic and cultural activities of the classical world. From Alexandria the trade route went down the Nile by boat across the desert by caravan and on through the Arab world by both caravan and boat. So Chinese, Indian, Javanese, Bugis and Arab sailors and traders took the spices from the Moluccas out West. But the origins of these spices were clouded in mystery because of the remote location of the islands. Marco Polo found cloves in China and believed that they were grown in south-west China and this story had some currency in Europe for a time.

Spices, the Europeans and the Age of Exploration

The first of the European powers to prosper from these spices were the Venetians through their trade with the Mediterranean ports like Antioch, Gaza and Alexandria. Venice at the end of the 15th century had a powerful fleet of trading galleys and fighting ships. Their monopoly on the spice trade within Europe made them wealthy and powerful and drew the envy of other European countries especially Portugal and Spain which wanted to find a sea route to India and the Spice Islands so that they could break the hold that Venice and the Arabs had on the spice trade.

The Portuguese had developed a new type of sailing ship different from others in Europe and along with this astrolabe, sextant, quadrant and compass which they inherited from their 500 years under Muslim rule. These allowed them to sail far out into the ocean where they began their colonizing projects. In 1454 the Portuguese asked the Pope for the rights to all they lands they discovered up to India. What they were looking for was a direct sea route from Europe to India and the Spice Islands. The Pope granted their wish and entreated them to spread Christianity along the way. King John II prepared the way by sending a spy to Arab ports in search of information on a route to India. A long list of sailors both Portuguese and Spanish set off looking for this route, among them was Christopher Columbus and Bartholomeu Dias who was able to round the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1494 after news of Columbus supposedly finding the route to India caused an uproar with the Portuguese who accused the Spanish of breaking the Papal Decree which gave them a monopoly on all discoveries beyond Guinea the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed which split the world into half for the two competing nations. Spain looking for a western route to the Indies and Portugal looking for an eastern route.

Vasco da Gama finally reached India in 1498 where he met with the Hindu ruler of Calicut. While he was able to eventually to receive a letter from the ruler Zamorin informing the king of Portugal that he was willing to trade spices and other things for gold, valuable cloths and other items. DaGama however didn't make the best impression as the items that he had to present to Zamorin were considered to be inferior and made the expedition the laughing stock of the trading community in Zamorin. In the meantime, the Muslim traders were unhappy to say the least that the Portuguese were making inroads into India and da Gama made a quick exit while the going was good when he heard that a plot was underway to kill him and his crew.

King Manuel decided that the next expedition would be fitted out with the appropriate items as well as a large military presence to demonstrate Portugal's impressive might. Pedro Alvares Cabral left Lisbon in1500 fully loaded with an armada of 13 ships and 1300 men. Cabral was under orders to solidify a trading relationship with Zamorin and to attack any Arab ships found along the way with the exception of ones docked at Calicut. Manuel had given himself the title of Lord of Guinea and of the Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India. His ultimate plan was to establish a land base in India and gain hegemony over the Spice Route - which had been open to all for thousands of years.

Back in Calicut, Cabral set up a factory and began trading for spices but after three months was unable to fill his ships. He blamed the Muslim traders for this and attacked and seized an Arab ship trying to leave port. This set off rioting in the town. The Portuguese factory was burned down and a number of Portuguese were killed or captured. Cabral opened fire on the city and eventually forced Zamorin to leave the city. Cabral continued on his way home seizing Arab ships and slaughtering their crews after taking their cargo. Out of the original 13 ships only six returned to Lisbon, still the expedition was considered a great success.

In 1509 the Portuguese attacked Goa and with the aid of a neighboring Hindu kingdom were able to defeat the Muslim rulers of Goa and establish their presence in India. Goa remained Portuguese until 1961. This was one of those cases were a local king decided to take advantage of European power in order to achieve his goals, in this case to develop a trade relationship with Portugal and access to a seaport.

Next the Portuguese seized Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. Malacca was the key trading center for Asia at the time. Their first attempt in 1509 ended in failure when Muslim traders notified the sultan of the city about the atrocities that the Portuguese had committed in Goa, Calicut and on the sea. The Portuguese lost many men and fled only to return in 1511 and easily seize the city with a large armada. Reportedly they only fired one volley from their ships before the sultan surrendered. The Portuguese now had a base in Goa and control of the trade between Lisbon, India, China and the Spice Islands through their control of Malacca. Next was the port of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. Portugal now had control of the spice trade but they had yet to reach the fabled Spice Islands.

Shortly after taking Malacca, the Portuguese set off for the spice islands with the order to establish trade and to honor local customs. They reached Banda in 1512 and that put an end to the 1500-year search for the spice islands. The Europeans had arrived and the stage was set for the struggle for control of the spice islands by the Spanish, Portuguese, British and Dutch that was to last for well over three hundred years and only ended with the defeat of Napoleon in 1816 with the Battle of Waterloo.

With this brief overview of the Spice Route let's take a look at the Banda Islands.

The Banda Islands

The Portuguese in 1512 claimed the islands and were the front runners in the search for spice. That dominance was not to last long as we will see. The Portuguese were not really interested in hanging out in Banda - not much to do there other than trade for spices. All the other goods being traded in Banda Neira were available up north in Ambon or Ternate. A Portuguese trader did try to set up a fort in 1529 but he was run off by the local residents. After that the Portuguese traded for their nutmeg in Malacca which was under their control.

With an valuable item - nutmeg - and no real European opposition, the Dutch came in to fill the void. The Dutch first arrived in 1599 and tried to persuade the Bandanese to abandon their trading relationship with the Portuguese and others. However, their trade goods were unwanted being iron goods, heavy cloths, gunpowder and trinkets. Nevertheless, the Bandanese were pressured into signing a trade treaty. But, these stubborn islanders continued to trade with their traditional partners including the British on the island of Run. This was actually a pretty common response to Dutch coercion - the Balinese in North Bali did basically the same thing until the Dutch finally took over the region through military force.

The Dutch returned in 1609 with orders to set up a fort and gain complete control over the nutmeg trade. However, those pesky natives who had a political system of rich men that made decisions for the island had no interest in another European power coming in to set up a fort. After all, they had already shown the Portuguese what they thought of having foreigners get too comfortable there. Banda Neira was already a busy center for regional trade so they were used to having foreigners around, they just didn't want them to stay. Something like the restaurant in Bali playing with the title of that famous book and movie about Bali - Eat Pray Love. This restaurant had the slogan Eat Pay Leave. The Bandanese followed the same thinking.

So the locals weren't happy with the Dutch fort building. Realizing this tension, the Dutch admiral called a meeting to discuss the issue where he and his men were ambushed. 42 Dutch soldiers and officials were killed along with the admiral. Unfortunately for the Bandanese, a junior merchant escaped. His name was to become a harbinger of terror for the residents of Banda in the not too far off future. This was Jan Pieterszoon Coen destined to be governor-general of the Dutch East Indies. Coen was by all accounts a stern man who was not to be trifled with. He spoke his mind especially the board of the VOC. He created the town of Batavia and made it the center of VOC power in Indonesia. Fort Belgica was built in 1611 above Fort Nassau which was the original fort that started the problems of the Bandanese with the Dutch.

Coen came back to Banda in 1621 with a fleet of 13 ships and over 1500 soldiers intent on taking Banda and exacting revenge for the debacle of 1609. After provocations on both sides Coen attacked, burning villages all over the island, rounded up men, women and children all over the island and executed, enslaved or exiled them. A few fled to the mountains but were eventually starved out. With the population essentially exterminated, Coen set up a colony of Dutch plantation owners using slave workers to cultivate the nutmeg trees. He now had all the nutmeg in the Banda Islands except for the island of Run where a small group from the English East India Company held out. The British were allowed to surrender and the Dutch exterminated the population and then destroyed all the nutmeg trees on the island.

Fort Belgica was renovated in 1622, and then again with a new design in 1672. The new design used a double pentagon shape: an interior pentagon surrounded by an outer pentagon along with five towers and openings for cannons. The modified fort held 50 guns along with 400 men. It was surrendered to the British in 1795 without a shot being fired, returned to the Dutch in 1803 and then taken again by the British in 1810.

The VOC kept their grip on its monopoly by using the hongi-tochten system. The hongi were fleets of kora-kora and the tochten were duty rounds. The hongi were fleets of 50 - 100 kora-kora manned by 100 men each. They would do their rounds with flags and pennants flying off the kora-kora and drums and cymbals creating a rhythm for the rowers.

The VOC now had complete control of the Banda Islands and set up the plantation system with Dutch perkeniers to run them. These men built opulent villas with their profits from the new system. They married local women (Coen had asked for the VOC directors to send Dutch women because as he wrote: the male sex cannot exist without women. He added that if good women could not be found, the directors should not hesitate to send underage girls.) This didn't happen and the Dutch perkeniers married local women or took them on as concubines. A new "race" of Indo-Europeans came into existence.

The colonizing of Indonesia was underway.

The Dutch retained control of the Banda Islands until the Indonesian revolution with the exception of short period during the Napoleonic war when the British returned and captured Banda Neira and held it until the defeat of Napoleon and the Treaty of Paris of 1815. The British left with a supply of nutmeg trees and took them to their colonies in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. This ended the Banda monopoly on nutmeg. There is, however, another story on how the monopoly ended, but I'll get to that in another article. A side note, the British kept their claim on Run until the Treaty of Breda in 1667 when the British gave up their claim to the Dutch in return for the island of Manhattan. Yes, that Manhattan.

There's more to the story of the Spice Islands and the Spice Route but the scene shifts up north to Ternate and Tidore and their cloves. We'll take a brief look at what was going on in the north.

The Struggle for control of the north

While the European struggle was going on the south Moluccas for control of the nutmeg trade, an equally intense struggle was going on in the north, centered on the twin islands of Ternate and Tidore and Ambon where the cloves were grown. The Portuguese arrived in Ternate at the invitation of the Sultan of Ternate in 1512. The Sultan was impressed with the show of swords, armour and muskets and saw a chance for him to gain an edge on this rival, the Sultan of Tidore.

The Portuguese were welcomed with open arms when they arrived. The captain Francisco Serrao, made himself at home. He was adopted by the Sultan, married a princess and became the personal adviser to the Sultan.

The Portuguese were allowed to build a trading post on the island and gain a monopoly on the clove trade in return for building the sultan a fort and supplying him with arms.

But, the Spanish showed up on the island of Tidore and were welcomed by the Sultan who was looking for something to set a balance of power with his rival who had the Portuguese on his island.

However, by 1529 King Carlos of Spain realized that because of the difficulties of crossing the Pacific, it was going to be impractical commercially to enforce his claim to the Spice Islands. He ceded his claim to the Portuguese for a payment of 350,000 gold ducats. And the two countries signed the Treaty of Saragossa. The Spanish decided to use the Philippines as their base in the Pacific. And with a base in Acapulco they had a trade route set up that went from the Philippines to Acapulco to the Caribbean and then to Spain. Their treasure consisted of spices, gold and silver from Peru, Chinese silks, porcelains, and lacquer ware. Spanish silver dollars that were minted in Peru and were worth 8 reales and known as pieces of eight became the trade currency throughout the orient and indies.

So the Portuguese had the Spice Islands to themselves, but they were far from home and they stocked their Fort Gamalama with some of the dregs of Portugal - criminals and the unwanted. Not the best of situations, and corruption was endemic with these folks so far from home. Just about everyone engaged in private trade. The Portuguese in the meantime let themselves get drawn into the rivalry between Tidore and Ternate.

In 1546 Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius Loyola arrived in Ternate in order the convert the Muslims to Christianity. While he developed a good relationship with the Sultan, the people were not happy at the persistence of the Christians attempts to persuade Muslims to convert.

So there were continuous rebellions taking place on the islands, criminal Europeans to contend with and fears of mutinies. On Dec. 31, 1575, the Portuguese surrendered to the latest rebellion and left the island. With the Portuguese gone, the Sultanate of Ternate resumed trading with its old partners, Javanese, Arabs, Gujaratis, Achenese and pushed out Christians, Ternate became one of the most prosperous trading centers in Indonesia.

Sir Francis Drake showed up in 1579. The Sultan of Ternate proposed an alliance with the English against the Portuguese who had returned and were rebuilding Fort Mariaco on Tidore. Drake agreed. By 1581 King Philip of Spain took over Portugal and sent a force to Ternate to reconquer it. In 1585, the Spanish arrived in Tidore to join with the Portuguese already there and they launched an attack on Fort Gamalama. They were defeated and left for Manila.

By 1596, the Dutch decided that they wanted in on the action. They arrived in Java, made a mess and fled. The first expedition was a failure. They tried again in 1598 and were successful returning with a profit of 400%. In 1601 they arrived in Ternate where the Sultan tried to convince them to attack the Portuguese on Tidore. They refused but did fire a few volleys at Fort Mariaco.

The English were back in 1601 and made a few successful trades and decided that they were ready to challenge the Spanish/Portuguese.

In 1602 The Dutch formed the VOC (Dutch East India Company)

In 1605 the Dutch of the VOC arrived with 12 armed warships and 1500 men to attach the Portuguese. They arrived in Ambon and defeated the Portuguese there. This was the beginning of the end for the Portuguese in the Spice Islands.

So the Dutch, Portuguese and the English were all at Ternate/Tidore. The Dutch wanted the Sultan of Ternate to join in an attack on Tidore. He had decided at this time to side with the English, but in order not to be attacked by the Dutch, told the English he could not officially trade with the but would under the table. He then told the Sultan of Tidore that if he would stay out of the upcoming fight between the Portuguese and Dutch, so would he. He was hoping the two European powers would destroy each other. The English decided to stay neutral.

The Dutch attacked and were about to lose to a Portuguese counter-attack when the Portuguese fort caught fire and blew up and the Dutch won. However, they only left a small group behind to defend Tidore. The Spanish returned from manila in 1606 took Tidore made an alliance with the Sultan of Tidore against Ternate and the Dutch. They took Ternate and ended the 30-year golden age of Ternate.

The Dutch returned set up a base on the other side of Ternate and had their last battle with the Spanish which was a draw. The two powers signed a truce in 1609 and by 1663 they gave up interest in the Spice Islands and moved everything to Manila. The Dutch ended with an informal alliance with the Sultan of Ternate who thought that the Dutch would restrict their activities to trade and not interfere in local affairs. Wrong. Jan Pieterszoon Coen was here as I mentioned earlier in discussing Banda.

So the Dutch controlled Banda by this time and wanted to solidify their hold over the whole of the spice islands. They transplanted cloves from the islands of north Maluku to Ambon which he controlled already. Villagers were forced to plant and maintain at least 100 trees per family. The uprooting or burning of trees was punishable by death.

The British ended their presence by 1623 after the Dutch massacred 17 English traders living in Ambon. In 1667 there was the treaty of Breda where the English got Manhattan for the island of Run. The Dutch were producing so much that they would burn large quantities of cloves in order to keep the supply down and the price up.

The Dutch now controlled everything, but there was still secret trading going on through Makassar from planters in Ternate and Tidore and Halmahera and Ceram.

The Dutch attacked Makassar in 1660 but were unable to defeat the Sultan. In 1667 they made an alliance with the Ruler of Bone and with the aid of his Bugis warriors they defeated Makassar. And now controlled everything. The VOC was the richest company in the world. Alone it has 150 merchant ships, 40 war ships, 30,000 employees and 15,000 soldiers.

Spice monopoly was eventually broken by a Frenchman name Pierre Poivre. He managed to smuggle out nutmeg and clove seedlings and spread them around the world. You might remember that the British also claim to have ended the monopoly, so who knows. By 1798 the Dutch nationalized the VOC.

Despite the end of the spice monopoly the islands were still important for the China trade in tea. The Eastern Passage between Batanta and Salawati allowed the British to sale directly from the Cape of Good Hope to China.

In 1795 because of the French Revolution, the King of Holland fled to London. He gave up all Dutch territories overseas to the British.

By 1801 the British were back and took Tidore. They were in control of all the Spice Islands until 1802 with the treaty of Amiens. The Dutch were back in control. In 1807 Napoleon made Willem Daendels the governor-general of the East Indies. He arrived in Batavia and proclaimed the Dutch East Indies for the French. The British invaded Java in 1811 and took control again with Raffles as governor-general. By 1816 with the defeat of Napoleon, the Dutch regained their territory in the Peace of Paris.

And with that, we'll leave this story here to be continued later.

Free Dreamweaver templates | Free Web Hosting | Car Insurance Quotes