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Golden Ages - Migrations 1619-1798 (Dutch Colonialism)

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Work in Progress - Per September 17, 2011



(Tentative period)




- 1619: Batavia (Indonesia)
- 1621: Holland forms the Dutch West India Company to invade the Spanish and Portuguese colonies and takes control of Guyana (colonies of Demerara, Essequebo, and Berbice).
- 1623: Nieuw Nederland (New Netherland, New York)
- 1623: The Dutch seize Bahia from Portuguese Brazil with help from the Portuguese Jews and expand in the Northeast.
- In the Summer of 1629, the Dutch coveted a newfound interest in obtaining Pernambuco, a Brazilian state (captaincy) famous for its sugarcane. The Dutch conquers Pernambuco from Portugal.
- The Dutch fleet was led by Hendrick Corneliszoon Loncq; the WIC gained control of Olinda by February 16, 1630, and Recife (the capital of Pernambuco) and António Vaz by March 3. Matias de Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor, led a strong Portuguese resistance which hindered the Dutch from developing their forts on the lands which they had captured.
- From 1630 to 1654, the Dutch set up more permanently in commercial Recife and aristocratic Olinda, and with the capture of Paraiba in 1635, the Dutch controlled a long stretch of the coast most accessible to Europe (Dutch Brazil), without, however, penetrating the interior. The large Dutch ships were unable to moor in the coastal inlets where lighter Portuguese shipping came and went. Ironically, the result of the Dutch capture of the sugar coast was a higher price of sugar in Amsterdam. During the Nieuw Holland episode, the colonists of the Dutch West India Company in Brazil were in a constant state of siege, in spite of the presence of the Count John Maurice of Nassau as governor (1637–1644) in Recife. Nassau invited scientific commissions to research the local flora and fauna, resulting in added knowledge of the territory. Moreover, he set up a city project for Recife and Olinda, which was partially accomplished. Remnants survive to this day.
- From 1630 onward, the Dutch Republic came to control almost half of Brazil, with their capital in Recife. The Dutch West India Company (WIC) set up their headquarters in Recife. The governor, Johan Maurits, invited artists and scientists to the colony to help promote Brazil and increase immigration.
- 1652: Kaap de Goede Hoop
- 1674: Suriname (Surinam)


Decline / End

  • 1791: End of the WIC
  • 1798: End of the VOC
  • Surrender/abandonment of territories and colonies

- 1674: New Netherland (Treaty of Westminster)
- 1806: South Africa (after the Battle of Muizenberg (1595) and the Battle of Blaauwberg (1806)
- Indonesia became independent in 1945, Surinam in 1975. Within the context of this project, we only consider the period prior to the closure of the WIC in 1798)