Advent Of The Dutch To Ancient India

Capturing India

The great success of the Portugal due to her eastern trade was a reason good enough to lure the Dutch to step into this domain. With a view to get direct access to the spice markets in South – East Asia, the Dutch undertook several voyages from 1596 and eventually formed the Dutch East India Company in 1602.In 1605 the Dutch captured Amboyna from the Portugese and gradually established their influence at the cost of latter in the Spice Islands.They captured Jakarta and established Batavia on its ruins in 1619, blockaded goa in 1639, captured Malacca in 1641 and got possession oof the last Portugese settlement in Ceylon in 1658.

Reason For Their Advent

The Dutch came to the islands of Sumatra, Java and the Moluccas, attracted by the lucrative trade in pepper and spices. Commercial interests drew the attention of the Dutch to India, where they established factories in Gujrat, on the Coromondal Coast and in Bengal, bihar and Orissa, entering deep into the interior of the lower Ganges valley.The more important of their factories in India were at Masulipatam (1605), Pulicat (1610), Surat (1616), Bimlipatam (1641), Karikal (1645) , Chinsura (1653),Cassimbazar, Baranagore, Patna, balasore, Negapatam (1658) and Cochin (1663).The Dutch practically maintained a monopoly in spice trade in the East throughout the seventeenth century.They also became the carriers of trade between India and the islands of the Far East, thus reviving a very old connection maintained in the palmy days of the Vijaynagar Empire.At Surat the Dutch ewere supplied with large quantities of indigo, manufactured in Central India and the jumna valley, and from Bengal, Bihar , Gujarat, and Coromondal they exported new raw silk, textiles , saltpeter, rice and Gangetic opium. After 1690 ,Negapetam instead of Pulicat became the chief seat of the Dutch on the Coromondal.

Peaceful Relations

The growth of peaceful relations between the Portuguese and the English was facilitated by the recovery of Portugal’s independence from the control of Spain (1640) the old enemy of England. The right of the English to the eastern trade was recognized by the Portuguese in a treaty , dated July A.D.1654 and another treaty concluded in A.D.1661, secured for the Portugese from Charles II , who received Bombay as a part of dowry of Catherine of Braganza, the promise of English support against the Dutch in India. The Dutch rivalry with the English in seventeenth century was more bitter than that of the Portugese.The policy of the Dutch in the east was influenced by two motives. One was to take revenge over Catholic Spain , the foe of their independence, and her ally Portugal, and the other was to colonize and establish settlements in East Indies with a view to monopolizing commerce in that region. They gained their first object by the gradual decline of Portugal influence. The realization of their second object brought them into bitter competition with the English.

Conferences held in London and at the Hague in 1611 and 1613-1615 led to an amicable settlement between the Dutch and the English. But the hostilities were renewed after two years . Though the Dutch began to confine themselves more within the Malay Archipelago and the English to India , the former did not cease to be commercial rival of the latter.

During the years 1672- 1674 the Dutch frequently obstructed communication between Surat and the new English settlement of Bombay and captured three English vessels in the Bay of Bengal. The commercial rivalry of the Dutch and the English remained acute till A.D. 1759.

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