The Treaty of Breda-Banda Islands 1667

The Treaty of Breda-Banda Islands 1667

The Treaty of Breda-Banda Islands 1667

Today few people know of the Banda Sea, the Banda Islands, few people know the past geopolitical importance.

Once considered some of the most commercially strategic islands in the world, their locations were considered national secrets.

The spice trade in the 1600’s created more capital gains than any other form of commodities.

The returns on investments were astronomical sometimes four or five thousand percent.

It was a time when science was young and word on the street was that nutmeg may cure the bubonic plague.

In London during various plague epidemics , one in five people died from the plague.

Humanity and cohesive societies were being put to the test, it caused the price of nutmeg to be worth more than its weight in gold.

Meanwhile the East India Companies both British and Dutch (VOC) were vying for control over these obscure islands that lie north off Timor or S.W. of New Guinea in the Banda Sea.

Over the course of fifty years, hundreds of ships, thousands of soldiers and merchants did battle in what was to be known as the Spice Islands.

The warring and depravity was a gruesome and grizzly mess that went nearly unmonitored because news that filtered back to Holland and Great Britain could take years.

The island of Run was of strategic importance because of its small harbor that could be well defended, high cliffs and imposing ship busting reefs.

None of the islands were over a few square miles in size, if you go to your world globe you probably won’t be able to find the islands because they are so small and today they are insignificant.

This was the birthplace of nutmeg it was found nowhere else on earth and people wanted this spice.

The British and the Dutch East India Companies supplemented their travels with pepper (peppercorn) and other exotic spices but nutmeg was the paramount trading spice.

Ships would be burned, people would be tortured and killed, islands would be dug up and nutmeg trees destroyed.

When a ship returned from a successful voyage from the Banda’s the entire city of London was buoyed by the fortune it created.

The warring went on for nearly fifty years until the companies finally came to an agreement.

Finally in 1667 the Dutch signed the Treaty of Breda that allowed them full possession of the Banda Islands and in return the Dutch gave possession of a poorly maintained, small, back water settlement on the North America shore.

The name of the struggling settlement was New Amsterdam, the natives called it Man Ha ton (Manhattan).

The words and thoughts found above are conveyed in English because of this agreement.

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