The Effect of the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the Seventeenth Century on Indian Ocean Developments

By G.A. Ballard, published August 1926


During the first half of the seventeenth century, the Dutch built and consolidated an effective trading monopoly in the Indian Ocean, tolerating no other flags except for a minor and untroubling British presence. The effect of the first Anglo-Dutch War was to put this expansion on hold, while the British were able to widen their interests because the Dutch could expect no reinforcements from home. Subsequently weakened further by the loss of ships in the second Anglo-Dutch War, they were then in no position to resist the British acquisition of former Portuguese territories in India, which provided a secure base for the further expansion of the British East India Company. Even so, for some forty years longer the Dutch retained their commercial pre-eminence but, cumulatively, the indirect effect of these great maritime conflicts of the seventeenth century was most pronounced for, by exhausting Holland in ships and money they raised the British to the position of first maritime nation in the world.

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Filed under: Dutch Wars | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Logistics | Strategy & Diplomacy

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