1638: Dutch in Indian Ocean, & globally; Safavid setbacks; Sweden in America… & more

Here are the headlines of what was happening in (mainly) West-European imperialisms in 1638 CE: 1. Dutch VOC activities in Mauritius, Sri Lanka In 1507 a Portuguese squadron made the first European contact with Mauritius, a small island group in the Indian Ocean east of today’s Sri Lanka and established a small and short-lived base … Continue reading 1638: Dutch in Indian Ocean, & globally; Safavid setbacks; Sweden in America… & more

1637: Dutch tulip bubble bursts, English settlers do genocide in Connecticut, & more…

1637 CE saw three significant developments in the history of empires, and two noteworthy but less significant ones. The significant developments were: The bursting of the tulip investment bubble in Amsterdam (and what it tells us about the origins of finance capitalism) English colonists in Connecticut genocided the indigenous Pequots at Mystic River A Chinese … Continue reading 1637: Dutch tulip bubble bursts, English settlers do genocide in Connecticut, & more…

1636: Eyes on Asia

The three most notable developments of 1636 CE all took place in Asia. They were: The adoption by the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan of the policy of Sakoku (鎖国, “closed country”); the announcement by Hong Taiji, leader of northern China’s “Later Jin” movement of a new imperial dynasty, the Qing dynasty; and the arrival in … Continue reading 1636: Eyes on Asia

1635: Dutch genocide on Taiwan; English colonist in America expresses misgivings; & more

There were a number of significant-ish developments in world history in 1635 CE, of which I’ll spend some time looking at four: The Dutch campaign to “pacify” the area around their fort on Taiwan by genociding the neighbors The expulsion by the Massachusetts Bay Colony of Roger Williams, a settler who’d argued the colonists should … Continue reading 1635: Dutch genocide on Taiwan; English colonist in America expresses misgivings; & more

1633: Dutch-Chinese sea-battle raises key questions. & Connecticut.

In 1632 CE there were two notable developments in the story of the rise and maintenance of “the West”. Both featured contests among rival empires. In “Connecticut” (from the Mohegan word quonehtacut, meaning “place of long tidal river”), English colonists were challenging the Dutch empire’s claims to colonize it. In Liaoluo Bay, north of Kinmen/Quemoy … Continue reading 1633: Dutch-Chinese sea-battle raises key questions. & Connecticut.

1632: Portuguese expelled from Hooghly, India. News from Americas, Europe, Ethiopia.

In 1632 CE, we see Portugal’s once large and robust-looking empire around the shores of the Indian Ocean continuing to crumble a little, especially with the Mughals’ expulsion of the position they had occupied for many decades in the area of Hooghly-Chinsurah (aka Hugli-Chuchura). They also got largely expelled from Ethiopia. The English were making … Continue reading 1632: Portuguese expelled from Hooghly, India. News from Americas, Europe, Ethiopia.

1631: Iberians battle Dutch. English colonies see internal rifts. Etc.

In 1631 CE, nearly all the significant conflicts in the emerging world system were being waged at sea. The Iberians were conducting significant battles against the Dutch both in the North Sea and over near the coast of Brazil. Those rogues the Dutch-led pirates of Salé (Morocco) sacked the west-Ireland town of Baltimore. Meantime, over … Continue reading 1631: Iberians battle Dutch. English colonies see internal rifts. Etc.

1629: English colonists navigate King-parliament rift; & news from East Asia.

1629 CE saw a deepening rift between England’s King Charles and the parliament. That made it a challenging year for the English investors and merchants who were trying to build a sustainable and above all profitable colonial presence in various distant continents but who now needed to navigate potentially perilous political shoals not only in … Continue reading 1629: English colonists navigate King-parliament rift; & news from East Asia.