Great Britain and the Netherlands were the two major business states. Their vessels were cruising all over the globe, from West to East India. The 17 th century became the period destining the colonial might of the two empires. In the battles fought by England and the Netherlands, the global commerce routes were shaping for the future centuries.
Meanwhile, inside these countries the population struggled for personal rights and freedoms. Religion-inspired wars were raging throughout Europe, and, in particular, in England. In contrast, Holland appeared to be progressively democratic.
As England, Holland was a protestant country. The Netherlands were repeatedly attacked by catholic Spain. Meanwhile, the Civil War was raging inside England. King Charles I was imposing Catholicism on the population, while the people felt strongly belligerent to Catholics. In the English Civil War, the Parliamentarians gained an overwhelming victory. However in 11 years, monarchy was restored with
Charles II as its king.
Overlapping Colonial Lands in America
During the first years of reign, Charles II was intensively renovating the military force of Britain. In North America, his brother James, Duke of York obtained the whole Hudson River shore. But there was a problem. The Duke’s lands overlapped with a new Dutch colony. Charles II was committed to control the entire trade in the Manhattan region of America. Holland was to be ousted from the business there.
The First Surrender
Charles II clandestinely dispatched Colonel Nicolls to capture the Dutch Manhattan territory. That Dutch colony was called The New Netherlands. The Hudson River had served as an artery to transport furs and food products to New Amsterdam on Manhattan. More than 2000 Dutch expats were settled on Manhattan in 1664. They lived in piece with the American Indians and led trade with them.
That year in August, English warships broke the peaceful crop harvesting. The English commanders offered the Dutch to surrender their American colony peacefully. The proposal proved to be persuasive, since the Dutch failed to withstand the military threat. New Amsterdam was ceded without firing a shot.