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EARLY EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS]
405
INDIA

sent under Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese viceroy of India. In 1509 Albuquerque succeeded as governor, and widely extended the area of Portuguese influence. Having failed in an attack upon Calicut, he seized Goa, which from 1530 became the capital of Portuguese India. Then, sailing round Ceylon, he captured Malacca, the key of the navigation of the Indian archipelago, and opened a trade with Siam and the Spice Islands (Moluccas). Lastly, he sailed back westwards, and, after penetrating into the Red Sea, and building a fortress at Ormuz in the Persian Gulf, returned to Goa only to die in 1515. In 1524 Vasco da Gama came out to the East for the third time, and he too died at Cochin.

For exactly a century, from 1500 to 1600, the Portuguese enjoyed a monopoly of Oriental trade.

Their three objects were conquest, commerce and conversion, and for all three their position on the Malabar coast strip was remarkably well adapted. Shut off by the line of the Ghats from Mahommedan India of that day, they Decline of the Portuguese. were able to dominate the petty chiefs of Malabar, who welcomed maritime commerce, and allowed religious freedom in their domains. Their trade relations with Vijayanagar were very close, when that great empire was at the height of its power; but in 1564 Vijayanagar went down before the five Mahommedan states of southern India on the field of Talikota, and with its fall began the decline of Portugal. During the whole of the 16th century the Portuguese disputed with the Mahommedans the supremacy of the Indian seas, and the antagonism between Christianity and Islam became gradually more intense, until the Portuguese power assumed a purely religious aspect. In 1560 the Inquisition with all its horrors was introduced into Goa. But Portugal was too small a country to keep up the struggle for long. The drain of men told upon her vitality, their quality deteriorated, and their bigotry and intolerance raised even a fiercer opposition to them within the bounds of India; and as the Dutch and British came into prominence the Portuguese gradually faded away. In 1603 and 1639 the Dutch blockaded Goa; during the first half of the 17th century they routed the Portuguese everywhere in India, Ceylon and Java. Similarly in 1611 the British defeated them off Cambay and in 1615 won a great victory at Swally. After the middle of the 17th century the Asiatic trade of Portugal practically disappeared, and now only Goa, Daman and Diu are left to her as relics of her former greatness.

The Dutch were the first European nation to break through the Portuguese monopoly. During the 16th century Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam became the great emporia whence Indian produce, imported by the Portuguese, Dutch settlements. was distributed to Germany and even to England. At first the Dutch, following in the track of the English, attempted to find their way to India by sailing round the north coasts of Europe and Asia. William Barents is honourably known as the leader of three of these arctic expeditions, in the last of which he perished. The first Dutchman to double the Cape of Good Hope was Cornelius Houtman, who reached Sumatra and Bantam in 1596. Forthwith private companies for trade with the East were formed in many parts of the United Provinces, but in 1602 they were all amalgamated by the states-general into “The United East India Company of the Netherlands.” Within a few years the Dutch had established factories on the continent of India, in Ceylon, in Sumatra, on the Persian Gulf and on the Red Sea, besides having obtained exclusive possession of the Moluccas. In 1618 they laid the foundation of the city of Batavia in Java, to be the seat of the supreme government of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies. At about the same time they discovered the coast of Australia, and in North America founded the city of New Amsterdam or Manhattan, now New York. During the 17th century the Dutch maritime power was the first in the world. The massacre of Amboyna in 1623 led the English East India Company to retire from the Eastern seas to the continent of India, and thus, though indirectly, contributed to the foundation of the British Indian empire. The long naval wars and bloody battles between the English and the Dutch within the narrow seas were not terminated until William of Orange united the two crowns in 1689. In the far East the Dutch ruled without a rival, and gradually expelled the Portuguese from almost all their territorial possessions. In 1635 they occupied Formosa; in 1641 they took Malacca, a blow from which the Portuguese never recovered; in 1652 they founded a colony at the Cape of Good Hope, as a half-way station to the East; in 1658 they captured Jaffna, the last stronghold of the Portuguese in Ceylon; by 1664 they had wrested from the Portuguese all their earlier settlements on the pepper-bearing coast of Malabar.

The rapid and signal downfall of the Dutch colonial empire is to be explained by its short-sighted commercial policy. It was deliberately based upon a monopoly of the trade in spices, and remained from first to last destitute Decline of the Dutch. of the true imperial spirit. Like the Phoenicians of old, the Dutch stopped short of no acts of cruelty towards their rivals in commerce; but, unlike the Phoenicians, they failed to introduce a respect for their own higher civilization among the natives with whom they came in contact. The knell of Dutch supremacy was sounded by Clive, when in 1758 he attacked the Dutch at Chinsura both by land and water, and forced them to an ignominious capitulation. In the great French war from 1781 to 1811 England wrested from Holland every one of her colonies, though Java was restored in 1816 and Sumatra in exchange for Malacca in 1824. At the present time the Dutch flag flies nowhere on the mainland of India, though the quaint houses and regular canals at Chinsura, Negapatam, Jaffna, and many petty ports on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts remind the traveller of familiar scenes in the Netherlands.

The earliest English attempts to reach the East were the expeditions under John Cabot in 1497 and 1498. Their objective was not so much India as Japan (Cipangu), of which they only knew vaguely as a land of spices and silks, British expeditions. and which they hoped to reach by sailing westward. They failed, but discovered Newfoundland, and sailed along the coast of America from Labrador to Virginia. In 1553 the ill-fated Sir Hugh Willoughby attempted to force a passage along the north of Europe and Asia. Sir Hugh himself perished miserably, but his second in command, Chancellor, reached a harbour on the White Sea, now Archangel. Thence he penetrated by land to the court of the grand-duke of Moscow, and laid the foundation of the Russia Company for carrying on the overland trade with India through Persia, Bokhara and Moscow. Many subsequent attempts were made at the North-West Passage from 1576 to 1616, which have left on our modern maps the imperishable names of Frobisher, Davis, Hudson and Baffin. Meanwhile, in 1577, Sir Francis Drake had circumnavigated the globe, and on his way home had touched at Ternate, one of the Moluccas, the king of which island agreed to supply the English nation with all the cloves it produced. The first Englishman who actually visited India was Thomas Stephens in 1579. He had been educated at Winchester, and became rector of the Jesuits’ College in Goa. His letters to his father are said to have roused great enthusiasm in England to trade directly with India. In 1583 four English merchants, Ralph Fitch, John Newbery, William Leedes and James Story, went out to India overland as mercantile adventurers. The jealous Portuguese threw them into prison at Ormuz, and again at Goa. At length Story settled down as a shopkeeper at Goa, Leedes entered the service of the Great Mogul, Newbery died on his way home overland, and Fitch, after a lengthened peregrination in Bengal, Pegu, Siam and other parts of the East Indies, returned to England.

The defeat of the “Invincible Armada” in 1588, at which time the crowns of Spain and Portugal were united, gave a fresh stimulus to maritime enterprise in England; and the successful voyage of Cornelius Houtman in East India Company. 1596 showed the way round the Cape of Good Hope into waters hitherto monopolized by the Portuguese. The “Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies” was founded by Queen Elizabeth