|Status|| Colony of Spain |
(Territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1626 to 1642)
|Capital||San Salvador (Keelung)|
|Common languages||Spanish, Formosan languages|
|Historical era||Age of Discovery|
• Surrender of San Salvador
|Today part of||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
Part of a series on the
|History of Taiwan|
Spanish Formosa (Spanish : Formosa Española) was a small colony of the Spanish Empire established in the northern tip of the island known to Europeans at the time as Formosa (now Taiwan) from 1626 to 1642. It was ceded to the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the island off the southern coast of China in 1544, and named it Formosa (Portuguese for "beautiful") due to the beautiful landscape as seen from the sea.
Northern Taiwan became a Spanish colony in 1626 and part of the Manila-based Spanish East Indies. As a Spanish colony, it was meant to protect the regional trade with the Philippines from interference by the Dutch base in the south of the island. The colony was short-lived due to the loss of its strategic importance and unwillingness by Spanish authorities in Manila to commit more resources to its defense. After seventeen years, the last fortress of the Spanish was besieged by Dutch forces and eventually fell, giving the Dutch control over much of the island.
In 1566, the Dutch rebels rose against King Philip II in Hapsburg Netherlands. The Dutch Republic and its allies, England and France attacked and looted some of Spain's overseas territories, as part of the Eighty Years' War.
The Spanish cut the Dutch rebels off from the spice trade based in Lisbon, making it necessary for the Dutch to send their own expeditions to the sources of these commodities to take control of the much desired spice trade in the East Indies.
As a result of the Iberian Union of Portugal and Spain in 1580, the Dutch of the Seventeen Provinces fought the Dutch–Portuguese War. Allies England and France became enemies of both Portugal and Spain.
The Dutch colonization of Formosa was part of the unsuccessful campaign to seize the possessions of the Spanish Habsburgs in Asia, including the Philippines. The Dutch began to attack a string of often undermanned coastal fortresses that comprised the Habsburg's Portuguese African and Asian possessions. The settlements were sometimes isolated, difficult to reinforce if attacked, and prone to being picked off one by one. However, the Dutch were mostly unsuccessful in these attempts.
Pursuing their quest for alternative routes to Asia for trade, the first Dutch privateer squadron to reach the Philippines on 14 December 1600 was led by pirate Olivier van Noort. The Dutch sought to dominate the commercial sea trade in Southeast Asia, often engaging in piracy and privateering. They attempted to disrupt trade by harassing the coasts of Manila Bay and its environs, and preyed on sampans and junks from China and Japan trading at Manila.
In the context of this competition for trade, the Dutch established a colony at Tayouan, present-day Anping, in the south of Formosa. From there they tried threaten Spain's trade in the region. As a counter to this threat, the Spanish colonial authorities in Manila decided to establish their own colony in the north of the island.
Landing at Cape Santiago in the north-east of Formosa but finding it unsuitable for defensive purposes, the Spanish continued westwards along the coast until they arrived at Keelung.A deep and well-protected harbour plus a small island in the mouth of the harbour made it the ideal spot to build the first settlement, which they named Santissima Trinidad. Forts were built, both on the island and in the harbour itself.
In 1629 the Spanish erected a second base, centered on Fort San Domingo, in Tamsui.
In 1641, the Spanish colony in the north had become such an irritant to the Dutch in the south that they decided to take northern Formosa by force. This attempt would prove a failure. In courteous terms, the Dutch Governor Paulus Traudenius informed the Spanish governor of their intentions.
I have the honor to communicate to you that I have received the command of a considerable naval and military force with the view of making me master by civil means or otherwise of the fortress Santissima Trinidad in the isle of Ke-lung of which your Excellency is the Governor.
In accordance with the usages of Christian nations to make known their intentions before commencing hostilities, I now summon your Excellency to surrender. If your Excellency is disposed to lend an ear to the terms of capitulation which we offer and make delivery to me of the fortress of Santissima Trinidad and other citadels, your Excellency and your troops will be treated in good faith according to the usages and customs of war, but if your Excellency feigns to be deaf to this command there will be no other remedy than recourse to arms. I hope that your Excellency will give careful consideration to the contents of this letter and avoid the useless effusion of blood, and I trust that without delay and in a few words you will make known to me your intentions.
May God protect your Excellency many years,
The Friend of your Excellency,
The Spanish governor was not inclined to give in so easily and replied in kind.
Sir; I have duly received your communication of August 26th, and in response I have the honor to point out to you that as becomes a good Christian who recalls the oath he has made before his king, I cannot and will not surrender the forts demanded by your Excellency, as I and my garrison have determined to defend them. I am accustomed to find myself before great armies, and I have engaged in numerous battles in Flanders as well as other countries, and so I beg of you not to take the trouble of writing me further letters of like tenor. May each one defend himself as best he can. We are Spanish Christians and God in whom we trust is our protector.
May the Lord have mercy on you.
Written in our principal fortress San Salvador the 6th of September 1641.
Subsequently, the Dutch launched an assault on the northern regions held by the Spanish, but the positions were well-defended and the attacking troops were not able to breach the walls of the fortresses. They returned, thwarted and humiliated, to the Dutch base at Fort Zeelandia.
In 1642, the Spanish Governor of Manila recalled most of his Formosa troops for an expedition in the Philippines.In August that year, to profit from the relatively undefended Spanish position, the Dutch returned to Keelung with four large ships, several smaller ships, and approximately 369 Dutch soldiers. A combination of Spaniards, aboriginals, and Kapampangan from the Philippines held off the Dutch for six days. They eventually surrendered and were returned to Manila defeated, and giving up their flags and what little artillery remained with them. Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, governor of the Philippines, was blamed for the loss of Formosa and was eventually tried in court for his actions. Upon conviction, he was imprisoned for five years in the Philippines. Historians since Corcuera's time have chastised him for the loss of the settlement in Formosa but other factors, such as limited resources in what was then a huge empire, were contributing factors.
Keelung, officially known as Keelung City, is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders New Taipei with which it forms the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area, along with Taipei itself. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan's second largest seaport.
Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624 to 1634 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), in the town of Anping on the island of Formosa, the former name of Taiwan Island in Taiwan, during their 38-year rule over the western part of the island. The site had been renamed several times as Orange City (奧倫治城), Anping City (安平城), and Taiwan City (臺灣城); the current name of the site in Chinese is 安平古堡(lit. 'Anping Old Fort').
Fort San Domingo is an historic fortress in Tamsui District, New Taipei, Taiwan. It was originally a wooden fort built in 1628 by the Spanish Empire, who named it "Fort San Domingo". However the fort was then destroyed by the Spanish themselves, after losing the Second Battle of San Salvador to the Dutch Empire in 1642. After the battle, in 1644, The Dutch rebuilt a fort in the original site, and renamed it "Fort Antonio". Since the Dutch were called "Red Haired People" by the Han immigrants during the time, the fort was then nicknamed "Fort Red Hair".(Chinese: 紅毛城; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Âng-mn̂g-siâⁿ; lit. 'ang mo fort').
The island of Taiwan, also commonly known as Formosa, was partly under colonial rule by the Dutch Republic from 1624 to 1662. In the context of the Age of Discovery, the Dutch East India Company established its presence on Formosa to trade with the Ming Empire in China and Tokugawa shogunate in Japan, and also to interdict Portuguese and Spanish trade and colonial activities in East Asia.
The Spanish East Indies were the overseas territories of the Spanish Empire in Asia and Oceania from 1565 to 1901 governed from Manila in the Spanish Philippines. The seat of government was in the Spanish Philippines and it encompassed the Marianas, Carolines, Palaos and Guam, as well as parts of Formosa (Taiwan), Sulawesi (Celebes) and the Moluccas (Maluku). The King of Spain traditionally styled himself "King of the East and West Indies".
Santísima Trinidad was a bay on the northeast coast of Taiwan at Keelung, where in 1626 the Spanish established a settlement and built Fort San Salvador. They occupied the site until 1642 when they were driven out by the Dutch. The Dutch re-shaped the Spanish fort, reduced its size and renamed it Fort Noort-Holland.
Fernándo de Silva was a Spanish diplomat and colonial official. From July 1625 to June 28, 1626 he was interim governor of the Philippines.
Juan Niño de Tabora, was a Spanish general and colonial official. From June 29, 1626 until his death on July 22, 1632, he was governor of the Philippines.
Juan Cerezo de Salamanca was interim Spanish governor of the Philippines from August 2, 1633 to June 25, 1635.
Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera y Gaviria was a Spanish soldier and colonial official. From 1632 to 1634 he was governor of Panama. From June 25, 1635 to August 11, 1644 he was governor of the Philippines. And from 1659 to his death in 1660 he was governor of the Canary Islands. He is remembered as one of the two greatest Spanish military leaders in the Philippines.
Paulus Traudenius was the Dutch Governor of Formosa from 1640 to 1643.
Martinus or Maarten Sonck was the first Dutch Governor of Formosa from 1624–1625.
Robert Junius, also recorded as Robertus Junius was a Dutch Reformed Church missionary to Taiwan from 1629 to 1643. Along with Antonius Hambroek and Joannes Cruyf, he was among the longest-serving missionaries of the Dutch colonial era in Formosa.
Tamsui District is a sea-side district in New Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. It is named after the Tamsui River; the name means "fresh water". The town is popular as a site for viewing the sun setting into the Taiwan Strait. Though modest in size, it has a large role in Taiwanese culture.
The Dutch Pacification Campaign on Formosa was a series of military actions and diplomatic moves undertaken in 1635 and 1636 by Dutch colonial authorities in Dutch-era Taiwan (Formosa) aimed at subduing hostile aboriginal villages in the southwestern region of the island. Prior to the campaign the Dutch had been in Formosa for eleven years, but did not control much of the island beyond their principal fortress at Tayouan, and an alliance with the town of Sinkan. The other aboriginal villages in the area conducted numerous attacks on the Dutch and their allies, with the chief belligerents being the village of Mattau, who in 1629 ambushed and slaughtered a group of sixty Dutch soldiers.
The Spanish expedition to Formosa was a campaign mounted by the Spanish based in Manila, Philippines in 1626. It was the Spanish response to Dutch settlements being built in Formosa, now known as Taiwan. In cooperation with the Portuguese, this venture was made to attract Chinese traders and curtail the expansion of Dutch power in Asia.
Events in the year 1642 in Spain.
The Battle of San Salvador (1642), also known as The Second Battle of San Salvador, was a military assault launched by the Dutch on a small fortified Spanish settlement and its aboriginal allies in northern Formosa 1642. After six days, the battle ended in defeat for the Spanish. The Spanish defeat secured full control of the island for the Dutch.
The Battle of San Salvador (1641) was an expedition launched by the Dutch and their aboriginal allies in Taiwan against the Spanish in 1641.
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