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1624CE

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§Africa

January 24 – Alfonso Mendez, appointed by Pope Gregory XV as Prelate of Ethiopia, arrives at Massawa from Goa.

§Asia

§China

July 30 - The Chinese began an offensive on February 1624 with warships and troops against the Dutch in Penghu with the intent of expelling them. The Chinese offensive reached the Dutch fort on July 30, 1624, with 5,000 Chinese troops (or 10,000) and 40-50 warships under General Wang Mengxiong surrounding the fort commanded by Marten Sonck, and the Dutch were forced to sue for peace on August 3 and folded before the Chinese demands, withdrawing from Penghu to Taiwan. The Dutch admitted that their attempt at military force to coerce China into trading with them had failed with their defeat in Penghu. At the Chinese victory celebrations over the "red-haired barbarians" as the Dutch were called by the Chinese, Nan Juyi paraded twelve Dutch soldiers who were captured before the Emperor in Beijing. The Dutch were astonished that their violence did not intimidate the Chinese and at the subsequent Chinese attack on their fort in Penghu since they had thought them timid and from their experience in Southeast Asia had regarded them as a "faint-hearted troupe".

§Japan

Spaniards (priests and laymen) are banned from the country and further contact with them is prohibited.

§Taiwan

In 1624, the Dutch East Indies Company, headquartered in Batavia, Java, established the first European-style government ever on the soil of Taiwan, and inaugurated the modern political history of Taiwan. They did not just collect taxes, but also tried to convert the native Formosans, who enjoyed a friendly relationship with the Dutch, and learned the Dutch language. Some aborigines still retain their Dutch Bibles even today. The records of the Dutch rule are well-preserved in a museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Documents there show that they even set up orphanages on Taiwan at that time (a rare occurrence in East Asia then). Today, their legacy in Taiwan is visible in Anping District of Tainan City where the remains of their Castle Zeelandia are preserved, in Tainan City itself where their Fort Provintia is still the main structure of what is now called Chihkan Tower, and finally in Tamsui where Fort Anthonio (now called Hung-Mao Cheng (literally, the Fortress of the Red-haired ones) still stands as the best preserved Redoubt (minor fort)of the Dutch East India Company anywhere in the world. The building was later used by the British consulate until the United Kingdom severed ties with the KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang) regime and its formal relationship with Taiwan.

It was the Dutch who started importing on a large scale Chinese workers from China's Fujian province as laborers, many of whom became naturalized. The Dutch had their colonial capital at Tayoan City (source of modern name "Taiwan", and present day Anping). The Dutch military presence concentrated at a fort called Castle Zeelandia. The Dutch colonialists also used the aborigines to hunt the native Formosan Sika deer (Cervus nippon taioanus) that inhabited Taiwan, contributing to the eventual disappearance of a small subspecies in the wild.

§Europe

§France

April - Cardinal Richelieu becomes chief minister of France. Cardinal Richelieu's policy involved two primary goals: centralization of power in France and opposition to the Habsburg dynasty (which ruled in both Austria and Spain).

§Netherlands

Under Spinola's orders the Spanish laid siege to Breda in August, contrary to the wishes of their king. The city was heavily fortified and defended by a garrison of 7,000. Spinola rapidly invested its defences and hurled back a Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau attempting to cut his supplies. The defenders held.

§Papal States

Martin Luther's German translation of the Bible is publicly burned by order of the Pope.

Urban VIII issued a 1624 papal bull that made smoking tobacco punishable by excommunication. Pope Benedict XIII would later repeal the ban.

§Sources

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Page last modified on September 04, 2016, at 04:08 PM