In the 15th and 16th centuries, European countries expanded their power abroad, opened up new routes to East Asia, discovered a new continent in the Americas, and shortened the navigation distance between Asia and Europe, and the world has since entered the era of great navigation. In the international environment of sea power struggle, Taiwan has entered a historical era. At the beginning of the 17th century, in addition to some sporadic Ryukyu people, Han people, and pirates traveling to and from Taiwan, Western mercantilist countries also began to pay attention to Taiwan. At this time, the Far East Sea has become a situation in which the three European countries are competing: Portugal, which rents Macau, Spain, which colonizes Luzon Island in the Philippines, and the Netherlands, which owns Java, are competing in the Far East for commerce and colonization.
The Dutch’s commercial purpose in the Far East was originally based on the Ming Dynasty. However, due to the competition of the Portuguese and the resistance of the Ming Empire, the Dutch had to turn to Penghu and occupied Penghu twice in 1604 and 1622. However, because Penghu was the territory of the Ming Empire, the Ming government also sent troops twice to drive away the Dutch. In 1604, Shen Yourong sent troops to Penghu to expel the Dutch. After 8 months of winning or losing, the Netherlands finally negotiated a peace. In the negotiation and contract, the Ming government asked the Netherlands to withdraw from Penghu. If it withdrew from Penghu and occupied Taiwan, the opposite “Huawai Island”, the Ming government had no objection. After this negotiation, the Dutch entered southern Taiwan in 1624 and built the “City of Orange”, which was later transformed into the city of Geranzio. Later, due to the Guo Huaiyi incident, the city of Prominja was built in 1653.
In the third year of the Dutch rule of Taiwan (1626), Spain also sent troops from Manila, the Philippines, to occupy northern Taiwan. They successively occupied the chicken coop and the Huwei area, and built the city of Santo Domingo to start colonial and commercial competition with the Dutch in the south, but the situation was not good. In addition, the Spanish rulers built Catholic churches in Jinshan, San Diego and other places, trying to preach to the aborigines. The Spanish priest also studied aboriginal languages and wrote the “Taiwan Island Freshwater Vocabulary” (Spanish: Vocabulario de la lengua de los Indios Tanchui en la Isla Hermosa). In 1642 the Dutch drove out the Spaniards and occupied the second city.
The Dutch ruled Taiwan for about 38 years. In its heyday (1650), its rule included areas dominated by the Jianan Plain, the second Spanish colony in the north and the coastal area of present-day Taitung. The Dutch adopted a method of appeasement, repression, and enlightenment against the indigenous peoples (Formosas), adopted the “Landdag” system, elected elders from each village, and rallied annually to promote the Dutch authorities As for current political measures, local meetings are divided into four districts: North Road, South Road, Tamsui, and Beinan. The elders must swear allegiance to the Dutch authorities and exercise judicial power in the community after possessing the rattan stick granted by the Dutch authorities. The Dutch also widely promoted the Calvinism of Protestantism, and promoted cultural and educational work while preaching. The Newport Document is one of its examples.
At that time, there were also a certain number of Han people who had migrated to Taiwan, and some Han people were recruited to Taiwan for cultivation. The Han people played a role in assisting the Dutch rule in many aspects, including serving as a “social business” (tax-inclusive business), etc. The Dutch East India Company used a bidding method to outsource the commercial transaction rights of a company to the highest bidder, and provided it in four seasons The social business collects taxes to increase fiscal revenue, which is called “Ben Society”. However, due to heavy taxes and no land ownership by the people, the land is Wang Tian and owned by the King of the Netherlands, causing some people in Taiwan to be dissatisfied with the Dutch ruler. In 1652, the Guo Huaiyi Incident broke out due to the reduction in sugar cane production and the increase in the poll tax. In addition, in 1629 and 1636, there were also two large-scale resistance activities of the indigenous people of Formosa, the Madouxi Incident and the Xiaolong Incident, respectively.
In terms of economy, the Dutch introduced many new species, including mango, custard apple, cabbage, soybean, pepper, jackfruit, Luzon tobacco, peas, tomato, etc., and also introduced cattle. The land area unit “Morgen” (Morgen) used by the Dutch at that time was equivalent to “A”, and it has been used today. In addition, the Dutch developed trade in Taiwan and used Taiwan as a transit point. Taiwan became a cargo distribution center for Ming Dynasty, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and other places. At this time, Taiwan has jumped into an export-oriented maritime trade system, which is different from traditional China’s self-sufficient feudal small peasant economy. However, the Dutch rule in Taiwan was an exploitative rule after all. Around 1650, the annual net income of the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan was about 4 billion Dutch dollars (about 4 tons of gold).