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together with specimens of the commodities yielded by the other rich countries which they had visited, the Victory, which, of the two remaining ships, was most fit for a long voyage, set sail for Europe under the command of Juan Sebastian del Cano. He followed the course of the
Portuguese by the cape of Good-Hope; and, after a variety of disasters, arrived safe at St. Lucars.
The Spanish merchants eagerly engaged in that alluring commerce, which was thus unexpectedly opened to them; while their men of science were employed in demonstrating that the spice islands were so situated as to belong to the crown of Castile, in consequence of the partition made by pope Alexander VI. But the Portuguese, alarmed at the intrusion of such formidable rivals, remonstrated and negociated in Europe, at the same time that they obstructed in Asia the trade of the Spaniards; and Charles V. always A. D. 1529.needy, notwithstanding his great resources, and unwilling to add a rupture with Portugal to the numerous wars in which he was then engaged, made over to that crown his claim to the Moluccas for a sum of money",
A. D. 1555.
In consequence of this agreement, the Portuguese continued undisturbed, and without a rival, masters of the trade of India; and the Manillas lay neglected, till Philip II. succeeded to the crown of Spain. Soon after his accession, Philip formed the scheme of planting a colony in those islands, to which he gave the name of the Philippines. This he accomplished by means of an armament fitted out for New-Spain. Manilla, in the island of Luconia, was the station chosen for the capital of the new establishment; and, in order to induce the Spaniards to settle there, the rising colony was authorized to send India goods to America, in exchange for the precious metals".
6. Herera. dec. III. lib. iv. c. 5.
5. Herrera, dec. II. lib. ix. c. 3. 7. When Philip granted this indulgence, unless he meant afterwards to withdraw it, he was certainly little acquainted with the commercial interEsts of Old.Spain.
From Manilla an active commercial intercourse began with the Chinese, and a considerable number of that industrious people, allured by the prospect of gain, settled in the Philippines under the Spanish protection. By their means the colony was so amply supplied with all the valuable productions and manufactures of the east, as soon enabled it to open an advantageous trade with America, by a course of navigation the longest from land to land on our globe. This trade was originally carried on with Callao, the port of Lima, and the most commodious harbour on the coast of Peru; but experience having discovered many difficulties in that mode of communication, and the superior facility of an intercourse with New Spain, the staple of the commerce between America and Asia was removed from Callao to Acapulco9.
The Spanish colony in the Philippines, having no immediate connection with Europe, gave no uneasiness to the Portuguese, and received no annoyance from them. In the meantime the Portuguese, not only continued to monopolize the whole commerce of the east, but were masters of the coast of Guinea as well as of that of Arabia, Persia, and two peninsulas of India. They possessed the Moluccas, Ceylon, and the isles of Sunda, with the trade of China and Japan; and they had made their colony of Brazil which occupies that immense territory that lies between the Maragnon and the Rio de la Plata,one of the most valu
8. Torquemada, lib. v. c. 14. Robertson, Hist. Spanish Amer. book viii. 9. Many remonsrances have been presented against this trade, as detrimental to Old Spain, by diverting into another channel a large portion of that treasure which ought to flow into the parent kingdom; as tending to give rise to a spirit of independency in the colonies, and to encourage innumerable frauds, against which it is impossible to guard, in transactions so far removed from the inspection of government. But as it requires no slight effort of political wisdom and vigour to abolish any practice which numbers are interested in supporting, and to which time has added the sanction of its authority. The commerce between Acapulco and Manillá is still carried on to a considerable extent, and allowed under certain restrictions.
able districts in America. But like every people who have suddenly acquired great riches, the Portuguese began to feel the enfeebling effects of luxury and effeminacy. That hardy valour, which had subdued so many nations existed no longer among them: they were with difficulty brought to fight, except where there was a prospect of plunder. Corruption prevailed in all the departments of government, and the spirit of rapine among all ranks of men. At the same time that they gave themselves up to all those excesses which make usurpers hated, they wanted courage to make themselves feared. Equally detested in every quarter, they at length A. D. 1572 saw themselves ready to be expelled from India by a cofederacy of the princes of the country; and although they were able, by a desperate effort, to break this storm, their destruction was at hand'.
When Portugal fell under the dominion of Spain, in conA. D. 1530 sequence of the fatal catastrophe of Don Sebastian and his gallant nobility on the coast of Africa, Philip II. became possessed of greater resources than any monarch in ancient or modern times. But instead of employing his enormous wealth in procuring the security, the happiness, and the prosperity of his widely extended empire, he profusely dissipated it, in endeavouring to render himself as despotic in Europe as he was already in America, and in no inconsiderable portion of Asia and Africa. While Philip was employed in this ambitious project, his possessions in India were neglected; and as the Portuguese hated the dominion of the Spaniards they paid little attention to the security of their settlements. No one pursued any other object but his own immediate interest: there was no union, no zeal for the public good".
Things could not continue long in such a situation: and a new regulation, in regard to trade, completed the ruin of
10. Faria y Sousa, lib. v. cap. I. Guyon, Hist. des Ind. Orient. tom. iii. II. Id. ibid.
the Portuguese settlements in India. Philip II. whose bigotry and despotism had induced him to attempt to deprive the inhabitants of the Low Countries of their ciA. D. 1594. vil and religious liberties, in order more effectually to accomplish his aim, prohibited his new subjects. from holding any correspondence with the revolted provinces.
This was a severe blow to the trade of the Hollanders, which consisted chiefly, as at present, in supplying the wants of one nation with the produce of another. Their merchants, ambitious of augmenting their commerce, had got the trade of Lisbon into their hands. There they purchased India goods, which they sold again to all the different states of Europe. They were therefore struck with consternation at a prohibition, which excluded them from so essential a branch of their trade; and Philip did not foresee, that a restriction, by which he hoped to weaken the Dutch, would in the end, render them more formidable. Had they been permitted to continue their intercourse with Portugal, there is reason to believe they would have contented themselves with the commerce they carried on in the European seas, but finding it impossible to preserve their trade without the commodities of the East, they resolved to seek them at the original market, as they were deprived of every other12
In consequence of this resolution, the Hollanders fitted out some ships for India; and, after an unsuccessful attempt to find a passage thither through the North Sea, A. D. 1595. they proceeded by the Cape of Good Hope, under the direction of Cornelius Houtman, a Dutch merchant, who had resided some time at Lisbon, and made himself perfectly acquainted with every thing relative to the object of his voyage. His success, though by no means extraordinary, encouraged the merchants of Amsterdam to form
12. ADVERTISEMENT, a la tete de Recueil des Voyages, qui ont servi a l'Esta blissement, et aux Progres de la Compagnie des Indes Orientales,
the project of establishing a settlement in the island of Java, Admiral Van Neck, who was sent on that import
A. D. 1597.
ant expedition with eight ships, found the inhabitants of Java prejudiced against his countrymen. They permitted him, however, to trade; and having sent home, four vessels laden with spices, and other Indian commodities, he sailed to the Moluccas, where he met with a more favourable reception. The natives, he learned, had forced the Portuguese to abandon some place, and only waited an opportunity of expelling them from the rest. He entered into a treaty with some of the sovereigns, heablished factories in several of the islands, and he returned to Europe with his remaining ships richly laden13.
A. D. 1599.
The success of this voyage spread the most extravagant joy over the United Provinces. New associations were daily formed for carrying on the trade to India, and new fleets fitted out from every port of the republic. But the ardour of forming these associations, though terrible to the Portuguese, who never knew when they were in safety, or where they could with certainty annoy the enemy, had almost proved the ruin of the Dutch trade to the East. The rage of purchasing raised the value of commodities in Asia, and the necessity of selling made them bear a low price in Europe. The adventurers were in danger of falling a sacrifice to their own efforts, and to their laudible jealousy and emulation, when the wisdom of government saved them
A. D. 1602.
from ruin, by uniting the different societies into one great body, under the name of the East India Company14. This company, which was invested with authority to make peace or war with the Indian princes, to erect forts, choose governors, maintain garrisons, and nominate officers
14. Voyages de la Compagnie des Indes Orientales. Salengre, Essai d'une Hist. des Prov. Unies.