In the Time of the Flemings: the Dutch in Brazil, 1624-54

C.R. Boxer recalls “the time of the Flemings” (Tempo dos Flamengos), as the period of the Dutch occupation of Pernambuco province in Brazil used to be called.

Map of Dutch Brazil 1630-1654The phenomenal expansion of Dutch overseas enterprise in the first half of the seventeenth century is seldom sufficiently stressed in English historical works. Pride in the spectacular achievements of the Elizabethan adventurers should not blind us to the fact that not an inch of colonial territory had been effectively wrested from Spanish or Portuguese control before 1600, and that it was the Dutch rather than the English who broke the back of Iberian sea-power during the next forty years.

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