Olivier van Noort and other early Spanish-Dutch conflicts in the Philippines

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Although Spain ruled the Philippines much of the time until 1898, the Spanish had to fight other powers. Dutch fleets attacked Manila several times between 1600 to 1647.

Pursuing their quest for alternative trade routes to Asia, the Dutch reached the Philippines and sought to dominate the commercial sea trade in Southeast Asia. Being at war with Spain, they engaged in privateering activities. They harassed the coasts of Manila Bay and its environs, and preyed on sampans and junks from China and Japan in an attempt to cut off Spanish trade with East Asia.

The first Dutch squadron to reach the Philippines was led by Olivier van Noort. Olivier van Noort was born in 1558 in Utrecht. He left Rotterdam on July 2, 1598 with four ships and a plan to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands during the Eighty Years’…

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