Essay on History of Aruba

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History of Aruba Although there are no written accounts of Aruba’s early history, much has been determined by archeological excavation. The first known settlers of the island were a tribe of Arawak natives called the Caiquetios. These people were initially located on the South American mainland, and it is assumed that the Caiquetios migrated from Venezuela to Aruba. Due to its lack of natural resources, it can be assumed that Aruba was merely a stopover for a succession of tribes. They were a peaceful people, living under the guidance of a shaman or priest, who also served as the village-chief. The transient nature of Aruba’s population kept the size of the villages small, usually under fifty individuals. The Caiquetios consumed only…show more content…
When the Spanish realized that the climate of Aruba was too arid for cultivation and there was little evidence of the gold they were seeking, they essentially abandoned it to the native Caiquetios for approximately 150 years, and devoted their attention to their more lucrative possessions. Some natives were brought to Spain’s other islands, such as Hispaniola, to work as slaves, while others were converted to Christianity. Before long, however, the island became a concealed hide-away for pirates and buccaneers who preyed on ships transporting New World goods back to Europe. At Bushiribana on the northeast coast, the ruins of an old pirate castle remain today. During this time, the Dutch and Spanish had begun their Eighty Years War, which, in 1580, resulted in the closing of Portugal’s ports to Dutch navigation. The Dutch began traveling to the West Indies in search of foreign goods such as salt. Following the Spanish conquest of their base in St. Maarten, the Dutch set out looking for another place to establish a colonial presence. In 1936 they captured the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire from the Spanish who put up very little defense. The Dutch West India Company set up its administrative capital on Curaçao and formed an economic plan for its Netherlands Antilles. Curaçao would be the capital and agricultural center, Bonaire would be used for salt making and maize growing,

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