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Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2012

Map of Formosa

September 7, 1652: The Guo Huaiyi Rebellion begins. Dutch Formosa refers to the Dutch colonial period of Formosa, what is known today as Taiwan. The name Formosa means “Beautiful Island” and the paradise is located off the southeast coast of mainland China. The island is 245 miles long and 89 miles wide. There is evidence of human settlement dating back 30,000 years. About 4,000 years ago, farmers came from China to the island and these immigrants are believed to be the ancestors of today’s indigenous people.

The Dutch arrived in Formosa in 1624 during their Age of Exploration. The Dutch attempted to trade with China in 1601, unsuccessfully, since the Chinese were already trading with the Portuguese. The Dutch attacked the Portuguese, again unsuccessfully. Since they were unable to get a foothold on mainland China, the Dutch settled on Formosa. They began to take control of the land and punish natives who resisted. Their control grew and the Dutch gained allegiance of the natives, sometimes out of fear of the consequences should the natives resist.

Other European nations were also expanding trade routes and the Dutch had to contend with them as well. After ousting the Spanish, their own power base was improved. By 1643, the Dutch were encouraging the Chinese to come to the island. The Chinese arrived and worked hard only to find excessive taxation and licensing fees taking their earned monies. Corruption among the Dutch also angered the Chinese farmers.

Guo Huaiyi was a sugarcane farmer and militia leader. He and his followers stormed Fort Provintia, protected only by a bamboo wall. The attackers were armed with bamboo spears, but still managed a rout. The Dutch fled and took refuge in the stable, the safest building in the compound. Many Dutch were captured and killed before finding refuge. The next morning, 120 Dutch musketeers came to rescue their trapped countrymen. On September 11, the two sides clashed in the countryside and the rebellion was quashed by the superiorly armed Dutch. Remnants of the rebel army were killed, often by natives who had sided with the Dutch.

As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration. – Laura Nyro

Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God. – Orson Pratt

It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause. – H. L. Mencken

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. – Barbara Ehrenreich

Also on this day:

Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent is granted for the making of a rag doll.
She’s Gone – In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested for an art theft.
Not Soccer – In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.