St. Maarten Soldiers
In truth, I was quite perplexed at how many people requested information about St. Maarten soldiers. Hey, come one. We’re in the beginning of the 20th century. Barring Middle Eastern crisis, wars are now waged over the internet and sloppy cafés where philosopher bohemians cackled about the end of the world over insults, but wars over modern countries like Netherlands Antilles?
But a further introspection detailed a clear history of St. Maarten soldiers, or those unwitting soldiers of the past that fought and died for the little island that would later be known as Saint Martin.
A History to Tell
Before the famous Italian cartographer Christopher Columbus sailed into and named the Saint Martin Island in the commission of the Spanish crown, St Maarten was far from empty. That was 500 years ago, and what he found was that the inhabitants of this little island are fierce tribes of Indians that also populated the neighboring islands. The Arawak tribes are immigrants from the Amazon jungle who held a contested rule over the island against a more vicious tribe of cannibal Indians known as the Caribs. War has been fought over the island by these prehistoric St. Maarten soldiers even before she got her christened name St. Maarten.
Columbus colonization of the colonies led to another brutal war where muskets and breastplates ultimately conquered the arrows of the Indians. But during this era, natives aren’t the biggest opposition of the Spanish crown. Almost daily, Spanish colonies over South America are being bombarded by pirates and the other opposing forces of the Dutch and English eager to intercept the lucrative Spanish Treasure Fleets. To better protect its New World colonies, Spain commissioned heavy navies to protect its colonies and centralized its command over at Mexico and Havana. But St. Maarten was largely ignored over choices of greater conquest. When Dutch settlers over the neighboring islands began extracting salts on the flats of St. Maarten, the Spanish Authorities began to seriously consider the islands economic possibility. Thus the Spanish Fort Point Blanche was erected.
When the Eighty Years’ War broke out, sea battles have been orchestrated on the Caribbean waters. There had been serious attempts to capture the island but the Spanish St. Maarten soldiers have proved worthwhile. In the end, the combined forces of the Dutch and the French manage a foothold on the island until at last the Island was retaken.
The war ended with the Treaty of Münster on January 30 1648 with the Dutch Republic being recognized and retains its control over the territories conquered. Suddenly, two European powers are being left with a small island which neither one would concede. After a few skirmishes; on March 23, 1648 France and the Netherlands agreed to divide the island into two.
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