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The Dutch Power in Kerala

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About the Book

This book is the result of a devoted and systematic research work. It is primarily based on excellent archival material available in Dutch, English and old Malayalam languages. The author has delved deep into the original records and has come out with interesting information and interpretation differing from the writers, researchers and historians who had worked earlier, in this field and thereby he has broken a new ground in the field of historical research. The study examines the most crucial period of the Dutch power in Kerala from 1729-1758. During this period the Dutch found themselves trapped in a stormy and confused state of affairs in Kerala. The decline of trade, the challenge to their position as arbitrators in the affairs of Kerala, denial of support from the Netherlands and Batavia left them alone to face the crisis. The Dutch manoeuvred diplomatically and survived the challenges and dangers one after the other. The book begins with the advent of the Dutch sea trade with the East and presents a systematic observation of the events that led to the foundation of Dutch establishment and settlements and their relations with the rulers of Keralaare provided with accuracy. The work investigates the Dutch conflict with the rulers of Calicut and analyses their confrontation with the king of Travancore. The study gives an insight into the Dutch diplomacy in signing the treaty with the ruler of Travancore in 1753 and provisions of the treaty are critically examined in detail evaluating its significance and consequences. It portrays the rivalry between the Dutch and the other European powers during this critical period. The Dutch trade is also discussed in detail. The significance of the work lies in the fact that it assesses and estimates the different policies of the Dutch according to the changing circumstances to maintain their hold and trade in Kerala. It also highlights the effects and impact of the Dutch rule in Kerala concluding with a resume of the study and its historiographical importance. This scholarly and authoritative work is an original contribution to the history of Dutch power in Kerala in the first half of the eighteenth century. This study will prove as an authentic and invaluable source book for students, researchers and the enlightened public.


Dr. M.O. Koshy (b. 1945) started his career as Lecturer in History in the Noble College. Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh in 1968. He joined the Christian College, Chengannur, Kerala in 1969 where currently is the Professor in the Department of History. In 1985, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kerala. He has to his credit several publications in reputed journals. Besides, he has attended several national and international conferences/seminars where he presented learned papers. He is member of a number of academic bodies and at present is engaged and committed to research work in Indo-Dutch history.

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