From 1580 to 1640, Portugal was reigned by the Habsburg dynasty of Spain. This resulted in control of both imperial empires by the King of Spain. It is at the begin of this period that the Dutch revolt turned out to be successfull, at least in Holland and in the northern Province, wheres Brabant (Antwerp and Brussels) and Flanders remained under Spanish control. The Netherlands declared themselves a Republic in 1581.
Both events combined led to a first world-wide war. The Iberian Union cut off the Dutch supply from Lissabon. This is why the Dutch became increasingly engaged in the colonial business themselves, now as a rival of the Spanish controlled Portugal. The Dutch wars against the Spanish and Portuguese maritime empire were not fought by the newly established republic, but by its merchants, namely by the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company. This naval “world war” took place on all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. After state bankruptcy and economical breakdown in 1627, the Spanish were less capable to cope with Dutch and British threats in the second quarter of the century. The war continued also after reinstallation of an independ Portuguese Kingdom, since the war had become a Dutch imperial war to gain own oversea territiories. Though victourious in Brazil And Angola, Portugal lost a great number of colonial lands to the new arch rivals, Ceylon being one of the territories coming under Dutch control.
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