In the 17th Century Brazil found itself the center of contesting and warring European powers. The Portuguese colonization of Brazil was followed by the invasion from Holland as well as by French attempts to establish a presence in the country. Historians however describe the Dutch invasion of Brazil in the 17th century as one of the most damaging, imposing and far-reaching occupations of the country. This was mainly due to the well-organized and well-planned nature of the Dutch intrusion. 1 The Dutch invasion was an attempt not merely at establishing some fortuitous harbors for trade but was colonization in the true sense of the term. One of the obvious reasons was export of natural resources such as sugar. .
The Dutch occupation of Brazil presents a number of pertinent and important questions that will form the fulcrum of the discussion in this paper. These are - the reasons for the Dutch invasion; the short as well as the long-term impact on Brazil and the reasons why the Dutch left Brazil. Furthermore, in the analysis of the historical data and sources a central aspect tends to manifest itself. This refers to the question as to whether the invasion by the Dutch was just another manifestation of colonization with the concomitant detrimental and negative effects, or whether the Dutch occupation had a more positive and beneficial impact on the country in some senses. This question relates to the central thesis of this paper which refers to the question of short term as well as long term effects of the Dutch invasion and occupation. In the final analysis was this historical event beneficial or detrimental?.
This paper will attempt to show that there is a certain ambiguity in the historical response to the event of the Dutch invasion of Brazil. On the one hand there are those critics and commentators who see the events through the prism of post - colonial discourse and the view the Dutch intrusion and occupation as essentially negative.