History[edit | edit source]
Spanish Rule[edit | edit source]
In 1499, Alonso de Ojeda arrived in Curaçaoball and Bonaireball. Ojeda was accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci and Juan de la Cosa. The Spanish conquerors decided that the three ABC Islands were useless. Spain colonized Bonaire in 1499 for a period of approximately one century. As part of the Spanish colonization, the Arawak people were moved, in 1515, to Hispaniolaball. The majority of the population is mulatto, with minorities of Europeans (descendants of the Dutch) and Africans (descendants of slaves).
Dutch Rule[edit | edit source]
The Dutch and the Spanish fought from 1568 to 1648 in what is now known as the Eighty Years War. In 1633, the Dutch – having lost the island of Sint Maartenball to the Spanish – retaliated by attacking Curaçaoball, Bonaireball and Arubaball. Bonaire was conquered in March 1636. Bonaire became a plantation of the Dutch West Indies Company. A small number of African slaves were put to work alongside Arawaks and convicts.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Netherlands lost control of Bonaire twice, once from 1800 to 1803, and again from 1807 to 1816. During these intervals, the UKball had control of Bonaire. The ABC islands were returned to the Netherlands under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814. During the period of British rule, a large number of white traders settled on Bonaire, and they built the settlement of Playa (Kralendijk) in 1810. Gradually many of the slaves were freed and became freemen with an obligation to render some services to the government. During the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, Bonaire was a protectorate of the UKball and the USAball. 34 Bonaireans died in WWII. Politically Bonaire formed part of the Netherlands Antillesball from 1954 to 2010; it is now a special municipality within the Netherlands.
Gallery[edit | edit source]