November 30, 2021

This article presents the highlights of the history of Suriname, a country located in the north of South America, which once encompassed a larger area, called the Wild Coast (South America), between the Orinoco Delta and that of the Amazon, occupied today by French Guyana (Cayenne was Dutch from 1656 to 1664), Suriname (Paramaribo was English from 1650 to 1667) and Guyana (where the Dutch ceded their colony of Berbice to the British, Pomeroon (founded by the Dutch in 1657 and destroyed by the English in 1665), Démérara and Essequibo).

Pre-Columbian period

The history of Suriname dates back to 3000 BC. AD, with the arrival of the first Amerindians. The two largest tribes were the Arawaks, nomads living from hunting and fishing on the coast, followed by the Caribbean who settled on the mouth of the Maroni. Several tribes inhabited the rainforest inland, including the Akurio, Trió, Wayarekule, Warrau, and Wayana.

European period

First Dutch colonization

The first Europeans to land in Suriname, in the part now occupied by Guyana, were the Dutch traders who founded the colony of Essequibo, first called Pomeroon, in the far north. This colony was destroyed by the Amerindians and the Spaniards in 1596. Led by Joost van der Hooge, member of the Bentvueghels brotherhood, the Zeeland traders settled in 1613, on an island called Kyk-over-al in the estuary, in 25 kilometers from the ocean, on the Mazaruni river just before the confluence with the Essequibo river. This site facilitates trade with the local population and has a Latin name, Nova Zeelandia. This name evokes Zeeland, the southernmost part of the Netherlands on the Belgian border, which had received the most refugees, after Amsterdam [ref. desired], during the split from the Spanish Netherlands. Van der Hooge then found an old Portuguese fort on the site of which he built a new fort closer to the ocean, on an island called Fort Hoog, from 1616 to 1621. this fort was also called Fort Kyk-over-al and became in 1621 one of the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company. The fort becomes in 1638 the seat of its Zeeland section and is baptized “New Zealand”, just like the colony. Cocoa, indigo and cotton are grown there with settlers from Middelburg, Veere and Flushing. In 1658, the cartographer Cornelis Goliath (nl) created a map of the settlement and drew the plans for a town called Nieuw Middelburg (nl). Adrian Groenewegen marries the daughter of a Caribbean chief to counteract the influence of the Arawaks. The reports of Don Juan Tostado, in February 1614, one of the Spanish residents, worried about the arrival of the Dutch indicate that they put at the disposal of the Amerindians large quantities of knives, axes and weapons. One of his successors, Jan van der Goes, brought more inhabitants from his province of Zeeland to Kyk-over-al in 1624 and until 1632 received support from the Dutch West India Company. The trader Abraham van Pere settled on the Berbice River in 1627 and built Fort Nassau about 80 kilometers inland. The colony was permanently inhabited from 1624. Its first governors were Adrian Groenewegen (1616–1624) then Jacob Conijn (1624–1627) and then Jan van der Goes (1627–1638), followed by Cornelis Pieterszoon Hose ( 1638–1641) and Andriaen van der Woestijne (1641–1644). The Battle of the Bay of Matanzas, won in 1628, then allows the installation in Brazil is the beginning of the history of Pernambuco in 1630 [ref. desired].

French colonization in 1626 and English in 1643

In 1626, a colony of about five hundred people from La Rochelle, France, settled in

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