The English and the Dutch fought together to defeat the Invincible Spanish Armada in 1588.
After the sinking of the Spanish Armada, Europe was engulfed in the bloody Thirty Years War, 1618-1648.
Both the English and the Dutch grew into global economic and military powers, having colonies around the world.
While the Dutch were engaged in the Thirty Years War, they were also fighting an Eighty Years' War of independence from Spain, which was in a dynastic union with Portugal.
The Dutch captured Brazil from the Portuguese in 1630, as well as Goa, India, and Jakarta, Indonesia.
They captured the Portuguese Gold Coast of Africa, and had a monopoly on trade with Japan.
Overlapping the Dutch Eighty Years' War of Independence from Spain, 1568-1648, was the Nine Years War in Ireland, part of the larger Anglo-Spanish War 1585-1604, with some 130,000 casualties.
King Philip III of Spain landed 6,000 troops in Ireland with the intent of waging war on England, but the English defeated the combined Spanish and Irish armies at the Battle of Kinsale, 1602.
King James of England, in 1609, began transporting thousands of fiercely independent Presbyterian Protestants from the Scottish Lowlands and the unruly borders between Scotland and England to colonize Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Then an English Civil War erupted, 1642-1651.
The King of England, Charles I, was captured and beheaded in 1649.
Afterwards, the English Parliament sent the Army under Oliver Cromwell to invade Ireland, 1649-1653.
Catholic lands were taken away and given to English.
In a brutal conquest, an estimated 500,000 Irish were killed and nearly as many were displaced and involuntarily sold into slavery.
It was an era of "conquer or be conquered."
Portugal, Spain, Russia, France, the Netherlands, and Britain all competed for control of trade and trade routes around the world.
England was also referred to as Britain or the United Kingdom.
Holland was also referred to as the Dutch or the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
Dutch had colonies in:
- Bengal (bordering India);
- Brazil (South America);
- Cape Colony (South Africa);
- Ceylon (Sri Lanka, Bay of Bengal);
- East Indies;
- Formosa (Taiwan);
- Gold Coast (Ghana, Africa);
- Guianas (South America);
- Keelung (Taipei);
- Malabar (Southern India);
- Malacca (Malaysia, near Singapore);
- Mauritius (Indian Ocean);
- New Guinea (north of Australia);
- New Netherland (New York);
- Surinam (South America).
Britain grew to have colonies around the world, including:
- New England;
- Nova Scotia;
- India; and
- Indonesian Spice Islands.
Tensions between the English and the Dutch increased.
In 1623, the Amboina Massacre occurred, with captives even being "water-boarded" to get confessions.
A Dutch colonial officer suspected the English were planning an attack, so he carried out a preemptive strike, massacring English soldiers and driving the British East India Company from the Spice Islands.
English pirates began capturing and looting more than a hundred Dutch ships.
This ignited the First Anglo-Dutch War, 1652 to 1654, which had fall-out in colonies around the world.
In 1654, the Dutch lost Dutch Brazil, which caused Jewish inhabitants there to flee to Jamaica then to the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam, becoming the first permanent Jews in North America.
Admiral William Penn gained fame for fighting in the English Civil War, being rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with an estate in Ireland.
Penn helped the English defeat the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War.
Oliver Cromwell sent Admiral Penn to the Caribbean, where he captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655.
After Oliver Cromwell died, Admiral Penn helped restore Charles II to his father's throne in 1660, ending the English Commonwealth.
Charles II knighted him and gave him the rank of Lord High Admiral, with the honorable title of "Sir."
The Second Anglo-Dutch War took place 1665-1667.
Admiral Sir William Penn again helped defeat the Dutch navy.
This resulted in Britain capturing the Dutch colonies in America, including:
- New Amsterdam, which was renamed New York; and
- the land that had been New Sweden, which was renamed Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sir William Penn had high hopes for his son, also named William Penn.
When young Penn was 15 years old, his famous father was in the Caribbean.
At that time, a Quaker missionary named Thomas Loe visited the Penn estate in Ireland.
Loe shared with young Penn about the light of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Penn later recalled that it was during this time that:
"... the Lord visited me and gave me divine Impressions of Himself."
Young Penn intended to follow in his father's footsteps.
He joined the military as a soldier and suppressed an uprising in Ireland in 1666.
He returned to London only to witness the Great Plague in London, where a quarter of the city died, writing:
"(It) gave me a deep sense of the vanity of this world, of the irreligiousness of the religions in it."
During that plague, Isaac Newton left Cambridge in London and went to a country estate, where he observed an apple fall and theorized the Law of Gravity.
Penn was struck by Quakers, who, while caring for those sick of the plague, were derided by established churchmen, or falsely accused of causing the plague.
Police arrested the Quakers and other dissenters for breaking the 1664 Conventicle Act, where no more than five people could meet for a prayer meeting, and the 1665 Five Mile Act, where it was illegal to preach within five miles of a town.
John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, was arrested at this time and spent 12 years in prison.
Young Penn served as a privileged messenger between the King and his Admiral father, whom he grew to admire:
"I never knew what a father was till I had wisdom enough to prize him ... I pray God... that you come home secure."
The Second Anglo-Dutch War ended with the Treaty of Breda, 1667, in which the Dutch gave up Manhattan Island to the British in exchange for the tiny Indonesian spice Island of Run, where nutmeg was grown -- one of the most regretted negotiations in history.
Penn attended the elite Oxford University, where students were either strict Puritans, nonconforming Quakers, or as Penn was, one of the aristocratic Anglicans called "Cavaliers."
Though a Cavalier, Penn nevertheless felt drawn to frequent Quaker meetings.
When the British government under Charles II began enforcing religious uniformity, young William Penn was arrested while attending a Quaker meetings, but because of his father, he was released.
Young William Penn began to associate more with the Quaker movement, and express criticism of the King's church.
Multiple times the younger Penn was arrested, and his father used his influence to get him freed from jail.
Once, young Penn urged his father: "I intreat thee not to purchase my liberty."
His actions caused considerable embarrassment to his father, who had spent his career carefully avoiding political entanglements, as it could cost one his career or even his head.
When young Penn publicly embraced Quaker beliefs, it so dishonored his father that the elder Penn beat him with a cane, drove him out of the house and threatened to disinherit him.
Young Penn fled England and lived in France for several years.
He met and traveled with George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Quakers.
Penn returned to England and wrote The Sandy Foundation Shaken, which was critical of the King's Church.
In 1668, when the government tried to force Penn to deny his conscience and abandon his religious convictions, he refused, resulting him being imprisoned in the Tower of London for eight months.
Guards gave him pen and paper, thinking he wanted to write a recantation of his beliefs, but instead, Penn wrote his famous work "No Cross, No Crown," stating:
"Christ's cross is Christ's way to Christ's crown ... The unmortified Christian and the heathen are of the same religion, and the deity they truly worship is the god of this world.
It is a false notion that they may be children of God while in a state of disobedience to his holy commandments, and disciples of Jesus though they revolt from his cross."
Upon being freed, Penn argued on behalf of the thousands of persecuted Quakers.
In Bushel's Case, 1670, Penn was arrested and tried.
When the jury came back with a not guilty verdict, the judge put the entire jury in jail.
Admiral Penn realized after his death there would be no one to intercede for his son, so he spent his final days securing a promise from King Charles II to be favorable to his son.
Among his last correspondence, Admiral Penn wrote to his son: "Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience."
In 1670, the same year Admiral Sir William Penn died, Charles II made the secret Treaty of Dover with his cousin, King Louis XIV of France, promising to convert to Catholicism at some unspecified date in the future if France would give 60 warships and 4,000 troops to help England in the Third Anglo-Dutch War, 1672-1674.
After his father's death, Penn wanted to use his inheritance to buy West Jersey in America -- land that had previously been part of New Sweden, before being taken over by the Dutch, then the English.
His hope was to let persecuted Quakers emigrate there.
On March 10, 1681, Penn met with King Charles II to get permission for the land purchase, but to his surprise, the King gave him a land grant of 45,000 square miles, making Penn the largest non-royalty landowner in the world.
Charles II named it "Pennsylvania" in honor of the father, Admiral Sir William Penn.
Charles II died in 1685, being succeeded by his brother, the Duke of York, for whom New York was named, who later was crowned King James II.
James II was chased out of England during the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and replaced with William and Mary.
Penn wanted to make his colony of Pennsylvania a "holy experiment" where Christians of different denominations, who were persecuted in Europe for conscience sake, could flee for refuge and live together.
This was an unprecedented endeavor in the world, taking place at a time in history when most of Europe was ruled by kings, China was ruled by emperors of the Qing dynasty, and Turkish Sultan Mahmet IV's 200,000 Ottoman Muslim soldiers were laying siege to Vienna, Austria.
Emphasizing his Christian tolerance, Penn named the colony's main city "Philadelphia," which is Greek for "Brotherly Love."
As Jesus never forced anyone to follow him, Penn wrote to a friend, January 1, 1681, that his colony would:
"Make and establish such laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in all opposition to all unchristian ... practices."
Not only were Quakers allowed in, but Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Moravians, Mennonites, and Amish.
Pennsylvania was one of the few colonies to allow in Catholics and Jews.
William Penn wrote in England's Present Interest Considered, 1675:
"Force makes hypocrites, 'tis persuasion only that makes converts."
His views stand in stark contrast to sharia Islamists or modern-day enforcers of the intolerant cancel culture.
Pennsylvania's first legislative act was an unprecedentedly tolerant Great Law of Pennsylvania, December 7, 1682:
"No person ... who shall confess and acknowledge one Almighty God to be the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World ... shall in any case be molested or prejudiced for his, or her conscientious persuasion or practice but shall freely and fully enjoy his or her Christian Liberty without any interruption."
History records that William Penn insisted on treating the Delaware Indians with honesty, paying them a fair sum for their land, resulting in his city of Philadelphia being spared the Indian attacks and scalpings that other colonies experienced.
Six years after Penn arrived, his colony produced the first anti-slavery document in America, the Germantown Petition of 1688:
"Here is liberty of conscience which is right and reasonable; here ought to be liberty of ye body ... To bring men hither, or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against ...
We ... are against this traffic of men-body. And we who profess that is is not lawful to steal, must, likewise, avoid to purchase such things as are stolen ...
Then is Pennsylvania to have a good report ... in what manner ye Quakers do rule in their province."
Before arriving in America, William Penn had written to the Delaware Indian chiefs, August 18, 1681:
There is one great God and Power that hath made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all people owe their being and well-being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account, for all that we do in the world;
... This great God hath written His law in our hearts by which we are taught and commanded to love and help and do good to one another and not to do harm and mischief one unto another ...
Now this great God hath pleased to make me concerned in my parts of the world, and the king of the country where I live, hath given unto me a great province therein,
but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may always live together as neighbors and friends, else what would the great God say to us, who hath made us not to devour and destroy one another, but to live soberly and kindly together in the world ..."
"I have great love and regard towards you, and I desire to gain your love and friendship by a kind, just and peaceable life, and the people I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly ...
I shall shortly come to you myself at which time we may more freely and largely confer and discourse of these matters.
Receive those presents and tokens which I have sent to you as a testimony to my goodwill to you and my resolution to live justly, peaceably and friendly with you.
I am your loving friend, William Penn."