Why Is Big Apple Important

1060 Words5 Pages
For whatever reason, New York picked up the appellation ‘Big Apple’ – is it even appropriate? Unbeknownst to most people, and as a result of a remarkable twist in fate, the city’s fortunes actually owe far more to some exotic tropical spices in Indonesia than they do to the humble apple. The spices in question are nutmeg and mace. Both come from the nutmeg tree, native to a tiny chain of islands called the Banda islands, which themselves are part of a larger group of islands called the Moluccas, or Spice Islands – a chain of islands in the vast Indonesian archipelago. Today, the Banda islands are largely forgotten and sometimes even omitted from maps of the region. But this common oversight belies their huge importance in times gone by, due…show more content…
This was their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: even when paying inflated prices for the spices to the local natives, they could still expect to reap profits of up to a phenomenal 1,000 percent when selling them back in Europe. The Portuguese were naturally ecstatic at their success, and to safeguard their newly found sources of riches from the competing Spanish, they built forts across the Molucca islands, many of which can still be seen today. But the lucrative spice trade had also caught the attention of other European powers, most notably England and Holland. Although the Portuguese held onto the islands for a while after, the Dutch managed to wrest control of them by 1605. But the English hadn’t given up their aspirations either. Indeed, explorers from both countries made many attempts at identifying alternate routes to the Spice Islands. The arduous two-year journey east from Europe often ended in disaster, with ship crews decimated by scurvy and other deadly…show more content…
Although English, he had been recruited by the Dutch. But after failing to find a northeast passage to Asia via the Arctic Ocean and North Pole in 1608, his ship sailed further east and ended up exploring the east coast of North America, even sailing for a distance up the Hudson River that now bears his name. He brought back news of fertile lands on his return to Holland, and the Dutch later sent more missions, eventually establishing a permanent presence in the area in 1614. Not long after, amid the threat of attacks by other European colonial powers, the Dutch constructed a fort to protect their trading post at the southern tip of what is today Manhattan. Little could Hudson have realised then the significance of his voyage to the
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