Why did they move?

Introduction: The Motives behind the Founding of the Courland Colony

Duke Jacobus Kettler launched his colony on the island of Tobago in 1654. Numerous factors were involved, personal, economic and political. The Duke was widely travelled and had a keen interest in Mercantilism. His wife had connections with the Dutch West India Company. Courland was a maritime nation with a strong tradition in shipping and ship-building. Courland had contacts and treaties of friendship with most of the maritime countries of Northern Europe: Britain, The Netherlands, France, Sweden and others. All these countries were beginning to be involved in the colonial rivalries to secure trade and territories in the Caribbean. The Courland Colony was a small but important part of this process.  


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