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The Nutmeg War

In 1667, under a treaty that brought to a close the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the British got to keep the island of Manhattan (then essentially just a swamp that no one wanted but which it had captured from the Netherlands a few years before), and the Dutch got to keep Pulau Run, an island in the so-called Spice Islands chain. According to the Financial Times, the Dutch had “finally realized their dream” of securing a monopoly on nutmeg, which grew exclusively in the Spice Islands, and thought they’d walked away with the better deal. But history is a cruel beast, and before long the British had worked out how to cultivate nutmeg elsewhere.

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