History of Taiwan

Chinese Character Wall, Fongshan, Kaohsiung
Chinese Character Wall in Fongshan, Kaohsiung

Early Taiwan’s History

There is some evidence of human settlement in Taiwan which goes back as far as 30,000 – 40,000 years ago. For a long time China was not really differentiated to Taiwan.

Some early Chinese texts were found, which date back to AD 206, refer to the Island of Taiwan but was mainly seen as somewhere isolate and left alone.

Anthropological View of Taiwan’s History

The anthropological view help us to better understand the history of Taiwan. It is suggested that the people in Taiwan were proto-Malayans and their customs were very similar to those of Malaysian people.

Taiwan also has Indonesian cultures mixed in with their civilization. Many anthropologists believe that the first people in Taiwan actually came from China.

So, it becomes hard to know the precise details of the history of Taiwan as there are so many ambiguities but still it is believed that in 1950, when the Europeans came to the coast of Taiwan, people were already living there and they belonged to Mainland China.

Dutch Colonial Rule on Taiwan

After the arrival of the Europeans, the Dutch occupied Taiwan. In 1624, the Dutch built Fort Zeelandia and the town of Anping. The Dutch people also started their business in Taiwan and a great number of merchants, technicians, and missionaries started living there.

At the same time, the Philippines had sent their army to capture an island of Taiwan which was not occupied by the Dutch people.

Dutch and Spanish Attack Taiwan

From 1630 to 1641, many nations attacked Taiwan and tried to occupy it. The Spaniards also came to these islands where the Dutch people were already living. The Dutch people resisted the Spanish and tried to get them out of Taiwan.

The Dutch were not successful in their efforts but they still did not give up their efforts and in 1650, 300 villages of Taiwan were under the direct orders of the Dutch Government.

The Dutch people not only occupied Taiwan but also started some missionary work. Many schools were established where they started teaching the Dutch language and Dutch culture and all values of their religion. The Chinese started immigrating to Taiwan. At first, the Dutch people did not show any concern over it but when the number of immigrants increased, they started to stop them.

The End of the Dutch Rule on Taiwan

The Chinese people are known to always be very hard working and they were believed to have the best methods of agriculture available. The Dutch people took this as a threat at them but unfortunately it was too late and the Chinese revolution had started this conflict between the Chinese and the Dutch people.

On 9 February 1662, the Dutch surrendered and finally ended their 38 year colonial rule on Taiwan.

The Japanese Attack Taiwan

The Japanese also came to attack Taiwan and they occupied a large part of it but they also have a great contribution in making Taiwan’s society.

They made Taiwan into a modern city. From 1898 to 1920, more than 10,000 bandits were executed and this was the most infamous punishments given yet to the people of China.

The Tapani incident was also a great loss for the Chinese people as more than 10,000 Taiwanese were killed. The Japanese rulers established the Taiwan Alliance, the Taiwan Culture Association, and the Taiwan Civilian Party and all these values still continue today.

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