Africa, America, Asia, Countries, South America, UK

Brasaleia and other sold countries

For the day that’s in it when The Dutch Republic sold New Holland to Portugal in 1661 here’s Brasaleia and other sold countries.

No, you didn’t know the Dutch took 63 tonnes of gold from Portugal for what would become Brazil.

They had run the north-east part of the country we now know as Sambaland for 31 years before cashing in after a war.

The Dutch were the great merchants of their day and dealmakers.

And the best dealmaker of our day, and most famous living New Yorker, Donald Trump, would have approved of another deal.

Manhattan transfer

The art of the deal: With The Donald in New York

Dutch governor Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from the native Americans in 1621 for trinkets to the value of $24.

And when the Dutch relinquished it in 1674 to the English who rechristened it New York they got the rich sugar and cotton territory of Suriname in South America in return.

Now you might remember Trump offering to buy Greenland a couple of years ago probably thinking we still deal this way.

United Stakes

The table is set: In Vegas

And in truth that is how America completed their manifest destiny.

Through most famously the Louisiana Purchase from France for $15m to help the Gauls fund the Napoleonic Wars.

And having got a taste that spending money is better than spending blood they went back 16 years later with $5m for Florida.

The growing US splashed out $18.25m to buy California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona from the Mexicans in 1848.

All of which would be a poor take on a weekend in a Las Vegas casino.

LA is my laddie: In Los Angeles

Ten million greenbacks got them southern Arizona and New Mexico from their neighbours five years later.

But they weren’t finished there and sealed the deal of all deals when they waved $7.2m under the Russian Bear’s nose in 1867 for Alaska.

And again that proved to be mere loose change compared with the oodles of money they’ve taken in oil since.

While the Americans have waved the chequebook more than anybody the British haven’t been slow in flashing cash either.

Rate Britain

Water island: Singapore

And at various stages they have bought bits of India and Africa from the Danes.

All of which makes you think Trump could have done a deal with them over Greenland.

While Singapore was purchased from Johor, a state in Malaysia, for $60,000 in 1824.

Scots bank it

Leg it to… the Isle of Man

Who would have thought too that the Scots were at it too long before any of them.

When they forked out 4,000 marks sterling and 100 mark annuity to the Norwegians for…

The Hebrides, Kintyre, islands off the Firth of Clyde and get this, the Isle of Man, from Norway in 1266.

It’s ironic then that the Scots were “bought and sold for English gold such a parcel of rogues in a nation” when they surrendered to the union with England which created Great Britain.

And which you can read all about in the excellent Price of Scotland from historian Douglas Watt.

All of which we’ll reflect on on this lazy Saturday afternoon… Brasaleia and other sold countries.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.