The British and Dutch fought four battles in order to establish their supremacy over trade routes of North Atlantic. These wars were fought between 1652 AD to 1784 AD. Almost ten thousand Dutch and thirteen thousand English soldiers were killed in the battle for supremacy. England ultimately came out victorious but Dutch also had some significant victories.
First Anglo Dutch War (1652 to 1654)
The British parliament in October 1651 passed the navigation act. As per the act only british ships can carry british goods from America and no other foreign country’s ships were allowed. This reduced the role of Dutch-middlemen. One more british policy was introduced at that period which made it mandatory for every foreign ship to turn their flag down when british ship raised their flag. British traditionally had a perception that they were ‘Lord of the Sea’. On May 29, 1652 Dutch Admiral Tromp refused to turn his flag down which resulted in the Battle of Goodwin Sandson on July 10, 1652. After a series of battle both the nations exhausted and decided to have a treaty on 5 April 1654. The treaty of Westminster officialy ended the war.
Second Anglo Dutch War (1665- 1667)
The Second Anglo Dutch War took place when in 1660s the wave of Patriotism started in England after the restoration of Charles II in 1660. Many English were optimistic that Charles II can defeat Dutch as a trade dominating power and restore the dignity of England. Initial result such as capturing of New Netherlands, a Dutch Colony of America in 1665, favoured the English powers. But in 1667 due to Raid on the Medway, Dutch finally won the battle against England. Treaty of Breda ended the war.
Third Anglo Dutch War (1672- 1674)
Charles II decided to help France and Louis XIV against the Dutch. French and English power collectively attacked Dutch but later this war proved to be a blunder when Michiel de Ruyter, the general of Dutch forces defeated English-French alliance in four wars. The English parliament then forced Charles II to call off the war. Treaty of Westminster officially ended the war.
Fourth Anglo Dutch War(1780 -1784)
In 1688, William III became king of England. He started making different policies which promoted trade in England. Many Dutch Traders started working in London. This reduced the the economic strength of Dutch. Till mid-eighteenth century English Economy surpassed the Dutch Economy. The English blamed Dutch for supporting American revolutionary war that happened in 1770s. In 1780 the English fleet which was almost twice of Dutch fleet attacked them. The war led to strong British victory over the Dutch. The war officially ended after Treaty of Paris.