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Isolation And Disintegration: The Kandyans And The Dutch

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Chapter Summary

Usually the war of 1762-1766 is seen as the last major upheaval in the relationship between the Dutch colonial government on Ceylon and the court of Kandy. Moreover, considering the fragile state of the Kingdom it is unlikely that the political tensions within the Kingdom that were so characteristic for the 1750s and 1760s faded away entirely. This chapter examines how the relationship between the two political entities on the island fared after 1766. Active Dutch intriguing in Kandyan affairs in the 1780s proved the first step in the collapse of the Kingdom. The economic isolation of the Kandyan Kingdom and its decentralized power inevitably brought further misfortune. From Van de Graaff ’s war plans we can conclude that disintegration was exactly what he and the adigār were aiming at. He wanted to conquer the provinces one by one, and make the nobles collaborate with him.

Keywords: Ceylon; disintegration; Dutch colonial government; economic isolation; Kandyan kingdom; Van de Graaff



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