Algiers 1670

Since the early 16th century, Algiers had developed as a hub of what contemporary christian sources refer to as piracy. Initially a policy of defense and retaliation to Spanish pressure (see Expedition against Algiers 1541), it developed into a lucrative business; Algerian pirates (in contemporary sources, together with other North African pirates, referred to as Barbary Coast pirates) harrassed christian shipping in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic Ocean, as well as coastal settlements in christian countries, as far as Iceland.
In 1663 the Dutch Republic had concluded a treaty with the Dey of Algiers, with the intention to establish trade relations and protect Dutch shipping from Algerian raids. The latter expectation was not met. The Dutch undertook an expedition against Algiers in 1669, with unsatisfactory results.
In 1670, the Maritime Powers (England and the Dutch Republic) sent a joint naval expedition against Algiers (British Admiral Allin, Dutch Admiral van Ghent), which sank six vessels in port and shelled the latter; much of the city was destroyed by fire. The state of war between England and Algiers lasted until 1672.

The port city of Algiers was exposed to shelling by British vessels in 1622 and 1655, by French vessels in 1661, 1663, July/August 1682, 1683, 1688.

Algerien, Geschichte von (Algeria, history of), from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
Article Algerien, written by Friedrich Engels for "New American Cyclopedia" (1857), from Marx Engels Archive, in German
Alger, from Annuaire 1789-1815, in French
Willem Joseph Baron van Ghent, 1626-1672, from De, in Dutch
Admiral Sir Thomas Allin, from National Maritime Museum
North Africa 1574-1660, from Encyclopedia of World History
DOCUMENTS Samuel Pepys' Notes on Slave Life in Algiers, from Samuel Pepys' Diary, on February 8th 1670/1671

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 13th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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