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Dutch Rule

Aruba’s strategic location was recognized by the Dutch who initially occupied the island in 1636 to protect their salt supply from the mainland and establish a naval base in the Caribbean during their 80-year war with Spain.

Further economic development continued through the Dutch West India Company located on the neighboring island of Curaçao. Aruba remained in Dutch hands, except for a brief hiatus under English rule from 1805-1816, during the Napoleonic Wars.