Taiwanese History

Write an Essay of 2000 words on one of the following questions, using the sources provided – use at least 8 sources.

In cases where there are several different questions in one section – separated with “or” – (note: all questions grouped together as a paragraph are considered one question) answer just one question.


Were Taiwan aborigines able to secure their own objectives in their dealings with the Dutch or did the economic and technological power of the Dutch (and other incoming groups) lead to them being subjected to colonial domination, which they could do little to resist?



Why did the Dutch colonize Taiwan? Did they have a significant effect on Taiwan, or were they merely a conduit for the expansion of Chinese influence?




Was Dutch rule on Taiwan ‘oppressive’, or was it much the same as that of any ruling group of that era? Is it appropriate to use our own moral standards to judge their actions, or should we see them in the wider context of the 17th century world (in which colonization and empire building were common activities around the globe involving European powers, and also states like the Ottomans, the Mughals and the Ming and Qing dynasties) ?




How important were cultural factors in shaping what happened in Taiwan during the period of Dutch rule? Were conflict and co-operation between aborigines, the Dutch and the Chinese determined by culture or were material interests more significant in shaping interactions?




Some would argue that of the three main groups in Taiwan in the Dutch period – the Dutch, the Aborigines and the Chinese – it was aborigines whose culture was the most profoundly transformed. Do you agree? If you do, why would this have been so? If you disagree, what strategies did aborigines use to preserve their own societies and cultures, given the profound challenges they faced?

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