Despite its small size, the island was for centuries a major spice center and one of the most important islands of the Moluccas. Ruled by a powerful sultan, it became an important Muslim center in the 15th cent. The Portuguese built a fort there in 1522. They were expelled during a native revolt in 1574. The sultan granted the spice concession to the Dutch in 1607. Popular revolts were suppressed by the Dutch in 1650 and 1683, after which the Dutch were in control until Ternate became part of Indonesia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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