The years 1664–67 saw another war between the English and the Dutch. The first war had humbled, but had not crushed, the Dutch power, which continued to challenge English commercial supremacy, especially in the East Indian trade and in the West African slave trade. In 1664, Robert Holmes raided the Dutch colonies on the coast of Africa, and Richard Nicolls took the Dutch colony of New Netherland (later New York and New Jersey) in North America. War was officially declared by England in Mar., 1665. The duke of York (later James II) won the battle off Lowestoft (June, 1665), and in September the bishop of Munster, an ally of the English, overran the eastern province of the Netherlands; he was, however, soon expelled. In Jan., 1666, Louis XIV of France declared war on England, yet his interests did not lie on the side of the Dutch, and he took little part in the war. The British fleet under Monck and Prince Rupert was defeated in the Four Days Battle or Battle of the Downs (June 1–4, 1666) by Michiel de Ruyter and Cornelis Tromp, but in August they inflicted a severe defeat on the Dutch and destroyed shipping along the Dutch coast. The plague, the great fire, and disaffection in Scotland made England anxious for peace, and negotiations were undertaken, while Charles II let the fleet fall into a state of unpreparedness that enabled De Ruyter to attack the British ships in the Thames and inflict heavy losses (1667). By the Treaty of Breda (July, 1667) the trade laws were modified in favor of the Dutch, and all conquests of war were retained, with the English receiving New Netherland and Delaware and the Dutch keeping Suriname. At the same time the English and French both gave up their conquered territories. The Treaty of Breda was a blow to English prestige but proved in the long run to English advantage.
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