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Sultanate of Tidore (Indonesian: Kesultanan Tidore, sometimes Kerajaan Tidore) was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on the Spice Islands of Tidore, a rival of Sultanate of Ternate for control of the spice trade.

Sultanate of Tidore

Kesultanan Tidore
Halmahera - Ternate - Tidore - Mare - Moti - Makian.jpg
Common languagesTidore
Sunni Islam
• Established
• Disestablished
Succeeded by
Dutch East Indies
Today part of Indonesia

The Sultanate of Tidore ruled most of southern Halmahera, and, at times, controlled Buru, Ambon and many of the islands off the coast of New Guinea. In 1605 war broke out with neighbouring Ternate. Tidore had established a loose alliance with the Portuguese in the seventeenth century who had several forts on the island. Ternate had allied with Dutch traders.[1]

Tidore established a loose alliance with the Spanish in the sixteenth century, and Spain had several forts on the island. While there was much mutual distrust between the Tidorese and the Spaniards, for Tidore the Spanish presence was helpful in resisting incursions by their Dutch enemy on Ternate, as well as their Dutch ally, that had a fort on that island.

Before the Spanish withdrawal from Tidore and Ternate in 1663, Tidore became one of the most independent kingdoms in the region, resisting direct control by Dutch East India Company (VOC). Particularly under Sultan Saifuddin (r. 1657–1689), the Tidore court was skilled at using Dutch payment for spices for gifts to strengthen traditional ties with Tidore's traditional periphery. As a result, he was widely respected by many local populations, and had little need to call on the Dutch for military help in governing the kingdom, as Ternate frequently did.

Tidore remained an independent kingdom, albeit with frequent Dutch interference, until the late eighteenth century. Like Ternate, Tidore allowed the Dutch spice eradication program (extirpatie) to proceed in its territories. This program, intended to strengthen the Dutch spice monopoly by limiting production to a few places, impoverished Tidore and weakened its control over its periphery.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Margaret Makepeace, ‘Middleton, Sir Henry (d. 1613)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008