The natural harbour of Willemstad proved to be an ideal spot for trade.
Commerce and shipping—and piracy—became Curaçao's most important economic activities.
In 1634, after the Netherlands achieved independence from Spain, Dutch colonists started to occupy the island.
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In the Franco-Dutch War, Count Jean II d'Estrées planned to attack Curaçao.
His fleet — 12 men of war, three fireships, two transports, a hospital ship, and 12 privateers — met with disaster, losing seven men-of-war and two other ships when they struck reefs off the Las Aves archipelago.
When their ship returned, they had recovered, likely cured from scurvy, probably after eating fruit with vitamin C.
From then on the Portuguese referred to this as Ilha da Curação (Island of Healing).
After a month, the slave owners suppressed the revolt.
Curaçao's proximity to South America resulted in interaction with cultures of the coastal areas.Spanish traders took the name over as Curaçao, which was followed by the Dutch.Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name by which the indigenous peoples of the island identified themselves, their autonym. Early Spanish accounts support this theory, as they refer to the indigenous peoples as Indios Curaçaos, or "healing Indians".In the 19th century, Curaçaoans such as Manuel Piar and Luis Brión were prominently engaged in the wars of independence of Venezuela and Colombia.Political refugees from the mainland (such as Simon Bolivar) regrouped in Curaçao.In the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages would get scurvy from lack of vitamin C.