1649
Civil war in England; Shajahan emperor in India

The English and the Dutch continued their competition on pepper trade in Malabar and Sumatra islands.

Charles-1, the king of England, was confronting the civil war.

King Charles-I


This war between parliament and the king threatened his very life itself. In India Shajahan was marching victoriously ahead vanquishing his adversaries. He was so cruel as to blind his brother Shariyar. But his mind was the arena of sense of beauty and arts. This was vouchsafed by the beautiful palace he erected on the banks of river Yamuna, the world-renowned Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumthas. He had by then constructed exquisite buildings and mosque which included the Redfort at Delhi.


Louis X1V
By this time, Louis-X1V started his rule in France. He believed 'I am the state'.  Unwilling to draw lessons from either his predecessors or the events in England, he continued his misrule suppressing personal freedom and ignoring the parliament.
King Shahjahan

Even though the Dutch procured the pepper from the small kingdoms of Cannannore, Kayamkulam, Purakkad and Quilon, the trade failed to flourish in accordance with their expectations. Later they appointed a permanent representative, Mathew van der Broeck in charge of the settlement they raised at Kayamkulam. Though it was not a military establishment, the Dutch made arrangements to confront any clashes. With an aim to broaden the pepper trade the under-merchant visited Quilon and Venad (Travancore) and held talks with the kings there. Even though the Dutch were not benefitted much from the visits, the Dutch East India Company decided to continue the attempts of Van der Broeck.

Coming to know of the attempts of the Dutch to spread the pepper trade in Malabar, Portuguese applied many strategies to dissuade the former. Enhancement of the price of pepper was one of the many.
Oliver Cromwell
But the Dutch remained unaffected by these strategies.
Tajmahal
The religious policies followed by the Portuguese, in the meanwhile, affected a section of the Christian denominations.  The reason behind this was the move on the part of the Portuguese to convert all the Christian denominations to Latin X’ians .The church-schism proved to be well and good for the Dutch and the English. In the meanwhile the Revolt of Coonan Cross took place.

In the meanwhile, a shocking news reached Malabar from England–a group headed by Oliver Cromwell, who was supportive of parliament, seized power in England. Charles, the king, was taken as prisoner and was beheaded as per court’s verdict in 1649. There followed the Republican rule under the leadership of Cromwell for some years to come. Though the events in England frustrated the Englishmen in Malabar, they did not lose self-confidence. The Dutch, in the meanwhile, has been awaiting an opportunity to seize Ceylon from the Portuguese, besides staging an offensive war against Goa.

Oath of Koonan Cross

Right from the beginning the Syrian Christians of Kerala resisted the attempts of the Portuguese to bring the Christians of Kerala under the control of the Latin Church. This issue paved the way for schisms and difference of opinion. But the Portuguese did not desist from their attempts for papal supremacy. Syriac was the language ever used in prayer by the Syrian Christians in their churches. The Portuguese compulsorily introduced Latin language in churches replacing Syriac and with this the problem became acute. With the Portuguese detaining a bishop sent by the Jacobite Partriach of Babylon in response to the request of the Syrian Christians the scene further worsened. In the meantime a rumour was spread that the Syrian bishop was murdered. The agitated Syrian Christians crowded before the ancient cross at Mattanchery tying a long rope over it and holding it. They also took a pledge that they would not obey the Latin Archbishops. This is what is known in history as Oath of Coonan Cross or Revolt of Coonan Cross. After this event the Christians of Kerala were divided into two distinct sections, the Romo-Syrians and the Jacobite Syrians. And thus fell flat the attempts of the Portuguese to bring the Christians of Kerala under the control of the Rome. The problems emanated from their religious policy created among the people anger and hate against them.