Island of the Moluccas, Indonesia. Located in the Malay Archipelago, it is 31 mi (50 km) long and 10 mi (16 km) wide, with an area of 294 sq mi (761 sq km). Its chief port is also called Ambon (pop., 2000: 205,664). The island is subject to earthquakes and volcanic activity; Mount Salhatu (3,405 ft [1,038 m]) is its highest point. The clove trade first attracted the Portuguese, who founded a settlement in 1521. The Dutch ousted the Portuguese in 1605, took over the spice trade, and in 1623 killed English settlers in the Amboina Massacre. The British captured Ambon in 1796 and 1810, but it was restored to the Dutch in 1814. The Japanese occupied it during World War II. Retaken by the Dutch in 1945, it became part of Indonesia in 1949. A short-lived independence movement there in 1950 was soon suppressed.
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