Trials fascinate us because they present a single question — innocent or guilty. But trials can also be used to tell us about a particular society at a particular time. This project focuses on a famous legal case from the early modern period, the Amboyna Conspiracy Trial of 1623. In this trial, Dutch authorities accused a group of English merchants and Japanese mercenaries of plotting to seize control of a castle on a remote island in modern-day Indonesia, killing anyone who resisted.
You are now a juror in this case. Consider both sides, evaluate the evidence, and deliver your verdict while learning about European expansion in Asia, the race for spices, and the politics of torture and waterboarding.