Unlike other European countries, Holland grew as perhaps the world’s first democracy with great wealth and relative egalitarianism, meritocracy rather than an aristocracy, and an absence of true monarchy. Holland’s great wealth also led to a worldwide colonial empire that competed with the other great European colonial empires. It was the Dutch who conquered Taiwan and brought the island under the first of six foreign colonial rulers. Like other colonial rulers around the world, the Dutch were racist, abused human rights, and indulged in slavery. Thus, although atypical at home, the Dutch in ruling their colonies, including Taiwan, were typical of colonial governments around the world.