Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

IDEOLOGY AND RELIGION IN THE FORMATION OF THE DUTCH OVERSEAS EMPIRE Intensive Course ‘Nations, Empires, Churches’ 19 March 2010 Dr A.L. (Ad) Tervoort VU.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "IDEOLOGY AND RELIGION IN THE FORMATION OF THE DUTCH OVERSEAS EMPIRE Intensive Course ‘Nations, Empires, Churches’ 19 March 2010 Dr A.L. (Ad) Tervoort VU."— Presentation transcript:

1 IDEOLOGY AND RELIGION IN THE FORMATION OF THE DUTCH OVERSEAS EMPIRE Intensive Course ‘Nations, Empires, Churches’ 19 March 2010 Dr A.L. (Ad) Tervoort VU University Amsterdam Faculty of Arts Department of History

2 –‘In a few short years a tiny country gained control of territory from Indonesia to the West Indies, From South Africa to South America.’ [It was largely inspired by]... the Calvinist merchants of Amsterdam who forged a nation based on gain and godliness.’  C.H. Boxer,The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800

3 Themes discussed  ‘Dutch-Nation’?: the formation of the Dutch Republic  Empire?  What role did ideology and religion play in the formation of this ‘Dutch Empire’?

4 A Nation: what does Dutch Mean?  Political constellation the result of conflict: the ‘Dutch Revolt’ (1568-1648)  Late Middle Ages: –The Netherlands (17) principalities, governed by various secular and ecclesiastical princes –Formally part of the Holy Roman Empire (e.g. Holland) or France (e.g. Flanders)

5 Dukes of Burgundy Philip the Good (1419-1467) Rogier van der Weyden, Vienna Charles the Bold (1467-1477; dies during the siege of Nancy) Rogier van der Weyden, Berlin

6 Unification of the ‘Netherlands’ Institutions above the level of principalities: Court council -> 1. Parliament/ Great Council of Mechelen/Malines (legal) 2. Council of State (political) Chambers of account (financial) States-General (1464) (representative) Parliament of Mechelen/Malines

7 Inheritance of Charles V (1500-58)  Habsburg - Austria - claim on the imperial crown  Burgundy - Netherlands - Franche Comté  Aragon/Castile - Spain - Milan + Southern Italy - colonial empire

8 The 17 ‘Netherlands’  1548 Burgundian Circle: 17 provinces a separate entity within the Holy Roman Empire  1549 Pragmatic Sanction: uniform succession within 17 provinces

9 Philip II (1527-98) succeeds in 1555  King of Spain, Lord of the Netherlands –Essentially a Spanish monarch –Attempts at modernization and centralization

10 Bones of contention in Philip’s Policy in the Netherlands  Centralization (opposed by the high nobility of the Netherlands)  Strict repression of heresy and implementation of Catholic Reform (not popular)  Severe taxation policy (even less popular); especially after 1567 The Duke of Alba

11 Open Rebellion: the Dutch Revolt  1568 open war  1572 Holland sides with William (the Silent) of Orange→  1576 Peace of Ghent  1579 Union of Utrecht  1579 Union of Arras  1581 Act of abjuration

12 A New State: the Republic of the Seven United Provinces  1581-1588: rebellious provinces search for a new ‘sovereign’ (under certain conditions) –Duke of Anjou –Archduke Matthew –Earl of Leicester  All failed  1588: a Republic

13 Structure of the Republic  States of 7 provinces are sovereign! –Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Guelders, Overijssel and Groningen  Formally equal partners within the States- General, where a common ‘foreign policy’ was negotiated

14 States  Representative organisations (States) are sovereign  Different composition in each province  Two important ‘civil servants’ –Stadtholder (military) (above: prince Maurice) –Grand pensionary (chairs the meetings of the states) (below: Oldenbarnevelt)

15 Result:  The richest province (Holland) dominant  Decision making extremely slow  No sense of ‘national’ identity: primarily local and provincial affinity  ‘Particularism’ Flag of Amsterdam

16 Attempts at ‘Nation’ Building  Humanist discourse: –Preoccupation with ‘classical’ ancestors (mentioned by Caesar/Tacitus) –Creation of new ‘national’ mythology  ‘Batavian myth’ Rembrandt van Rijn, Batavian Oath

17 Batavian Myth  Identification of Batavi with Holland by humanist scholars, especially:  Hugo Grotius, Liber de Antiquitate Republicae Batavicorum (1610) –Independence –Institutions of government –Foritude –Industriousness All these ‘Batavian’ virtues foreshadow ‘Dutch’/Holland virtues!

18 Formation of an ‘Empire’?  A small confederation (Batavi = Republic) stands up to the largest empire in the world (Romans = Spain)  How did that happen?  International relations: –France –England (1588) –Ottoman Empire (1572) –Italian Peninsula

19 The Formation of an Overseas ‘Empire’  War with Spain hampered trade in exotic products, especially after 1580  1590s the first attempts to reach Asia  Foundation of various companies (Compagnien van verre)  1602 foundation of the VOC (Dutch East India Company)! –Oldenbarnevelt again a key player; States-General

20 Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie = Dutch East India Company  The world’s first multinational  Exceptional powers granted by the States- General –Monopoly on trade –Power of attorney to conclude treaties –Power of attorney to wage war State within a state?

21 Gain and Godliness: Ideology  Motives: –Restoration of trade –Widen the scope of armed conflict with Spain –Collect wealth from trade for the struggle  Initiator: Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

22 Means of ‘colonization’  Not yet true colonization, but setting up trading posts in Asia  Contacts with local rulers, but no serious attempts to conquer  Interloping: capturing of ships and booty from particularly Portugese ships

23 Justification  Hugo Grotius –De Jure Praedae (1604-6) –Mare Liberum (1609)  Hailed as basis for international law  In fact: very practical justification of Dutch interloping and the capturing of Portugese vessels

24 Gain and Godliness in the East: the Role of Religion  In the Republic:  Calvinism leading denomination (in degrees) –‘Public Church’ –NOT State Church  Freedom of conscience  Other denominations tolerated, but no public worship for most

25 Calvinism in the Indies  Little missionary zeal –Still developing at home  Lack of means –No investment –Very few ministers –Serious competition from Catholic Church  Problem: VOC was in charge of everything  Religion bottom of the list; profit over faith

26 Epilogue  Overseas ‘empire’ emerged only in the – late - 19 th century  Rigid economic exploitation (‘Cultuurstelsel’) by the Kingdom of the Netherlands  Staunch nationalism  ‘Scramble for Africa’  ‘True’ colonisation of the Dutch East Indies

Download ppt "IDEOLOGY AND RELIGION IN THE FORMATION OF THE DUTCH OVERSEAS EMPIRE Intensive Course ‘Nations, Empires, Churches’ 19 March 2010 Dr A.L. (Ad) Tervoort VU."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google