The rise and fall of the Dutch domination of European trade

Mitsui2

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I do find Dutch history very interesting but I've a greater grá for the Prussians/Brandeburgians, especially for the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Albert von Hohenzollern, who had a sudden Damascene conversion to Lutheranism which allowed him to turn his military order into a hereditary demesne. Handy that?
Damascene conversions were as common as dirt in those classes in those days, really. Some people had several.
 


Drogheda445

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Great OP. The Dutch truly amassed huge wealth from their commercial enterprises in the 17th century, it's very much left its legacy in the country today. Was in Amsterdam last summer and was very impressed with the royal palace in Dam Square (originally the City Hall), seems most of its ornate interior was made possible through the scale of their trading empire (and the brief influence of Napoleon's occupation). Well worth visiting, completely dwarves the surrounding buildings!

What's often forgotten is the scale of Dutch influence all over the world until very recently. The Dutch conquered and held a part of Brazil for decades and brought over a fair amount of innovation to the place in terms of science and art; they completely redesigned the city of Recife for example. They also left a mark on America and Dutch was apparently spoken by some communities in New Jersey until the 20th century. Martin van Buren, who came from the long-established American Dutch population, was the only president to date to speak English as a second language.

Says quite a lot about their role in commerce and trade that to this day what would be the English equivalent of the word for people from Germany, Dutch, is given to the people of the Netherlands (compare with Deutsch in German or Tysk in the Nordic countries). There wasn't much distinction between the two countries until recently of course (Low German is very similar to modern Dutch) but in terms of England interaction was highest with the people of the Low Countries due to their role in trade, or indeed wars!
 

Mitsui2

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They also left a mark on America and Dutch was apparently spoken by some communities in New Jersey until the 20th century. Martin van Buren, who came from the long-established American Dutch population, was the only president to date to speak English as a second language.
There's a wonderful history of Dutch New York (Nieuw Amsterdam, properly speaking) by Russell Shorto called The Island at the Centre of the World. As someone with a great grá for that city I was fascinated to learn from it just how much evidence of the Dutch period remains, right down to the names of places like Wall Street and the Bowery.

Meanwhile a central element of the bargain through which the Dutch eventually yielded Manhattan to the English was that the British in turn gave them the Indonesian island of Run, then one of the only reliable sources in the world for what, at the time, was worth more than gold in the eyes of the Dutch East India Company - namely nutmeg. Again there's a really enjoyable book on that - Nathaniel's Nutmeg, by Giles Minton (who makes something of a habit of writing good books about neglected but fascinating aspects of history).

Damn this thread anyway! It's got me adding far too many books to my "Re-read Soon" list!
 

GDPR

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Also, in the context of the Dutch asserting themselves in Asia the experience of the Dutch East India company in Japan is fascinating. There's a book on it called The Company and the Shogun.

Essentially, to get access to trade with Japan the representatives of the Dutch East India Company originally represented themselves as the servants of a monarch in Europe. Eventually, in order to retain some access to Japan the Company rebranded itself as loyal servants and vassals of the Japanese Shogun.

Read for example the following from an analysis of the book:

In its dealings with Asian rulers, the VOC preferred to act as a champion of freedom of trade and navigation, ready to liberate them from Iberian ‘tyranny’ in exchange for grants of sovereign powers (exclusive trading privileges, the right to build a fortress et cetera). As Clulow shows, the Japanese authorities would have none of this. Much like the Emperor of China, the Shogun conceptualized the world as a civilizational order, a hierarchy of rulers that culminated in himself. Diplomatic relations could only be maintained with other suitable princes – Korea’s rulers, for example – who, lower in rank than the Shogun, were expected to pay tribute. Consequently, the Shogun was happy to receive embassies authorized by the ‘King of Holland’ (i.e. the Prince of Orange), but refused to treat the Governor-General in Batavia and his representatives as anything other than merchants. This was an important factor in the near breakdown of relations between the VOC and the Bakufu in 1628-1632. Governor-General Jacques Specx, one-time opperhoofd of the Hirado factory, found a way out of the diplomatic impasse. Specx was the first to describe VOC officials as ‘faithful vassals of His Majesty’ (99) in his communications with the Bakufu. As Clulow explains, the term fudai denoted vassals or servants who stood in hereditary subordination to another family or group and who were defined by their record of loyal service. It was applied to one group within the Tokugawa order in particular: ‘the fudai daimyo’, which staffed ‘Edo’s expanding bureaucracy’ (100). Starting with Specx, VOC officials sought to construct a ‘genealogy of service’ tying them directly to the Shogun – much like the daimyo did themselves (101).
Performance quickly became reality. Nor would service to the Shogun remain restricted to the famous hofreizen, the annual visit to the court in Edo. When a revolt broke out in the Shimabara domain in December 1637, involving ‘Christians eager to escape Tokugawa persecution’ (125), the Bakufu expected VOC officials both to offer material assistance in the form of cannons, gunpowder et cetera and to participate directly in the siege of Hara Castle. Nicolaes Couckebacker, opperhoofd of the Nagasaki factory, hastened to comply with the Shogun’s request. In February and March 1638, ‘Dutch gunners fired over four hundred shots into Hara Castle from ship-mounted guns, and a battery assembled on shore’ (127). In April, Bakufu forces were able to enter the castle, massacre the surviving rebels and end the revolt. Just how much the regime valued the Company’s support on these and other occasions is revealed by Tsuko ichiran, a nineteenth-century compendium of Bakufu foreign relations. According to Clulow, the entry for the Dutch records ‘hundreds of years of loyal service, including the Shimabara uprising and dozens of intelligence reports’ (131). Clulow is surely right to conclude that if VOC officials had started out pretending to be the Shogun’s loyal vassals – all for the sake of trade, of course – they had ended up playing the role so well as to effectively surrender any other identity in Japan. From the Bakufu’s perspective, they had become dutiful subordinates. As a result, Dutch trade and navigation in East Asia could only be conducted within very narrow perimeters.
It shows quite well the lengths the Company went through to gain and keep access to markets, however limited such access might be.
 

GDPR

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Meanwhile a central element of the bargain through which the Dutch eventually yielded Manhattan to the English was that the British in turn gave them the Indonesian island of Run, then one of the only reliable sources in the world for what, at the time, was worth more than gold in the eyes of the Dutch East India Company - namely nutmeg. Again there's a really enjoyable book on that - Nathaniel's Nutmeg, by Giles Minton (who makes something of a habit of writing good books about neglected but fascinating aspects of history).
As I recall the ceding of Manhattan also included the English granting the Dutch control over modern Suriname. Which might have been more valuable at the time. In any case, you can still see the influence of the Netherlands on New York in many ways. Take, for example, Staten Island. It was originally called "Staaten Eylandt".

Interesting picture regarding Dutch influence and presence in and around New York is the following:

 

Morgellons

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Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes-do they still make them?
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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[video=youtube;_5YppnBEdTs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5YppnBEdTs[/video]
 

Mitsui2

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Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes-do they still make them?
No idea. Many years ago now though I had a hilarious time watching an American friend who was visiting me in Amsterdam try to buy a pack of them from a baffled girl in a tobacconist's who was obviously worrying that her English wasn't as good as she's always thought it was!
 

PeaceGoalie

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The trickery that wrested the modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands was a travesty built on lies. The Spanish p[aid more tax than the Dutch but they found it harder and slower to raise finance. Though Catholics out numbered heathens, the Protestants had access to finance and English support and the Catholics were stuck in the country side.
The Dutch, with the English, were pioneers of the yellow press, making all kinds of lewd suggestions against the Spanish Royal Family and, with their harlots' paintings, the Holy Inquisition in the Black Legend. God curse Holland, that nation of NATO, Nazi collaborating pot smoking pimps and slave traders.
 

Mitsui2

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The trickery that wrested the modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands was a travesty built on lies. The Spanish p[aid more tax than the Dutch but they found it harder and slower to raise finance. Though Catholics out numbered heathens, the Protestants had access to finance and English support and the Catholics were stuck in the country side.
The Dutch, with the English, were pioneers of the yellow press, making all kinds of lewd suggestions against the Spanish Royal Family and, with their harlots' paintings, the Holy Inquisition in the Black Legend. God curse Holland, that nation of NATO, Nazi collaborating pot smoking pimps and slave traders.
:)

Anyone else wondering whether Glenshane's discovered PCP?
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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I think it helped that the Dutch didnt really leave much of a social imprint on Britain, though as I mentioned they certainly empowered the City of London.

Unlike the Norman Conquest.
Even the Norman Conquest. A third of Guillaume le Bâtard's forces were Flemish mercenaries. Conquering Bill had socially climbed by marrying Mathilda van Vlaanderen.

So I'm seeing a different perspective: to me the social and political Low Countries imprint on England seems enormous. But then I have East Anglian connections; and my direct ancestor is Jacques Granado, from Brabant.

The English wool trade, which created the material prosperity of southern England, depended on Dutch trade (remembering that "Dutch" was anything Germanic or Flemish until the creation of the United Provinces). The weaving and textile trades of East Anglia were heavily dependent on Flemish immigration between the Conquest and the C16. These immigrants introduced their home practices of sheep-breeding, which improved English stock, and — more generally significant — they ganged together and established the guild-system.

Flemish land-drainage changed the map of eastern England. At school I was taught it was largely down to Cornelius Vermuyden, whom Charles I brought to North Lincolnshire in the 1620s. He went on to create Canvey Island (a private project for his in-laws), and much of the Fens.

Take a look at house styles across the south-east of England. William III obviously built his palaces to his native (and fashionable) taste. Then the wool-merchants, retiring in wealth, had been using Flemish styles at least since Anthony Ellys built his Lincolnshire manor around 1600. The boats that were taking wool out used Dutch bricks as ballast coming in. Those curvy Flemish gables which crop up in any decent East Anglian or Kentish settlement? [And they're still building them that way.]

I have personal evidence that gin-smuggling, along with subversive religious tracts (thank Bloody Mary for that trade), must have been a feature of English coastal villages as soon as taxation of spirits (and prohibition of religious literature) came along. My first "boss" (during school vacations in Norfolk) was having his sea-front house done over. This showed up a discrepancy between external and internal measurements. Sure enough, tapping the walls found a sealed vacant cupboard, a smuggler's room. My own birthplace later threw up a mysterious cupboard over the stair-well. By the way, because tobacco was another material much in demand (but in loose form a very bulky and inconvenient cargo) those same Dutch smugglers invented the tobacco press.

Which brings me back to gin.

Wasn't the gin-racket started in England because of the popularity of smuggled Dutch jenever in the first place?

I think I recall reading about that somewhere.
Allow me to sidle up on on this one.

I've found accounts that English sailors were impressed by their Low Countries confederates in the Dutch War of Independence, and ascribed this to "Dutch courage". Since Elizabeth's armies were involved in 1585-88, that could suggest a start date.

I'm not taken (nor is wikipedia) by the story that "genever" was invented by Franciscus Sylvius (né Franz de le Boë, 1614-72) as a purgative for the blood.

However, the term "Dutch courage" seems not to appear in print until Walter Scott's 19th Waverley novel, in 1826 (see Chapter 12):
... he concluded that they had been fortifying themselves against the horrors of the haunted mansion, by laying in a store of what is called Dutch courage, and therefore prudently resolved to postpone his more important business with them till the cooler hour of morning.
That implies the term was already current, of course.

Then there's the word, "gin", itself. That only turns up in the 1720s, as in Jonathan Swift's Journal of a Dublin Lady (1729):
Their Chattering makes a louder din Than Fish-wives o'er a Cup of Ginn.
But then "gin" was simply a corruption of "genever", which itself we only find after 1689, and often in a pun on "Geneva shop", ambivalently providing strong liquor and Calvinist doctrine and pamphlets. Let's not tell what's-her-name, all faithful and true.

Ooo ... err ... missus. I see I completely omitted the influence of the Dutch East India Company on ship-design. Naughty! That had some impact on English commercial developments in the C!7 onwards.
 
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PeaceGoalie

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. Martin van Buren, who came from the long-established American Dutch population, was the only president to date to speak English as a second language.
(Low German is very similar to modern Dutch) but in terms of England interaction was highest with the people of the Low Countries due to their role in trade, or indeed wars!
Will have to google von Buren. I remember resolving a row by referring to the Dubliners singing the song below
[video=youtube;A3_bFtaxEn8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3_bFtaxEn8[/video]

High Germany, Netherlands. He had some other stuff to say about Low Germany. Maybe the Netherlands is only a social construct

:)

Anyone else wondering whether Glenshane's discovered PCP?
Have you a point or wish to dispute one?
 

blokesbloke

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That's exactly what Worsley's programme was about - the fact that it was effectively (and in legal terms) a treasonous coup, and an examination of how the myth (with William's help and advice) was manufactured.

You're in the UK, aren't you? You can see it on iPlayer from here - BBC Four - British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley or it's repeated later this week.

It covers the (sometimes unintended) later effects too.

The woman herself does begin to grate a bit, though!
What grates about her?

Now my Joanie Burton is less busy perhaps she could do the next series, with the scripts written by the grating woman.

This would solve the problem as my Joanie is the most telegenic and likable person in the Atlantic Islands. She also has a lovely soothing voice.
 

Lempo

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As I recall the ceding of Manhattan also included the English granting the Dutch control over modern Suriname. Which might have been more valuable at the time. In any case, you can still see the influence of the Netherlands on New York in many ways. Take, for example, Staten Island. It was originally called "Staaten Eylandt".

Interesting picture regarding Dutch influence and presence in and around New York is the following:

Technically lying a bit with those years mentioned, because on the banks of the Delaware River Sweden had their colony New Sweden from 1638 to 1655, when the Dutch moved to incorporate the area into their own. It was within the Dutch claim but they couldn't militarily back it up at the time of the Swedish attempt.


 

Ardillaun

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Even the Norman Conquest. A third of Guillaume le Bâtard's forces were Flemish mercenaries. Conquering Bill had socially climbed by marrying Mathilda van Vlaanderen.

So I'm seeing a different perspective: to me the social and political Low Countries imprint on England seems enormous. But then I have East Anglian connections; and my direct ancestor is Jacques Granado, from Brabant.

Flemish land-drainage changed the map of eastern England. At school I was taught it was largely down to Cornelius Vermuyden, whom Charles I brought to North Lincolnshire in the 1620s. He went on to create Canvey Island (a private project for his in-laws), and much of the Fens.
.
I greatly enjoyed Graham Swift's book, 'Waterland', which was set in that part of the world.

Browsing on wiki, I noticed that explorer George Vancouver was from King's Lynn. When did his people come over to England? Some more browsing tells me he was a descendant of a Dutch nobleman:

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/vancouver_george_4E.html

Which in turn points to a possible kinship with a Canadian kayaker:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_van_Koeverden
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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Even now in the east midlands and into East Anglia you can see a modern Dutch influence. I see quite a few of those Dutch bicycles with a wooden bucket on the front for kids and I notice they seem to be imported from the Netherlands.

You can see many a Dutch barge, those rather cumbersome flat bottomed round-arsed vessels converted for living accomodation along the rivers. Indeed there is something a bit Dutch about many of the people of the area in terms of pragmatism and characteristic I find.

I only notice it because I worked in Amsterdam for a while and while Amsterdam is not very representative of the Netherlands I find something similar in the native Dutch person that I find among people in East Anglia and in particular in the flat lands leading out to the Wash and the Fens.
 

GDPR

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Technically lying a bit with those years mentioned, because on the banks of the Delaware River Sweden had their colony New Sweden from 1638 to 1655, when the Dutch moved to incorporate the area into their own. It was within the Dutch claim but they couldn't militarily back it up at the time of the Swedish attempt.


That'd be correct, yes. The map omits that and essentially shows what one might call the New Netherlands at its largest extent.
 


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