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The Dutch Seaborne Empire: 1600-1800 by C.…

The Dutch Seaborne Empire: 1600-1800

by C. R. Boxer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The History of Human Society

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In an amazing turn-around, a small group of suppressed water logged people become a great nation of sea-farers, beating many others at their game. The United Provinces of the Netherlands reached an agreement with their Spanish lords to end many years of domination. The union of these provinces, despite tensions, appeared to have diverted the energy and lust for freedom into a strong sence of independence. This book covers the 200 or so years of the Dutch Republic, as it reached into the East Indies (Ceylon, India, Formosa (Taiwan), China, Japan, and Indonesia, and into the Americas.

The independence from Spain was strongly linked to their opposition to the Roman Catholic Church, and the relief they found through Calvinism. That they carried out the Calvinist way of life though is another matter. As the author writes, it's as if they believed that the 10 commandments were not for life below the equator. Although the central authorities in the Netherlands expected people to live a Christian life, they appeared to be powerless to control those in far-flug places. Not only did they often mistreat the inhabitants, they also behaved quite badly towards each other.
This book provides lots of information on society at the time, in the Netherlands, and in most of the countried in which they operated. The focus is on the relationships that people had with each other. It is replete with references to sources. The author is very fair, often commenting on sources that are exaggerated.

One note on the index - it is quite poor. Whilst it covers some 10 pages, it is incomplete. For example, Cape Town/Kaapstad or South Africa are not listed, but this settlement is covered well in a whole chapter in the book - the only index references are listed under Cape of Good Hope; German workers according to the index is first found on page 72, although some 20 pages earlier this matter is covered in more detail; Groningen is not listed, although it is mentioned throughout the book. ( )
  robeik | Dec 15, 2011 |
As a history of colonialism it is hard to surpass. Boxer manages to convey the feeling as well as the facts, without ever becoming soft-headed.
  Fledgist | Feb 1, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. R. Boxerprimary authorall editionscalculated
J.H. PlumbForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johan W. SchotmanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Over the last fifty to a hundred years, man's belief that the historical process proved that he was acquiring a greater mastery over a nature has received a brutal buffeting.
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