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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Holland   >   History

   
 

Dutch History


Here are some books about the history of the Netherlands:


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Books about Dutch History


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A Concise History of the Netherlands (Cambridge Concise Histories)

By James C. Kennedy

Cambridge University Press
Released: 2017-07-13
Paperback (502 pages)

A Concise History of the Netherlands (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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The Netherlands is known among foreigners today for its cheese and its windmills, its Golden Age paintings and its experimentation in social policies such as cannabis and euthanasia. Yet the historical background for any of these quintessentially Dutch achievements is often unfamiliar to outsiders. This Concise History offers an overview of this surprisingly little-known but fascinating country. Beginning with the first humanoid settlers, the book follows the most important contours of Dutch history, from Roman times through to the Habsburgs, the Dutch Republic and the Golden Age. The author, a modernist, pays particularly close attention to recent developments, including the signature features of contemporary Dutch society. In addition to being a political history, this overview also gives systematic attention to social and economic developments, as well as in religion, the arts and the Dutch struggle against the water. The Dutch Caribbean is also included in the narrative.

Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands

By Ben Coates

Nicholas Brealey
Released: 2017-09-05
Paperback (304 pages)

Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands
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*A SCOTSMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR*

Stranded at Schiphol airport, Ben Coates called up a friendly Dutch girl he'd met some months earlier. He stayed for dinner. Actually, he stayed for good.

In the first book to consider the hidden heart and history of the Netherlands from a modern perspective, the author explores the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and discovers why one of the world's smallest countries is also so significant and so fascinating. It is a self-made country, the Dutch national character shaped by the ongoing battle to keep the water out from the love of dairy and beer to the attitude to nature and the famous tolerance.

Ben Coates investigates what makes the Dutch the Dutch, why the Netherlands is much more than Holland and why the colour orange is so important. Along the way he reveals why they are the world's tallest people and have the best carnival outside Brazil. He learns why Amsterdam's brothels are going out of business, who really killed Anne Frank, and how the Dutch manage to be richer than almost everyone else despite working far less. He also discovers a country which is changing fast, with the Dutch now questioning many of the liberal policies which made their nation famous.

A personal portrait of a fascinating people, a sideways history and an entertaining travelogue, Why the Dutch are Different is the story of an Englishman who went Dutch. And loved it.

The History of the Netherlands (Illustrated)

By Thomas Grattan

Didactic Press
Released: 2014-12-18
Kindle Edition (304 pages)

The History of the Netherlands (Illustrated)
 
Product Description:
The scenery of Dutch history has episodes as stirring and instructive as those of any civilized people since history began; but it reached its dramatic and moral apogee when the independence of the United Netherlands was acknowledged by Spain. The Netherlands then reached their loftiest pinnacle of power and prosperity; their colonial possessions were vast and rich; their reputation as guardians of liberty and the rights of man was foremost in the world. But further than this they could not go; and the moment when a people ceases to advance may generally be regarded as the moment when, relatively speaking at least, it begins to go backward. The Dutch could in no sense become the masters of Europe; not only was their domain too small, but it was geographically at a disadvantage with the powerful and populous nations neighboring it, and it was compelled ever to fight for its existence against the attacks of nature itself. The stormy waves of the North Sea were ever moaning and threatening at the gates, and ever and anon a breach would be made, and the labor of generations annulled. Holland could never enter upon a career of conquest, like France or Russia; neither could she assume the great part which Britain has played; for although the character of the Dutchmen is in many respects as strong and sound as that of the English, and in some ways its superior, yet the Dutch had not been dowered with a sea-defended isle for their habitation, which might enable them to carry out enterprises abroad without the distraction and weakness involved in maintaining adequate guards at home. They were mighty in self-defence and in resistance against tyranny; and they were unsurpassed in those virtues and qualities which go to make a nation rich and orderly; but aggression could not be for them. They took advantage of their season of power to confirm themselves in the ownership of lands in the extreme East and in the West, which should be a continual source of revenue; but they could do no more; and they wasted not a little treasure and strength in preserving what they had gained, or a part of it, from the grasp of others. But this was the sum of their possibility; they could not presume to dictate terms to the world; and the consequence was that they gradually ceased to be a considered factor in the European problem. In some respects, their territorial insignificance, while it prevented them from aggressive action, preserved them from aggression; their domain was not worth conquering, and again its conquest could not be accomplished by any nation without making others uneasy and jealous. They became, like Switzerland, and unlike Poland and Hungary, a neutral region, which it was for the interest of Europe at large to let alone. None cared to meddle with them; and, on the other hand, they had native virtue and force enough to resist being absorbed into other peoples; the character of the Dutch is as distinct to-day as ever it had been...

Holland - The History of the Netherlands

By Thomas Colley Grattan

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (146 pages)

Holland - The History of the Netherlands
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This edition of Holland - The History of the Netherlands provides an encompassing examination of the Dutch nation from the earliest times to the Napoleonic Wars. This edition includes a supplementary chapter by Julian Hawthorne.

Thomas Grattan commences his history with the Roman invasions of what is now the Netherlands. Although the Roman Empire held sway and brought organisation to the locality, but were eventually driven out by successive assaults of Frankish tribes. The strategic bargain the province of Frisia took, in order to retain native control over the lands north of the Lower Rhine, and the growing organisation of the region in the Dark Ages is hereafter discussed.

The temporarily dominant position of Frisia eventually gave way to the province of Holland, which became a formal entity in its own right and a province of the Holy Roman Empire. Self-perceptions of Frisian culture were retained until around the 12th century. Thereafter, in part due to the lengthy rule of the House of Holland, the peoples developed a distinct, Hollander identity.

Grattan keenly explains the Medieval and Renaissance history of the Netherlands, in terms of the various alliances and conflicts the nation undertook with Belgium, Spain and France. Although a small nation, the prosperous Dutch were able to negotiate strongly on terms of trade.

The later portions of the text examines the circumstances of the Dutch Rebellion against the Habsburgs during the Eighty Years' War. The development of gunpowder and naval power was instrumental in the rebellion, and represented a turning point in conflict during the 16th century.

The later rule by France over Holland, and the emergence of William V, the Prince of Orange is detailed. Finally, the book concludes with an examination of Holland's role in the closely proximate Battle of Waterloo during the Napoleonic War.

Thomas Grattan's account of Dutch history is intensive yet accessible. Those seeking insight into how the Netherlands developed its distinct culture to the point of playing a decisive role in the geopolitical events of wider Europe will find Grattan's researches, writing style, and attention to detail satisfying and comprehensive.

A History of the Netherlands: From the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day

By Friso Wielenga

Bloomsbury Academic
Released: 2015-08-13
Paperback (344 pages)

A History of the Netherlands: From the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day
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Books offering an overview of Dutch history are few and far between in the English-speaking world. Friso Wielenga's A History of the Netherlands: From the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day fills this gap. It offers a modern, integrated outline of Dutch history from the period in which the country took shape as a geographical, administrative and political entity and undermines the presumption that Dutch history since the 16th century was characterised by political consensus and religious toleration. Domestic and foreign politics take pride of place, interwoven with the broad lines of economic and cultural developments, as Wielenga uses the Netherlands' geographical location and its international relations to better understand the partially tumultuous past and present of this small land on the North Sea.

A History of the Netherlands provides an authoritative, comprehensive in-depth survey and will be of great value to students of modern European history.

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

By Russell Shorto

Vintage Books
Released: 2014-08-12
Paperback (368 pages)

Amsterdam: A History of the World s Most Liberal City
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  • Vintage Books
Product Description:
An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World

Tourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy canals; student travelers know it for its legal brothels and hash bars; art lovers know it for Rembrandt's glorious portraits.

But the deeper history of Amsterdam, what makes it one of the most fascinating places on earth, is bound up in its unique geography-the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one of its mayors, "craziness is a value." But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, one that profoundly influenced America: political and economic freedom. Amsterdam was home not only to religious dissidents and radical thinkers but to the world's first great global corporation.

In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a sixteenth-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch-and world-history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam.

The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806 (Oxford History of Early Modern Europe)

By Jonathan Israel

imusti
Paperback (1280 pages)

The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806 (Oxford History of Early Modern Europe)
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  • Oxford University Press, USA
Product Description:
"Jonathan Israel's 1,231-page blockbuster forms the inaugural volume of a new series, the Oxford History of Early Modern Europe, and offers a comprehensive, integrated account of the northern part of the Netherlands over almost 350 years...The Dutch Republic represents the fruit of 12 years of research, contemplation and writing, and brims over with interesting detail."--The New York Times Book Review

"Israel performs the great service of charting a path through this literature and presents a coherent and comprehensive picture of the Dutch Republic.... Comprehensive in scope and yet so clearly and carefully written that it could serve as a textbook for graduate history courses. Because it is so thoroughly researched and up-to-date, it is also the kind of indispensable handbook that deserves a place on every early modernist's bookshelf."--American Historical Review

History of the Dutch-Speaking Peoples 1555-1648 (Phoenix Press)

By Pieter Geyl

Phoenix
Paperback (592 pages)

History of the Dutch-Speaking Peoples 1555-1648 (Phoenix Press)
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A superb panorama of politics and war that brings together two classic volumes by Geyl: The Revolt of the Netherlands 1555-1609 and The Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century 1609-1648. Here is the story of the Netherlanders' epic struggle against Spain's might and the rise of the Dutch Republic--as well as important and still pressing issues about the relationship between religion and political action, complex questions of national identity, and the problems of a small country struggling to survive in a great-power world.

The Netherlands in a Nutshell: Highlights from Dutch History and Culture

By Frits van Oostrom

Brand: Amsterdam University Press
Paperback (128 pages)

The Netherlands in a Nutshell: Highlights from Dutch History and Culture
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This book presents a global overview of the key events and themes in Dutch history and culture: a choice of fifty key topics, or ‘windows’ into the country. Fifty important people, inventions and events which together show how the Netherlands has developed into the country that it is now. Each topic includes a list of places to visit and websites. At the back of the book, there is an overview of the fifty ‘windows’, grouped in fourteen themes. This is an excellent introduction for anyone who would like to make an acquaintance with this low country by the sea.

Short History Of The Netherlands

By Pjan Rietbergen

Brand: Vanderheide Pub Co
Hardcover (160 pages)

Short History Of The Netherlands
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The development of the Netherlands over the centuries has been a remarkable one. Situated at "the end of Europe," between land and water, its people have, for more than three thousand years, fought to makethe best of a country unfavoured by nature. They have shaped it into one of the world's foremost economic powers but also, and even more importantly, into a society that prides itself on having reached a fair balance between material and social well-being. The history of this achievementis a fascinating one. Since time immemorial, it is the history of the struggle against the sea, of man seeking to dominate the forces of water. It is the history of the early medieval Dutch traders, who travelled all over Europe to sell their wares. It is the history of the activities ofthe world's first multinationals, the Dutch East and West India Companies, that spanned the entire globe. It is also the history of the loss of colonial empire and of the triumphant rebuilding of a mainly commercial economy into a mainly industrial one, whose activities, once again, span the globe. It is, of course, also the history of a culture to match, of commonsense and realism, of the wonderful works of art produced by the Dutch "Golden Age" of the seventeenth century and of the many attainments of Dutch civilization in more recent years. For all those who are often amazed at the industry and achievementsof this small nation, the "Short History of the Netherlands" offers a succinct historical tale that goes a long way to elucidate the country's past and, thus, explain its present.


 
 
 

 
 
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