Tijdschrift Voor Geschiedenis (1920)

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Publications
What made Amsterdam at the end of the sixteenth century the centre of world-trade? The debate on this intriguing question has flared up again thanks to the general study of Dutch trade history by Jonathan Israel. According to him Amsterdam could only take up that leading position after immigrants from the Southern Netherlands transferred their trade in luxury goods--mainly textiles--to Amsterdam after 1590. New research, however, shows that already before the Revolt textiles together with goods of low value like grain, constituted an important part of trade in the Northern Netherlands.
 
In the 1950s European colonialism was more vigorous than is often assumed. Despite growing international resistance, European colonial powers tried fervently to cling on to the remnants of their once great empires. Yet, little is known of the way they perceived and acted towards each others’ attempts to keep their empires alive. This article explores this topic by studying how the Netherlands and France interacted diplomatically concerning colonial matters. It shows that The Hague and Paris, which in the 1950s were often at loggerheads concerning the future of the EEC, put their differences aside when it came to colonial issues, and actively worked together in order to maintain their power overseas. In doing so, they acted against Cold War logic. In contrast to the United States, their strongest NATO-ally, the Europeans both advocated and supported a policy of no compromise when it came to anti-colonial nationalism. American fear that Moscow would take advantage of the resentment this aroused in the non-western world was not shared in either The Hague or Paris. Rather both the Dutch and the French thought it was American appeasement of Afro-Asian (national) ambitions in North-Africa and the Indonesian archipelago that formed the greatest threat to European and Western influence overseas.
 
In the special section EVERYTHING IS ENLIGHTENED three authors present new developments in the Enlightenment research. In this short introduction we determine the boundaries within which the more than thirty books that are discussed by these authors can be placed, en we observe that historians of the Enlightenment have in recent years explored the limits of what can still be considered Enlightened.
 
The many forms of sociability that flourished during the eighteenth century have long been viewed as vehicles of the Enlightenment. Not only were societies, clubs, and lodges permeated by a spirit of egalitarianism, secularism, and religious tolerance, they were also essential factors in the dissemination of knowledge and new ideas. Additionally, sociability has been associated with the rise of the public sphere and civil society, as various societies provided important platforms for the new bourgeois public to discuss and address the issues of the day. However, recent research has challenged these views. Historians are increasingly finding that many societies were permeable to a variety of worldviews and practices, not all of which can be meaningfully associated with the Enlightenment. New insights also suggest the importance of local restrictions and social conventions influencing many societies, further complicating the traditional understanding of the progressive, enlightened nature of sociability during this period. At the same time, sociability remains an important object of research in its own right, as well as an indispensible window onto an ever increasing variety of historical phenomena. This article explores the ways in which recent research has transformed our understanding of sociability and its place in the Enlightenment.
 
This article explores the historical actors and societal factors existing at the beginning of land consolidation as an instrument of Dutch rural planning. The call for a legal framework to redistribute fragmented parcels in an efficient and rational manner, was growing from the 1890’s onwards. Because of the ideological barriers in the political center, in which the division between public and private interests was the most important aspect, this framework was heavily disputed. Social minded, liberal reformers of the middle class, mobilized political pressure. The government was ready to take action, when the First World War made the national economy fragile and revealed the necessity to become more self-sufficient. In 1924 the first Land Consolidation Act was passed, but obstacles blocked a widespread use of the instrument. These obstacles were lowered in the 1930’s. Economic recession gave way to an active policy for the improvement of the countryside, for which the Land Consolidation Act was the judicial vehicle.
 
The Second World War in Indonesia should not be viewed as an isolated event, but in conjunction with the wider events of decolonization and the formation of independent states, and also in a wider geographic framework. This article examines the shifting patterns of migration and mobility in the period of transition from colonial rule to independence. The Second World War appears to have had a decisive effect on patterns of migration, first of all because of the unsettling effects of mobilisation and imprisonment, but also because of repercussions on longer-term patterns of mobility. In the period between the 1920s and 1960s, four major shifts can be discerned: the transformation of patterns of labour-migration; the migration crises caused by war and revolution; the exodus of ethnic minorities; and urbanization. For the first and last of these changes, the war was not the sole cause, but it was a catalyst. It becomes clear that the vicissitudes of the Dutch population cannot be separated from those of other communities in Indonesian society. This study of mobility in and out of Indonesia demonstrates the need to analyse the Second World War from a regional and global perspective.
 
In this article several new publications on the critics of the Enlightenment are reviewed. These works build partly on the legacy of Isaiah Berlin’s concept of the Counter-Enlightenment, but they also emphasise the problematic nature of his essentialistic and timeless interpretation of the Counter-Enlightenment tradition. The authors argue that the so-called enemies of the Enlightenment should in fact be examined as part of the Enlightenment itself, and that the Enlightenment cannot be understood without studying its self-proclaimed enemies.
 
The paradox of Enlightened equality. Some considerations on Siep Stuurman’s De uitvinding van de mensheid Jesus praised the Good Samaritan who, according to the parable, understood that the stranger we encounter in daily life is, in fact, our neighbour. For Siep Stuurman, the tale of the Samaritan symbolizes the fundamental insight that humanity is a universal category transcending cultural differences. It would be perfectly legitimate, however, to interpret Luke 10:25-37 as an ethical injunction to help our neighbour while regarding him or her as inferior to ourselves. Indeed, why should an ethics of compassion based on cultural inequality be morally reprehensible? In De uitvinding van de mensheid (The invention of mankind) Stuurman takes for granted that equality is theoretically more acceptable than inequality. He can do this only by consistently neglecting a powerful inegalitarian train of thought intrinsic to all world religions and cultures and which, in the West, surfaced among others in Plato, Augustine, the Romantics, and conservatism. Stuurman’s take on equality becomes clear when he addresses the contradictory Enlightenment claim that all men are equal but that some (that is, the Enlightened) are more equal than others. He solves the conundrum by treating the claim as an irresolvable ‘duality’. This duality can be borne, he argues, if the Enlightened majority condescends to view society through the eyes of (less Enlightened) minorities. It is more realistic to view the Enlightenment claim not as a duality, but as a paradox. Enlightenment necessarily implies cultural inequality, and in this sense there is no distinction between it and the religions of the Axial Age. Belief in cultural inequality seems to be ingrained in humankind.
 
Until the 1980s, Paul Wittek’s famous gaza thesis was the dominant explanation for the Ottoman state formation and it still remains influential in the field. This article re-evaluates Wittek's thesis and situates Wittek within the intellectual genealogy of Ottoman Studies, which exhibits two major lines: the Ottomans were either barbarians lacking an understanding of state-building, or fanatical Muslims who were engaged in continuous "holy war" against Christian states. Since Wittek, many scholars have endorsed the idea that the so-called holy war was central to the Ottoman state and ideology. Certainly, Wittek was right in seeing the gaza as an important aspect of state ideology. However, he wrongly interpreted the gaza as an equivalent to the western concept of crusades. Seeing the gaza as having a similar historical meaning and practice as the crusades, Wittek negligently defined it in terms of ‘holy war’. In fact each of these concepts have a different semantic and historical context. Although the gaza ideology was relevant to Ottoman expansion and dynastic legitimacy, it was not the all-defining raison d'être of the Ottoman state, as Wittek has claimed.
 
After World War I the technocratic movement Technocracy Inc. was established in the United States. Supporters of this movement were utopian engineers who wanted to eradicate waste in American industry, and increasingly considered their methods applicable to the economy and society at large. Technocratic ideas also gained ground in the Netherlands in the interwar period. The purpose of this article is to examine the emergence and development of technocratic thought in the United States and the Netherlands in this period, and to analyze their different patterns of development.
 
The so-called poldermodel, a model which is based on compromise and coalition between social groups, has often been portrayed as characteristic of Dutch political culture. Many consider it as a result of the need to cooperate in order to master the wet soils. It is commonly held that this could be achieved only by the direct participation of all parties in dialogue and compromise. This article explores what we actually know about water management in the Low Countries in the pre-industrial period. It turns out that the rural population in fact intensively participated in water management, but not at all times nor in all regions or under all circumstances. The polders in the central part of the province of Holland, nowadays the Randstad and its ‘green heart’ (Groene Hart), seem to have been the best breeding grounds for management structures resembling the poldermodel. The article also includes suggested directions for future research.
 
Since the publication of Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, scholarly interest in the classical presence in Enlightenment culture has waned. Over the past decade, however, this topic has returned to center stage. This review article discusses the ways in which recent research has contributed to the rediscovery of the classical past in the Enlightenment. It starts with an evaluation of the current reinterpretation of the Querelle des anciens et des modernes, continues with an overview of recent scholarship on the various intellectual and institutional environments in which knowledge of the classical past was acquired and transmitted, and ends with a discussion of the crucial role of the ancient world in eighteenth-century historiography and political thought. In its conclusion the article draws attention to the many ways in which recent scholarship on the eighteenth-century reception of the classics has broken new ground. It also argues that the ‘classical turn in Enlightenment studies’ is still unjustifiably neglected in general interpretations of the Enlightenment.
 
Gematigdheid, het juiste midden zoeken, afvlakken van tegenstellingen, zoeken naar een balans tussen vrijheid en orde: het zijn aspecten van wat de Roemeens-Amerikaanse politicoloog Aurelian Craiutu omschrijft als de deugden van political moderation. In de politieke filosofie is traditioneel veel aandacht besteed aan de uitersten: radicale en conservatieve ideologieën. Dergelijke ideologieën zijn vaak opgenomen in een theoretisch vertoog omdat ze uitgaan van een levensbeschouwing. Politieke opvattingen die een middenpositie innemen zijn meestal eclectisch van aard. Bovendien kan een middenpositie makkelijker verschuiven als de uitersten veranderen. Vanwege het compromiskarakter heeft de moderate attitude weinig charisma. Toch gaan achter deze positie wel degelijk theoretische uitgangspunten schuil, zo wil Craiutu aantonen met zijn boek. Na een breed opgezet hoofdstuk over political moderation vanaf de oudheid tot de achttiende eeuw, komt de auteur bij zijn eigenlijke onderwerp: de Franse politieke filosofie vanaf Montesquieu tot en met Tocqueville. Als weinig anderen is Craiutu thuis in het bekende en minder bekende bronnenmateriaal.
 
During the 1970s Belgian academic historians added recent history to the academic history course. Recent history, referring to the period from the First World War to the present day, was recognized as a subdiscipline of contemporary history. Belgian research institutes of twentieth-century history emerged. It is little known that it was the protagonists of Belgian history education, and not academic historians, who from the 1940s promoted the integration of recent history. In history education, academic historians’ common objections to the study of the supposedly ‘too close’ and ‘subjective’ recent history were outweighed by ethical and societal imperatives. Democratic citizenship education demanded closer examination of the world wars and was stimulated by UNESCO’s and the Council of Europe’s peace education projects. Official encouragement to research recent history was also lacking, due to troubled Belgian war memories. Yet Belgian proponents of history education founded international commissions to stimulate study of the Second World War. The impact of these educational initiatives was felt in the inclusion of recent history in Belgian history textbooks and the academic institutionalization of recent history. Yet the promotion of a conciliatory approach to the Second World War clashed with internal community conflicts resulting from a regionalization of war memories.
 
In 1997 John Lewis Gaddis presented four hypotheses on the New Cold War History. First, Gaddis believed Stalin was almost the only one responsible for the Cold War. This hypothesis has subsequently been rejected by many historians who stress American responsibility as well. Second, Gaddis maintained that the Cold War was not only a struggle between the superpowers, but that smaller nations could also sometimes play a major role. This hypothesis has met with much support. Cuba, for example, supported revolutionaries in Angola in the 1970s without any prior consultation with Moscow. It was the beginning of the end of detente. Gaddis’s third hypothesis was that ideas matter in the history of the Cold War. Indeed much recent research concerns the loss of legitimacy of regimes in the Soviet empire and on the decisive role played by Gorbachev, who introduced the so-called new thinking into Soviet foreign policy. Fourth, according to Gaddis, ‘democracy proved superior to autocracy in maintaining coalitions’. This hypothesis has been largely ignored in the past fifteen years. The rise and survival of a grand alliance among the US, Japan, and the major Western European powers is often noted, but hardly analysed.
 
This paper investigates religious women of the tenth and early eleventh centuries who relied on bodily expression to criticize the conduct of their fellow sisters. Relying on a habitus that referred to the centrality of the body in early medieval rules, these individuals appear to have relied on a gender-neutral mode of reformist agency that nonetheless provided affirmative arguments for male prejudices about women’s moral and corporeal inferiority, and provided supportive arguments for ecclesiastical and lay lords seeking to curtail the freedom of religious women, both as individuals and collectively. In some cases at least, female reformers’ behavior arguably contributed to a decrease in the quality of life and the societal position of nuns and canonesses.
 
De Nederlandse Gouden Eeuw heeft de afgelopen jaren gestraald in de schijnwerpers van historici. Nog steeds gaat de aandacht van het grote publiek daarbij vooral uit naar het land van Rembrandt en Vermeer, van de Nederlandse Opstand en de VOC, en van Spinoza en de wetenschappelijke revolutie. Bij de opkomst van de nieuwe wetenschap wordt dikwijls benadrukt dat de universiteiten en illustere scholen in de Republiek een grote aantrekkingskracht hadden op studenten uit Noord-Europa. De zogeheten ‘Cartesiaanse oorlogen’ komen dan ter sprake als een voorbeeld van de relatieve libertas philosophandi. De populariteit van de Nederlandse universiteiten wordt ook gezien als een gevolg van de Dertigjarige Oorlog en vervolging van protestanten in Oost-Europa, die studenten uit Midden-Europa dwong om uit te wijken naar de Republiek. De geschiedenis van geleerde migratie is niet louter een continentale kwestie: de relaties met Engeland staan stevig op de agenda, zoals blijkt uit Lisa Jardines uit 2009 daterende Going Dutch (waarschijnlijk niet toevallig ook de titel van een van de hoofdstukken in het onderhavige boek) en het recente proefschrift van Helmer Helmers The Royalist Republic (2011). Het waardevolle boek van Ester Mijers laat zien dat de geleerde cultuur in de Republiek ook grote aantrekkingskracht uitoefende op Schotland. Mijers toont aan dat het vooral een kwestie was van éénrichtingsverkeer: de Schotten kwamen naar de Nederlanden, niet andersom. Bovendien laat ze zien dat de grootste aantallen niet op gang kwamen in de hoogtijdagen van het Leidse humanisme van lieden als Joseph Scaliger en Daniel Heinsius in de eerste helft van de zeventiende eeuw, maar juist in de tweede helft van de eeuw, na de ‘korte’ Gouden Eeuw.
 
Top-cited authors
Maria Grever
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam / NL-Lab KNAW Humanities Cluster Amsterdam
C.J.M. Jansen
  • Stellenbosch University
Kees Ribbens
  • Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Michele Gubian
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Lou Boves
  • Radboud University