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The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century
The Golden Age


  • Date Published: September 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521604604

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • The Dutch are 'the envy of some, the fear of others, and the wonder of all their neighbours'. So wrote the English ambassador to the Dutch Republic, Sir William Temple, in 1673. Maarten Prak offers a lively and innovative history of the Dutch Golden Age, charting its political, social, economic and cultural history through chapters that range from the introduction of the tulip to the experiences of immigrants and Jews in Dutch society, the paintings of Vermeer and Rembrandt, and the ideas of Spinoza. He places the Dutch 'miracle' in a European context, examining the Golden Age both as the product of its own past and as the harbinger of a more modern, industrialised and enlightened society. A fascinating and accessible study, this 2005 book will prove invaluable reading to anyone interested in Dutch history.

    • Concise and well-written account of Dutch political, social, economic and cultural history in the seventeenth century
    • Covers a wide range of subjects, from the introduction of the tulip in Holland, to the paintings of Vermeer and the ideas of Spinoza
    • Well-structured for student use
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this is a very readable, accurate, and insightful account of the Republic in its Golden Years.' History of Intellectual Culture

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521604604
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Introduction: the enigma of the Republic
    1. A turbulent beginning
    Part I. War Without End:
    2. An independent state (1609–50)
    3. A world power (1650–1713)
    4. The armed forces
    5. Financial might
    Part II. Golden Age: Economy and Society:
    6. A market economy
    7. A world-wide trading network
    8. Riches
    9. Toil and trouble
    Part III. Unity and Discord: Politics and Governance:
    10. Community
    11. The authorities
    12. A dissonant chorus
    Part IV. An Urban Society:
    13. Religious pluralism
    14. A new approach to science and philosophy
    15. The Dutch school of painting
    16. The urban landscape
    Conclusion: the end of the Golden Age
    Further reading

  • Author

    Maarten Prak, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Maarten Prak is Professor of Social and Economic History at Utrecht University. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Early Modern Capitalism (2000).


    Diane Webb
    Diane Webb is a translator specialising in the fields of history and art.

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