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THE REPUBLIC OF THE REFUGEES: EARLY MODERN MIGRATIONS AND THE DUTCH EXPERIENCE

  • GEERT H. JANSSEN (a1)
Abstract

This essay surveys the wave of new literature on early modern migration and assesses its impact on the Dutch golden age. From the late sixteenth century, the Netherlands developed into an international hub of religious refugees, displaced minorities, and labour migrants. While migration to the Dutch Republic has often been studied in socio-economic terms, recent historiography has turned the focus of attention to its many cultural resonances. More specifically, it has been noted that the arrival of thousands of newcomers generated the construction of new patriotic narratives and cultural codes in Dutch society. The experience of civil war and forced migration during the Dutch revolt had already fostered the development of a national discourse that framed religious exile as a heroic experience. In the seventeenth century, the accommodation of persecuted minorities could therefore be presented as something typically ‘Dutch’. It followed that diaspora identities and signs of transnational religious solidarity developed into markers of social respectability and tools of cultural integration. The notion of a ‘republic of the refugees’ had profound international implications, too, because it shaped and justified Dutch interventions abroad.

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1 Bade, Klaus J. et al. , eds., The encyclopedia of migration and minorities in Europe: from the seventeenth century to the present (Cambridge, 2011); Canny, Nicolas, ed., Europeans on the move: studies on European migration, 1500–1800 (Oxford, 1994); Hoerder, Dirk, Cultures in contact: world migrations in the second millennium (Durham, NC, 2002); Moch, Leslie Page, Moving Europeans: migration in western Europe since 1650 (2nd edn, Bloomington, IN, 2003). A perceptive overview is offered in Niggemann, Ulrich, ‘Migration in der frühen Neuzeit: ein Literaturbericht’, Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 43 (2016), pp. 293321 .

2 Israel, Jonathan I., The Dutch Republic: its rise, greatness and fall, 1477–1806 (Oxford, 1998), pp. 328–32. See also Lucassen, Leo and Lucassen, Jan, Winnaars en verliezers: een nuchtere balans van vijfhonderd jaar immigratie (Amsterdam, 2012), pp. 191–4.

3 Terpstra, Nicholas, Religious refugees in the early modern world: an alternative history of the Reformation (Cambridge, 2015).

4 The best general overview is Lucassen and Lucassen, Winnaars en verliezers. See also Obdeijn, Herman and Schrover, Marlou, Komen en gaan: immigratie en emigratie in Nederland vanaf 1550 (Amsterdam, 2008); Lesger, Clé, ‘Informatiestromen en de herkomstgebieden van migranten in de Nederlanden in de vroegmoderne tijd’, Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis, 3 (2006), pp. 323 ; van Lottum, Jelle, Across the North Sea: the impact of the Dutch Republic on international labour migration, c. 1550–1850 (Amsterdam, 2007). For Amsterdam in particular, Kuijpers, Erika, Migrantenstad: immigratie en sociale verhoudingen in 17e-eeuws Amsterdam (Hilversum, 2005).

5 Huizinga, Johan, Dutch civilization in the seventeenth century (trans., London, 1968); Schama, Simon, The embarrassment of riches: an interpretation of Dutch culture in the golden age (London, 1987). A notable exception concerns the work of Briels, J., including De Zuidnederlandse immigratie, 1572–1630 (Haarlem, 1978) and Vlaamse schilders en de dageraad van Hollands gouden eeuw, 1585–1630 (Antwerp, 1997).

6 Jardine, Lisa, Going Dutch: how England plundered Holland's glory (London, 2008), p. xviii.

7 Olyf-krans der vreede, door de doorluchtigste geesten, en geleerdste mannen, deezes tijds, gevlochten [etc.] (Amsterdam, 1649), 379–80. Discussed in Spies, Marijke, ‘De vrijheid in de “Olyf-krans der vreede” (1649)’, De Zeventiende Eeuw, 13 (1997), pp. 201–7; Drees, Marijke Meijer, Andere landen, andere mensen: de beeldvorming van Hollands versus Spanje en Engeland omstreeks 1650 (The Hague, 1997), pp. 6871 .

8 Compare Wiesner-Hanks, Merry, Early modern Europe, 1450–1789 (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 151, 253–65; Terpstra, Religious refugees; Rowlands, Alison, ‘The conditions of life for the masses’, in Cameron, Euan, ed., Early modern Europe: an Oxford history (Oxford, 1999), pp. 3162 .

9 Lucassen and Lucassen, Winnaars en verliezers, pp. 191–4.

10 Kuijpers, Erika et al. , eds., Memory before modernity: practices of memory in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2013); Marianne Eekhout, ‘Material memories of the Dutch revolt’ (unpublished thesis, Leiden, 2014); Müller, Johannes, Exile memories and the Dutch revolt: the narrated diaspora, 1550–1750 (Leiden, 2016); Steen, Jasper van der, Memory wars in the Low Countries, 1566–1700 (Leiden, 2016).

11 Parker, Geoffrey, The Dutch revolt (revised edn, London, 1985), pp. 118–26; Janssens, Gustaaf, ‘Verjaagd uit Nederland: Zuid-Nederlandse emigratie in de zestiende eeuw, een historiografisch overzicht (ca.1968–1994)’, Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis, 75 (1995), pp. 102–19.

12 Schilling, Heinz, Niederländische Exulanten im 16. Jahrhundert:  ihre Stellung im Sozialgefüge und im religiösen Leben deutscher und englischer Städte (Gütersloh, 1972); Duke, Alastair, Reformation and revolt in the Low Countries (London, 1990); Pettegree, Andrew, Emden and the Dutch revolt: exile and the development of Reformed Protestantism (Oxford, 1992).

13 Müller, Exile memories; Spohnholz, Jesse, The tactics of toleration: a refugee community in the age of religious wars (Newark, NJ, 2011); Spohnholz, Jesse and van Veen, Mirjam, ‘Calvinists vs. Libertines: a new look at religious exile and the origins of “Dutch” tolerance’, in van den Brink, Gijsbert and Höpfl, Harro M., eds., Calvinism and the making of the European mind (Leiden, 2014); Janssen, Geert H., The Dutch revolt and Catholic exile in Reformation Europe (Cambridge, 2014).

14 Overviews of this process in Israel, Dutch Republic, pp. 158–60, 179–84, 341–4; Pettegree, Andrew, ‘Coming to terms with victory: the upbuilding of a Calvinist church in Holland, 1572–1590’, in Duke, A. et al. , eds., Calvinism in Europe 1540–1620 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 160–80.

15 Hell, Maarten, ‘De oude geuzen en de opstand: politiek en lokaal bestuur in tijd van oorlog en expansie, 1578–1650’, in Frijhoff, Willem and Prak, Maarten, eds., Geschiedenis van Amsterdam: centrum van de wereld, 1578–1650 (Amsterdam, 2004), pp. 241–82. Previously remarked upon by Elias, J., De vroedschap van Amsterdam, 1578–1795 (2 vols., Amsterdam, 1963), i, pp. xxxviii–xlviii.

16 Müller, Exile memories.

17 Zijlmans, Jori, ‘Pieter Adriaensz van der Werf: held van Leiden’, in van Eijnatten, Joris, van Lieburg, Fred, and de Waardt, Hans, eds., Heiligen of helden: opstellen voor Willem Frijhoff (Amsterdam, 2007), pp. 133–42.

18 van Eikema-Hommes, Margriet, Art and allegiance in the Dutch golden age: the ambitions of a wealthy widow in a painted chamber by Ferdinand Bol (Amsterdam, 2012). Compare Huiskamp, M., ‘Wijs als Salomo, onbaatzuchtig als Elisa: het oude testament in 17de-eeuwse openbare gebouwen’, Spiegel Historiael, 27 (1992), pp. 98105 . For the Amsterdam town hall, see Schama, Embarrassment of riches, pp. 115–16.

19 Terpstra, Religious refugees, pp. 241–308.

20 Anne Heerkes and Folpert Hansma to William Frederick, 20–30 December 1649, Tresoar Archives, Stadhouderlijk archief, 267; Janssen, Geert H., Princely power in the Dutch Republic: patronage and William Frederick of Nassau (1613–1664) (Manchester, 2008), p. 48.

21 Asaert, G., 1585: de val van Antwerpen en de uittocht van Vlamingen en Brabanders (Tielt, 2004); Briels, Zuidnederlandse immigratie; Israel, Dutch Republic, pp. 307–12, 328–32.

22 Lesger, Clé, The rise of the Amsterdam market and information exchange: merchants, commercial expansion and change in the spatial economy of the Low Countries, c. 1550–1630 (Aldershot, 2006); Knotter, A. and van Zanden, J. Luiten, ‘Immigratie en arbeidsmarkt in Amsterdam in de 17e eeuw’, Tijdschrift voor Sociale Geschiedenis, 13 (1987), pp. 403–32; Gelderblom, Oscar, Zuid-Nederlandse kooplieden en de opkomst van de Amsterdamse stapelmarkt (1578–1630) (Hilversum, 2000).

23 Examples in Briels, Zuidnederlandse immigratie; Asaert, 1585, pp. 301–24; Lucassen, Jan, ‘Holland, een open gewest’, in de Nijs, Thimo and Beukers, Eelco, eds., Geschiedenis van Holland (4 vols., Hilversum, 2002), ii, pp. 194–6.

24 Kaplan, Benjamin J., ‘Dutch religious tolerance: celebration and revision’, in Hsia, R. and van Nierop, H. F. K., eds., Calvinism and religious toleration in the Dutch golden age (Cambridge, 2002), p. 13. Compare van Gelder, H. A. Enno, De levensbeschouwing van Cornelis Pieterszoon Hooft: burgemeester van Amsterdam, 1547–1626 (Utrecht, 1982), pp. 4–5, 167–8.

25 van Deursen, A.Th., Bavianen en slijkgeuzen: kerk en kerkvolk ten tijde van Maurits en Oldenbarnevelt (reprint, Franeker, 1998), pp. 90–3; Kaplan, Benjamin J., Calvinists and libertines: confession and community in Utrecht, 1578–1620 (Oxford, 1995), pp. 64–5.

26 Rogge, H. C., ‘Een preek van Jacobus Trigland’, Godgeleerde Bijdragen, 39 (1865), p. 20.

27 Bredero, G. A., The Spanish Brabanter: a seventeenth-century Dutch social satire in five acts, ed. Brumble, H. David III (Binghamton, NY, 1982), p. 122.

28 Pollmann, Judith, ‘No man's land: reinventing Netherlandish identities, 1585–1621’, in Stein, Robert and Pollmann, Judith, eds., Networks, regions and nations: shaping identities in the Low Countries, 1300–1650 (Leiden, 2010), pp. 241–62; Müller, Exile memories, pp. 84–123.

29 Schama, Embarrassment of riches, pp. 115–16; Groenhuis, G., De predikanten: de sociale positie van de gereformeerde predikanten in de Republiek der verenigde Nederlanden voor +/− 1700 (Groningen, 1977); Exalto, John, Gereformeerde heiligen: de religieuze exempeltraditie in vroegmodern Nederland (Nijmegen, 2005). For a broader context, see Ihalainen, Pasi, Protestant nations redefined: changing perceptions of national identity in the rhetoric of the English, Dutch and Swedish public churches, 1685–1772 (Leiden, 2005).

30 Quoted by Kaplan, ‘Dutch religious tolerance’, p. 13. See also Esser, Raingard, The politics of memory: the writing of partition in the seventeenth-century Low Countries (Leiden, 2012), pp. 83–4; de Bruin, Guido, ‘Het begrip vaderland in de pamfletliteratuur ten tijde van de Republiek, 1600–1750’, in van Sas, Niek, ed., Vaderland: een geschiedenis vanaf de vijftiende eeuw tot 1940 (Amsterdam, 1999), pp. 143–62; Spies, Marijke, ‘Vrijheid, vrijheid: poëzie als propaganda, 1565–1665’, in Mulier, E. O. G. Haitsma and Velema, W. R. E., eds., Vrijheid: een geschiedenis van de vijftiende tot de twintigste eeuw (Amsterdam, 1999), pp. 7198 .

31 Müller, Exile memories, ch. 3.

32 Waite, Gary K., ‘Empathy for the persecuted or polemical posturing? The 1609 Spanish expulsion of the Moriscos as seen in English and Netherlandic pamphlets’, Journal of Early Modern History, 17 (2013), pp. 118–20.

33 Johan Koppenol, ‘Het zakboekje van Piero: profiel van een rederijker’, Nederlandistiek, January 2014, p. 15. Compare Smits-Veldt, Mieke B., ‘Het vaderland bij Hollandse rederijkers, circa 1580–1625: grondgebied en identiteit’, in van Sas, Niek, ed., Vaderland: een geschiedenis vanaf de vijftiende eeuw tot 1940 (Amsterdam, 1999), pp. 83108 .

34 Kuijpers, Migrantenstad, pp. 15–26; Van Lottum, Across the North Sea, pp. 26–53.

35 Van Lottum, Across the North Sea.

36 As emphasized by Kaplan, Benjamin J., Divided by faith: religious conflict and the practice of toleration in early modern Europe (Cambridge, MA, 2007); Schunka, Alexander, ‘Konfession und Migrationsregime in der Frühen Neuzeit’, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 35 (2009), pp. 2863 ; Terpstra, Religious refugees.

37 Briels, Zuidnederlandse immigratie; Lucassen, ‘Holland’; Kuijpers, Migrantenstad.

38 Pontanus, Johannes, Rerum et urbis amstelodamensium historia (Amsterdam, 1611), p. 95. See also Esser, Politics of memory, pp. 29–104.

39 Briels, Zuidnederlandse immigratie.

40 Gelderblom, Zuid-Nederlandse kooplieden; Lucassen, ‘Holland’, pp. 205–15; Kuijpers, Erika and Prak, Maarten, ‘Gevestigden en buitenstaanders’, in Frijhoff, and Prak, , eds., Geschiedenis van Amsterdam, pp. 189–40.

41 Müller, Exile memories, pp. 122–3.

42 It probably concerned a translation of a text originally composed by Johannes Pontanus. Ampzing, Samuel, ed., Toneel van Europa, met hare personagien afgebeelt (Harderwijk, 1631), pp. 1314 . For Ampzing and Pontanus, see Esser, Politics of memory, pp. 35–64; Verbaan, Eddy, De woonplaats van de faam: grondslagen van de stadsbeschrijving in de zeventiende-eeuwse Republiek (Hilversum, 2011), pp. 106–8.

43 Olyf-krans, pp. xlii–xlii.

44 Quoted in Kuijpers, Migrantenstad, p. 294.

45 Haks, Donald, Vaderland  & vrede, 1672–1713: publiciteit over de Nederlandse Republiek in oorlog (Hilversum, 2013), pp. 257–8.

46 Maarten Prak, ‘The politics of intolerance: citizenship and religion in the Dutch Republic (seventeenth to eighteenth centuries)’, in Hsia and van Nierop, eds., Calvinism, pp. 159–76; Peter van Rooden, ‘Jews and religious toleration in the Dutch Republic’, in Hsia and van Nierop, eds., Calvinism, pp. 132–47.

47 Kuijpers, Migrantenstad.

48 Weststeijn, Arthur, Commercial republicanism in the Dutch golden age: the political thought of Johan and Pieter de la Court (Leiden, 2011). Compare Nipperdey, J., ‘Die Hugenottenaufnahme als Katalysator der Idee des Populationismus’, Francia, 40 (2013), pp. 113–38.

49 Quotes taken from Weststeijn, Commercial republicanism, pp. 159–61, 225–6. Compare Israel, Jonathan I., Radical Enlightenment: philosophy and the making of modernity, 1650–1750 (Oxford, 2001), pp. 258–70.

50 Müller, Exile memories; Siebenhüner, Kim, ‘Conversion, mobility and the Roman inquisition in Italy around 1600’, Past and Present, 200 (2008), pp. 536 .

51 Terpstra, Religious refugees, p. i.

52 Esser, Politics of memory, pp. 35–64. See also Verbaan, Woonplaats, pp. 15–29.

53 Bakker, Boudewijn, ‘Het imago van de stad: zelfportret als propaganda’, in Bakker, B. and Schmitz, E., eds., Het aanzien van Amsterdam: panorama's, plattegronden en profielen uit de gouden eeuw (Bussum, 2007), pp. 6174 ; Esser, Politics of memory, pp. 83–6, 96–9.

54 Gellinek, C., Europas erster Baedeker, Filip von Zesens Amsterdam 1664 (New York, NY, 1988).

55 van Suchtelen, Arianne and Wheelock, Arthur K., eds., Dutch cityscapes of the golden age (The Hague, 2008); Bakker, ‘Imago’, pp. 56–78.

56 Jan Sluijter, Eric, ‘On Brabant rubbish, economic competition, artistic rivalry, and the growth of the market for paintings in the first decades of the seventeenth century’, Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, 1 (2009); Scholte, F., Woodall, J., and Meijers, D., eds., Art and migration: Netherlandish artists on the move, 1400–1750 (Leiden, 2013); D. Carasso, ‘Kroniek van het Amsterdamse stadsportret 1540–1740’, in Bakker and Schmitz, eds., Het aanzien van Amsterdam, pp. 44–5.

57 Bots, Hans, ‘Tolerantie of gecultiveerde tweedracht: het beeld van de Nederlandse tolerantie bij buitenlanders in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw’, Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 107 (1992), pp. 657–69; Willem Frijhoff, ‘Religious toleration in the United Provinces: from case to model’, in Hsia and van Nierop, eds., Calvinism, pp. 27–35; van Strien, Kees, Touring the Low Countries: accounts of British travellers, 1660–1720 (Amsterdam, 1998).

58 Original citation: Bayle, Pierre, Dictionnaire historique et critique par mr. Pierre Bayle, cinquieme edition, revue, corrigée, et augmentée avec la vie de l'auteur, par mr. Des Maizeaux, tome troisieme (Amsterdam, 1711), p. 688. Compare M. J. Walker, ‘La grande arche des fugitifs? Huguenots in the Dutch Republic after 1685’ (unpublished thesis, Brigham Young University, 2011).

59 Acta der particuliere synoden van Zuid-Holland, 1621–1700. Examples in i, pp. 263–5, 299, ii, pp. 123–7. Available at http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/retroboeken/actazh (created 2012).

60 Ibid., ii, p. 127. Available at http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/retroboeken/actazh (created 2012).

61 Grell, O. P., Brethren in Christ: a Calvinist network in Reformation Europe (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 229–48.

62 Boersma, Erica, ‘Yrelandtsche traenen gedroogd: transnationale solidariteit en lokale politiek in Zeeland, 1641–1644’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 128 (2015), pp. 201–22.

63 Grell, Brethren in Christ, pp. 127–77.

64 Kuijpers, Migrantenstad, pp. 293–9.

65 Bodian, Miriam, ‘The biblical “Jewish Republic” and the Dutch “New Israel” in seventeenth-century Dutch thought’, Hebraic Political Studies, 1 (2006), pp. 186202 ; Bodian, Miriam, Hebrews of the Portuguese nation: conversos and community in early modern Amsterdam (Bloomington, IN, 1997); Ruderman, David B., Early modern Jewry: a new cultural history (Princeton, NJ, 2010), pp. 2340 .

66 Haks, Vaderland & vrede.

67 van Meerkerk, Edwin, ‘Geweld, geloof, herinnering en identiteit: Hollandse hugenoten en het ‘trauma’ van 1685’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 118 (2005), p. 394.

68 The print is discussed in van der Linden, David, Experiencing exile: Huguenot refugees in the Dutch Republic, 1680–1700 (Farnham, 2015), pp. 225–6. See also Haks, Vaderland & vrede, pp. 21–57; van Nierop, Henk, ‘Profijt en propaganda: nieuwsprenten en de verbeelding van het nieuws’, in van Nierop, Henk et al. , eds., Romeyn de Hooghe: de verbeelding van de gouden eeuw (Zwolle, 2008), pp. 6685 .

69 Quoted by Van der Linden, Experiencing exile, p. 225. Compare Stanwood, O., ‘Between Eden and empire: Huguenot refugees and the promise of new worlds’, American Historical Review, 118 (2013), pp. 1334–8.

70 Bosma, Ulbe, Kessler, Gijs, and Lucassen, Leo, eds., Migration and membership regimes in global and historical perspective (Leiden, 2013); Maria, Blake de, Becoming Venetian: immigrants and the arts in early modern Venice (New Haven, CT, 2010); Oldenburg, Scott, Alien albion: literature and immigration in early modern England (Toronto, 2014).

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