In the first half of the seventeenth century the Dutch Republic emerged as one of Europe's leading maritime powers. The political and military leadership of this small country was based on large-scale borrowing from an increasingly wealthy middle class of merchants, manufacturers and regents This volume presents the first comprehensive account of the political economy of the Dutch republic from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Building on earlier scholarship and extensive new evidence it tackles two main issues: the effect of political revolution on property rights and public finance, and the ability of the nation to renegotiate issues of taxation and government borrowing in changing political circumstances. The essays in this volume chart the Republic's rise during the seventeenth century, and its subsequent decline as other European nations adopted the Dutch financial model and warfare bankrupted the state in the eighteenth century. By following the United Provinces's financial ability to respond to the changing national and international circumstances across a three-hundred year period, much can be learned not only about the Dutch experience, but the wider European implications as well.
Dr Oscar Gelderblom is based at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
’... the entire collection is characterised by a high level of quality (not always a given with these types of enterprises). The range of contributions from the history of economic thought, to rural development, to tariff policy, to the financing of water management projects, to the financing of long distance trading ventures, offers the reader a comprehensive look at the political economy of the Dutch Republic.’ Itinerario ’This long-awaited volume should be a starting point for anyone who requires a grounding in the fiscal history of the Dutch Republic. ... The result is that rare collection of essays that delivers far more than it promises.’ EH.NET '[The volume's] contributors and editor are to be applauded from bringing a fascinating paradox, the local roots of global power, to a wider audience.' Sixteenth Century Journal