Going Dutch in America

The Dutch West India Company left an indelible footprint in 17th century American colonial history. Favorable reports of English mariner Henry Hudson's journeys inspired the Dutch to create a Dutch West Indies Company designed to seize the economic opportunities that Hudson had opened up in North America. Initially more interested in trade than encouraging settlement, the Dutch developed a flourishing trade in furs, established a good working relationship with the Native Americans of the area, and ultimately saw the economic value of encouraging permanent residents to the region. Beginning in 1609, the Netherlands maintained its foothold in the colonies until 1664 when the Dutch were forced to surrender New Netherlands to the English as a consequence of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Even after the English gained control, Dutch values, culture, and artistic achievements remained strong in what is today New York, New Jersey and Delaware. This course will explore that legacy.

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