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The Resources of Others

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The Resources of Others. Dutch Exploitation of European Expansion and Empires, 1570-1800

Historiography pertaining to the study of European colonial empires can generally be defined in two different strands: on the one hand, the nationally geared scholarship that zooms in on the development of specific ‘national’ empires and their relationships to non-European individuals, groups and polities and, on the other hand, narratives that privilege the focus on the colony and the colony’s links to the outside world. What neither of these strands does, however, is to question the role foreigners played in the capturing of resources within the logic of a foreign empire and how those resources were transferred to the places of origin of these individuals and groups. This article provides an overview of Dutch participation in the empires of others (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) by underlining the important role that Dutch merchants, investors and labour specialists played in the exploitation of other, often competing, European empires. While some of the acquired resources remained in the host society where Dutch merchants and firms settled, some of the colonial resources and by-products were sent back to the merchants’ and firms’ places of origin, more often than not through complex transnational networks of contacts and divergent groups of interests.
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Keywords: Dutch entrepreneurs; economic exploitation; foreign empires; foreigners; tax farming

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2018

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  • Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis (TvG) bestrijkt als enig Nederlandstalig historisch-wetenschappelijk tijdschrift de geschiedenis van alle tijden en van de hele wereld. TvG biedt auteurs uit de geschiedwetenschap en aanverwante disciplines een gereputeerd, Nederlandstalig podium voor kwalitatief hoogstaand en origineel onderzoek. Sinds zijn eerste verschijning in 1886 is Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis uitgegroeid tot een historisch tijdschrift dat wetenschappelijkheid op succesvolle wijze combineert met toegankelijkheid, dat inspeelt op actuele trends, dat respectvol omgaat met historiografische tradities, maar ook openstaat voor experiment en interdisciplinariteit. Het tijdschrift biedt een cruciale brugfunctie tussen enerzijds het internationale onderzoeksveld en anderzijds geschiedenisstudenten en -docenten, en een anderszins geïnteresseerd publiek.

    Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis (Journal of History) is the only Dutch scholarly history journal that covers history for all periods and worldwide. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis is a general historical journal, which means that it covers all historical disciplines and related disciplines. Since its founding in 1886 Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis has grown into a key journal that combines academic research on historical topics with accessibility to an audience within and outside academia.
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