The Dutch

By: Charne Meintjes and Allison Stanec

Intro Paragraph

The Dutch had great significance in the world, in many different ways. First, the Dutch made a great fluitship that carries all of the goods across oceans, rivers, and great bodies of water. This was very important because it provided a faster was of transporting goods. Also, the Dutch helped many different civilizations, by supplying them with services and an entrepot in the Dutch trade. This helped them in the long run, because they were able to have more and more connections throughout the world. Finally, the Dutch had a great economy, from their great trade techniques. It allowed them to have a larger food production, and to have much more animals. Not only did the Dutch have fluitships and a great way of making connections, they had a great social class, a great economy, and even more connections.

Intro Paragraph

The Dutch didn’t settle for the normal European way of doing things, from where they settled, how the government was involved with the religion, to art, the Dutch did things their own way. For example, the Dutch did not just settle in one continent, like many other countries did, they went too far out places, such as the Indonisian Islands and the most Southern tip of Africa. Without the Dutch entering those countries, they might have not even become civilized until the 1700 century. In addition, the Dutch were also very different when it came to religion. Although most countries had one main religion, the Dutch did not. If the Dutch had just one main religion, the idea of having freedom of religion might not have ever evolved. Lastly, many artists around the world usually did not just paint, mold, or make things in one specific atmosphere, but some of the Dutch artists did. However, if the Dutch painters did not, the level of beauty would not be as astounding. As you can see, the Dutch differed in many ways, good, and bad, than the rest of the European world from the 1500-1800s.


The Dutch had great significance in the world, in many different ways, such as their trade and connections with other countries. Connections between countries can be very helpful during wars, to have more people help you out. The Dutch used their connections to make more trade between countries. This helped a lot, because it gives them a wide variety of resources to live with. Another way that the Dutch used connections between other countries wisely is when they made friends with other countries to try to get some of their land. For example, the Dutch made a connection with America, because they wanted land from them. Having all of these connections between different countries ended up helping the Dutch in their trades, and their land.

More Information on Connections

The Dutch connected with…
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • America
  • West Indies
  • Brazil
  • Caribbean
  • Guinea Coast

Where the Dutch Settled and Why?

Although the Dutch was just a small empire, they spread throughout the world and created many colonies. Some were very important and some failed in the attempt. After the first ship came back to Holland from the Eastern Cape in 1595, bringing back many valuable goods from the trading post they had created in Bantam, Java, almost ten ships were sent out every year to go and find treasure in the far East. One of the ships landed in the Indonesian Islands, where they found many new spices. By 1658, the Dutch Empires main source of wealth was coming from those islands which they had renamed, the Spice Islands. In 1652, the Dutch had figured out that they can travel North of the Spice Islands and get to the Cape of South Africa. Finally the Dutch decided to launch 3 ships and go to the Cape. They arrived safely and started creating their own colony by the bay of Table Mountain. Jan van Reibeeck was among those ships. In only ten years, they created a fort, farmland, and a town along the coast. The Dutch trade with the native tribe, KhoiKhoi. As the colony grew larger, the Dutch let some families go and live on their own, not following the Dutch government. These families called themselves Boers, speaking their own language (Afrikaans) and calling themselves Afrikaners. The Boers took in some of the native folks and gave them a home, for the price of doing agricultural and domestic work. Soon the Boers outnumbered the Dutch and created their own nation. They went further away from the coast and took over many of the native tribes land. All was good until the English arrived in 1795. The English capture Cape Town as it is “the most strategic point on the important sea route to India.” The war, which is later known as the I Boer War, carries on until 1802, when finally the Afrikaners and Dutch (who pared up to fight the war) seize back the land and kick out the British. Peace is kept until 1803 when war breaks out again. In 1806, the British gained control of the Cape again. The British came back the second time again because gold had been discovered in South Africa. They worried that if the Dutch/ Boers became rich, they would attack England and turn Germany against them. The Second Boer War started in 1899 and ended in 1902 with the Boers/Dutch gaining back the territory. In 1626, the Dutch perches’ the island of Manhattan, calling it New Amsterdam. Although New Amsterdam was a thriving colony, it was surrounded by English Colonies. By 1664, English vessels have arrived on the island. Governor Peter Stuyvasent came to the conclusion that the fight was not worth the lives of his people to try and the keep the island. Without even one shot, the Dutch left the island and came back to Holland. Before 1616, one of the other ships had landed in Suriname, where they had established a slave trading post. It was a thriving colony; however the English, Dutch, and French had been fighting over the area for many years. Finally Suriname became its own nation. Without the Dutch exploring and settling around the world, many nations, people, and languages would not exist.

Above is a picture of the Dutch Empire.


The Dutch’s government and economy was very important and successful to the Dutch. The Dutch traded a lot between many different countries. They had fluitships that could transport many goods to one spot. It made trading easier and faster. They were able to get more resources from other countries, because those countries would be interested in trading with them, because of their wide variety of resources. Finally, a man in the middle class, along with a couple of brokers, changed the economic channel by adding ways to sell products, like making distribution channels. This is good, because it is another way to get more and more money for their government. The Dutch had a very successful government, and economy, which lead them to having good trade.

More facts about the Government and Economy:

  • Had a great influence to the world in the 1600’s to the 1700’s.
  • Became a democracy in 1806.


Each country has something that they are proud of, and for the Dutch, it was art.During the Dutch Golden Age, many things were made and excelled at. One thing in particular was arts, and to be even more specific is painting. Many Dutch painters such as Hendrick Avercamp, Jacob van Ruysdael, and Rembrandt van Rijn amazed people around the globe with their amazing skills. Visitors were astounded by how many paintings, even the poor Dutch people, had hanging on their walls. ‘Genere painting’ was also developed in the Netherlands; it means “painting scenes from everyday life, often enlivened with a pun or hidden moral.” As all things come to an end, so did the Dutch’s Golden Age, shattering the painting phenomenon.

Above is one of Hendrick Avercamp’s most famous paintings.

Social Class

The Dutch social class was unique compared to other social classes, from the way that they ordered the people in their society, and the people that were in the community. For example, the Dutch social class put their people in order by their wealth not as much as power. The Dutch’s wealthy merchants were at the top of their social class. The nobles had little importance to the Dutch, normally; the Nobles have some importance to their community. Not only did the Dutch have a weirdly ordered social class, but they had a no king, queen or any type of ruler. Another odd part about the Dutch social class is that aristocrats don’t have to all be in the same part of the social pyramid. Usually in a civilization, there is some sort of ruler. Since the Dutch had such a diverse social class, it allowed their people to have a chance to live life wealthy.
More Information on Social Class
  • Workers and laborers got paid relatively high, but had much more taxes.
  • Made cash crops
  • Made lots of money from everyone needing food.

Social Class Pyrmaid
Protestant Minister, lawyer, physcian, small
merchant, industrialsits, clerk of state institutions
Farmers, Craftsmen, tradesmen, shopkeepers, government beaurcrats
Skilled laborers, serveants, maids, sailors, employees in service insudstry


All over the world countries just had one main religion, but the Dutch were different. Some countries were Catholic, some were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and all sorts of different religions. Those countries, who just had one religion, sometimes only allowed people with the same common belief to come and live in the country. The Dutch were very open minded, they let people from all around the world come and settle their. The government, until the 1500s, had one main religion and forced the people who had moved there, to become Catholic, which was the main religion at that time. However, in 1566 new religious ideas spread throughout the empire, there were many people against these new religions, enough so that they tried to start a war multiply times but failed every time because people were more interested in the Spanish Habsurb crown. In the end, the Dutch Republic split up into many different provinces each with its own religion, which advertised the freedom of religion that the Dutch offered. However the people who were against the idea of having many religions in Holland came together and created the Calvinist church. They were known as the “revolts leadership”. They made it so that only the people who were Calvinist could practice their religion in public. All the other religious people were not happy with this new rule and they were able to quickly change the rule so that they to, were allowed to practice their religion out in the public eye. The reason that there was no war or fight over the matter was simply because only 15% of the Dutch Republic were Calvinists. The expectations were set to an extreme limit, and priests made it perfectly clear that only the people who were 100% committed to the Calvinist church were taken in. Some areas were seriously strict on showing only a limited amount of religion in the public but other places such as Amsterdam, were very easy going with the idea. They even allowed 2 churches and 2 synagogues to be built. Even though all seemed to be going well, many people were still fighting over religion, such as the Catholics who had to “celebrate mass in so-called hidden churches” and rely on police officers to protect them from their enemy, the Spanish church. Other religions were fine with having more than one main religion in Holland, but the priests and ministers were the ones who caused havoc and fought like little children. Because of the Dutch, the idea of having more than one idea in a country spread throughout world, and is a large part of our society today.