Riches from Atlantic Commerce

Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping, 1585-1817

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While it is generally recognized that the Dutch played a prominent part in the world economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most studies of Dutch long-distance shipping and trade have focused on Asia and neglected the Atlantic region. In this volume, eight scholars contribute their expertise on Dutch trade with Africa, the Americas and the West Indies, and demonstrate that Dutch trade in the Atlantic was far more extensive and valuable than has generally been assumed, and exceeded the trade with Asia at that time. Supported by extensive archival research and quantitative data, the study makes a strong appeal for a reassessment of Dutch maritime commerce of that period, and should stimulate further research of Dutch Atlantic trade.

Riches from Atlantic Commerce has been selected by Choice as Outstanding Academic Title (2005).

Contributors include: Christopher Ebert, Victor Enthoven, Henk den Heijer, Han Jordaan, Wim Klooster, Eric Willem van der Oest, Johannes Postma, Claudia Schnurmann, and Stuart B. Schwartz.

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Johannes Postma, Ph.D. in History (1970, Michigan State University) was Professor of History at Minnesota State University at Mankato from 1969 to 2001. He is the author of several articles on Atlantic history and two books, The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1800 (1990), and The Atlantic Slave Trade (2003). He continues his research and writing in retirement, and is presently living in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Victor Enthoven, Ph.D. (1996), University of Leiden, was affiliated for several years with the Institute for the History of European Expansion (IGEER) at the same university. He has published several articles and books on Dutch expansion and Atlantic and Asian history, as well as on maritime history and the history of public finance. At present he is Assistant Professor of Maritime History at the Royal Netherlands Naval College at Den Helder, Netherlands.
"Taken as a whole, Riches from Atlantic Commerces paints a picture of the tenacity of the Dutch and their ability to squeeze profit from an empire that was crumbling and to find opportunities in a system that they were systematically being forced out of...Contemporaries of the Dutch Atlantic merchants likely underestimated their impact on the Atlantic economies, a mistake this volume seeks to prevent modern historians from repeating."
Laura Cruz, H-Net Review, 2005.

"Using new evidence to challenge established interpretations of Dutch overseas enterprise during and after the golden age, this well-produced and important book is essential reading for all scholars, Dutch or otherwise, interested in European maritime history between 1500 and 1815."
David Richardson, International Journal of Maritime History.

"The result is a surprisingly coherent collection of essays in which the authors consciously engage each others’ arguments. The book is obviously not intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the Dutch Atlantic – inevitably in an anthology some places and times are not covered – but there is much here to satisfy."
Marjoleine Kars, Itinerario, 2005.
List of Illustrations
List of Maps, Charts, and Graphs
List of Tables
List of Appendices

Foreword
Preface

List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors

1. Introduction, Victor Enthoven & Johannes Postma

I. INITIAL VENTURES INTO THE ATLANTIC AND THE WEST INDIA COMPANY
2. Early Dutch Expansion in the Atlantic Region, 1585–1621, Victor Enthoven
3. Dutch Trade with Brazil before the Dutch West India Company, 1587–1621, Christopher Ebert
4. The Dutch West India Company, 1621–1795, Henk den Heijer

II. AFRICAN COMMERCE AND SLAVE TRADE
5. A Reassessment of the Dutch Atlantic Slave Trade, Johannes Postma
6. The West African Trade of the Dutch West India Company, 1674–1740, Henk den Heijer
7. The Dutch Republic and Brazil as Commercial Partners on the West African Coast during the Eighteenth Century, Stuart B. Schwartz & Johannes Postma

III. CARIBBEAN AND NORTH AMERICAN TRADE
8. Curaçao and the Caribbean Transit Trade, Wim Klooster
9. The Curaçao Slave Market: From Asiento Trade to Free Trade, 1700–1730, Han Jordaan
10. Representative Atlantic Entrepreneur: Jacob Leisler, 1640–1691, Claudia Schnurmann

IV. COMMERCE WITH THE GUIANA SETTLEMENT COLONIES
11. Suriname and Its Atlantic Connections, 1667–1795, Johannes Postma
12. The Forgotten Colonies of Essequibo and Demerara, 1700–1814, Eric Willem van der Oest

V. GENERAL TRENDS AND IMPACT OF THE DUTCH ECONOMY
13. An Overview of Dutch Trade with the Americas, 1600–1800, Wim Klooster
14. An Assessment of Dutch Transatlantic Commerce, 1585–1817, Victor Enthoven

Appendices
Notes on Methodology, Currencies, Measures, and the Dutch Republic

Archives and Bibliography
Index
Those interested in Dutch maritime history, Atlantic history, the slave trade, Atlantic shipping and commodity trade, and in the commercial and economic development of the regions bordering the Atlantic.
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