Lobbying in Company

Economic Interests and Political Decision Making in the History of Dutch Brazil, 1621–1656


In Lobbying in Company, Joris van den Tol argues that people made a difference in the Dutch West India Company colony in Brazil (1630–1654). Through a combination of petitions, personal relations, and public opinion, individuals were able to exercise influence on the decision-making process regarding Dutch Brazil. His thorough analysis of these different elements offers a new perspective on the Atlantic and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century as well as a better understanding of lobbying in the early modern period.

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Joris van den Tol (Ph.D., Leiden 2018) is a visiting postdoctoral scholar at Harvard’s History Department on a NWO Rubicon fellowship. He has published on petitions in relation to the colonies in Brazil, New Netherland, and Taiwan and on smuggling.
List of Figures, Graphs and Tables


1 Lobbying for the Creation of the WIC
1 The Dutch Republic
 1.1 The Cities
 1.2 Provincial States
 1.3 States General
 1.4 The Stadtholders
 1.5 Conflicting Powersbr/> 2 The West India Company
 2.1 Willem Usselincx
 2.2 The Layout of the WIC
3 Brazil
4 Conclusion

2 Lobbying in Brazil
1 1624/1630–1636: Ad Hoc Solutions
2 1637–1646: Consolidation and a Prince in the Tropics
 2.1 The Diet as a Colonial Tool
 2.2 The Brazilian Diet of 1640
 2.3 The 81 Petitions of August 1640
 2.4 Petitions for Regulations
3 Religious Affairs
 3.1 The Power of the Church
4 Slavery
 4.1 Access to Institutions for Non-European
5 The Possible Consequence of Top-Down Decision Making
 5.1 Johan Maurits’ Reaction
 5.2 The Reactions from the Council of Justice and the Ministers
6 Conclusion

3 Trading Regulations or Free Trade
1 The Opening Moves
2 Selecting the Playing Field
3 Making It Count
4 Making It Count Even More
5 The Role of the Amsterdam City Council
6 Delaying a Decision
7 Lobbying to and from the Colony
8 Conclusion

4 Petitioning the Public Sphere
1 What Is the Public Sphere?
2 The Dutch Public Sphere  2.1 Pamphlets and Dutch Brazil
3 Petitions and Public Opinion
 3.1 Printed Petitions
4 Multiple Signatures on Petitions
 4.1 Group Petitions to the States General
5 Managing Information of the Revolt in Brazil
6 Petitioning the Public Sphere on Brazil
7 Petitioning the Public Sphere on the Atlantic
 7.1 Other Forms of Signatures
8 Conclusion

5 Personal Connections and Direct Lobbying
1 Personal Connections and Societal Capital
2 Appointing a New High Government in Brazil
3 Background Issues
 3.1 Peace Negotiations in Münster
 3.2 A Frisian Chamber in the WIC
4 Information Control
5 Personal Relations
6 Conclusion

6 The Last Hope, 1652–1654
1 The Second Battle of Guarapes
2 Why Was Brazil Lost?
3 The Delegates from Brazil
4 Requesting a Resolution from the States General
5 A Delegation to Friesland
 5.1 The Report from the Friesland Commission
6 Accelerating the Admiralties
7 Seizing Momentum
8 Planning for the Future
9 It Is All about the Money
 9.1 It Is about the People
10 The Loss of Brazil
11 Conclusion

7 Lobbying for Money in the Aftermath of Dutch Brazil
1 Return to the Republic
2 Claiming Wages
3 Travel Pennies
4 Shared Features
5 The Printed Petition from the Army
6 Conclusion

8 Making the Company Work

Appendix A – Free Trade Exports from Brazil in 1637
Manuscript Sources
Secondary Literature and Published Sources

All interested in the history of Dutch Brazil, the Dutch Republic in the 17th Century, and early modern petitioning and lobbying. Keywords: Atlantic history, petitions, petition drives, Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, Dutch Republic, Golden Age, WIC, West India Company, West-Indische Compagnie, public opinion, public sphere, political history, Dutch Atlantic, slavery, institutions, pamphlets.