In The Dutch Moment, Wim Klooster shows how the Dutch built and eventually lost an Atlantic empire that stretched from the homeland in the United Provinces to the Hudson River and from Brazil and the Caribbean to the African Gold Coast. The fleets and armies that fought for the Dutch in the decades-long war against Spain included numerous foreigners, largely drawn from countries in northwestern Europe. Likewise, many settlers of Dutch colonies were born in other parts of Europe or the New World. The Dutch would not have been able to achieve military victories without the native alliances they carefully cultivated. Indeed, the Dutch Atlantic was quintessentially interimperial, multinational, and multiracial. At the same time, it was an empire entirely designed to benefit the United Provinces.
The pivotal colony in the Dutch Atlantic was Brazil, half of which was conquered by the Dutch West India Company. Its brief lifespan notwithstanding, Dutch Brazil (1630 – 1654) had a lasting impact on the Atlantic world. The scope of Dutch warfare in Brazil is hard to overestimate – this was the largest interimperial conflict of the 17th-century Atlantic. Brazil launched the Dutch into the transatlantic slave trade, a business they soon dominated.
After the loss of Brazil and, 10 years later, New Netherland, the Dutch scaled back their political ambitions in the Atlantic world.
The book is published by Cornell University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.
“Certain to become a classic in early modern Atlantic world and imperial history.” (Benjamin Schmidt, author of Inventing Exoticism)