Review: Volume 12 - Dutch History

Review: Volume 12 - Dutch History

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In 1572, towns in the province of Holland, led by William of Orange, rebelled against the government of the Habsburg Netherlands. The story of the Dutch Revolt is usually told in terms of fractious provinces that frustrated Orange's efforts to formulate a coherent programme. In this book James D. Tracy argues that there was a coherent strategy for the war, but that it was set by the towns of Holland. Although the States of Holland were in theory subject to the States General, Holland provided over 60 per cent of the taxes and an even larger share of war loans. Accordingly, funds were directed to securing Holland's borders, and subsequently to extending this protected frontier to neighbouring provinces. Shielded from the war by its cordon sanitaire, Holland experienced an extraordinary economic boom, allowing taxes and loans to keep flowing. The goal - in sight if not achieved by 1588 - was a United Provinces of the north, free and separate from provinces in the southern Netherlands that remained under Spanish rule.With Europe increasingly under the sway of strong hereditary princes, the new Dutch Republic was a beacon of promise for those who still believed that citizens ought to rule themselves.

Simply Charlotte Mason History series

The Simply Charlotte Mason history series covers Bible, history, and geography for children in grades one through twelve. Each volume stretches across all of those grade levels with age-appropriate activities. Titles of the books presenting these six year-long courses are:

  • Genesis—Deuteronomy& Ancient Egypt (Creation-332 B.C.)
  • Joshua—Malachi &Ancient Greece (1856 B.C.-146 B.C.)
  • Matthew—Acts & Ancient Rome (753 B.C.-A.D. 476)
  • Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, & Epistles (394-1550)
  • Early Modern & Epistles (1550-1850)
  • Modern Times & Epistles, Revelation (1850-2012)

The books are primarily teacher guides for using a collection of other resources that you will need to obtain. Each guide has charts with lesson plans for a quick overview as well as daily plans with specific assignments for the entire family and for each age group. All six of the guides are available as either printed books or downloadable PDFs.

The time dedicated to each subject area varies from study to study as well as by age level. As you can see from the titles, biblical content plays a major role, particularly in the first three studies. The first course is even more heavily weighted toward biblical history as it studies events in the first five books of the Old Testament which include quite a bit of history themselves. In addition to the Bible, it uses Exodus: A Commentary for Children and Numbers: A Commentary for Children for the entire family. Older students will also read Adam and His Kin, Leviticus: A Commentary for Children, Then and Now Bible Maps, Jashub’s Journal, and Discovering Doctrine. The last two items are Simply Charlotte Mason publications that buttress their biblical studies. (Note that Adam and His Kin presents a very speculative interpretation of the biblical stories.) Ancient Egypt is the focus of most of the history, but students also learn about some other ancient civilizations with the family read-aloud book, Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors. Other family read-aloud books for history and geography are The Great Pyramid, Pharaoh’s Boat, The Stuff They Left Behind, Visits to Africa notebook, Material World, and Hungry Planet. The last three items work together to provide photo-based cultural study and mapwork. Specific recommendations are made for additional reading at four levels: grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grade 7-9, and grades 10-12. For example, the youngest group reads The True Story of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dooley while students in the two oldest groups are creating timeline entries for a Book of Centuries, working through Discovering Doctrine, and reading Adam and His Kin.

The second course continues with the study of the rest of the Old Testament and branches out into the history of Ancient Greece. The third course narrows the biblical focus to the four gospels, and historical study moves on to Ancient Rome. Required resources are a mixture similar to the books used for the first course. These first three courses each use a book from Sonya Shafer's Visits to… geography courses that include map work, photos, and traveler’s accounts plus recommended books and activities.

With the last three courses, the biblical emphasis takes second place to history coverage since each course is covering a huge swath of history, but they do cover the New Testament. Uncle Josh’s Outline Maps is used for mapwork for these three courses, but geography also receives attention through other resources that incorporate geography into the study of history.

The fourth course, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, & Epistles, has a strong Protestant viewpoint with a great deal of attention given to the Reformation. It uses resources strongly supportive of the Reformation such as the Reformation Time Line, The Beggar’s Bible (story of John Wyclif), The Bible Smuggler (story of William Tyndale), and Famous Men of the Renaissance and Reformation. It also uses other resources such as Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Castle, Cathedral, Ink on His Fingers, and Around the World in a Hundred Years. Most of the recommended resources for individual grade levels are secular. Epistles studied this year are James, Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and 1 and 2 Corinthians.

Early Modern & Epistles slightly overlaps with Middle Ages since it begins with Columbus. It goes on to cover both world and American history from the American colonial period up through the early 1800s. With only one school year to cover so much history, the only way to accomplish this is with selective storytelling, highlighting key people and events.

Modern Times & Epistles, Revelation tries to cover both U.S. and world history. It picks up U.S. history in the mid-1800s using Stories of America: Volume 2, with stories about Abraham Lincoln, the Oregon Trail, and the California Gold Rush. Similarly, using Stories of the Nations: Volume 2, world history also begins in the 1800s with stories of Bismarck, the Boer War, and Marie Curie, and continues up through stories of Sputnik and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Biblical studies encompass 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, all three of John’s epistles, and Revelation. History coverage is, again, very selective. Also, the significant amount of time required to use Christian history resources such as biographies of George Mueller and Billy Graham also reduce the amount of time dedicated to the broader threads of history. Your choice of supplemental books for each level is particularly important with this course in terms of broadening the coverage of historical information. At the same time, you might easily overwhelm students with the amount of reading. For example, for students in grades ten and up, two lengthy books by William Bennett (America: The Last Best Hope: Volume 2 and Volume 3) will be challenging to read alongside significant reading on world history. Add the recommended book How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer, and I doubt any student can manage the reading. (Note that the alternative to Schaeffer’s book, 7 Men Who Rule the World from the Grave, is much more manageable for high school students, but this isn't clear from the information in the guide.) The point is that you can provide relatively thorough coverage by selecting the right books, as long as you have the time to get through them.


As you would expect, Charlotte Mason's methodsnarration, living books, and timeline activitiesare used throughout all of the studies. Brief descriptions are included for some of the books but not all. I think more extensive descriptions that include reading level and number of pages would be very helpful to avoid overload such as the situation I described in the last paragraph.

Each course is presented in three terms and should be easily completed in one school year. Each term concludes with a few lessons with exam questions and one or two optional, hands-on projects. Exam questions are designed to elicit oral narration responses, with questions for each level. You might have older students provide written responses. If the suggested projects for each term are not appealing, check out the “Product Links, Tips, and Extra Info” page for your course at the publisher’s website where you will find even more ideas with instructions.

Even with the hands-on project for each term and mapwork, the courses are primarily reading-based. However, the flexibility of the course lets you can decide how many of the grade-level books to assign to each child (or read with them). Depending upon how many hours older students spend, you can determine the number of course credits earned.

The Simply Charlotte Mason history series offers a comprehensive implementation of Mason’s methods. If you also want comprehensive coverage of all of the key events of history, you might prefer something else. But those who want to teach history with living books should enjoy this series.

Pricing Information

When prices appear, please keep in mind that they are subject to change. Click on links where available to verify price accuracy.

Most slave rebellions are lost to history. This one, remarkably, was documented.

John Brown was puzzled and disappointed when Frederick Douglass declined to join him in the 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry that Brown hoped would trigger an armed uprising of enslaved people. Wasn’t Douglass as committed to emancipation as he — Brown — was?

Douglass was indeed committed, but as a former enslaved man he knew things Brown did not. He knew that the enslaved people of Virginia would not rush to Brown’s banner. They would weigh the prospects of freedom against the dangers of the campaign Brown projected, and for many, probably most, the dangers would be prohibitive.

This kind of weighing is one of the threads Marjoleine Kars weaves into her remarkable account of a 1763 uprising of enslaved people in the Dutch colony of Berbice, in what would become Guyana. Slave rebellions are underrepresented in the historical literature, because most failed and left little evidence for historians to work with. The suppressors of the rebellions — enslavers and their allies — took pains to keep news of the revolts from getting out, lest one example spark others.

It’s no spoiler to say that the Berbice rebellion failed otherwise South America might look different today. Yet this is a rare case where the documentation is voluminous. Kars, who teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, discovered a cache of records in the Dutch National Archives consisting of transcripts of post-revolt testimony by enslaved people and correspondence between leaders of the rebellion and Dutch authorities during the conflict. Kars has deployed the evidence not only to produce a richly detailed account of a gripping human story but also to illuminate the general question of why some enslaved people took up arms for their freedom and others didn’t.

Berbice was a small, marginally profitable outpost of the Dutch empire, populated in the 1760s by a few hundred Europeans and perhaps 5,000 enslaved people, the latter mostly Africans and their offspring but including some members of the Indigenous populations. A failure of the food crops that sustained the inhabitants, combined with an epidemic of disease, triggered an initial rebellion in 1762, which consisted chiefly of the flight of a group of enslaved people into the interior.


Early European history Edit

During the 17th century, brass was the preferred metal for English cookware and domestic utensils, and the Dutch produced it at the lowest cost, which, however, was still expensive. [1] In 1702, Abraham Darby was a partner in the Brass Works Company of Bristol, which made malt mills for breweries. [2] Apparently in 1704, Darby visited the Netherlands, where he studied the Dutch methods of working brass, including the casting of brass pots. [3] Darby learned that when making castings, the Dutch used molds made of sand, rather than the traditional loam and clay, and this innovation produced a finer finish on their brassware. [4] In 1706 he started a new brass mill in the Baptist Mills section of Bristol. [5] There, Darby realized that he could sell more kitchen wares if he could replace brass with a cheaper metal, namely, cast iron. [6] Initial experiments to cast iron in sand molds were unsuccessful, but with the aid of one of his workers, James Thomas, a Welshman, he succeeded in casting iron cookware. [7] In 1707 he obtained a patent for the process of casting iron in sand, which derived from the Dutch process. [8] Thus, the term "Dutch oven" has endured for over 300 years, since at least 1710. [9] [10] The Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Researching Food History [11] agree that several very different cooking devices were called "Dutch ovens" — a cast-iron pan with legs and a lid a roughly rectangular box that was open on one side and that was used to roast meats, and a compartment in a brick hearth that was used for baking.

American history Edit

American Dutch ovens changed over time during the colonial era. These changes included a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food. [12] Paul Revere is credited with the design of the flat lid with a ridge for holding coals as well as the addition of legs to the pots. [ citation needed ]

Colonists and settlers valued cast-iron cookware because of its versatility and durability. Cooks used them to boil, bake, stew, fry, and roast. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her "iron kitchen furniture" should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. This bequest included several Dutch ovens. [13]

Westward-bound settlers took Dutch ovens with them. A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest between 1804 and 1806. Mormon pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens. In fact, a statue raised to honor the Mormon handcart companies who entered Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s proudly displays a Dutch oven hanging from the front of the handcart. The Dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Texas, [14] Utah, and Arkansas. [15] [16]

Mountain men exploring the American frontier used Dutch ovens into the late 19th century. Chuckwagons accompanying western cattle drives also carried Dutch ovens from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century. [17]

Dutch history Edit

In the Netherlands, a Dutch oven is called a braadpan, which literally translates to roasting pan. Another name for it is sudderpan, which literally translates to "simmerpan" or "simmering pot". The design most used today is a black enameled steel pan that is suitable for gas and induction heating. The model was introduced in 1891 by BK, a well-known Dutch manufacturer of cookware. Cheaper and lighter in weight than cast iron, it proved to be a revolution in the kitchen. [18] A braadpan is mainly used for frying meat only, but it can also be used for making traditional stews, such as hachée. Cast-iron models exist, but are used less frequently.

Camping Edit

A camping, cowboy, or chuckwagon Dutch oven usually has three integral legs, a wire bail handle, and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so that coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as below. This provides more uniform internal heat and lets the inside act as an oven. A Dutch oven without integral legs can be used as a conventional pot on a stove, or may be set on a separate welded steel or cast iron tripod stand or on small stones when cooking on hot coals. These ovens are typically made of bare cast iron, although some are aluminium. The bail handle facilitates lifting the Dutch oven onto and off the coals, using a metal hook. Dutch ovens are often used in Scouting outdoor activities.

Bedourie oven Edit

In Australia, a bedourie camp oven is a steel cookpot, shaped and used like a Dutch oven. Named after Bedourie, Queensland, the Bedourie ovens were developed as a more robust, non-breakable alternative to the cast-iron Dutch ovens. [19] [20]

Ibhodwe Edit

In South Africa, a potjie ( / ˈ p ɔɪ k i / POY -kee), [ needs Afrikaans IPA ] directly translated "pottle or little pot" [21] from Afrikaans or Dutch, is unlike most other Dutch ovens, in that it is round-bottomed. Traditionally it is a single cast, cast-iron pot, reinforced with external double or triple circumscribing ribs, a bail handle for suspending the pot, and three short legs for resting the pot. It is similar in appearance to a cauldron. It has a matching handled lid, which is recessed, and convex to allow for hot coals to rest on top, providing additional heat from above. When the vessel is to be stored long term, care must be taken to avoid rust forming by seasoning. "Potjie" can also refer to the technique of cooking potjiekos. Among the recipes that require a potjie, there is one for a type of bread called "potbrood", which literally means "pot bread".

Among the South African indigenous peoples, specifically Zulus, these pots also became known as phutu pots, after a popular food prepared in it. The larger pots are normally used for large gatherings, e.g., funerals or weddings, to prepare large quantities of food. Wooden spoons called kombe in the Tsonga language are used for mixing and stirring.

This tradition originated in the Netherlands during the Siege of Leiden and was brought to South Africa by Dutch immigrants. [22] It persisted over the years with the Voortrekkers and survives today as a traditional Afrikaner method of cooking. [21] It is still in common use by South African campers, both domestic and international.

Chugunok Edit

In Eastern Europe, but mostly in Russia, a chugunok is a cast-iron pot used in a modern oven or in a traditional Russian oven, hearth, or a campfire. A chugunok is used in a variety of cooking methods, including high temperature cooking, low-temperature cooking, thermal cooking, slow cooking, smothering, roasting, baking, braising, and stewing.

The shape of a chugunok is similar to a traditional crock with a narrow top and bottom and wider in the middle. When used inside a traditional oven, a long handled holding tool is used with a roller that serves as a lever to lift a heavy chugunok in and out of the oven. Since there are no handles, it's inconvenient to use a chugunok on a kitchen stove.

Often several chugunoks of different sizes are used in the oven at the same time to prepare the entire meal. Dishes usually cooked in a chugunok are roast meat with vegetables called "zharkoye", holubtsi, potato babka, stuffed peppers, and baked milk.


Cloaked as a coffee shop is a place where you might be able to find coffee but that’s not Dutch are coming here to consume.

If you’re unfamiliar, the drug laws in the Netherlands are a little slack. The laws for marijuana is this: illegal to sell, but unpunishable by law. Pretty cool, right?

A coffeeshop is code for “come and get your high on”.

However, there is a bit of a catch. In order to remain unpunished by law, you have to follow these rules:

  1. No advertising
  2. No hard drug sales
  3. No selling to anyone under 18
  4. No selling more than 5 grams
  5. No public disturbance

Follow these rules and your “coffee” drinkers can enjoy their buzz.

So, now that you know the true meaning behind “coffeeshop”, you must be wondering if there is such a thing as a marijuana-infused coffee drink?

Well, you’ll have to go take a trip to Amsterdam to find out (if there is, tell us about it).

1. The Knights Templar

The first seal of the Knights Templar.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Knights Templar were warriors dedicated to protecting Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The military order was founded around 1118 when Hugues de Payens, a French knight, created the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon—or The Knights Templar for short. Headquartered at Temple Mount in Jerusalem, members pledged to live a life of chastity, obedience and poverty, abstaining from gambling, alcohol and even swearing.

The Knights Templar were known for more than their military prowess and moral lifestyle. They became one of the most wealthy and powerful forces in Europe after setting up a bank that allowed pilgrims to deposit money in their home countries and withdraw it in the Holy Land. 

Their influence swelled to a new high in 1139, when Pope Innocent II issued a Papal Bull exempting them from paying taxes… and decreeing that the only authority they had to answer to was the Pope. At the apex of their power, the Knights Templar owned the island of Cyprus, a fleet of ships and lent money to kings. But not all kings were happy customers.

What Happened to the Knights Templar?

When the Crusades came to an end after the fall of Acre, the Knights Templar withdrew to Paris, where they focused on their banking endeavors. On October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France, whom the Knights Templar had denied additional loans, had a group of knights arrested and tortured until they made false confessions of depravity. In 1309, as the city of Paris watched, dozens of Knights Templar were burned at the stake for their alleged crimes.

Under pressure from the French crown, Pope Clement V formally dissolved the order in 1312 and redistributed their wealth. Rumors that the Knights Templar guarded artifacts like the Holy Grail and Shroud of Turin began bubbling up among conspiracy theorists. Popular books and films like The Da Vinci Code continue to inspire curiosity about the Knights Templar today.

WATCH: Full episodes of America&aposs Book of Secrets online now and tune in for all-new episodes Tuesdays at 10/9c.

Knights Templar Symbol: The Cross of Lorraine

A soldier of the Knights Templar, with the Cross of Lorraine pictured below.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Cross of Lorraine (Croix de Lorraine in French) is a double-barred cross that is featured prominently in the coat of arms of the Dukes of Lorraine. After Lorraine Nobleman Godfrey de Bouillon became the king of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, the symbol became known as the “Jerusalem Cross.” When the Knights Templar arrived in the Holy Land, they adopted it as the symbol of their order.

During World War II, the Cross of Lorraine was a symbol of the French resistance to Nazi rule. Some eagle-eyed observers have claimed to spot the Cross of Lorraine in the Exxon and Nabisco logos and even stamped on Oreo cookies.


I. Our Oriental Heritage (1935) Edit

This volume covers Near Eastern history until the fall of the Achaemenid Empire in the 330s BC, and the history of India, China, and Japan up to the 1930s.

  1. The Establishment of Civilization
    1. The Conditions of Civilization
    2. The Economic Elements of Civilization
    3. The Political Elements of Civilization
    4. The Moral Elements of Civilization
    5. The Mental Elements of Civilization
    6. The Prehistoric Beginnings of Civilization
      "The moulders of the world’s myths were unsuccessful husbands, for they agreed that woman was the source of all evil." (page 70)
    1. The Foundations of India
    2. From Alexander to Aurangzeb
    3. The Life of the People
    4. The Paradise of the Gods
    5. The Life of the Mind
    6. The Literature of India
    7. A Christian Epilogue
      On the fall of India to the Moguls: "The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry." (page 463)
    1. The Age of the Philosophers
    2. The Age of the Poets
    3. The Age of the Artists
    4. The People and the State
    5. Revolution and Renewal
      On China in 1935: "No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality. The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace." (page 823)
    1. The Makers of Japan
    2. The Political and Moral Foundations
    3. The Mind and Art of Old Japan
    4. The New Japan
      On Japan in 1935: "By every historical precedent the next act will be war."

    II. The Life of Greece (1939) Edit

    This volume covers Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic Near East down to the Roman conquest.

    1. Aegean Prelude: 3500–1000 BC
    2. Before Agamemnon
    3. The Heroic Age
      and the Democratic Experiment
  2. Work and Wealth in Athens
  3. The Morals and Manners of the Athenians
  4. The Art of Periclean Greece
  5. The Advancement of Learning
  6. The Conflict of Philosophy and Religion
  7. The Literature of the Golden Age
  8. The Suicide of Greece
    "As surprising as anything else in this civilization is the fact that it was brilliant without the aid or stimulus of women." (p. 305)
    1. Greece and Macedonia
    2. Hellenism and the Orient and the West
    3. Books
    4. The Art of the Dispersion
    5. The Climax of Greek Science
    6. The Surrender of Philosophy
    7. The Coming of Rome
      "We have tried to show that the essential cause of the Roman conquest of Greece was the disintegration of Greek civilization from within. No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself." (p. 659)

    III. Caesar and Christ (1944) Edit

    The volume covers the history of Rome and of Christianity until the time of Constantine the Great.

    1. The Struggle for Democracy: 508–264 BC Against Rome: 264 BC-202 BC Rome: 508–202 BC
    2. The Greek Conquest: 201 BC-146 BC
      "The new generation, having inherited world mastery, had no time or inclination to defend it that readiness for war which had characterized the Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families and a proletariat without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome." (p. 90)
    1. The Agrarian Revolt: 145–78 BC
    2. The Oligarchic Reaction: 77–60 BC Under the Revolution: 145–30 BC : 100–44 BC : 44–30 BC
      "Children were now luxuries which only the poor could afford." (p. 134)
      Statesmanship: 30 BC-AD 14
    1. The Golden Age: 30 BC-AD 18
    2. The Other Side of Monarchy: AD 14–96
    3. The Silver Age: AD 14–96
    4. Rome at Work: AD 14–96
    5. Rome and Its Art: 30 BC-AD 96 Rome: 30 BC-AD 96 : 146 BC-AD 192
    6. The Philosopher Kings: AD 96–180
    7. Life and Thought in the Second Century: AD 96–192
      "If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West." (p. 366)
      : 4 BC-AD 30
    1. The Apostles: AD 30–95
    2. The Growth of the Church: AD 96–305
    3. The Collapse of the Empire: AD 193–305
    4. The Triumph of Christianity: AD 306–325

    IV. The Age of Faith (1950) Edit

    This volume covers the Middle Ages in both Europe and the Near East, from the time of Constantine I to that of Dante Alighieri.

    1. The Byzantine Zenith: AD 325–565
        : 332-63
    2. The Triumph of the Barbarians: 325–476
    3. The Progress of Christianity: 364–451
    4. Europe Takes Form: 325–529 : 527-65 Civilization: 337–565
    5. The Persians: 224–641
      "Historically, the conquest destroyed the outward form of what had already inwardly decayed it cleared away with regrettable brutality and thoroughness a system of life which, with all its gifts of order, culture, and law, had worn itself into senile debility, and had lost the powers of regeneration and growth." (p. 43)
      1. : 569–632
      2. The Koran
      3. The Sword of Islam: 632–1058
      4. The Islamic Scene: 632–1058
      5. Thought and Art in Eastern Islam: 632–1058
      6. Western Islam: 641–1086
      7. The Grandeur and Decline of Islam: 1058–1258
        "Muslims seem to have been better gentlemen than their Christian peers they kept their word more frequently, showed more mercy to the defeated, and were seldom guilty of the brutality as marked the Christian capture of Jerusalem in 1099." (p. 341)
      1. The Talmud: 135–500
      2. The Medieval Jews: 500–1300
      3. The Mind and Heart of the Jew: 500–1300
      1. The Byzantine World: 566–1095
      2. The Decline of the West: 566–1066
      3. The Rise of the North: 566–1066
      4. Christianity in Conflict: 529–1085 and Chivalry: 600–1200
        "Beliefs make history, especially when they are wrong it is for errors that men have most nobly died." (p.458)
      1. The Crusades: 1095–1291
      2. The Economic Revolution: 1066–1300
      3. The Recovery of Europe: 1095–1300
      4. Pre-Renaissance Italy: 1057–1308
      5. The Roman Catholic Church: 1095–1294
      6. The Early Inquisition: 1000–1300 and Friars: 1095–1300
      7. The Morals and Manners of Christendom: 700–1300
      8. The Resurrection of the Arts: 1095–1300
      9. The Gothic Flowering: 1095–1300 : 326–1300
      10. The Transmission of Knowledge: 1000–1300 : 1079–1142
      11. The Adventure of Reason: 1120–1308
      12. Christian Science: 1095–1300
      13. The Age of Romance: 1100–1300 : 1265–1321
        "All in all, the picture we form of the medieval Latin Church is that of a complex organization doing its best, despite the human frailties of its adherents and leaders, to establish moral and social order, and to spread an uplifting and consoling faith, amid the wreckage of an old civilization and the passions of an adolescent society." (p. 818)

      V. The Renaissance (1953) Edit

      This volume covers the history of Italy from c.1300 to the mid 16th century, focusing on the Italian Renaissance.

      1. Prelude: 1300–77
        1. The Age of Petrarch and Boccaccio: 1304–75 : 1309–77
          "Venetian merchants invaded every market from Jerusalem to Antwerp they traded impartially with Christians and Mohammedans, and papal excommunications fell upon them with all the force of dew upon the earth." (p. 39)
        1. The Rise of the Medici: 1378–1464
        2. The Golden Age: 1464–92 and the Republic: 1492–1534
          "But it took more than a revival of antiquity to make the Renaissance. And first of all it took money—smelly bourgeois money: . of careful calculations, investments and loans, of interest and dividends accumulated until surplus could be spared from the pleasures of the flesh, from the purchase of senates, signories, and mistresses, to pay a Michelangelo or a Titian to transmute wealth into beauty, and perfume a fortune with the breath of art. Money is the root of all civilization." (p. 67-68)
        1. The Crisis in the Church: 1378–1521
        2. The Renaissance Captures Rome: 1447–92 : 1503–13 : 1513–21
        1. The Intellectual Revolt
        2. The Moral Release
        3. The Political Collapse: 1494–1534
          "The historian acquainted with the pervasive pertinacity of nonsense reconciles himself to a glorious future for superstition he does not expect perfect states to arise out of imperfect men he perceives that only a small proportion of any generation can be so freed from economic harassments as to have leisure and energy to think their own thoughts instead of those of their forebears or their environment and he learns to rejoice if he can find in each period a few men and women who have lifted themselves, by the bootstraps of their brains, or by some boon of birth or circumstance, out of superstition, occultism, and credulity to an informed and friendly intelligence conscious of its infinite ignorance." (p. 525)
        1. Sunset in Venice
        2. The Waning of The Renaissance

        VI. The Reformation (1957) Edit

        This volume covers the history of Europe outside of Italy from around 1300 to 1564, focusing on the Protestant Reformation.

        1. From John Wyclif to Martin Luther: 1300–1517
          1. The Roman Catholic Church: 1300–1517 , Wyclif, Chaucer, and the Great Revolt: 1308–1400 Besieged: 1300–1461 Phoenix: 1453–1515
          2. England in the Fifteenth Century: 1399–1509
          3. Episode in Burgundy: 1363–1515 : 1300–1460
          4. The Western Slavs: 1300–1516
          5. The Ottoman Tide: 1300–1516 Inaugurates the Commercial Revolution: 1300–1517 : 1300–1517
          6. The Growth of Knowledge: 1300–1517
          7. The Conquest of the Sea: 1492–1517 the Forerunner: 1469–1517
          8. Germany on the Eve of Luther: 1453–1517
            : The Reformation in Germany: 1517–24
        2. The Social Revolution: 1522–36 : The Reformation in Switzerland: 1477–1531
        3. Luther and Erasmus: 1517–36
        4. The Faiths at War: 1525–60 : 1509–64 and the Reformation in France: 1515–59 and Cardinal Wolsey: 1509–29
        5. Henry VIII and Thomas More: 1529–35
        6. Henry VIII and the Monasteries: 1535–47 and Mary Tudor: 1547–58
        7. From Robert Bruce to John Knox: 1300–1561
        8. The Migrations of Reform: 1517–60
          1. The Unification of Russia: 1300–1584
          2. The Genius of Islam: 1258–1520 : 1520–66
          3. The Jews: 1300–1564
          1. The Life of the People
          2. Music: 1300–1564
          3. Literature in the Age of Rabelais
          4. Art in the Age of Holbein
          5. Science in the Age of Copernicus
            "People then, as now, were judged more by their manners than by their morals the world forgave more readily the sins that were committed with the least vulgarity and the greatest grace. Here, as in everything but artillery and theology, Italy led the way." (p. 766)
          1. The Church and Reform
          2. The Popes and the Council

          VII. The Age of Reason Begins (1961) Edit

          This volume covers the history of Europe and the Near East from 1559 to 1648.

          1. The English Ecstasy: 1558–1648
              : 1558–1603
          2. Merrie England: 1558–1625
          3. On the Slopes of Parnassus: 1558–1603 : 1564–1616 : 1542–87 : 1567–1625
          4. The Summons to Reason: 1558–1649 : 1625–49
            "Witches were burned, and Jesuits were taken down from the scaffold to be cut to pieces alive. The milk of human kindness flowed sluggishly in the days of Good Queen Bess." (p. 54)
            1. Alma Mater Italia: 1564–1648
            2. Grandeur and Decadence of Spain: 1556–1665
            3. The Golden Age of Spanish Literature: 1556–1665
            4. The Golden Age of Spanish Art: 1556–1682
            5. The Duel for France: 1559–74 : 1553–1610 : 1585–1642
            6. France Beneath the Wars: 1559–1643 : 1558–1648
            7. From Rubens to Rembrandt: 1555–1660
            8. The Rise of the North: 1559–1648
            9. The Islamic Challenge: 1566–1648
            10. Imperial Armageddon: 1564–1648
              "As long as he fears or remembers insecurity, man is a competitive animal. Groups, classes, nations, and races similarly insecure compete as covetously as their constituent individuals, and more violently, as knowing less law and having less protection Nature calls all living things to the fray." (p. 333)
            1. Science in the Age of Galileo: 1558–1648
            2. Philosophy Reborn: 1564–1648
              "Is Christianity dying? . If this is so, it is the basic event of modern times, for the soul of a civilization is its religion, and it dies with its faith." (p. 613)

            VIII. The Age of Louis XIV (1963) Edit

            This volume covers the period of Louis XIV of France in Europe and the Near East.

            1. The French Zenith: 1643–1715
              1. The Sun Rises: 1643–84
              2. The Crucible of Faith: 1643–1715
              3. The King and the Arts: 1643–1715 : 1622–73
              4. The Classic Zenith in French Literature: 1643–1715
              5. Tragedy in the Netherlands: 1649–1715
                "It was an age of strict manners and loose morals." (p. 27)
                "Like the others, he came from the middle class the aristocracy is too interested in the art of life to spare time for the life of art." (p. 144)
                : 1649–60 : 1608–74 : 1660–85 : 1685–1714
            2. From Dryden to Swift: 1660–1714
              1. The Struggle for the Baltic: 1648–1721 : 1698–1725
              2. The Changing Empire: 1648–1715
              3. The Fallow South: 1648–1715
              4. The Jewish Enclaves: 1564–1715
              1. From Superstition to Scholarship: 1648–1715
              2. The Scientific Quest: 1648–1715 : 1642–1727
              3. English Philosophy: 1648–1715
              4. Faith and Reason in France: 1648–1715 : 1632–77 : 1646–1716
              1. The Sun Sets
                "For in modern states the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things and the men who can manage money manage all." (p. 720)

              IX. The Age of Voltaire (1965) Edit

              This volume covers the period of the Age of Enlightenment, as exemplified by Voltaire, focusing on the period between 1715 and 1756 in France, Britain, and Germany.

              1. France: The Regency
              2. England: 1714–56
                1. The People
                2. The Rulers and Philosophy and the Stage and Music
                1. The People and the State
                2. Morals and Manners
                3. The Worship of Beauty
                4. The Play of the Mind in France
                  "Women, when on display, dressed as in our wondering youth, when the female structure was a breathless mystery costly to behold." (p. 75)
                1. The Germany of Bach and Maria Theresa
                2. Switzerland and Voltaire
                1. The Scholars
                2. The Scientific Advance
                  "It was no small adjustment that the human mind had to make after discovering that man was not the center of the universe but an atom and moment in the baffling immensities of space and time." (p. 585)

                X. Rousseau and Revolution (1967) Edit

                This volume centers on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his times. It received the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968. [2]

                1. Prelude
                  1. Rousseau Wanderer: 1712–56 : 1756–63
                  1. The Life of the State
                  2. The Art of Life Patriarch: 1758–78
                  3. Rousseau Romantic: 1756–62
                  4. Rousseau Philosopher
                  5. Rousseau Outcast: 1762–67
                  1. Italia Felix: 1715–59
                  2. Portugal and Pombal: 1706–82 : 1700–88
                  3. Vale, Italia: 1760–89
                  4. The Enlightenment in Austria: 1756–90
                  5. Music Reformed
                    "Lovers under a window plucked at a guitar or mandolin and a maiden’s heart." (p. 220)
                  1. Islam: 1715–96
                  2. Russian Interlude: 1725–62 : 1762–96
                  3. The Rape of Poland: 1715–95
                    "But limitation is the essence of liberty, for as soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy." (p. 472)
                    Germany: 1756–86 : 1724–1804
                2. Roads to Weimar: 1733–87 in Flower: 1775–1805 Nestor: 1805–32
                3. The Jews: 1715–89
                4. From Geneva to Stockholm
                  "He concluded that history is an excellent teacher with few pupils." (p. 529)
                  "As everywhere, the majority of abilities was contained in a minority of men, and led to a concentration of wealth." (p. 643)
                  1. The Final Glory: 1774–83
                  2. Death and the Philosophers: 1774–1807
                  3. On the Eve: 1774–89
                  4. The Anatomy of Revolution: 1774–89
                  5. The Political Debacle: 1783–89

                  XI. The Age of Napoleon (1975) Edit

                  This volume centers on Napoleon I of France and his times.

                  1. The French Revolution: 1789–99
                    1. The Background of Revolution: 1774–89 : May 4, 1789 – September 30, 1791 : October 1, 1791 – September 20, 1792 : September 21, 1792 – October 26, 1795 : November 2, 1795 – November 9, 1799
                    2. Life Under the Revolution: 1789–99
                      : November 11, 1799 – May 18, 1804
                  2. The New Empire: 1804–07
                  3. The Mortal Realm: 1807–11 Himself
                  4. Napoleonic France: 1800–1815
                  5. Napoleon and the Arts
                  6. Literature versus Napoleon
                  7. Science and Philosophy under Napoleon
                    "It was a typical Napoleonic campaign: swift, victorious, and futile." (p. 228)
                    1. England at Work
                    2. English Life
                    3. The Arts in England
                    4. Science in England
                    5. English Philosophy
                    6. Literature in Transition : 1770–1850
                    7. The Rebel Poets: 1788–1824
                    8. England's Neighbors: 1789–1815 , Nelson, and Napoleon: 1789–1812
                    1. To Moscow: 1811–12
                    2. To Elba: 1813–14
                    3. To Waterloo: 1814–15
                    4. To St. Helena
                    5. To the End
                    6. Afterward: 1815–40

                    Durant said his purpose in writing the series was not to create a definitive scholarly production but to make a large amount of information accessible and comprehensible to the educated public in the form of a comprehensive "composite history." Given the massive undertaking in creating 11 volumes over 50 years, errors and incompleteness were inevitable by Durant's own reckoning but he claimed that no other historical survey matches, let alone exceeds, the breadth and depth of his project.

                    As Durant says in the preface to his first work, Our Oriental Heritage:

                    I wish to tell as much as I can, in as little space as I can, of the contributions that genius and labor have made to the cultural heritage of mankind – to chronicle and contemplate, in their causes, character and effects, the advances of invention, the varieties of economic organization, the experiments in government, the aspirations of religion, the mutations of morals and manners, the masterpieces of literature, the development of science, the wisdom of philosophy, and the achievements of art. I do not need to be told how absurd this enterprise is, nor how immodest is its very conception … Nevertheless I have dreamed that despite the many errors inevitable in this undertaking, it may be of some use to those upon whom the passion for philosophy has laid the compulsion to try to see things whole, to pursue perspective, unity and understanding through history in time, as well as to seek them through science in space. … Like philosophy, such a venture [as the creation of these 11 volumes] has no rational excuse, and is at best but a brave stupidity but let us hope that, like philosophy, it will always lure some rash spirits into its fatal depths.

                    One volume, Rousseau and Revolution, won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1968. All eleven volumes were Book-of-the-Month Club selections and best-sellers with total sales of more than two million copies in nine languages. [4]

                    Author's Response

                    I am extremely happy with the review by Leslie Price. He seems to agree with many of my observations and to approve of my attempt at integrating the story of the Dutch slave trade into the wider framework of the Atlantic slave trade and of the early modern Atlantic in general. Right away, I would like to admit to a mistake regarding the demographic effects of the Thirty Years War. Price pointed out that the population of Central Europe could not have been reduced to only one third of its pre-1618 size. Mea culpa. I misread a sentence in an article saying that this war reduced the population of Central Europe by (and not to) one third in general, albeit that in some areas the loss was certainly more than 50 per cent. However, this mistake leaves my argument that a reduction in the population density did not bring slavery back to Europe unaffected. Even when the decline in population was about a third, certain areas quickly needed substantial numbers of mobile, landless labourers in order to make them economically viable again. In spite of this, the ruling elite in Germany never considered forcing people into slavery after 1648, even when they possessed the physical means to do so. Similarly, the dramatic demographic decline of the American Indians resulted in severe labour shortages in the tropical colonies in the New World, but not in the subsequent re-institution of slavery in the various European mother countries, in spite of the fact that only slavery could have produced the number of European emigrants needed to develop the labour-intensive plantations. Indeed, some European powers exiled their political and religious minorities, as well as prisoners, to their colonies and forced them to work as field hands but only slavery would have made it possible to send a regular and sufficient number of labourers across the Atlantic. Only hereditary slavery would result in a permanent servile labour force as the children of slaves could also be employed as slaves, while the sons and daughters of exiled minorities and prisoners could not (1 ).

                    A more important issue raised by the reviewer pertains to the question as to whether racism was the basis of the Dutch participation in the slave trade, or whether it came into existence later. In my book I point out that the Europeans were racists long before they became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In southern Europe, the Spanish and the Portuguese enslaved their Moslem enemies and also purchased black slaves from Africa, but they did not enslave their domestic opponents, such as the Jewish minority, or their European enemies, such as the Dutch and the English. Later, the Dutch, French, and English used the same double standards as the Iberians. Leslie Price, on the other hand, feels that the decision of the Dutch to participate in the Atlantic slave trade was not based on any pre-existing racism. He posits that the Dutch developed racism because they started trading in slaves, and suggests that the Dutch remained free of racism at home and strictly limited their racism to the overseas world. There is much to be said for the latter view. Unlike the Spanish and the Portuguese, the Dutch had no African or Arab slaves at home, and unlike the British, the Dutch did not even tolerate temporary slavery to exist in their republic in order to allow planters from the West Indies to come back to the Netherlands accompanied by their personal slaves. In the Netherlands, no Somerset case was needed to establish that slaves were free once they had set foot on Dutch soil (albeit that in actual practice very few slaves left their masters during their temporary stay in the Netherlands). Another argument in favour of the assumption that the Dutch knew no racism at home is the fact that during the sixteenth century, Dutch travellers and sailors, when confronted with slavery in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, were appalled by it. In fact, the Dutch West India Company instituted a special committee to look at the moral implications of the slave trade once the Company was faced with the choice of participating in that trade. And last, but not least, the Dutch seemed to have been more tolerant at home than most other countries in Europe, and accommodated, rather than excluded, outsiders. That explains why the Dutch never forced their religious minorities into exile. In France, on the other hand, Huguenots and criminals were sent overseas to perform forced labour in the West Indies for lengthy periods of time, while others were condemned to long years of forced labour at the galleys in conditions much akin to slavery. The English also sent their royalist and Irish prisoners of war to their West Indian colonies as forced labourers. Of course, the Huguenots, the Irish, and the royalists were not enslaved, but even such temporary recourse to forced labour was unknown in the Netherlands. In sum, there is much to be said for Leslie Price's idea that there was a two-tiered moral consciousness among the Dutch: one set of non-racist values for use at home, and another, racist one, solely for use in the world overseas.

                    However, there are also arguments that support my case. First of all, it would be a serious mistake to assume that before the end of the eighteenth century modern ideas about the equality of the human race had taken root in the Netherlands. The much-famed tolerance in the Netherlands was not based on modern principles, but on practical considerations enabling a population that was, and remained, deeply divided on religious matters to live together. Religious minorities such as the Catholics and Jews were discriminated against and barred from public office. That the Dutch did not resort to condemning criminals and prisoners of war to perform forced labour, as happened elsewhere, might not have been based on some uniquely tolerant and anti-racist attitude, but on the simple fact that the labour market in the Netherlands was far more supply-driven than elsewhere, as a constant influx of labour migrants from the neighbouring countries provided the labour required to perform the many dirty and dangerous jobs that needed to be done in the Dutch economy at the time. Perhaps we should conclude that the Dutch were racists just like everybody else at the time, but that they had less need than other nations to show it at home (2 ).

                    Another point the reviewer made concerns the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of the slaves. He rightly labelled these actions as a jump into the dark that only countries such as Britain, with a dynamic economy, seemed to be able to afford. In fact, that is what I point out in my book. The question is, however, whether having a declining economy during the first half of the nineteenth century, as the Dutch did, constituted sufficient reason to keep quiet about the inhumanity of the slave trade and slavery. Are my moral standards in this case too high, as Price seems to feel, and should I have refrained from blaming the Dutch for being so reluctant even to talk about abolishing the slave trade and slavery? There is no doubt that the British government at the time had many more financial resources at its disposal than its Dutch counterpart, and that this fact weighed heavily as slave emancipation, and concomitant compensation for the slave owners, was a costly affair. However, I would like to point out that during the first half of the nineteenth century the Dutch seemed to have had sufficient funds to wage an expensive colonial war in Java as well as a prolonged military campaign against the secession of Belgium, and that only decades later the Dutch political elite made sufficient public money available to end colonial slavery and pay compensation to the slave owners. In addition, it has always been argued that the smaller countries of Europe, such as the Netherlands, were more democratic, more progressive, and more innovative than the larger countries where the established interests of the court, church, and nobility were usually much more opposed to change. The Dutch are rightly proud of their early modernity based on a long republican tradition, the absence of nobility, a virtually uncensored publishing industry, the wide circulation of newspapers, a comparatively generous welfare system, and religious pluriformity. In my book I simply noticed that this rose-coloured picture is badly marred by the fact that all these supposed advantages had no practical effect when it came to abolishing the slave trade and slavery, and that the Dutch did not even manage to organize a sizeable abolition movement. If that is not a moral shortcoming, what is? (3 )

                    As was to be expected, Leslie Price's main criticism is aimed at my last chapter, in which I discuss the hotly-debated heritage of the Dutch participation in the slave trade and of colonial slavery. I agree with most of what he writes. Price is absolutely right in pointing out that the present generation cannot be held responsible for what previous generations have done. Why then, he asks, do I bother to add a separate chapter arguing that Dutch feelings of guilt about their country's involvement in the slave trade, and the acceptance of slavery, are an a-historical projection of present-day moral attitudes into the past. Such projections frequently occur in public debates in the Netherlands, and that is why I felt the need to address these issues. These a-historical interpretations usually come into play when the German occupation of the Netherlands during the years 1940–1945 is discussed, or the slave trade, slavery, and the conquest and the decolonization of the Dutch East Indies. Are there no similarly sensitive areas in the history of Great Britain? Is the general public there really more interested in a purely scholarly approach? When that is the case, our reviewer, and other historians in the UK, should count their blessings. That professional historians attempt to write history without shame, pride, and other moral emotions is unfortunately not always accepted in the public debate on the Continent, and professional historians have to react to this, whether they like it or not. In Germany, for instance, the history of the national-socialist regime (1933–1945) stubbornly refuses to become a purely scholarly topic, in spite of the fact that the present generation Germans and Austrians were born after its demise. In France, matters seem even worse, as the French Parliament passed in quick succession three laws making it possible to prosecute anyone who does not consider the holocaust, the persecution of the Armenians in Turkey during and after World War I, and the Atlantic slave trade as crimes against humanity. After a right-wing majority had replaced a left-wing one, a fourth law was passed, suggesting that in the public education system of the country more attention should be paid to the positive side of French colonialism. No wonder that a committee of French professional historians is asking their Parliament to refrain from prescribing the way in which history should be interpreted. The committee was set up after a young French historian, Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau, had published an award-winning study comparing the Atlantic, internal African, and Arab slave trades, and was subsequently accused of being racist and charged at a Paris court with denying the uniqueness of the Atlantic slave trade as stipulated in French law (4 ). In the Netherlands, professional historians of the slave trade and of slavery are also faced with the vicissitudes of a stereotyped public debate, but the case of France shows that it could be a lot worse.

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