Episode 121: Wim Klooster, The Dutch Moment in the 17th-Century Atlantic World

The Spanish, French, and English played large roles in the origins of colonial America. But so too did the Dutch. During the 17th century, they had a “moment” in which they influenced European colonization and development of the Atlantic World.

Wim Klooster, a Professor of History at Clark University and author of The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth Century Atlantic World, guides us through Dutch contributions to the Atlantic World.

About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

Wim Klooster, a Professor of History at Clark University and author of The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World, guides us on an exploration of the Dutch Atlantic World.

During our exploration, Wim reveals the lands and places encompassed by the Dutch Atlantic World; Reasons why the Dutch sought to establish an empire in the Atlantic; And, the types of people who settled in Dutch Atlantic colonies.

What You’ll Discover

  • The Dutch Atlantic World and what it encompassed
  • When and why the Dutch entered the Atlantic World
  • How Dutch colonization compared with English and French colonization
  • The Dutch Revolt, 1568-1648
  • The Dutch West India Company
  • The Dutch “Grand Design”
  • The Dutch conquest of Brazil
  • New Netherland and its place within the Dutch Atlantic World
  • The role Jews played in the Dutch Atlantic World
  • Dutch policy of religious toleration
  • People who settled in the Dutch Atlantic World
  • Indigenous-Dutch relations
  • Slavery and the slave trade in the Dutch Atlantic World
  • Dutch Atlantic traders
  • Why the Dutch Atlantic Empire ended in the 1670s
  • Lasting impact of the “Dutch Moment”


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Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

In your opinion, what might have happened if the Dutch West India Company had been established primarily as a trading company and administered as well as its counterpart the Dutch East India Company? Would the Dutch have been able to build an Atlantic Empire? How would the Dutch legacy in the Atlantic World be different?

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