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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

2 - The Empire at Home

from Part I - The Grumbling Hive


The second chapter explores the economic, social and cultural impact of the Empire at home, stressing the changing consumer behaviour of a rising Dutch middle class. It also tells the story of early-modern globalisation through the making of a highly cosmopolitan Dutch microcosmos. The arrival of more and more new commodities and ideas stimulated curiosity in the workings of Nature, which also began to inform new Republican thinking on the state and society. It was their habit of ‘collecting the world’ in gardens, books, maps, cabinets and paintings which enabled Netherlands-based intellectuals to reorder an ever-expanding database through comparison and connection. Hence, the world at large was represented and marketed through the printing of new literature, scholarship and illustrations.

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