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A Swiss Village in the Dutch Tropics: The Limitations of Empire-Centred Approaches to the Early Modern Atlantic World

Author:

Karwan Fatah-Black

Royal Netherlands Historical Society (editorial secretary), NL
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Abstract

This article considers what the migration circuits to and from Suriname can tell us about Dutch early modern colonisation in the Atlantic world. Did the Dutch have an Atlantic empire that can be studied by treating it as an integrated space, as suggested by New Imperial Historians, or did colonisation rely on circuits outside Dutch control, stretching beyond its imperial space?

 

An empire-centred approach has dominated the study of Suriname’s history and has largely glossed over the routes taken by European migrants to and from the colony. When the empirecentred perspective is transcended it becomes possible to see that colonists arrived in Suriname from a range of different places around the Atlantic and the European hinterland. The article takes an Atlantic or global perspective to demonstrate the choices available to colonists and the networks through which they moved.

 

This article is part of the special issue 'A New Dutch Imperial History'.

Keywords: Imperial History  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8354
How to Cite: Fatah-Black, K., 2013. A Swiss Village in the Dutch Tropics: The Limitations of Empire-Centred Approaches to the Early Modern Atlantic World. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 128(1), pp.31–52. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8354
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Published on 19 Mar 2013.
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