Swart.[1]. However, some figures, such as the philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), experienced social stigma. [14] However, a woman's sphere of authority still primarily lay in household duties, despite historical evidence showing certain cases of wives maintaining considerable control in family businesses. The United Provinces (roughly today's Netherlands) fought on until the Twelve Years' Truce, which did not end the hostilities. The latter were associations at a city level that fostered literary activities, like poetry, drama and discussions, often through contests. He also had his most important works published in Amsterdam and Leiden. Dutch traders shipped wine from France and Portugal to the Baltic lands and returned with grain for countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The same applied to Anabaptists and Jews. "[3], Amsterdam's dominant position as a trade center was strengthened in 1640 with a monopoly for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) for trade with Japan through its trading post on Dejima, an island in the bay of Nagasaki. Michiel Sweerts and Biblical Subjects in Dutch Art. According to Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke, geography favored the Dutch Republic, contributing to its wealth. Where rich aristocrats often became patrons of art in other countries, because of their comparative absence in the Netherlands this role was played by wealthy merchants and other patricians. Protestants were especially well-represented among the skilled craftsmen and rich merchants of the port cities of Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp. Catholics tended to keep to themselves in their own section of each town, even though they were one of the largest single denominations: for example, the Catholic painter Johannes Vermeer lived in the "Papist corner" of the town of Delft. [13] In Dutch culture, the home was regarded as a safe-haven from the lack of Christian virtue and immorality of the outside world. The Dutch were able to gain control of much of the trade with the nascent English colonies in North America; and after the end of the war with Spain in 1648, Dutch trade with that country also flourished. The social “betters” of Dutch aristocracy were only to a limited extent landed nobles, most of whom lived in the economically less advanced inland provinces. [23], This trend, along with the lack of Counter-Reformation church patronage that dominated the arts in Catholic Europe, resulted in the great number of "scenes of everyday life" or genre paintings, and other secular subjects. Hobbes had to have his books printed there; Locke took refuge there during the five worst years of reaction in England before 1688; Bayle (of the Dictionary) found it necessary to live there; and Spinoza would hardly have been allowed to do his work in any other country.". This intermixing of patricians and aristocrats was most prominent in the second half of the century.[12]. Organ music was barred from services in Reformed churches, although town authorities frequently continued its performance at other times. The variety of sects may well have worked to make religious intolerance impractical. This meant that unlike their main rivals the Republic would not face the dire repercussions of a bad harvest and the starvation it accompanied, instead profiting when this happened in other states (bad harvests were commonplace in France and England in the 17th century, which also contributed to the Republic's success in that time). The quality of life was marked by less disparity between classes than prevailed elsewhere, although the difference between a great merchant’s home on the Herengracht in Amsterdam and a dockworker’s hovel was all too obvious. [20][21] Scientific activity in the United Provinces also reached a high level. It was the first-ever multinational corporation, financed by shares that established the first modern stock exchange. [13] In addition to supervising maids, cooking, cleaning, and prating needlework, women were also encouraged to maintain some financial control over domestic affairs, such as going to market and buying their own food. [19] His skill in grinding lenses (some as small as 1mm in diameter) resulted in a magnification as high as 245x. More moved to the north between 1585 and 1630 than Catholics moved in the other direction, although there were also many of these[clarification needed]. Political theorists shared the same concerns, although the effort to fit new experience and ideas into the traditional categories derived from Aristotle and Roman law created an air of unreality about their work, perhaps even more than was true of political thinkers elsewhere in Europe. ", Marius B. Jansen, "Rangaku and Westernization.". Individual companies were organized for each venture, but the companies were united by command of the States General in 1602 in order to reduce the costs and increase the security of such perilous and complex undertakings; the resulting United East India Company established bases throughout the Indian Ocean, notably in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), mainland India, and the Indonesian archipelago. The central role of women in the 17th-century Dutch household revolved around the home and domestic tasks. The Dutch share of European shipping tonnage was enormous, well over half during most of the period of their ascendancy. Rembrandt (1606–1669): Paintings. The major force behind new developments was the citizenry, notably in the western provinces: first and foremost in Holland, to a lesser extent Zeeland and Utrecht. [13], Seventeenth-century Dutch culture maintained contradictory attitudes regarding the elderly, in particular, elderly women. Another French-born philosopher, Pierre Bayle, left France in 1681 for the Dutch Republic, where he became a professor of history and philosophy at the Illustrious School of Rotterdam. This transformation is described by modern historians as the 'Dutch miracle.' Although the East India fleets that returned annually with cargoes of spices and other valuables provided huge profits for the shareholders, the East India trade of the 17th and 18th centuries never provided more than a modest fraction of Dutch earnings from European trade.

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