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Epilogue Dutchness In Fact And Fiction

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Chapter Summary

There are two ways of looking at 'Dutchness'. The easiest one is to see it as a purely American matter. The other way is to treat Dutchness as a general epistemological issue of which the Dutch and the American modalities are two different forms of contextualisation. In the end, the question inevitably arises whether Dutch and American Dutchness have something in common, and until what point. This chapter takes this second position, speaks about Dutch Dutchness, and then continues with American Dutchness. As long as Dutch culture was a conquering culture, it did not experience the need to define its identity by looking for its 'genuine' roots and the construction of an ethnic narrative. In New Netherland, it was capable of absorbing the input from the different cultures of its European immigrants in some respects, those of the native Americans of the country and the African inhabitants of the colony.

Keywords:Dutch culture; Dutchness; early modern colonial America; ethnic community; European immigrants; social identity

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