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Geography Unbound Boundaries And The Exotic World In The Early Enlightenment

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores a remarkable chapter of Dutch boundary-making circa 1700. This entails, first, a brief review of the tradition of geography in the Netherlands in the century or so preceding 1700; next, a survey of the wide ranging and broad reaching forms of geography that emanated from the Dutch Republic and circulated throughout Europe in the decades surrounding 1700; and, finally, an analysis of the methods and meanings of these extraordinary sources. First, the chapter introduces the very rich, source materials of this early modern moment of "globalism" while emphasizing the hitherto unexplored Dutch role in their production. And, second, it addresses the topic of boundaries by analyzing the cultural mechanisms and the subtle politics of their making. Dutch efforts amounted to the invention of a new form of exoticism, which would have lasting effects on Europe's idea of the world in the "long" eighteenth century and beyond.

Keywords: Dutch republican geography; exoticism; globalism



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