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The ‘Old Netherlands Style’ And Seventeenth-Century Dutch Fortifications Of The Caribbean

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Chapter Summary

In his subtle descriptions of the Netherlands culture and history, the renowned Dutch historian Adriaan Barnouw often indicated that one of the key cultural characteristics of Dutch ethnicity has been a precise need of orderliness in their world. This was also true in the seventeenth century Netherlands colonial approaches in the Caribbean, such that fortifications were for defense and settlements were for the colonists. Dutch seventeenth century fortifications of the Caribbean are clearly designed with this cognitive understanding in mind. Netherlanders first came to the New World primarily to make fortunes, thus it was a commercial drive underlying Dutch culture that needed to project a 'neat and well-organized' corporate image for their West India Company. To grasp an insight into seventeenth-century Netherlands colonial strategies of the Caribbean, this chapter explains some of the historical developments in Europe that caused them to look to the west in the first place.

Keywords: Caribbean; colonial strategies; Dutch seventeenth century fortifications

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