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Thievery Of Literature. Consequences Of The Interaction Between Politics And Commerce For The Form And Content Of Pamphlets

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Chapter Summary

The Dutch Republic is often considered as a land of Cockaigne for printers, booksellers, gazetteers and pamphleteers. Historians and philologists have mostly used them to collect facts, illustrate attitudes of mind, analyse party strife and ideological differences and investigate literary topics. The temptation to deduce public opinion from the highest common factor of pamphlets, however, is often hard to resist for lack of other continuous sources concerning the collective state of mind in the seventeenth century. The impact of political pamphleteering on public opinion, the theme of this chapter. The chapter focuses on political issues of the Dutch Republic. The age of De Witt, the first stadtholderless era, was characterised by great dangers to the external and internal security of the state, as a result of wars, popular disturbances and faction disputes, as well as vehement debates and controversies concerning the necessity and value of the stadtholderate.

Keywords:De Witt; Dutch Republic; political pamphleteering; public opinion



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