Looking beyond home shores: Dutch tolerance at the end of the seventeenth century

History of European Ideas 44 (8):1092-1110 (2018)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTThe Dutch history of the golden century, a formula which had effectively imposed this interpretative paradigm well beyond the seventeenth century, has been analysed in a more conscientious manner by more recent historiography. This has tempered the hagiographic reading and confirmed the fact that, in the second half of the century, the question of tolerance had become primarily a political conquest and a value shared by other nations. A supernational, European value, but which had also begun to cross the Atlantic several decades earlier. It is interesting to explore how writers facing each other across the two shores of the Channel, on one side observed and interpreted and on the other side presented themselves, offering to foreign eyes the concept of tolerance that had been consolidated in the Netherlands. In the appendix to the essay, besides sinignifcative images, is transcribed the rare and meaningful pamphlet titled ‘A LETTER from HOLLAND, touching Liberty of Conscience, &c.’

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