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The Netherlands in a Nutshell

The Netherlands in a Nutshell: Highlights from Dutch History and Culture

Frits van Oostrom
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    The Netherlands in a Nutshell
    Book Description:

    This book presents a global overview of the key events and themes in Dutch history and culture: a choice of fifty key topics, or 'windows' into the country. Fifty important people, inventions and events which together show how the Netherlands has developed into the country that it is now. Each topic includes a list of places to visit and websites. At the back of the book, there is an overview of the fifty 'windows', grouped in fourteen themes. This is an excellent introduction for anyone who would like to make an acquaintance with this low country by the sea.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0614-9
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. 7-8)

    What basic knowledge of Dutch history and culture should we pass on to future generations of Dutch citizens? This was the difficult question facing theCommittee for the Development of the Dutch Canonin 2005, when the Minister of Education, Culture and Science asked it to design a canon of the Netherlands.

    The result is a canon in fifty key topics, or ‘windows’: important people, inventions and events which together show how the Netherlands has developed into the country that it now is. Each Dutch student will become familiar with these windows at school. In this book, the fifty windows...

  4. The canon of the Netherlands
    (pp. 9-111)

    People were already living in the Low Countries when the world was five thousand years younger than it is today. What little they left behind is usually buried deep in the ground. However, in the province of Drenthe, you can see traces of them above the ground. Their megaliths: giant stones that people set in formations and piled up on one another. They were used as tombs. This type of chamber tomb was relatively common at the time, but certainly not all such tombs were built with enormous erratic blocks. These huge boulders were only to be found in Drenthe,...

  5. Main lines of the canon
    (pp. 112-120)

    It is important that certain terms like “the Netherlands”, “Dutch culture” and “Dutch history” are used with caution. After all, up until the nineteenth century the term “the Netherlands” is an anachronism and the adjective “Dutch” remains problematic in early history. When a text mentions the history of Dutch language and culture, and Dutch territory and the Dutch state, we actually mean “relevant to this region”, without the suggestion that this region in that time already presented a cultural, political or linguistic unity. We have treated these matters as historical phenomena.

    In the texts, Dutch history and culture are not...