23e jaargang 1997, nummer 4


Gerard van Gurp Bosschenaars in de verstrooing. Emigratie tussen 1579 en 1629

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld De financiering van de armenzorg binnen de Spaans-Portugees joodse gemeenschap van Amsterdam in de zeventien en achttiende eeuw

György Nováky On trade, production and relations of production. The sugar refineries of seventeenth century Amsterdam

Werk in Uitvoering

Erika Kuijpers Lezen en schrijven. Onderzoek naar het alfabetiseringsniveau in zeventiende-eeuws Amsterdam


Gerard van Gurp, Bosschenaars in the Diaspora. Emigration between 1579 en 1629

In the 50-years period during which the city of 's-Hertogenbosch sided with the king of Spain (1579-1629), it lost its protestant citizens and saw its population decreased from 20.000 to 13.000. Many thousands of people emigrated to the Northern Netherlands (notably Dordrecht, Gorinchem and Haarlem) and Antwerp, as appears from marriage-, churchmembers- and citizensregisters. The choice for particular destinations was partly determined by the occupation of the emigrants. In the early years of this period motives for emigration were mainly religious and political, later social and economic reasons prevailed. The assimilation of the immigrants took place within a few decades.

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld, Financing charity among the Amsterdam Spanish and Portuguese jews in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

Few issues demanded more attention from the Amsterdam Sephardim in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than care for their poor. An analysis of demographic figures and data on the community`s sources of income and expenses also shows how expenditure on welfare rose with the time and had to be balanced out by increasing receipts and cutting down the welfare system. Members were heavier assessed on basis of their wealth while the community's capital had to be claimed more often. Where public welfare failed,private charity stepped in alleviating the plight of the poor. By the end of the eighteenth century the Sephardi community,once a centre for the indigent from all corners of the world, had lost its international fame to both rich and poor.

György Nováky, On trade, production and relations of production. The sugar refineries of seventeenth century Amsterdam

The sugar refineries of Amsterdam experienced a dramatic change of conditions in 1654 when sugar prices plummeted. The income for each refined unit decreased substantially, but on the other hand, due to low prices, the relative profitability, that is the price relationship between refined and raw sugar, improved. Large scale production units rapidly became more profitable than small. The decreasing number of refineries in Amsterdam in 1660´s must therefore not be considered as a sign of an industry in decline, but as a sign of a major structural change within the industry. The question is whether this change also embodied a profound transformation of the social relations of production. The answer to the question is negative, which points to the need of a comprehensive theory of merchant capitalism in order to understand the economic and social development of the Republic in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Erika Kuijpers, Reading and writing: levels of literacy in 17th-century Amsterdam

So far we do not have much evidence on the development of literacy in the early modern Dutch Republic. The best-known figures have been assembled for Amsterdam, by S. Hart. Amsterdam, however, was not typical for the country as a whole, and Hart's figures tell us very little about social variations in reading and writing skills. Random samples from marriage banns proclaimed in Amsterdam in 1585, 1600, 1650 and 1700, have been scanned for variations according to gender, occupation, religious affiliation and country of origin. These data demonstrate, that rise of literacy in Amsterdam was neither a linear process, nor one that can be explained by a single factor. Economic specialization, cultural changes in the wake of the Reformation and the Dutch Revolt, as well as changes in the composition of the city's rapidly expanding population, are all reflected in the distribution and development of reading and writing skills.

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