Contesting representations of New Netherland (1650-1702): a transatlantic perspective on colonial conflict
11 / 2008 - 10 / 2012
The American colony of New Netherland was the objective of three contesting national representations. England and the Dutch Republic, Europe's two leading maritime powers, both claimed the colony in their political propaganda. Only in New Netherland which, uniquely, experienced several regime changes in quick succession, did Anglo-Dutch representations directly collide in a colonial setting. Both European representations, however, diverged from the increasingly detached self-representations of the American colonists. New Netherland therefore provides an exemplary case for the analysis of systematically constructed European and American representations of a single colony. This project will analyse these contesting representations of New Netherland in a transatlantic perspective, during the zenith of Anglo-Dutch hostilities between 1650 and 1702. Hence it will transcend the conventional watershed of 1664, when New Netherland became New York. Colonial historiography, while increasingly concerned with representations, has been dominated by themes like alterity and European-indigenous encounters. Leading scholars such as Elliott, Greenblatt, and Grafton have investigated the various Old World responses to America, and the historiography of New Netherland has recently followed this trend. This project will add two new dimensions to these essentially bipolar models of representations: those of European conflict and growing American disengagement. Drawing on Benedict Anderson?s Imagined Communities, it will focus on the impact of a nascent national conciousness - both in Europe and in America - on contrasting images and self-images of the same, ethnically diverse colony. New Netherland, as a case study, will thus be the cornerstone of an all-inclusive understanding of colonial conflict. As such, it analyzes both the relevance of European conflicts for understanding triangular colonial relations, and the impact of contrasting European and American representations on a developing multicultural colonial society.
Aan het eind van de zeventiende eeuw maakten zowel Engeland als de Nederlandse Republiek aanspraak op Nieuw Nederland / New York. Dit onderzoek analyseert de beeldvorming van deze kolonie in Nederlandse en Engelse prenten, pamfletten, kaarten en andere propaganda, en vergelijkt deze Europese beelden met de ervaringen van Amerikaanse kolonisten in dit gebied.