February 02, 2017

Today in History: Dutch colony of New Amsterdam incorporated (1653)

John RobsonResident Historian John Robson
 

The incorporation of New Amsterdam on Feb. 2, 1653 might seem to fall a little short of bodice-ripping historical excitement. 

But it’s revealing that the Dutch, like the English, had a system of government that extended into their colonies in which citizens had real, effective legal rights including those that sheltered municipalities from arbitrary encroachment by the central state.

If it had been New Moscow, New Beijing or New Teheran it would not have had those rights… and it’s an important reason it was not.

Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2017-02-02 15:51:24 -0500
Yes apparently a group of Jews fleeing turmoil in Dutch possessions in South America arrived the following year but by attrition they were down to one Jew by the time the British took over. It was not untill the late 1700’s that there was a decent delicatessen in Brooklyn.
commented 2017-02-02 14:42:59 -0500
Professor Robson; Thanks as usual and what a refreshing reprieve from the depressing daily deluge.
commented 2017-02-02 13:47:57 -0500
PROFESSOR ROBSON , I pledge a cheque to your work this year , I will check to find a mailing address