Innocence Abroad: The Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570-1670

Schmidt, Benjamin. Innocence Abroad: The Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570-1670. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.  Paperback edition 2006.

Innocence Abroad explores the process of encounter that took place between the Netherlands and the New World in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The "discovery" of America coincided with the foundation of the Dutch Republic, a correspondence of much significance for the Netherlands. From the opening of their Revolt against Hapsburg Spain through the climax of their Golden Age, the Dutch looked to America--in political pamphlets and patriotic histories, epic poetry and allegorical prints, landscape painting and decorative maps--for a means of articulating a new national identity. This book demonstrates how the image of America fashioned by the Dutch, and especially the twin topoi of "innocence" and "tyranny," became integrally associated with evolving political, moral and economic agenda. It investigates the energetic Dutch response to the New World while examining, more generally, the operation of geographic discourse and colonial ideology within the Dutch Golden Age.

  • First and only study of the Netherlands' reception of the New World
  • Interdisciplinary work that marshals literary, archival, visual, and cartographic evidence
  • Represents the new 'Atlantic World' history
Status of Research
Research Type