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The wonder of cheese in the Netherlands!

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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  1. 1. A bit about Early Modern Europe,and a lot about…<br />Cheese!<br />And its place in Early Modern Dutch History<br />
  2. 2. The time of Early Modern Europe was rife with change,innovation, and social upheaval.<br />Often characterized as starting with Gutenberg’s printing press, or perhaps the end of the ByzantineEmpire, this period was the beginning of the rise of mercantilism and many of the political and economic conceptswe experience today.<br />The emergence of many modern scientific concepts did not set wellwith the Church. After all, things ought to be the way they’ve alwaysbeen, right? Right!<br />
  3. 3. Secularized politics became a reality, theProtestant Revolution began to take hold, andfeudalism began to give way to capitalism.<br />Magic began to fade…<br />New ideas of how our world is puttogether spread concurrently withsavage witch-hunts, and Europeanscircumnavigated the globe…Things were changing in a hurry.<br />
  4. 4. The harsh climate of the Little Ice Age forced the farmersof the Netherlands to drastically change their agriculturalmethods in the 15-1600s.<br />Windmills and dikes were usedto drain areas filled with fresh and saltwater, creating a unique landscape.<br />They called them“polders”, and grass,clover, and other types ofanimal fodder grew very well there. <br />
  5. 5. The farmers raised many cows, who thoroughlyapproved of all that great fodder, and producedlarge quantities of milk, which was made intolots and lots of cheese at places like Gouda andEdam. Kind of became one of the mainstaysof the Dutch economy.<br /> There was a lot of cheese! So the Dutch exported a great deal of that lovely cheese to England and other countries, at a very reasonable price. Too reasonable, the British thought. So, theyenacted the Navigation Act of 1651.<br />
  6. 6. The Dutch felt that the main purpose of said Navigation Act(and others that followed) was to cripple the freighttradeon which Dutch commerce depended. They were right.<br />War was declared on 8 July 1652, after numerous incidents<br />between Dutch shipping and English privateers.<br />
  7. 7. The conflict lasted from 1652 to 1654, and was the first of three Dutch-<br />Englishwars to be fought in the 17th Century, basically over…<br />you guessed it!<br />Cheese!<br />Oh, ok, it was about butter, too…<br />
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