A Divided Culture

Part of the European History in Perspective book series (EUROHIP)


The Dutch have long regarded the seventeenth century as their Golden Century, and it is perhaps the cultural achievements of the period which have become its defining characteristic for later generations. After the resonance of economic domination, great power status, and colonial expansion had faded, the achievements of Dutch artists, writers and thinkers came to be seen as what made the period great; already by the late nineteenth century it had become the land of Rembrandt, rather than of De Witt, or even of the merchant.1 Alongside the flowering of ‘high’ culture, there was also a broader cultural change, which has received less attention but was perhaps more profound, reflecting the transformation of Dutch society at the time. In neither case, however, was there a simple correlation between social and cultural change, and the persistence of traditional forms and perceptions was greater than than might have been expected.


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Copyright information

© J. L. Price 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HullUK

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