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Dutch Primacy in World Trade, 1585–1740$
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Jonathan I. Israel

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198211396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198211396.001.0001

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The Breakthrough to World Primacy, 1590–1609

The Breakthrough to World Primacy, 1590–1609

(p.38) 3 The Breakthrough to World Primacy, 1590–1609
Dutch Primacy in World Trade, 1585–1740

Jonathan I. Israel

Oxford University Press

The year 1590 was a decisive turning point for the hitherto floundering Dutch United Provinces. After two decades of implacable, often seemingly hopeless struggle against tremendous odds, the Dutch Republic emerged from the gloom of its desperate political, military, and economic predicament of the late 1580s almost overnight. The deadening pressure of the 1580s suddenly lifted with Philip II's decision of 1590 to switch his priorities, go over to the defensive in the Netherlands, and intervene in the civil war in progress in France. It was during the early 1590s that Holland and Zeeland emerged for the first time as a general entrepôt for Iberian, Ibero-American, and Portuguese East India commodities, distributing to a wide range of markets in northern Europe. It was in the early 1590s that the bitter tension over commerce between London and the Dutch entrepôt, which from this point on was to be a constant feature of Dutch world trade primacy, first began.

Keywords:   Philip II, Netherlands, France, Holland, Zeeland, entrepôt, Dutch Republic, world trade, Portuguese East India commoditied, commerce

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