The 16th Century was a momentous era for the people of the Low Countries—would become modern day Belgium and the Netherlands.


An Intro to the Dutch Spirit of Genever

It has been said that the Scots have their whiskey, the French their congac, and the Dutch their genever. It is not gin, but can be rightfully considered the ancestor of gin. While at one time wildly popular in the United States, Dutch genever has a history dating back hundreds of years. Here's a short introduction to the drink and its history.  Read More

Dutch Sociopolitical Terms from the 16th Century

For us native English speakers, there can be some cultural familiarity with the historical English system of governance and titles: sheriff, baron, lord, and parliament. Understanding the sociopolitical terms from a different language and culture can be difficult to understand quickly. That's why I've put together this collection of Dutch/Low Countries terms from the late 16th century for government, political offices, and other societal institutions here to reference.  Read More

Geuzenliederen: “Beggars’ Songs” from the Dutch Revolt

One of the fascinating elements of the Dutch Revolt is the development of "Beggars' Songs" - a curious form of folk song that ranged from political protest and patriotic nationalism to religious identity and even to proto-historical epics. Thanks to the widespread growth of the printing press in the Low Countries, these Geuzenliederen have been saved in good numbers for posterity.  Read More

Dutch Revolt and 16th Century Netherlands Bibliography

While less known to American audiences compared to the Tudor-Elizabethan period in England or French Wars of Religion, the Dutch Revolt has had a vast body of academic literature surrounding it—since nearly its very inception. When combined with works on the military equipment & tactics of the era and accompanying, burgeoning printing press, there's a wealth of references to draw from when seeking to understand the people, culture, and events of this tumultuous era.  Read More

1566-1619: Choosing Dates for Researching the Dutch Revolt

The conflict that evolved into the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain lasted eighty years. Its roots are found many decades earlier. While periodizing history may be an arbitrary task, it can be helpful in creating a lens in which to focus research efforts. In my case, I've chosen 1566-1619.  Read More