Although the role of the Dutch in Early American history has been largely ignored, the facts are that New Netherland antedates New England, and religious toleration and ethnic diversity in the United States began with the Dutch.
Why isn’t this better known and taught in our schools? Because, until now an easy to read, short introduction to the history of New Netherland has been lacking. Firth Haring Fabend of Montclair, NJ, a recognized historian of the field, was commissioned by the New Netherland Institute to write New Netherland in a Nutshell (New Netherland Institute, 2012) to fill the gap.
The story of New Netherland is told in New Netherland in a Nutshell in a highly readable fashion suitable for anyone unfamiliar with this colonial history. From the exploration of Henry Hudson in 1609 to the final transfer of the Dutch colony to the English in 1674, this book introduces key aspects of New Netherland: the multicultural makeup of the population, the privatization of colonization, the ability to survive with meager means against overwhelming odds, and the transfer of distinctive Dutch traits, such as toleration, free trade, and social mobility, all of which persisted long after New Netherland became New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Note: Books noticed on The New York History Blog have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.