- Anglo-Dutch Suriname: Ethnic interaction and colonial transition in the Caribbean, 1651-1682
- Award date
- 10 June 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
English colonists from Barbados founded the sugar colony of Suriname in 1651, but they lost their new territory to the Dutch province of Zeeland in 1667. When studying early modern Suriname, historians have generally focused on the period after 1683, when the Dutch Society of Suriname took control and the colony became economically successful. Instead, Suze Zijlstra focuses on Suriname’s first three "Anglo-Dutch" decades. She investigated the interaction between the inhabitants of the colony: Dutch, English, and Jewish settlers, the indigenous population, and the enslaved Africans. Her analysis leads to various conclusions regarding early modern colonial development. She suggests that colonial development should not be considered from a national perspective as internal developments shaped the colony more than any European takeover did. Instead of a national approach, her research advocates the study of a geographic unit owned by various European powers. Suriname’s first three decades demonstrate how the English and the Dutch were similarly limited by local circumstances in their colonizing endeavors. She argues, moreover, that colonial development should not be measured by a colony’s economic accomplishments. Even if Suriname did not achieve financial success in the period before 1683, in these very years crucial transformations took place that were shaped by ethnic interactions. This period emphasizes that resistance to colonization was at least as important as interethnic cooperation for Suriname’s development. In the period of Anglo-Dutch Suriname, the foundations were established for the plantation economy that characterized the eighteenth century.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Thesis (Embargo up to and including 10 June 2020)
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