Republican Empire

The Ideological Origins of Dutch Colonialism

The project Republican Empire explored the ideological origins of early-modern Dutch colonialism by analysing how seventeenth-century Dutch conceptions of imperial rule appropriated the ambiguous model of the republican empire of Ancient Rome.

Conferences organized in the framework of this project:

Machiavelli’s Heirs. Humanism, Tacitism and Reason of State in the Dutch Republic (25-26 November 2011)

Imagining the Ancients. Republics and the Classical Past, 1500-1800 (14-15 November 2013)

Divergent discourses on Roman Colonization: Sigonius, Lipsius, and the Development of Roman Colonial Studies  (11 December 2015)

Visions of Empire in Dutch History from the early-modern period to the 21st century (29-30 September 2016)


Wyger Velema & Arthur Weststeijn (eds.), Ancient Models in the Early Modern Republican Imagination (Leiden: Brill, 2017)

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Commonwealths for Preservation and Increase: Ancient Rome in Venice and the Dutch Republic’, in Wyger Velema and Arthur Weststeijn (eds.), Ancient Models in the Early Modern Republican Imagination (Leiden: Brill, 2017)

René Koekkoek, Anne-Isabelle Richard & Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Visions of Dutch Empire: Towards a Long-Term Global Perspective’, in BMGN – The Low Countries Historical Review (Spring 2017)

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Provincializing Grotius. International Law and Empire in a Seventeenth-Century Malay Mirror’, in Marti Koskenniemi, Walter Rech en Manuel Jiménez Fonseca (eds.), International Law and Empire: Historical Explorations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Maquiavel no Brasil holandês. Gaspar Barleus, João Maurício de Nassau e o príncipe colonial’, in Rodrigo Bentes Monteiro and Sandra Bagno (eds.), Maquiavel no Brasil. Dos descobrimentos ao século XXI (Rio de Janeiro: Editora FGV, 2015), 133-155

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘The VOC as Company-State: Debating Seventeenth-Century Dutch Colonial Expansion’,  Itinerario. International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction 38 (2014), 13-34

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Dutch Brazil and the Making of Free Trade Ideology’, in Michiel van Groesen (ed.), The Legacy of Dutch Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 187-206

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘”Love Alone Is Not Enough”: Treaties in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Colonial Expansion’, in Saliha Belmessous (ed.), Empire by Treaty. Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 19-44

Jan Hartman and Arthur Weststeijn, ‘An Empire of Trade: Commercial Reason of State in Seventeenth-Century Holland’, in Sophus Reinert and Pernille Røge (eds.), The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 11-31

Arthur Weststeijn, ‘Republican Empire. Colonialism, Commerce, and Corruption in the Dutch Golden Age’, Renaissance Studies 26, 4 (2012), 491-509