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Introduction to the History of the Netherlands


Admission requirements



This course introduces students to the history of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. The course focuses on historical, political and cultural developments, with particular emphasis on the late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century (the Golden Age). To gain insight into the political, cultural and economic issues that dominate the history of the Netherlands, classes that provide a chronological overview will be alternated with classes that focus on a particular theme (e.g. tolerance, slavery, decolonization) and its impact on Dutch identity and (topical discussions in) the current day Netherlands.

Course objectives

  • Students acquire knowledge of and insight into the outlines of Dutch history, its main events and developments;

  • Students are acquainted with political and cultural debates within the history of the Low Countries;

  • are able to reflect on historical developments and debates and relate them to the present day (debates in the) Netherlands.


The timetable is available on the BA-Dutch Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Assessment method


The assessment will consists of written assignments (30%), and a final exam (70%) with short questions and essay questions.


Three short essays (30%)
Final exam (70%)


There will be a resit of the final exam in June.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

James C. Kennedy, A Concise History of the Netherlands. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Further readings will be announced later via Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website


For questions about the course, please contact the lecturer [Dr. Olga van Marion]
For administrative matters or if you have questions about the registration in uSis, please, contact Reuvensplaats
For other questions you can send an e-mail to the study adviser.