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Introduction to the History of the Netherlands


Admission requirements



The course covers the history of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the present. The main theme of this course is ‘Dutch and foreign’. What is the Dutch national identity? What foreign influences are present in Dutch history? What are the key issues in present-day multicultural Dutch society? Special attention is paid to the seventeenth century (The Golden Age), the creation of modern Dutch society during the nineteenth century, the Second World War (1940-1945) and modern Dutch politics: the political murders of Pim Fortuijn (2002) and Theo van Gogh (2004), the conflict of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and minister Rita Verdonk (the so-called ‘passport affair’, 2006) and the rise of Geert Wilders (2002-now).

Course objectives

The students will acquire knowledge of the outlines of Dutch history, its main events and development.


The timetable will be available by June 15st on the website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

Total course load of the course: 5EC (140 hours)

  • Seminars and lectures: 2 hours per week x 14 weeks = 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature (and to prepare for the exams): 80 hours

  • Time for writing and submitting small class assignments: 28 hours

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

The assessment will consists of short, written assignments for every class (20%), and a final exam (80%)
The Final exam will consist of three sort – Written examination with short questions and essayquestions
There will be a resit of the final exam in June.


This course is supported by Blackboard. Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course. (Please see Blackboard)

Reading list

P.J. Rietbergen: A Short History of the Netherlands. Amersfoort: Bekking & Blitz Uitgevers, 2008.


Enrollement trough uSis is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


You can contact the lecturer Dr. B. Ieven about the contents of the course, for other practical information, please, turn to the student administration of Dutch Studies, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 101A. Tel. 071 527 2144;


This introductory course is aimed at all international students, with the exception of Dutch Studies students (for whom this course is too elementary).