Henk van Nierop, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1949. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Amsterdam.
VNC Fellow (1 September 2006 – 30 June 2007)
THE DUTCH CIVIL WAR 1566-1609
I collected a wealth of material and extensively explored the theme through reading, thinking and writing. I finished two chapters and a number of shorter pieces. I completed the draft version of an article, to be presented to a leading historical journal. My research focuses on three different themes. First, it investigates contemporary notions of the Revolt. It appears that many of the greatest minds of the period, such as Lipsius, Coornhert, and Stevin, did indeed regard the conflict in these terms. Secondly, it takes as its point of departure present-day models of civil wars, as developed by social scientists, and applies these to the Dutch revolt. This results in new insights as to its unfolding, phasing, and termination. And finally I have begun exploring the question of the conclusion of the civil war. If the inhabitants of the Netherlands were engaged in a protracted, lethal, internal conflict, how did they succeed in attaining reconciliation and embark, at least in the Northern provinces, on their Golden Age? Discussing my work with colleagues has been immensely fruitful. In particular, scholarly discussions with the other VNC-fellow, Guido Marnef, and with Judith Pollmann, both of them working on themes closely related to my own, were stimulating and rewarding.