Studies of Urbanization and Migration in Advanced and Developing Countries
Edited by H. S. Geyer
P. Nijkamp and E. Goede' EARLY URBAN HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS2 Cities are the furnaces for economic growth and play a critical role in the economic history of the Developed World. They create unprecedented, and as yet unexploited agglomeration economies to the benefit of the whole country (Glaeser, 1998). This observation is also reflected in the urban history of the Netherlands. New cities originated along the banks of the large Dutch waterways in the feudal era between circa 1000 and 1433, mainly due to the revival of trade. From the thirteenth century onwards, Dutch fishing, shipping and trading showed rapid growth. The city of Dordrecht, which had a favourable location, was the first city to attract economic activities of major significance. The IJssel-delta (Kampen and Deventer) also became a focal point of business in the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. In the year 1500, the Netherlands consisted of seventeen provinces that had emerged from the Roman Empire. In 1587, the country was officially referred to as the Republic of the United Netherlands. Despite its impressive name, no such thing as a single Dutch State ever existed. The Eighty Years War (1568-1648) led to the independence of the Republic and turned the United Netherlands into a formidable sea power. In the course of the The authors wish to thank Cees Gorter for his helpful suggestions during the preparation of this paper. Sadly he passed away in October 2001. * Data has been drawn from the Historische Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (1959), Grote Winkler Prins...
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