The Dutch-American Farm

The Dutch-American Farm

by David Steven Cohen
     
 

Under the influence of European historians, scholarship about the Dutch in America has generally emphasized what was derived from the urban and merchant character of the Netherlands, particularly the single province of Holland in the seventeenth century. But it was among the farmers of New York and New Jersey, according to David Steven Cohen, rather than the urban…  See more details below

Overview

Under the influence of European historians, scholarship about the Dutch in America has generally emphasized what was derived from the urban and merchant character of the Netherlands, particularly the single province of Holland in the seventeenth century. But it was among the farmers of New York and New Jersey, according to David Steven Cohen, rather than the urban merchants of Albany and New York City, that a distinctive Dutch-American regional subculture arose, thrived, and survived through the end of the nineteenth century. By examining the life of the early emigrant Dutch settlers, the author constructs a picture of their culture through the farmhouses they built, the landscapes they cultivated, and the tools and equipment they used, relating it all to the structure of their families, their folklore, and folklife. It was in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, according to Cohen, that a change occurred in the culture of the Dutch in America by which they became Dutch-American, and the most striking material evidence of this transformation was in the development of a new type of farmhouse, which began to replace those still traceable to the Netherlands. Thirty black-and-white illustrations including both photographs and floorplans, help to trace this evolution, which was occurring at about the same time the Great Awakening was Americanizing the Dutch Reformed Church, and which resulted in the Dutch-American culture that was not an Anglo-Dutch amalgam so much as a distinctive regional subculture within the American culture emerging at that time.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Focuses on shifts in the design of farmhouses in New York and New Jersey to illuminate the creation of a distinct rural Dutch-American culture in the second quarter of the 18th century. Relates the change to others happening at the same time in both Dutch and American society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"An impressive study of material culture."-Choice

"Cohen presents a detailed description of the everyday life of early Dutch settlers in New York and New Jersey. He gives special attention to the rise of the Dutch Reformed Church in these areas, and particularly the denomination's transformation into a subculture that could truly be considered American."-Bookman's Weekly

"
A rich and readable source of information and interpretation."-New York History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814714546
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
05/01/1992
Series:
American Social Experience Series
Pages:
256

Meet the Author

David Steven Cohen is Senior Research Associate and Director of the Ethnic History Program at the New Jersey Historical Commission. He holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

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