Deflation Made Simple
A falsely vilified phenomenon (Entry 137)
It is sometimes said that King William III no more cared about the constitutional governance of the British Parliament than he cared about the republican government of the States General. Rather, he was preoccupied by the fact that he was Dutch royalty married to an English queen with the ability to thwart a French king that had wreaked havoc on his Dutch homeland more than a decade and a half prior to his arrival in England.
Before we proceed in this light, it is important that we do away with the idea that London, England and Amsterdam, Holland were merely two 17th century European cities on opposite sides of the English Channel. They were decidedly different in character.
Firstly, most trade between England and the Dutch Republic was channeled through Rotterdam, not Amsterdam. Amsterdam was dominated by the VOC and trade with the East Indies.
London was the capitol of England; Amsterdam was not the capitol of the Dutch Republic. Although the principal trading center of the Republic, Amsterdam was only one commercial center among many, and the States General, the governing body of the Republic, convened in Den Haag (The Hague), not Amsterdam.
The British Parliament located in London had enormous control over commercial, political, religious, and social life in all of England. Neither The Estates, nor the States General exercised considerable control over the Province of Holland or the Dutch Republic, respectively. Political control in the Dutch Republic was vested primarily in the governments of the various municipalities.
Whereas the Dutch were focused on commercial trade, the British were focused on state control and colonial occupation. The Dutch disliked trade tariffs of all kinds; the English embraced them.
Although there were royalist and republican factions in the Dutch Republic their ability to exert authority was more localized in nature. The Dutch Republic had never experienced a civil war of which they were not the united cause. London was the focal point of endless struggle between the seated English monarch and the English Parliament.
Although the English East India Company and the Dutch VOC were both state-chartered monopolies and, historically speaking, grew up side-by-side, the VOC enjoyed greater independence than did its English counterpart. Also, the monopoly of the English East India Company was not confined to the East Indies. The VOC, in contrast, had no monopoly authority in the North or South Atlantic Ocean.
Although the Dutch Navy and that of the VOC coordinated with one another in times of war, they were independent entities with different sources of funding. In contrast, the British Navy was under direct control of the English Crown and funded by the English Parliament.
When William III became King of England, the Dutch dominated overseas trade world-wide.
In liberty, or not at all,
Roddy A. Stegemann