09 November 2020

BOOK: Joris VAN DEN TOL, Lobbying in Company - Economic Interests and Political Decision Making in the History of Dutch Brazil, 1621–1656 (Leiden-New York: Brill, 2020). ISBN 978-90-04-39795-8, 107.00 EUR


(Source: Brill)

Brill has published a new book on political lobbying and decision-making in Dutch Brazil.


In Lobbying in Company, Joris van den Tol argues that people made a difference in the Dutch West India Company colony in Brazil (1630–1654). Through a combination of petitions, personal relations, and public opinion, individuals were able to exercise influence on the decision-making process regarding Dutch Brazil. His thorough analysis of these different elements offers a new perspective on the Atlantic and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century as well as a better understanding of lobbying in the early modern period.


Joris van den Tol (Ph.D., Leiden 2018) is a visiting postdoctoral scholar at Harvard’s History Department on a NWO Rubicon fellowship. He has published on petitions in relation to the colonies in Brazil, New Netherland, and Taiwan and on smuggling.




1 Lobbying for the Creation of the WIC

1 The Dutch Republic

 1.1 The Cities

 1.2 Provincial States

 1.3 States General

 1.4 The Stadtholders

 1.5 Conflicting Powersbr/> 2 The West India Company

 2.1 Willem Usselincx

 2.2 The Layout of the WIC

3 Brazil

4 Conclusion


2 Lobbying in Brazil

1 1624/1630–1636: Ad Hoc Solutions

2 1637–1646: Consolidation and a Prince in the Tropics

 2.1 The Diet as a Colonial Tool

 2.2 The Brazilian Diet of 1640

 2.3 The 81 Petitions of August 1640

 2.4 Petitions for Regulations

3 Religious Affairs

 3.1 The Power of the Church

4 Slavery

 4.1 Access to Institutions for Non-European

5 The Possible Consequence of Top-Down Decision Making

 5.1 Johan Maurits’ Reaction

 5.2 The Reactions from the Council of Justice and the Ministers

6 Conclusion


3 Trading Regulations or Free Trade

1 The Opening Moves

2 Selecting the Playing Field

3 Making It Count

4 Making It Count Even More

5 The Role of the Amsterdam City Council

6 Delaying a Decision

7 Lobbying to and from the Colony

8 Conclusion


4 Petitioning the Public Sphere

1 What Is the Public Sphere?

2 The Dutch Public Sphere  2.1 Pamphlets and Dutch Brazil

3 Petitions and Public Opinion

 3.1 Printed Petitions

4 Multiple Signatures on Petitions

 4.1 Group Petitions to the States General

5 Managing Information of the Revolt in Brazil

6 Petitioning the Public Sphere on Brazil

7 Petitioning the Public Sphere on the Atlantic

 7.1 Other Forms of Signatures

8 Conclusion


5 Personal Connections and Direct Lobbying

1 Personal Connections and Societal Capital

2 Appointing a New High Government in Brazil

3 Background Issues

 3.1 Peace Negotiations in Münster

 3.2 A Frisian Chamber in the WIC

4 Information Control

5 Personal Relations

6 Conclusion


6 The Last Hope, 1652–1654

1 The Second Battle of Guarapes

2 Why Was Brazil Lost?

3 The Delegates from Brazil

4 Requesting a Resolution from the States General

5 A Delegation to Friesland

 5.1 The Report from the Friesland Commission

6 Accelerating the Admiralties

7 Seizing Momentum

8 Planning for the Future

9 It Is All about the Money

 9.1 It Is about the People

10 The Loss of Brazil

11 Conclusion


7 Lobbying for Money in the Aftermath of Dutch Brazil

1 Return to the Republic

2 Claiming Wages

3 Travel Pennies

4 Shared Features

5 The Printed Petition from the Army

6 Conclusion


8 Making the Company Work


Appendix A – Free Trade Exports from Brazil in 1637

Manuscript Sources

Secondary Literature and Published Sources



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