Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrew Robertson

Second Advisor

Robert Valentine


The Dutch colony of New Netherland was one of the earliest attempts at a non-indigenous life on the east coast of North America. That colony, along with the United Provinces of the Netherlands and Dutch Atlantic as a whole, played crucial roles in the development of what would become the United States. This thesis project examines the significance New Netherland held in American history as well as explores topics which allow for new and inclusive narratives of that history to reach further exploration. Similarly to how individuals from various cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds all come to exist amongst one another in the United States today so too they did in the Dutch colony between the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers. Through the Dutch Atlantic world connections were made which brought the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia together in ways like never before. It was of those connections which caused an array of outsiders to build a new life upon the shores of the Hudson and beyond. Overall, this thesis project shows that New Netherland had a very real presence in colonial America, how the people within it were a diverse group connected to a larger world, and displays why the colony, its inhabitants, and their connections had a lasting effect on the development of the United States of America.



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