Was the Dutch Revolt the product of Polders?

One of Diamond’s success stories was Holland, of which more than half the land area is below sea level: the result of a process of reclamation that has been going on for a millennium. (“The Lord made the world,” it is said, “but the Dutch made Holland.”) He argued that the need for social cooperation generated by the constant process of keeping the salt water out had generated a society not merely environmentally conscious, but also strongly consensus-oriented.

That led me to ask a question which I’m hoping some reader can answer: To what extent did both the habits and the specific institutions developed by the need to defend the polders against the sea contribute to the origin and the success of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish crown in the Sixteenth Century, leading to the formation of the Dutch Republic?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com