America's (Neglected) Debt to the Dutch: An Institutional Perspective

39 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2006 Last revised: 6 Oct 2009

Roger D. Congleton

West Virginia University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice

Date Written: November 13, 2007

Abstract

In the late sixteenth century, the Dutch fought a successful war to secede from a major empire. They wrote a declaration of independence and adopted a federal model of Republican governance almost exactly two hundred years before the Americans. The Dutch republic and its political institutions subsequently inspired and protected enlightenment scholars. Its leading political family and army played a crucial role in curtailing English absolutism in England and in England's American colonies, and its federal template provided a model for early American institutions. Its early financial support for the American republic helped that new republic avoid an early bankruptcy. To a considerable extent, all these effects were consequences of the decentralized and relatively liberal institutions adopted by the Dutch republic in the late sixteenth century.

Keywords: political history, constitutional design, revolution, dutch republic

JEL Classification: N21, F54, H11, D72

Suggested Citation

Congleton, Roger D., America's (Neglected) Debt to the Dutch: An Institutional Perspective (November 13, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=884257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.884257

Roger D. Congleton (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rdc1.net

George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rdc1.net

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