America’s neglected debt to the Dutch, an institutional perspective

Original Article

Abstract

America’s early constitutional development owes a good deal to the experience and policies of the Dutch republic. Many of the parallels are direct: In the late 16th 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. Somewhat later, 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.

Keywords

Constitutional evolution Constitutional reform Constitutional history Public choice Dutch republic American Revolution Glorious Revolution 

JEL Classification

D72 H11 N40 F54 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Study of Public ChoiceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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