The Dutch Diaspora: The Netherlands and Its Settlements in Africa, Asia and the Americas is a comprehensive and personal study of the former colonial empire of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is considered one of the most successful societies and at one point was the world’s largest empire—stretching from Japan to the U.S. The author, Howard Wiarda, Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations and head of UGA’s international affairs department, combines scholarship with first-hand experience of travels to the far-flung former colonies. The study analyzes how colonies reacted to the ideological beliefs implanted by the Dutch settlers and how those colonies evolved in terms of cultural, religious and political beliefs. For example, in the 17th century the Dutch brought Calvinism to South Africa and entrepreneurialism to New Amsterdam and Curaçao and in the 19th century supported slave plantation systems in Indonesia and Suriname, but as time passed the evolution of the colonies was telling.
The U.S. surpassed Great Britain in wealth and power, but while Calvinism declined in the Netherlands it remained vibrant and progressive in the American Midwest. In many ways, the former colonies adapted to modernization better than the mother country.