Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Research project

Migrants and the Courts in Amsterdam, 1600-1800

During the sixteenth and seventeenth century some 600,000 foreigners settled in the cities of the province of Holland in the Dutch Republic. That early modern Amsterdam, in particular, attracted a consistently large migrant population is well known. The religious tolerance, the economic opportunity structures, and the poor relief provisions made Amsterdam a particularly attractive destination for both foreign and inland migrants alike. Even as other cities in the Dutch Republic increasingly regulated who was welcome to settle within the city, Amsterdam maintained a tolerant migration policy, with no system of letters of indemnity.

2020 - 2025
Jeannette Kamp

At the same time there was evidence of increasing tension between migrants and locals in Amsterdam. This was visible in the emerging segregation on the labour market, the marriage market and in residential patterns. In this same period, elsewhere in Europe, poorer migrants became increasingly seen against the backdrop of their demands for access to poverty relief and communal resources, as well as increasingly associated with criminal behaviour and the disruption of public order.

This project looks anew at the reception of different migrant groups in Amsterdam through the increasingly entangled lens of migration and crime. It analyses the interrogations and sentencing of migrants to further elucidate the treatment of migrants by Amsterdam's judicial authorities, as well as the reception of migrants by the settled population

This website uses cookies.  More information.