Colonialism and Slavery

An Alternative History of the Port City of Rotterdam

Author: Gert Oostindie

About this book

In this book the focus uniquely lies on the colonial and slavery part of a city. Rotterdam, the second-largest Dutch city, is one of the leading European port cities. Its maritime expansion was intrinsically linked to Dutch colonialism, including slave trading and colonial slavery in the Americas, Africa and Asia. This painful history sits uneasy with the city’s contemporary profile, with its large number of ‘new Rotterdammers’ with colonial roots. The present volume provides a summary of the research that has documented this history, with chapters on the contribution of colonial trade to economic development; the city’s involvement in slavery; the role of the urban political elites; the impact on urban development and architecture; the so-called ethical impulse; colonial art and ethnographic collections; colonial and postcolonial migrations; and finally the resonance of this history in postcolonial Rotterdam.

Gert Oostindie is Director of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden, and Professor of Colonial and Postcolonial History at Leiden University. He has published widely on slavery, colonialism, decolonization, postcolonial migration and the relevance of the colonial past for contemporary society.


Format: Paperback

Pages: 248

Illustrated: Yes

ISBN Print: 9789087283704

ISBN ePDF: 9789400604223

Language: English


Price 55.00


  • Vincent Kuitenbrouwer, University of Amsterdam, on the Dutch edition

    […] an original and solid piece of scholarship written by people with the necessary expertise on the topics they cover, and in several cases personal connections with the subject matter. It is well written and accessible to people who do not have an in-depth knowledge of Dutch colonial history.

  • Guy Vanthemsche, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, on the Dutch edition

    This is a very timely publication: this legacy is the subject of debate not just in the Netherlands but in virtually all former colonizing countries. The various contributions assembled in the Dutch edition provide a carefully balanced overview of what colonization means for the Western European actor being examined, namely Rotterdam, which as a large port played a major role in Dutch colonial expansion.

Related products

Preloader Image

Be the first to hear about the latest news and publications of LUP.

Subscribe to our newsletter >>

Be the first to hear about the latest news and publications of LUP.

Subscribe to our newsletter >>