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A joint legal-historical colloquium with papers by Marc de Wilde and Julia van der Krieke

Event details of Marc de Wilde and Julia van der Krieke on Regulating Religious Diversity in the 17th Century and Early modern citizenship
Date 26 October 2021
Time 12:00 -13:00

Abstract Marc de Wilde

Regulating Religious Diversity in the Seventeenth Century: The 1616 Regulations Regarding the Jews of Amsterdam
On 8 November 1616, the burgomasters of Amsterdam issued a set of legal regulations regarding the city’s Jewish population. The 1616 regulations were the first official document to recognize the presence of a ‘Jewish Nation [Joodsche Natie]’ in Amsterdam. Although they were meant to be provisional, they remained on the books until the emancipation of the Jews in 1795. In focusing on restrictions only, the Amsterdam regulations differed from Jewish charters that were adopted in other Dutch cities such as Alkmaar, Haarlem and Rotterdam. However, this did not cause the Jews to leave the city. Instead, they considered Amsterdam a new Jerusalem, a city where they had more religious and economic freedoms than elsewhere. What was the effect of the 1616 regulations on Jewish emancipation? Did they contribute to, or hamper, the acceptance of Jews among the city’s Christian population? And what does this tell us about law as a means for regulating religious diversity?

Abstract Julia van der Krieke

Early modern citizenship of Amsterdam (1590-1640), more than a legal status
Abstract: Most studies regarding early modern citizenship in Amsterdam focus largely on citizenship as a legal status. This paper pleads for a broader understanding of Amsterdam's early modern citizenship between 1590 and 1640, taking the settlement of Sephardic Jews in the city as a subject for studying early citizenship developments. This debate was held on a high level, but perhaps even more so on the streets. Jewish-Christian interactions and newcomers tested their freedoms in their new environment, sometimes provocating their surroundings, for instance by entering into sexual and or love relationships with Christians who lived in their neighbourhood. Through these acts, citizenship evolved, as this paper will demonstrate. Moreover, the paper tries to create a discussion on this evolution of citizenship by questioning how the citizens' daily life and legal practice were part of the process of early modern citizenship in the making.


Marc de Wilde is professor Jurisprudence and Legal History at the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. 
Julia van der Krieke is PhD student at the TMC Asser Instituut.

For more information please contact Roland Pierik (