Page 167 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 167

 teenth and particularly in the eighteenth century these countries developed their own shipping, and certain financially attractive Dutch shipping enterprises like whaling began to decline, this supply of labour seems to have receded.
Next to this economic immigration into the Republic there was the expulsion of emi- grants from other countries for political or religious reasons, much to the Republic's benefit, especially in the seventeenth century. Wars and persecutions forced sometimes quite sizeable groups to the Netherlands: Southern Netherlanders, still hardly real 'foreig- ners' in those days, came to the Republic in the days of the Dutch rebellion, especially after 1585 and until long after 1621; Germans sought exile in the Netherlands from the fighting and destruction of the Thirty Y ears W ar (1618-1648) and its devastating after-ef- fects, lasting long after 1648; Jews sought safety in the Republic mainly due to the pogroms raging in Poland after 1648; and finally French Huguenots fled to the Republic before and after the repeal in 1685 of the Edict of Nantes. Thus Southern Netherlanders, Germans and French landed up with the VOC. Among the Huguenots there was actual group migration to the Cape on VOC ships. It is clear from the high numbers of passengers on the VOORSCHOTEN (1553), OOSTERLAND (1557), CHINA (1560), ZUID BEVE- LAND (1581) and WAPEN VAN ALKMAAR (1564), all sailing from the Republic in 1688, that on these ships alone nearly 200 people were taken to the Cape.2 1 For the Jews only is it certain that no more than a few individuals found employment in shipping itself. Their religious dietary laws and Sabbath duties made it impossible for them to live and work for longer periods within a ship's community, since the large majority showed no under- standing of such religious rules and no allowances were made for such precepts and duties.2 2
Yet such politically determined group migrations were of less importance to V O C recruitment than the more or less permanent influx of immigrants in search of work, especially from the German states, which moreover continued into the eighteenth century. Economic motives drove many Germans to the Republic, even long after the Thirty Years War. Unemployment in their native country, rumours about Holland as 'steinreich' (rich), and the relatively high wage levels kept this stream flowing. For the German neighbouring states along the eastern border, agrarian themselves, seasonal labour alone in the eastern Dutch provinces of Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelre was reason for coming to the Republic: as hannekemaaiers (mowers) they came for haymaking or harvesting. Many German im- migrants moved on however, seeking employment in the Dutch ports or in the States' army. Around the mid-eighteenth century for instance no fewer than 33,000 unemployed per year are thought to have come from Hannover, North Westphalia and Lower Saxony to the Republic for temporary employment.23 Many of these seasonal workers returned to their German hearths and homes in autumn or winter, but others stuck it out in their new country, and sooner than either the French, Walloons or Jews, they adapted to the Dutch environment and merged into it as successful assimilators. Of these German mi- grants many were recruited by the VOC, often soon after their arrival in a Dutch port, sometimes only after a longer stay in the country. It deserves further research to establish in how far on the spot recruitment took place in German ports or regions - for recruitment of soldiers this is very likely.
21 Cf.DeWet,DieVrijliede, 17.
22 E . van Biema, 'Het Nederlandsche zeewezen en de Amsterdamsche Joden in het einde der 18e
23 Tack, Hollandgänger, 69-71, 81, 90 and 142-152 and Lucassen, Naar de kusten van de Noordzee,

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