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The Necessity & Threats of Alcohol: A History of Holland
Time: 7pm - 8pm
Location: Meeting Room A
Delve into the history of alcohol from excess to temperance through the lens of a city in Holland called Leiden. Between 1575 to 1920, explore the policies and strategies employed by the city to police the harms associated with alcohol while balancing the well-being of its citizens with the necessary profits of alcohol sales through taxes.
About this Topic
Alcohol consumption - a subject often depicted by Holland's painters during the Dutch Golden Age - was widespread in the industrial and university town of Leiden. Alcohol, and especially beer, was viewed as a necessity in the early 17th century. Men, women and children of all classes drank beer, typically starting with breakfast. From baptisms to funerals, every occasion seemed to call for a toast and working class men drank small-beer throughout the day.
But just as the American Temperance and Prohibition movements understood, Dutchmen recognized that alcohol consumption posed significant threats to the family and the fabric of society. These threats became all the greater in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries as Dutchmen increasingly turned to drinking distilled liquor.
Policies and strategies were employed by Leiden's city fathers to regulate and police the harms associated with alcohol and to promote individual and civic well-being, even as excises on alcohol consumption were a major source of income for the town.
About the Presenter
Richard Yntema is an Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at Otterbein University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the social and economic history of the pre-industrial era. He is specifically interested in the early development of capitalism in Holland, in guild regulation and industrial change, and in long-term changes in patterns of alcohol and food consumption. He was Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands in 2010 and taught at Utrecht University.
Mon - Thurs

9 a.m. - 9 p.m.


9 a.m. - 6 p.m.


9 a.m. - 6 p.m.


1 p.m. - 6 p.m.