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Registration and RecognitionDocumenting the Person in World History$
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Keith Breckenridge and Simon Szreter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265314

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265314.001.0001

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Establishing and Registering Identity in the Dutch Republic1

Establishing and Registering Identity in the Dutch Republic1

(p.211) 8 Establishing and Registering Identity in the Dutch Republic1
Registration and Recognition

Henk Looijesteijn

Marco H. D. Van Leeuwen

British Academy

The Dutch Republic had a broad range of means to establish an individual's identity, and a rudimentary ‘system’ of identity registration, essentially established at the local levels of town and parish. This chapter seeks to provide a description of the ways in which the Dutch established an individual's identity. The various registration methods covered almost the entire population of the Dutch Republic at some stage in their life, and it is argued that on balance identity registration in the Dutch Republic was fairly successful. The chapter contends that the degree to which identity was registered and monitored in the early modern era in the Netherlands, while certainly not wholly effective, is remarkable given the absence of a centralized state and the lack of a large bureaucracy.

Keywords:   Dutch Republic, identity registration, church, vital records, citizenship, guilds, Orphan Chamber, poor relief, sailors, soldiers

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