‘Gij moet de heidegrond ontginnen’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 5, Issue 3/4
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



In the nineteenth century, debates surrounding the cultivation of Dutch soil and processes of civilisation were inextricably linked. This article examines the discourse surrounding cultivation of heathlands in newspaper reports about the Society of Benevolence in the 1820s and 1840s. It considers the way the cultivation of heathland in Drenthe is framed as a civilizing force and reflects on the tensions between nation and region in reporting on this issue, as local economic and cultural interests conflicted with nationalist visions of progress and the interests of urban investors. Comparing Dutch and British reports on the Society, the article also forms a starting point for a transnational perspective on this topic.


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