chapter  7
27 Pages

Dutch Activity in Russia, Part 1

Trade and Technology
WithKees Boterbloem

This chapter outlines the Dutch key role in Russia’s modernisation through trade and industrial initiatives as well as the role of mercenaries, artisans, and sailors in this process. The link between Amsterdam’s seventeenth-century wealth and the Russia trade is established. The significance of the arms trade for Russia is assessed. The pivotal figures of Andries Winius and Peter Marselis are rendered as examples of Dutch entrepreneurship. The role of Dutch-originating information in boosting Russian power is described. The towering figure of Nicolaas Witsen in the Dutch-Russian link is discussed. Peter the Great’s admiration for, and disappointment with, the Dutch is outlined.