Manos Skoufoglou: The urban spatial structure during the transition from feudalism to capitalism: the case of the Netherlands

The current contribution is based on a research project focused on the historical processes of the transition from feudalism to capitalism in the Netherlands, as well as on the complex connection of these processes to the spatial transformations, to the evolution of the relation between towns and the countryside and to urbanization. What is attempted in this contribution is to spot some specific conditions, historical circumstances and features that differentiate the transitional period in the Netherlands from the general pattern of the transition in Western Europe. This approach could help to explain the regression of the Netherlands from the world trade’s centre, that it used to be during the 17th century, to a backward rural economy one century later. It could also illuminate some inborn tensions and characteristics inscribed in the social, as well as spatial, structure of Dutch capitalism.