Anti-Dutch sentiment

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Anti-Dutch sentiment, also known as Dutchphobia,[1] is a spectrum of negative feelings, fears and dislikes towards Netherlands, Dutch people and Dutch culture. Historically, dislike or hatred toward the Netherlands, the Dutch people and their culture has arisen from the colonization undertaken by the Netherlands, and from the roles it has played in European wars. This sentiment is reflected in various expressions that have entered the English language, one of which is the pejorative Kaaskop.

Dutch colonies[edit]

Southeast Asia[edit]

Most of present-day Indonesia was a Dutch colony – the Dutch East Indies – from 1800 until the Japanese invasion during World War II. After the defeat of the Japanese, when the Dutch attempted to reassert control, anti-Dutch feeling developed among the native population, encompassing anything associated with the Dutch.[2][3] The outcome was the Indonesian National Revolution, culminating in 1949 in the independence of Indonesia.

South Africa[edit]

In South Africa, following the Boer War (1899-1902) between the British government and settlers of Dutch descent, anti-Dutch sentiments were present within the English-speaking population[4] and were identified with the Unionist Party.[5]

South America and the Caribbean[edit]

A growing nationalist movement gave rise to anti-Dutch sentiment during the 1950s in the then colony of Surinam.[6] Suriname became self-governing in 1954 and fully independent in 1975.

European wars[edit]

Anglo-Dutch Wars[edit]

From the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th to 19th centuries date expressions conveying varying degrees of hostility or mockery towards the Dutch, such as "Dutch courage", "Dutch uncle", "Going Dutch", "Dutch treat", "Double Dutch" and "I'm a Dutchman". Anti-Dutch feeling grew up in England during the three wars against the Dutch Republic between 1652 and 1674, and continued during and after the reign of William of Orange.[7]

First World War[edit]

The neutrality maintained by the Netherlands during the First World War evoked unfavourable comment in Britain, epitomised by a remark in Punch:

Holland is a low country, in fact it is such a very low country that it is no wonder that it is dammed all round.

— Various, [8]

Second World War[edit]

During World War II, German occupiers in Belgium were promoting the use of Dutch language in communities of French-speakers, which lead to strong Dutchphobia among those people.[9]


  1. ^ Dean A. Stahl; Karen Landen (23 March 2001). Abbreviations Dictionary, Tenth Edition. CRC Press. pp. 1453–. ISBN 978-1-4200-3664-0.
  2. ^ Albertus Bagus Laksana (29 April 2016). Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices: Explorations Through Java. Taylor & Francis. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-317-09123-3.
  3. ^ Marc Frey; Ronald W. Pruessen; Tai Yong Tan (26 August 2003). The Transformation of Southeast Asia: International Perspectives on Decolonization. M.E. Sharpe. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-7656-3185-5.
  4. ^ Adriaan J. Barnouw (2012). Language and race problems in South Africa. Springer. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-94-011-9255-2.
  5. ^ The New Statesman. Statesman Publishing Company. 1921.
  6. ^ Edward Dew (2013). The Difficult Flowering of Surinam: Ethnicity and Politics in a Plural Society. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 97. ISBN 978-94-017-3278-9.
  7. ^ Jonathan Israel, "England, the Dutch, and the Struggle for Mastery of World Trade in the Age of the Glorious Revolution (1682-1702)", in Dale Hoak; Mordechai Feingold (1996). The World of William and Mary: Anglo-Dutch Perspectives on the Revolution of 1688-89. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2406-7.
  8. ^ "Charivaria", Punch, Vol. 147, 30 December 1914
  9. ^ Paul F. State (27 July 2004). Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Scarecrow Press. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6555-6.