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Maroesjka Verhagen MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Dutch History, Environmental History, Social & Economic History, Urban History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

Feeding the city: A bird’s-eye view of Amsterdam’s food supply from its hinterlands, c.1550-1800


University of Amsterdam
Promotor(es): dr. Danielle van den Heuvel, dr. Djoeke van Netten
Aanstelling: vanaf 1 September 2020


In my research, I set out to uncover developments in the urban-rural relationship and the human connection to the natural landscape and its resources by exploring the early modern food provision of the city spatially and through time.
It is widely accepted that the ‘miracle’ that was the Dutch Republic’s economic success was propelled by reciprocity between the quickly advancing rural and urban sector. This ‘symbiotic relationship’ between city and periphery was driven by food provision. Nonetheless, virtually no attention has been paid to how domestic supply of food functioned. How did the regional food provision to Amsterdam develop between c. 1550 and c. 1800 in distance, quantity and quality? Which actors influenced these developments, and why? Connecting (amongst others) producers, environment, food markets, and consumers, the domestically produced food is put centre stage. This allows for a ‘holistic’ approach in which a variety of actors (both human and non-human) receive immediate attention.