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Albertus C. Van Raalte Dutch Leader and American Patriot

by Elton J. Bruins

  • ISBN: 9780814329672
  • ISBN10: 0814329675

Albertus C. Van Raalte Dutch Leader and American Patriot

by Elton J. Bruins

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Wayne State Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780814329672
  • ISBN10: 0814329675
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Description: Albertus C. Van Raalte (1811-1876) was born in the Netherlands during a tumultuous period of history. The French Revolution of 1789 escalated into the Reign of Terror in 1793. The following year, France invaded the Netherlands, and Napoleon Bonaparte began his rise to power. By 1811, the year Van Raalte was born, Holland ceased to exist for a time and became a province of France. Van Raalte enrolled in the theological school of the University of Leiden in 1829, during a cholera epidemic that plagued the world. In 1845 and 1846, the potato blight ruined the Netherlands' entire harvest of potatoes, causing long-lasting economic decline and poverty and leading many poor and middle-class Dutch to consider emigration to North America. Deeply affected by continuous hardship and suffering, Van Raalte and his followers emigrated to the United States in 1846. In 1847 Van Raalte founded Holland, Michigan, and nine years later founded Hope College.

More than 150 years ago, Van Raalte and a small band of followers arrived in a desolate, snow-covered forest. Today, the city and the college he founded there continue to thrive. Albertus C. Van Raalte is a detailed account of the causes for emigration, the hardships of travel to and arrival in a new land, and the long-lasting tensions between Americanization and maintenance of ethnic and religious heritage. Based on unpublished archival documents, diaries, and letters, this book offers a major contribution to the growing literature on immigration history.

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