Amsterdam – the perfect HEIRNET 2021 venue
Amsterdam, the Venice of the North, a city of canals, flowers and bicycles. Since the 16th century Amsterdam has been a metropolis at the heart of Europe’s transformative impact upon the world that still osmotically permeates, influences and shapes our lives and identities and connects past, present and future.
Amsterdam’s tap and side roots penetrate the globe as a cultural, trading, fiscal and commercial power. Based upon Amsterdam, the country’s capital, the Netherlands’ outreach initially extended via the Spanish empire to the Americas and Africa. Subsequently Amsterdam’s impact also encompassed the Asian sub-continent, largely through the Dutch seaborne empire. Here Amsterdam played a key financial role as a centre of international banking and capitalism fuelling world trade, commerce and industry.
Connecting the Past to the Present and to the Future … makes history relevant to students. This can be a difficult task, because they usually tend to think that history is ‘all dead and gone’. Students often fail to see that the only way to make sense of the present and to develop feasible expectations for the future is provided by orientation on the past. Teaching how to connect the past to the present and to the future should therefore be a central concern of history teachers. Relevant history teaching cannot do without these connections rooted in the past. Not only history teaching, but also the decisions and actions of our political masters, as contemporary British history illuminates.