Hans Blom

Erasmus University Rotterdam; Collegium Civitas, Warsaw

Predestination and Reason of State: Contesting anti-Machiavellianisms and the Origins of Dutch Republicanism



I was thinking about how I would construe the anti-Machiavellism in a meaningful way. I now think I have found a way to do so, on the occasion of the frontispiece of a pamphlet by Vincent van Drieleburch (1616), Kn2297 representing Mars with the emblems of reason of state. Drielenburch disputed with everyone, slighted as he was because he was not appointed in Utrecht. One of his opponents was Barlaeus. I will see if I can construct an argument around Christianus and Mercurius (Drielenburch) and Mercator Sapiens, in order to substantiate the argument that the fight about mercantilism was about whether it was Machiavellian to support what was good for trade (the Orthodox position, since trade requires toleration and toleration does away with true religion), or whether trade was anti-Machiavellian (the Remonstrant position) because it did away with tyranny. Once this is settled, De la Court and Spinoza will easily follow.