Netherlands is known for its tolerance. The origin of this tolerance we can find in the golden age of Netherlands. This is the time of Regents and Princes. The 17th century. But despite tolerance, the Dutch in the 17th century were not equal to each other. The social status was still uneven. In the middle ages and in the 16th century this was. However, it was now that the new social status was determined by income.
In the epoch of the middle ages the clergy had a lot of respect and power. This was now no longer so. The most power lay at the nobility and the merchants. Often went nobles, the trade in and were merchants. Also bought some merchants a noble title. These two groups of people can we so count as one group.
After the nobility and merchants came the upper middle class. This is an expensive name for citizens with high regard. These were often Protestant ministers, doctors, lawyers and senior officials. After the Dutch noblemen had free-spirited of the Spaniards they had founded their own Republic. In this Republic came it becoming more common that people from the upper middle class were chosen for administrative functions. Formerly only nobles were allowed to exercise these functions. This was the beginning of the civil administration.
The self-employed were a step than the people from the upper middle class. These people often had their companies whereby they were slightly higher on the social ladder than, for example, workers or domestic servants. Yet the workers and domestic servants always were even higher in stature than the beggars or day labourers.
The most important people lived on the Amsterdam canals. This was dug in the 16th century. In this epoch, Amsterdam was the most important commercial city of the world. This was mainly due to the establishment of the Dutch East India Company. This was the Dutch trading company.
Thanks to this wealth had painters plenty of work. One of the most important painters of the Dutch history is Rembrandt van Rijn. He has lived and worked in Leiden and Amsterdam. His paintings today are priceless. Yet he is not rich died. He led a life that was contrary to the ecclesiastical regulations. As a result, fewer and fewer people wanted to buy paintings from him. He also chose for his paintings as little as possible to adapt to the needs of its customers. If he had done he had perhaps just as America can die if van Mierevelt. Van Mierevelt was portrait painter. He painted the portraits of many wealthy merchants and nobles. Also he was court painter to the Dutch court.
If we encounter today a portrait of an important person from the 17th century, he is usually painted by van Mierevelt. One of these important persons in history was for example Hugo Grotius. Hugo Grotius was a legal scholar and writer. In 1613 he became the Chief Advisor of the city of Rotterdam. This, however, he remained but 5 years, because he was arrested in 1618 by Prince Maurits of Nassau.
Maurits had led the revolt against the Spanish. But in 1618 there was a temporary peace. During this temporary peace Netherlands broke into another fight. Maurits was Calvinist and wanted everyone in the Calvinist Republic would be. Hugo Grotius was Remonstrant. He was arrested and jailed. He had to remain lifelong on slot Loevenstein caught. He remained, however, but 3 years. After 3 years he escaped by hiding in a bookcase.