In 2007 KB and NIAS awarded the fellowship to British-American historian Jonathan Israel (1946),Professor of Early Modern History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He was the first non-Dutchman to hold the chair of Dutch history at the University College in London from 1985 till 2000. He publishes regularly about The Netherlands, most famously in The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness and Fall, 1477-1806 (1995).
From April until June 2007, Israel researched Dutch Spinozism and radical thoughts as a historical and cultural phenomenon from 1670 till 1800. Herelated the leaders of the Batavian Revolution to early Dutch radical thought, using the extensive collection of late eighteenth-century pamphlets and books. During his fellowship Israel gave a master class for young researchers of the Huizinga Instituut.
Israel completed his fellowship with the lecture Failed Enlightenment. Spinoza's Legacy and the Netherlands. He pointed out that the ‘Patriottenbeweging’ (1779-1795) was the first and only large European democratic mass movement that preceded the French Revolution. According to Israel this movement, based on the Dutch Radical Enlightenment, represents a crucial point for our understanding of the complete western Enlightenment, and ensures the Dutch history of the eighteenth century a central place in the history of the western world.
You can listen to the lecture