Leiden and Rotterdam are very different cities, but they represent the foundations of the Dutch Republic in the sixteenth century. Rotterdam became the vital port for the provinces around it and for the other European lands. It rivaled Amsterdam as a commercial and shipping center and became a vital port for emigration to the American colonies. Leiden turned to education, law and publishing, serving as an intellectual center for the new nation.

Charlie Steen’s classes place historical events in context with art, architecture, religion, and other cultural aspects of a period. He teaches western civilization at UNM. He is the author of several books, including his recently published A Cultural History of Early Modern Europe. A graduate of UNM, he also holds a PhD in early modern European history from UCLA.