The Dutch provinces provide an opportunity to explore an independent and creative culture at a time of religious and political ferment. The provinces developed a literate and active character in literature and art while creating political ideals that were grounded on the rule of law and that assured a dominant role for commoners. The success of the provinces was remarkable and became an emblem for individual progress.

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.