De uitvinding van de publieke opinie : pamfletten als massamedia in de zeventiende eeuw

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


Printed pamphlets were the new media of the seventeenth century, comparable with the current internet blogs. During the seventeenth century, they were increasingly manipulated by politicians, authors and booksellers. Harms examined the influence of these three actors on the pamphlet production for four Dutch political conflicts and the English Civil War. One of his conclusions is that during each conflict a similar shift took place in output of news: before the culmination of the crisis pamphlets existed mainly out of printed letters and government publications, both published by the authorities who tried to influence public opinion. However, after the culmination of a crisis it were mainly authors and booksellers who tried to profit from the ‘news hunger’ by purposely continuing popular pamphlet formulas. At these moments, relatively more light-footed, literary pamphlets appeared, with an entertaining form and content. Moreover, during the seventeenth century the entertaining function of the pamphlet increased and politicians, authors and booksellers became more and more creative in the texts they published. The consequence of the interaction between the three actors, was that an increasing group of burghers became involved in politics. Therefore, public opinion did already exist in the seventeenth century. However, just as today, news media were also manipulated for political and commercial reasons, in similar ways as the media are manipulated nowadays.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Prak, Maarten, Primary supervisor
  • van Gemert, E.M.P., Supervisor, External person
  • Salman, Jeroen, Co-supervisor
Award date16 Sept 2010
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2010


  • Specialized histories (international relations, law)
  • Literary theory, analysis and criticism
  • Culturele activiteiten
  • Overig maatschappelijk onderzoek

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