Protestant and Catholic refugees

From Christian charity to refugee protection: the Palatine exiles (1620-1720) 

As part of the project ‘The Invention of the Refugee’, I will focus on Christian refugees in Early Modern Europe. When and why did the refugee emerge as a socially, culturally and legally distinctive category and concept, and especially what influence did refugees themselves have on the emergence of this concept? I will approach this question by studying how refugee protection developed and was organised in Amsterdam, London and Geneva. I will look at how exile communities lobbied for asylum, charity and legal rights between the late sixteenth-century to the early eighteenth-century. My specific focus will be on two crises in the Palatinate, one during the Thirty Years’ War and the second one from 1698 until ca. 1710. These two crises, although centred on refugees from the Palatinate, give an insight into how refugee protection and relief was set up in early modern Europe and how exiles themselves influenced this development, as these Palatinates travelled to and settled in the Dutch Republic, England, Switzerland, France and even America.   

Researcher: Lotte van Hasselt

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