The mission of the John Adams Institute is to provide a window onto the United States for Dutch audiences. Our main way of carrying this out is by bringing notable Americans–novelists, politicians, historians, scientists, screenwriters, poets–to the Netherlands, and having them talk about their work and their insights.
We believe in discussion and debate. We believe in words. And we believe in the power and value of real-life encounters. We don’t see ourselves as a “patriotic” organization, which waves a little American flag and tries to promote America. Rather, we believe that the United States is so big, so teeming, so powerful, so complex, so full of life and creativity and violence and confusion, that everyone–Americans included–needs to continually study what it is.
Further, there is a unique connection between the United States and the Netherlands. For it was the Dutch who founded a colony, based on Manhattan Island, which gave rise to New York. The Dutch melting pot of the seventeenth century spawned New York City and also the American melting pot. America, therefore, has Dutch roots. And America’s most vital elements–its mixed society and its free trade ethic–come from those Dutch beginnings. It is all the more valuable, then, that, with immigration, diversity, and national identity being central topics of debate in the Netherlands, we bring American perspectives to the Dutch. For we believe that America’s immigrant society can offer some insights to the land that helped give rise to it.
For more information about the insitute or to become a member visit our website.