Freemasonry in Amsterdam

On 26th February 2010, mrs. drs. Floor Meijer defended her dissertation Wereldburgers. Vrijmetselaren en de stad Amsterdam, 1848-1906 (Citizens of the world. Freemasons and the city of Amsterdam, 1848-1906) at the University of Amsterdam.
This is one of the first studies to look at the history of Dutch freemasonry around 1900. Although freemasons traditionally do not engage in politics as a matter of principle, they changed their views in the second half of the 19th century. Some of the social problems in the modern city of Amsterdam included poverty, hunger and child labour. Local freemasons debated about such problems in lodge publications as well as in the lodge itself, and got involved in charity, creating organizations to care for the blind and hungry. This developement went hand in hand with a shift in membership of the Order, which included more and more citizens, from craftsmen to shopkeepers and teachers, who were very much engaged with the daily problems in the city. New contacts between freemasonry and other organisations, both social and political, changed the character of the Order, as did the introduction of mixed Orders in Amsterdam after 1900.

Floor Meijer, Wereldburgers. Vrijmetselaren en de stad Amsterdam, 1848-1906, Wereldbibliotheek Amsterdam 2010, ISBN 978-90-284-2321-3, paperback ca. 704 pages, € 39,90.

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