1. During the 17th century, several share-based compa nies known as societies were founded for commerce with the Nether lands East Indies and the West Indies, the Nordic countries, Mus covy (Russia), and other countries.
   2. Learned societies and societies of antiquarians became a feature of “enlightened” 18th-century Netherlands, such as the Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (Dutch Society of Sciences), founded in 1752; Teyler’s Genootschap (Teyler’s Association) of 1778 at Haarlem; the Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde (Society for Dutch Literature) at Leiden from 1766; and the Maatschappij tot Nut van ’t Algemeen (Society for the Benefit of the Common Man) at Edam, established in 1784—all of which con tinue to flourish in the present day.
   3. The Liberalconstitutionof 1848 and the process of further de mocratization of Dutch society were instrumental in the enormous growth of associations of all kinds: political, cultural, religious, eco nomic, and so on. The Chambers of Commerce have registered tens of thousands as legal bodies.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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