Slicher van Bath, the last descendant of a centuries-old family of government officials and military officers, must rank as the most influential Dutch historian of the second half of the Twentieth Century. By training a medievalist, he broke new ground in the history of the countryside: the history of settlement, economic and social history (especially agricultural and rural history), and demographic history. Beginning in the late 50's he worked to advance his agenda by assembling a team of five collaborators (a jurist; an agronomist; an economist; an historian and a non-western sociologist). He and his team of scholars, most of them fifteen to twenty-five years his junior, produced impressive academic works, founded a new publication series (A.A.G. Bijdragen), and secured a high standing in the international world of learning. This article describes how and why within ten to fifteen years, the fruitful relationship between Slicher and his team ended in unreconciliable conflict.
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