Ever wonder why the Dutch are always shown with tulips? Well, I did. And while I didn’t find a definitive answer, I found something very interesting along the way that I suspect is the reason.
Tulipomania or Tulip mania as it has also been called, is an interesting point in the history of the Dutch. According to Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, “In 1634, the rage among the Dutch to possess them was so great that the ordinary industry of the country was neglected, and the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade.”
To give an idea of the extent to which this craze went, Mackay wrote:
“Hunting, an industrious author of that day, who wrote a folio volume of one thousand pages upon the tulipomania, has preserved the folio wing list of the various articles, and their value, which were delivered for one single root of the rare species called the Viceroy:
|Two lasts of wheat||448|
|Four lasts of rye||558|
|Four fat oxen||480|
|Eight fat swine||240|
|Twelve fat sheep||120|
|Two hogsheads of wine||70|
|Four tuns of beer||32|
|Two tuns of butter||192|
|One thousand lbs. of cheese||120|
|A complete bed||100|
|A suit of clothes||80|
|A silver drinking-cup||60|
All for a single bulb of a tulip.
This of course has been disputed as a falsely represented history, as well as compared to the “dot com bubble”.
I’ll leave it to you to research more if you choose, but I think I know why the Dutch are associated with tulips.