Tulipomania, when tulips make history

Many of us visited the Netherlands with the illusion of knowing those extensive tulip fields that look like fairy tales because of their colors. It is curious that a native plant from another place has become one of the great symbols of a country and a strong and powerful industry that requires time and dedication.

Grow tulips it is an art and in the country with the orange flag a practice passed down from generation to generation.

A look into the past

Most of the world’s tulips come from the Netherlands although they are originating from Central Asia. It was the botanist Charles Clusius who in the year 1593 introduced a selection of tulips from Constantinople to Holland to plant in his garden. Then his neighbors stole some of the bulbs to sell them and that’s how he started a business that became a millionaire.

Tulips

Tulips became very popular and a symbol of prosperity. This is how the We loved youa period in which the sale of tulips was all the rage and prices skyrocketed, with prices exorbitant –tulips were sold at the price of a house– which led to a major economic bubble that also gave way to a financial crisis. This reality also marked history as it was one of the first mass speculative phenomena that was known.

Tulips

The rage for tulips

There are many theories that explain the phenomenon of XNUMXth century tulipomaniaThere are those who affirm that the fascination for tulips was closely linked to the emotional traces left by the bubonic plague and the feeling that one had to take risks because life was capricious. Others believe that the expansion of tulips was due to economic reasons, although one of the most compelling lies in the beauty of this flower, in its bright colors and its unique appearance. The beauty made this plant an industry at that time, although it must also be remembered that the Tulipomania took place at a very particular time in Holland. The first decades of the 1600s, when the country was in its golden age, with a lot of money after fighting with Spain for its independence. He was also doing well in trade, the fruit of trade between Amsterdam and the East Indies. In this context, having a garden with tulips was not only a symbol of status but also of culture, the tulips realized that one had achieved a certain success and independence, had reached a place by its own weight.

This spring lasted only a few decades because by January 1637 the independent florists sold their business and refused to reinvest at the same time and that is how just a month later the boom had a death date.

Tulips

Tulips in history

There are different opinions about the impact of Tulipomania on the Dutch economy, but I must confess that I do not care if it was really a profitable business and if it transformed internal trade. I like history and I prefer to stay with this tour that helps me find those transparent threads that connect the art of growing tulips with the history and culture of a place.

Tulips

Much further back in time, the tulip industry is still a profitable business in the Netherlands but it also tells us about a tradition, a way of doing things, a legacy that must be preserved because it is part of the culture of a country, of its indiosincracia, of a way of doing. Some time ago I was watching a documentary dedicated to the cultivation of tulips in Haarlem and I marveled at the demand involved in doing it, since it is not a matter of sowing and harvesting but of following a very precise process, which requires great knowledge, patience and a significant investment . Experts in the field not only planted tulips but also doubts about the future of this art, plunged into a time when time is short and the results must appear immediately. There are few who still dare to grow tulips, those who dare to challenge a Fordism to which we are accustomed. Maybe they deserve a round of applause then …

Tulipomania, when tulips make history

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