Subscription Login to verify subscription
Journal Content


Abraham Kuyper and the Holland-America Line of Liberty

John Bolt


There is much about Kuypers Grand Rapids visit that is interesting, but my primary concern is to focus on Kuypers visit to America more broadly, and to his understanding of liberty and the crucial role of religion in the American experiment of ordered liberty. I shall provide a summary of Kuypers views from several different though complementary vantage points, reflect on the nature of his visit as a pilgrimage, briefly indicate the evaluation given by others of Kuypers reading of the American experiment, particularly his emphasis on the Dutch connection, suggest some lessons to be learned from this, and conclude with a few comments on the press reception of his address in Grand Rapids. Kuyper, of course, was not the first to make such claims about the linkage of religion and liberty in America and so I shall also include a few comparisons between his views and those of two other and earlier nineteenth-century European pilgrims to the American shrine of liberty: The Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville who visited the United States in 1831 and whose Democracy in America, in the judgment of many, remains the most brilliant and searching account of America ever written, and the great English Victorian-era historian and political thinker, Lord John Acton, who crossed the Atlantic in 1853. Tocquevilles framework is central to this discussion since both Acton and Kuyper read and used Tocquevilles interpretation of revolution and of the American experiment.

John Bolt, "Abraham Kuyper and the Holland-America Line of Liberty," Journal of Markets & Morality 1, no.1 (Spring 1998): 35-59

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.