A. Van Seventer LECTURER IN ACCOUNTING SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
O. TEN HAVE (1899-1974)
Abstract: Onko ten Have's contribution to the literature on accounting history is especially important because of the otherwise scant coverage of the accounting de-velopment in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries. Other writings of this little-known Dutch author include a study of the life and work of Stevin and essays on general history of accounting. Ten Have's writings reflect his strong interests in economics, statistics, and related fields. He deserves to be ranked with the leading Continental accounting historians of his time.
In the opening chapter of his doctoral dissertation, Onko ten Have quoted the British historian Rogers to describe the leading role played by Holland in the 17th century in world commerce, the arts, and the sciences:
The debt which modern civilization owed to the Dutch can-not be too overrated. They taught Europe the art of agri-culture; for it is to their example that the new agriculture, which we adopted tardily in the eighteenth century, was due. They instructed Europe in the mystery of commercial credit, and the Bank of Amsterdam supplied what were virtually the earliest practical lessons of mercantile finance. They taught the world the whole of the scientific navigation which it knew for centuries. They were pioneers of interna-tional law, of physics, of mechanical science, of a rational medicine, of scholarship, of jurisprudence. The geographi-cal discoveries of Holland were the basis of the first real maps.
The 17th century was the golden age of Holland. The following century saw the gradual weakening of the dominant Dutch position, as other European countries accelerated their economic growth. Nevertheless, the development of Dutch bookkeeping and accoun-tancy which had paralleled their 17th century economic expansion, remained strong. A highly important phase in the development of accounting principles and bookkeeping practices, spanning 200 years, was strongly influenced by the Dutch.