|Read the Instructions first or Play "Tulips & Merchants"|
How did they do that?You could go bankrupt for 2 or 3 times in 15 years, and then you started again. You started with a small capital or credit. It could happen that they had much money in 8 till 10 years.
A way to get rich was being at the start of a village. After a (long) while, there were many people, and then the land is very expensive.
Just take itThe American did it on a different way as the European: every chance he got, he didn't ask himself if he could do it. He just tried. The European asked himself if he could do it. Then you get less trades, but with more security. At the other side you didn't became very rich immediately (with luck).
The bad side of a small credit, is that you have to pay your debt, with at least 7 per cent interest. And then you had to ought to manage for yourself of course.
To get rich is an obsessionTo get rich fast, became an obsession, which wasn't good for the others (of course), and you had too much opportunities. Around 1868, it was a miracle if you owned one million dollars. Around 1908 there came 100 new millionairs per year. But if you look at the way how they got it, it wasn't the fair way. So there were a few people rich, and the rest stayed poor.
Fair and hard workingA better way to get rich, maybe not a millionair, but rich, was as farmer and then you had to work hard. An example is Wichers, who arrived in Zeeland, and he had a debt because of the journey. First of all, he started with working in a factory. Then he knew the locally circumstances a bit. He got some friends, had family there, who were farmers too. After a while, they buy or rent (so Wichers too) a farm, and bit by bit it went better. But by saving almost everything, working hard, taking care of everything and of course not wasting something. He became one of the richest people in Zeeland. But on the fair way.
Difficult pricesLand was expensive, sometimes it was 140 dollars per acre, so you needed 3000 till 3500 dollars to start as a farmer. If you hadn't the money for it, you could borrow something if you was fair, wanted to work, and that had to be well-known. Then you could borrow something with 6, or sometimes 5, per cent interest.
The two kinds of gardenersAs gardener you had to work too, and then you could get rich if you had some land, 20 till 30 acres. Than you had to sell the stuff which came out of your garden, early in the season. You could sell everything for a high price! Because: how earlier in the season, how less there were. But if you only worked for others, it was a horrible life.
So...To get rich you had to be smart too. You had to be a good citizen (not someone who is drinking all the time), and you had to have learnt something at school. You also had to dare to go to another area sometimes, because there were the chances better. But some Dutchmen didn't dare to change from area there.
Try it yourselfYou see that you had to work hard as farmer or gardener. But as a merchant you could trade and sell at a high price. But you still could get bankrupt. You could buy cheap land as a village was founded somewhere, to sell it later on for a much higher price. We won't do that, but we are going to trade with Dutch stuff. Of course, you have to get as much as money as is possible.