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1. Ritmeester, T.S. [Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’.

Degree: 2014, Universiteit Utrecht

William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, is one of the most well-known figures in American history. The former bison hunter was famous for his heroic adventures and charismatic personality. His phrases “about balky mules, riders who killed three thousand buffalos, horses who ate men and his Indian exploits” were adopted everywhere.1 He even used the term ‘rough riders’ before Teddy Roosevelt did.2 However, Cody was not only known for his personality. He was also an entertainer and his Wild-West shows toured around the United States and Europe. Romanticized evens and characters of the Old West attracted a large number of people. As a result, Cody and his shows became a symbol for the ‘Wild West’. The Buffalo Bill Historical Centre (BBHC) in Cody Wyoming researches this subject. Many books and articles have been written on Cody’s influence on American culture. This resulted in fascinating insights. For example, Jay S. Kasson asserted that he did not only represent “a great entertainment form” but also “a link between national identity and popular culture”.3 This means that the Wild West show should not be understood as just a show. It also implicates the dissemination of a certain image about America’s identity. This explains why Buffalo Bill is such a popular topic among American authors. However, Cody’s influence on European perceptions is less well researched. This is an interesting observation because it is a well-known fact that Buffalo Bill made three tours on the Continent. The BBHC has therefore started an international research project to solve this problem. The academic importance of this research should not be underestimated. W.T. Stead already wrote in his book The Americanization of the World (1902) “how the rest of the world would be inevitably swamped by American products and American cultural values”.4 This prognosis clearly realized when looking back in history. Coca-Cola, Hollywood, semantic influences and of course the ‘Wild West’-cult can all be found in European culture. Therefore, the Buffalo Bill’s popular shows may have changed European perceptions about America to great extent. This suggestion is strengthened when focusing for example on the Mussolini Propaganda. Italian fascists claimed that Cody originated from Italian condottieri. They were not the only ones who wrote about his influence. Don Russell describes in his book ‘the lives and legends of Buffalo Bill’ how the English started to see "the American West as one of the romantic and adventurous areas of the world" after the spectacular shows "invaded England in 1887".5 As a result of these observations, the influence of the ‘Buffalo Bill-legend’ on Europe should be researched in greater detail because it could tell something about how Europeans visualized the American West. This thesis will not address whole of Europe but only the Netherlands despite the fact that Cody never visited this country. Regardless, Buffalo Bill was still very popular among the Dutch. A databank for newspapers shows that his name can be found in… Advisors/Committee Members: Verheul, Jaap, Kroes, Rob.

Subjects/Keywords: Buffalo Bill; William Cody; American West; Wild West; West; Dutch Newspapers; Newspaper; Texcauclar; Native Americans; Racism; Ethnicity; Wild West Show; Wyoming; Montana; Netherlands

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APA (6th Edition):

Ritmeester, T. S. (2014). [Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’. (Masters Thesis). Universiteit Utrecht. Retrieved from http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/292923

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Ritmeester, T S. “[Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’.” 2014. Masters Thesis, Universiteit Utrecht. Accessed March 04, 2021. http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/292923.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Ritmeester, T S. “[Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’.” 2014. Web. 04 Mar 2021.

Vancouver:

Ritmeester TS. [Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Universiteit Utrecht; 2014. [cited 2021 Mar 04]. Available from: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/292923.

Council of Science Editors:

Ritmeester TS. [Buffalo Bill and Dutch Understanding about the American West between: 1880-1940] To what extent did the Buffalo Bill-legend influence Dutch understanding of the American West’. [Masters Thesis]. Universiteit Utrecht; 2014. Available from: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/292923

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