- Transforming the Dutch Republic into the Kingdom of Holland: the Netherlands between republicanism and monarchy (1795-1815)
- European review of history
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
In 1806 more than two centuries of the republican form of government in the Northern Netherlands came to an end. For a long time, historiography had it that the Dutch were indifferent to the end of the Republic and the establishment of the Kingdom of Holland. The transformation was, however, a much more dynamic process than has been portrayed. King Louis Bonaparte had the difficult task of acquainting a republican people with monarchy. Even though republicanism had lost much of its appeal by 1806, and the usefulness of democratic institutions was put into question, many Batavians nourished anti-monarchism. The Dutch state was one of many European client states that began to experience tensions between the gains of the revolution and the Napoleonic Realpolitik that was geared towards limiting popular sovereignty and expanding the French Empire. Louis Bonaparte, and later the Restoration monarchs, tried to reconcile popular sovereignty and monarchic authority by propagating the constitutional monarchy as the ideal juste milieu (middle way) between extremes.
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