- 'Renouer la chaîne des temps' ou 'repartir à zéro'? Passé, présent, futur en France et aux Pays-Bas (1814-1815)
- Revue d'Histoire du XIXe Siècle
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
This article examines the experience of discontinuity and temporal confusion of 1814-1815 from a comparative perspective, with France and the Netherlands as case studies. In France the Restored Bourbons emphasized the ‘renewal of the chain of time’ in an attempt to forget the revolutionary past. The temporal continuity with Henri IV was underscored and the perception of historical distance to the sixteenth century was minimized. In the Kingdom of the Netherlands there existed a more complex attitude to the era of the wars of religion. On one hand the sixteenth century Dutch revolt against Spain was used a frame to interpret the end of the Napoleonic rule in the Netherlands. On the other hand, the superiority of the nineteenth century over the sixteenth century was expressed in many Dutch pamphlets and the years ‘1813-1815’ were described in Dutch public opinion as a ‘new beginning’ in national time. Finally the problem of discontinuity is studied from the comparative perspective of the girouette (turncoat or ‘political weathervane’). The girouette in both countries epitomizes the personal and institutional continuity between Empire and Restoration, but also symbolizes the adaptation to the new political circumstances and the reinvention of individual pasts.
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