In Search of Republican Unity
Excluding Political Opponents from the Vote during the Dutch Revolution (1780-1800)
Keywords:Dutch Revolution, elections, republicanism, democracy, citizenship
The importance of the Dutch Revolution of the late eighteenth century for political developments in the Northern Netherlands is still contested. Most historians view the period as the starting point of a number of democratic institutions, including elections. Others have pointed out, however, that the nineteenth century shows a remarkable amount of continuity in political practice with the early modern period, and have therefore questioned the impact of political change. Scholarship on the political system during the revolutionary era has paid little attention to the exclusion of a specific group from electoral politics: political opponents of the revolution. The debates on the question of whether Orangists should have access to the ballot were intense in the Northern Netherlands, where a political struggle between Patriots and Orangists had been taking place since the 1780s. Through a consideration of why the Dutch revolutionaries placed such electoral barriers against their political adversaries (mainly Orangists, but for a brief period also moderates and federalists), this essay argues that this period ought to be viewed with its particular revolutionary character in mind, rather than considering it simply as a period that relied on old practices or one that gave birth to new ones.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Mart Rutjes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with EMLC agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) or a Creative Commons NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are explicitly encouraged to deposit their article in their institutional repository.