The Modernity of the Dutch Revolution: Ideas, Action, Permeation

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


To what extent did the Patriot Revolt of the 1780s and the Batavian Revolution of the 1790s break with the old regime? Recent decades have seen a wide range of responses to this question. This chapter aims to offer a synthesis that takes in multiple perspectives. It considers revolutionary ideas, the contentious repertoire of the Dutch Revolution, and the question which institutions, places, and people were affected by the revolution. I conclude that the revolution had a deep and lasting impact on the political life of Catholics, Jews, Brabanders, and rural dwellers, among other groups, because they were accepted, for the first time since Dutch independence, as full citizens. The higher degree of political participation and the introduction of public access to government entirely changed the dynamics of citizen-ruler interactions. New political practices were not there to stay, but their memory could not be banned from people’s minds. There were also many inhabitants of the Netherlands who largely remained outside the political domain. This could be because they were actively excluded, as was the case for Orangists, women, and those living in the colonies, but it could also be the result of a self-imposed stance of non-involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of the Age of the Atlantic Revolutions
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: France, Europe, and Haiti
EditorsWim Klooster
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781108599405
ISBN (Print)9781108475983
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2023


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