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Contemporary Reactions To Patriot Political Discourse

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Chapter Summary

In recent years, scholarship dealing with the Dutch Patriot era has undergone a transformation. Inspired by developments in the historiography concerning the French Revolution, Dutch historians have turned to the study of changing structures of political communication of new forms of political sociability and organization, and revolutionary symbols, festivals, costumes. A voluminous and intelligent defense of the stadholderate, which appeared in 1786, had the impressive number of 1240 subscribers and many anti-Patriot pamphlets were published in several printings and editions. In style, these conservative publications ranged from the banal to the refined. In content, they ranged from vulgar Orangist propaganda to the most subtle intellectual defense of the status quo. The study of all of these writings, however, is indispensable if we wish to arrive at a balanced view of political discourse in the Patriot era. This chapter outlines some of the major themes they discussed.

Keywords: Dutch historians; Dutch Patriot era; French Revolution; political discourse; stadholderate; status quo; vulgar Orangist propaganda



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