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The End Of Republican Politics

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Chapter Summary

The ever-increasing French intervention in Dutch politics spelled the end of the radical republicanism of the previous two decades. Revolutionary political theory was replaced by a new sentimental feeling for the unique value of the fatherland, which expressed itself in an entirely different and much less political vocabulary. This chapter demonstrates that Dutch political debate in the years preceding the introduction of the monarchy was largely devoted to the effort to safeguard the old republican political identity of the country. It discusses the significance of the establishment of Louis Napoleon’s monarchy by looking at it from the perspective of both the new king himself and that of contemporary Dutchmen. Finally, the chapter briefly speculates on the reasons why the staunchly republican Dutch suddenly decided to accept a form of government they had all detested until 1806.

Keywords: Dutch politics; French intervention; Louis Napoleon; political identity; revolutionary political theory



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