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In Defence Of The Common Fatherland. Patriotism And Liberty In The Low Countries, 1555–1576

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Chapter Summary

In the summer of 1576, mutinous Spanish troops wrought mayhem in the loyalist provinces of Flanders and Brabant. In the Low Countries, 'patriot' connoted someone who opposed Spanish tyranny and defended the privileges of the fatherland, if need be, against the prince. In early modern Europe, the concepts of the fatherland and of the nation were defined both by law and by personal sentiment. A more striking expression of Netherlandishness was the publication in 1567 of the very first chorography to be devoted to the description of 'all the Low Countries' as the Netherlands were becoming known. Any hopes for the political survival of a common fatherland for all the Low Countries disappeared with the loss of Antwerp in 1585, which robbed the rebels of the one province which might in other circumstances have become the focal point of an independent union of seventeen Netherlands.

Keywords: common fatherland; low countries; Netherlandishpatriotism

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