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Open Access The Patriot Coup D’état in Curaçao, 1796

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The Patriot Coup D’état in Curaçao, 1796

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Chapter Summary

Violent confrontations between the military and the urban free whites and coloureds of Willemstad had preceded the 1795 slave revolt. In the years following the revolt, urban oppositional movements had a profound impact on island politics. By sketching the broader political turmoil of the time, this chapter aims to contextualize the slave revolt as part of a series of struggles aiming at social and political change. In December 1796 a coalition of Curaçaoans carried out a coup d'état. With substantial popular support, the Military Committee replaced the acting representative of the Batavian Republic Jan Jacob Beaujon with Johan Rudolph Lauffer. The context of slavery, racism and intense imperial competition in the region did give the Patriot movement a very specific form on the island. As the Curaçao Patriots and Revolutionaries moved closer to power, the fundamental split within their broad opposition movement became clear.

Keywords: Batavian Republic; coup d'état; Curaçao patriots; imperial competition; Jan Jacob Beaujon; Johan Rudolph Lauffer; racism; slave revolt



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