The Dutch Patriot Movement of the 1780s:
The Revolution That Failed

by Peter Botticelli

This paper was selected by the Department of History as the Outstanding Paper for the 1986-1987 academic year.

For two centuries, the Dutch exercised economic and military power all out of proportion to the nation's size. They sailed to every comer of the earth on a relentless search for commercial profit, making the nation proud, wealthy, and envied. These feats were accomplished mainly as a result of an attitude, derived from Calvinism, that is well expressed by the motto of Rotterdam: "It is necessary to sail, not to live." <1> By the later 18th century, however, this "golden age" of the Netherlands was rapidly tarnishing, as the emerging giants of England and France began to squeeze the United Netherlands down closer to its actual size. The Dutch were no more willing to accept their decline than any nation would be, especially since poverty and weakness were so visibly replacing the prosperity of earlier times. Predictably, the frustration and anger of many people became focused on a symbol of everything that no longer worked, of everything that had gone wrong -- the Stadholder. Indeed, the recognized qualities of William V made him an impeccable scapegoat. In 1781 he actually declared: "I wish I were dead, that my father had never been a Stadholder . . . I feel I have no ability to be at the head of so many affairs." <2> The way was clear for those determined to restore Dutch glory, the Patriots. The corrupt Stadholder would be removed and new leadership would be infused into the stifling regent class, making the nation vital and powerful again. The Patriots were prepared to do what many nations do when threatened with a fall: revolt. Of course, they did this in a uniquely Dutch way.

Elie Luzac (an Orangist) summed up the Dutch economy by saying that "the primary objects of our interests lies in that which is connected to the getting and bringing back and forth: in the manufactures, fisheries, shipping and commerce . . . we must do business." <3> Unfortunately, by the 1780s Dutch industries and her fishing fleets were technologically backward and uncompetitive, <4> while the staple goods market that had made Holland the middle-man of Europe was being preempted by the more innovative British and French. <5> As a result, the forever cautious Dutch investors began putting their money into banking, which was more profitable since it financed British and French ventures rather that sagging Dutch companies. In fact, 40% of the British national debt in 1777 was owed to Dutch banks. <6> Thus, Dutch investors helped finance the phenomenal growth of Britain and France that steadily drove Dutch commerce into penury. Naturally enough, the regents and big bankers with much accumulated capital prospered in this market, while the small bankers, merchants, and industrialists (the burghers) who depended upon the home market suffered. <7> These were the people who filled the Patriot ranks. It was the lower and working classes who suffered most, though. The number of poor increased dramatically in the years before the revolt, while the government, in an era of declining revenues (a familiar theme) could no more provide sufficient relief than it could finance revitalization. <8> But unlike the burghers, the working classes looked, as they always had, to the House of Orange for relief.

All of this was set against a backdrop of political instability. In a rare perceptive moment William V declared that:

The situation is worse than it has been for a long time and the Republic continues to float along without alliance, without fortifications, without the barrier, without sufficient provisions in the magazines, with a modest army and navy, and worst of all without unity and harmony in the government. <9>

Two years after he had said this, the States-General, with uncertain motives, sent their Captain-General to fight the now mighty British navy. William was promptly humiliated, possibly the regent's intention. <10> The United Netherlands was clearly in bad shape. James Boswell, a student at Utrecht at the time, described it this way:

In such circumstances this trading nation must be in a very bad way. Most of their principal towns are sadly decayed, and instead of finding every mortal employed you meet with multitudes of poor creatures who are starving in idleness. Utrecht is remarkably ruined. There are whole lanes of wretches who have no other subsistence than potatoes, gin, and stuff which they call tea and coffee. <11>

The forces inspiring the Patriots were clear and universally understandable in this revolutionary era. No less than a conservative regent, G. K. van Hogendorp, claimed that the United Netherlands was no different from Bourbon France since the conflict was between hereditary rights and privileges supported by an official Church, and "democracy." In 1790, he claimed that the biggest problem the nation faced was the involvement of more Dutch in public life. <12> As with the Catholic Church in France, the Dutch Reformed Church was widely viewed as ignorant, intolerant, and as a close political ally of the House of Orange. For instance, only members of the official Church could serve in government, command the military, or work for the Bank of Amsterdam or the East India Company. <13> Obviously, these restrictions angered the substantial number of burghers who belonged to unofficial Churches (over 40% of the total population belonged to unofficial Churches); <14> and religious toleration, which would become a hallowed Dutch tradition, was a natural Patriot battle-cry. The regents foolishly supported these oppressive restrictions as they clung jealously to privileges that ultimately did not survive the onslaught of stronger forces.

Ironically, the Patriot movement began with a group of anti-Orange, anti-British regents from the larger cities who wanted to limit the Prince's power and British influence, mainly to enhance their commercial interests. <15> This faction was soon joined by a large number of small town leaders -- burghers -- from the lands provinces of the interior. <16> These groups formed the "democratic wing" of the regent party, a rather loose coalition of anti-Orange interests. It was a coalition destined to fail since the burgher Patriots ultimately wanted to replace the regents (as well as deposing the Stadholder), thereby giving power to a broader segment of society -- a position no doubt influenced by contemporary events in America. <17>

Despite the many parallels with France and America, the irrepressible Dutch character insured that their revolution would be quite different. The inhabitants of this watery land have always been described as phlegmatic, careful, unmoved by abstract ideologies, tolerant, idealistic, patient and resourceful. They are fanatical about virtually nothing. <18> An anonymous Patriot had this comment on the movement:

The French Patriot seizes his arms and flies to the place where he can use them on behalf of the cause of freedom; the Dutch Patriot, told that his redeemers are at hand on his frontier, stuffs his pipe full of tobacco and goes peacefully to his back parlor for a quiet smoke. <19>

The motivation of many Patriots resembled that of one of their primary leaders, J. D. van der Capellen. He was a frustrated aristocrat who opposed the Prince out of, among other things, his sympathy for the American Revolution. <20> Nevertheless, all he really wanted was to be able to enjoy his aristocratic privileges as a member of the ruling class. In his "manifesto," he declared that "My Lord the Prince . . . allowed him (van der Capellen), a born regent, to be put out of the assembly be his creatures, without any judicial action . . . and until today, now nearly three years, has kept him from the assembly." <21> Apparently, the prince had been too thoughtless to provide even a Bastille for storming. Another view of the Patriots is provided by the Duke de Saint-Simon, a French diplomat in the Netherlands at the time, who claimed that the Patriot leaders were not

vagabonds, libertines, rogues who are armed and led on to pillage; rather, they are magistrates of the towns in opposition to other magistrates . . . peaceful bourgeois, honest merchants, wealthy manufacturers and some of the best soldiers . . . the richest among them supporting the weakest. <22>

What were the demands of the Patriots? van der Capellen believed that

to ensure the happiness of this country, and place liberty on a less precarious, more solid basis, a regeneration was desirable, was unavoidable. The House of Orange might remain a blessing as the executive; the nobles and patricians ought to continue to possess a legal counterpoise in their State assemblies; but the nation at large ought to recover a real influence in the choice of their representatives. <23>

This is a Dutch radical speaking. He could be more caustic, as when he cried:

O fellow countrymen Arm yourselves, assemble together and take charge of your affairs. This land belongs to you-the entire Netherlands people, and not solely to the Prince and his grandees, but to you the descendents of the free Batavians. <24>

It is clear that van der Capellen was a strong nationalist who wanted democratization of the town governments along with the preservation of traditional governing structures, and with historical rights and liberties intact. <25> Preserving the governing institutions meant defending the highly federalized, particularistic, insular town governments and regional estate assemblies who normally conceded little to the States-General or Stadholder. <26> In van der Capellen's mind, it was up to the Patriots to defend the nation from the Stadholder, who was a foreign prince serving largely foreign interests, and from the power hungry Regents who wanted centralized authority. <27> Van der Capellen's plan of action was to "assemble peaceably and choose from your midst a moderate number of upright, virtuous, pious men" to investigate and monitor the actions of the provincial States, and to "arm yourselves all, choose yourselves those whom you would have command you, and go to work . . ." <28> Not even a revolutionary Dutchman could miss a day of work, after all. Perhaps the most significant contribution of J. D. van der Capellen, according to Pieter Geyl, a renowned Dutch historian, was that he addressed the Dutch people as a whole for the first time in history. <29>

Religion and morality were recurring Patriot themes. F. A. van der Kemp, a Mennonite pastor, told the Dutch

to live as Christians, and deal in everything as peaceful burghers, likewise as free people; respect your sovereign dutifully and pray for him. Defend your rights, imbue in your children from their earliest childhood the unquenchable thirst for liberty and independence. <30>

The many Patriot newspapers were active in criticizing the loss of frugality -- a concept of great importance in the Netherlands -- they perceived among the regents and Stadholder, with their displays of wealth such as new ornate buildings, in the midst of worsening poverty. The popularity of foreign tastes and styles was also attacked as a sign of decadence. <31> This theme was taken up by a Patriot theology professor. Ysbrand van Hamelsfeld. He derided the use of the French language met Dutch, as well as the "ornamental skills like singing, dancing, and versifying." He warned of an "erosion of Christian ethics and national character" <32> as he saw industriousness and thrift becoming unimportant. Van Hamelsfeld believed that the "good free Republican shares his interest along with the general welfare . . ." and that "when a few Patricians are carried away by their lust for power and being to oppress their fellow citizens. then are opened the many ways to destruction which will deluge the commonwealth as surely as the flood. <33> Without the regents and Stadholder, "justice and equality prevail and men of all ranks . . . (freely) practice their professions and perform their duties." <34> While appeals to secular political philosophy would suffice in the French Revolution, only Christian principles and values were suitable guidance for the Patriot movement.

The democratic ideals of the Patriots appear to have been derived mainly from the historical experience of the common Dutch people, unlike in other countries where "democracy" was an intellectual product of a small intelligentsia. the concepts of Christian brotherhood and equality with everyone having a stake in government were, and remain, persistent themes in Dutch history. <35> This historical legacy explains why the Patriots insisted on reform rather than reformation of the nation's traditions and institutions. <36> Thus, taking control of one's own town was generally considered acceptable by the Patriots, <37> while attempts to spread the revolt elsewhere were considered excessive since that would mean violating the long cherished federalism. <38> Likewise, the Patriots were determined to work through the States-General in consolidating their national power, which meant that the regents, through their prerogatives, could often thwart the spread of reforms." Even worse, these policies allowed the regents and Stadholder to remain visible, active political forces and therefore a ready alternative to the Patriots. As "conservative" burghers the Patriots were seriously weakened by the fact that they faced domestic rivals with undeniable claims to the nation's political heritage. <39> It is always easier to brand an external adversary as tyrannical than a domestic rival. Thus, the middle-class Patriots in America benefited from the country being rule from overseas, while in the United Netherlands just the opposite was true. <40>

Indeed, it is clear that the House of Orange party never lost its substantial base of support of wavered from its own ideology throughout the 1780s. The Prince had long been thought of as a protector of the people from the regents, whose commercial power was often seen as exploitative by rural gentry and urban workers alike. The more conservative Calvinists, Jews, and much of the peasantry also traditionally looked to the Prince for the defense of their liberties." <41> During the 1780s groups of intellectuals sought to codify the customary roles and policies of the Stadholder into a rational ideology. <42> The result was often a romanticized, even sycophantic account of the Prince's greatness; one writer declared that the nation with a powerful Stadholder embodied "the shape of the best regulated commonwealth which had ever been devised." <43> More serious writers such as G. K. van Hogendorp believed that the Prince could be an effective mediator between the people and regents, and therefore a powerful defender of national unity. Elie Luzac saw the Prince as the executive in a system of mixed government with a balance between aristocracy, monarchy, and democracy. <44> Unfortunately, these plans depended upon a Prince who was universally regarded as incompetent, totally inflexible, and obsessed with details and formalities rather than the pressing issues of the day. <45> He was much more concerned with defending his social privileges and property rights than anything else, a fact which especially irritated the burghers. <46> The sentiments of many Orangists -- despite the Prince's shortcomings -- are summed up well by this reaction from a leading Orangist to Patriot writings:

If all that hired scribbling would only cease; if the nation only returned from its thoughtless passion, from its drunkenness and frenzy, if the ignorant commons would return the great concerns of this land, about which it knows nothing and judges ridiculously, to those who have been irrevocably appointed to provide for these concerns. <47>

The Patriots, like most other revolutionaries, could not force reform without some military power. when petitions from their political clubs and criticism in their newspapers failed to impress, <48> by late 1782 the Patriots demanded the formation of a militia free of the Stadholder's command. The Patriots looked back to when the Schutteri, or "Shooters." militia made itself a symbol of the Dutch people taking arms to defend their liberty, beginning in the 12th century. By the 18th century, though, these urban guards had become a symbol of regent authority: its officers were chosen by heredity; <49> and consequently of little use to the increasingly independent Patriots.

By the Spring of 1783, five units of the Free Corps (the Patriot militia) were already established. <50> The always practical Regents initially decided to support the buildup of these forces as a means of curbing the Stadholder's power. <51> The Utrecht town council went so far as to officially recognize the local unit, though a regent was made a colonel for encouragement. <52> After a series of small skirmishes between the Free Corps and Orangists at the Hague and elsewhere, the States of Holland banned all public demonstrations, which indicated support for the Patriots since it was the Orangists' demonstrations that had led to the fighting. <53> With the landed nobility and the urban working classes alike being traditional bases of support for the Prince, <54> the Regents obviously felt that they could not afford to become isolated from the one segment of Dutch society that had supported them in the past: the burghers.

The Regents took further steps to win over the Patriots in early 1784. The Utrecht Council agreed to accept proposals for changes in the town's constitution. However, when the patriots proposed the election of new council members, albeit by an indirect, highly circuitous electoral process, and the establishment of a permanent committee of burghers that would hear grievances of the people against the government, the Regents rejected these plans by making it necessary for the States of Utrecht to ratify them, a practical impossibility. <55>

While these efforts failed, they helped make the Patriots more aware of their political power and the need to assert it. Beginning in 1784, the Free Corps held national assemblies to demonstrate their strength to the Stadholder and Regents; and, more importantly, to build national unity and centralized leadership into the the highly parochial Patriot ranks. <56> Like so many revolutionary movements, the Patriots could claim only a minority of the population as members: only 13,500 attended the largest Free Corps assembly. <57> This made effective, unified leadership essential. The failure of the Patriots to create a centralized organization would be an important factor in their downfall. <58>

Nevertheless, by 1785, the Patriots were a significant force in Dutch politics. In June of that year an "Act of Association" was passed by a Free Corps assembly which promised the creation of a new, republican government that would guarantee the rights of the burghers against Stadholder or Regent oppression. Also, by mid-1785, the Leiden Draft was passed. This was a proposed constitution stipulating a bold new direction for the United Netherlands. It emphasized self-evident natural rights over historical rights, insured popular sovereignty wit elected officials responsible to the people, and declared an end to inherited offices. It also included freedom of speech and the election of officers to a non-denominational Free Corps. <59> With their "manifesto" in hand, the Patriot leaders formed a committee to negotiate the passage of the Leiden Draft. The "Constituted" (as it was called) actually took up the role of the "Burgher college", a sort of Ombudsman, that had been proposed earlier. By now, though, the Patriot leaders considered themselves a "rival authority to the regency" <60> as well as powerful enough to dispose of the Stadholder.

In March 1785, the first real confrontation occurred. After a Utrecht councilman died, his place was filled with a well-known conservative who was chosen without regard for the proposed electoral system, which was still being negotiated. The Constitution declared:

In God's name, most Noble Gentlemen, renounce this appointment of Sichterman. This done, we would ask you to appoint to the vacant place a true friend of the Burghers, a man who has shown with deeds that he is a good and trustworthy Patriot. <61>

The following day, the Constituted demanded a meeting with the Council while a large crowd gathered outside the town hall. Out of fear for their safety, the Council consented to replace the new Regent. The Council was so outraged by these events that 19 of them resigned within a few days. <62> The States of Utrecht admonished: "Shame on the people of Utrecht. Nothing can erase the stain on the honor of an assembly but which showed its repugnance for tyranny." <63> Aghast, the Constituted replied that

their intention had never been to offend either the Council as a whole or any individual in particular . . . their only concern had been to free the Council and its members from any possible unpleasantness they might have feared . . . <64>

Despite this almost frantic apology, the Regents took reactionary measures against the burghers which fully convinced the Patriot leaders that the Regents were an adversary and not to be trusted again. A pamphlet appeared soon after this entitled "Brave and Valiant People" which began: "You are betrayed and sold. Hardly had you struck off the fetters of a Stadholder than you are handcuffed and branded by an Aristocratic Regime." <65> The Revolution was on.

Apparently, these events convinced William V that enough was enough. On September 15, 1785, he left the Hague, the seat of his garrison command as Stadholder, and went to his rural military stronghold of Nijmegen where most of his army was stationed. Despite this strategic gain by William, the Patriots interpreted his retreat as a victory since they now had effective control of the nation's capital. Basking in triumph, the Patriots proceeded to humiliate the House of Orange in every conceivable way. They banned the color orange and hurled charges of treason at the Stadholder every day. They even went so far as to decree that carrots could not be displayed in the marketplace unless only the green tops were visible. Significantly, though, the Patriots never moved to strip the Prince of his garrison command, an inaction filled with prophecy. <66>

However, the Stadholder soon reached the limit of this patience.  After two small towns, Elburg and Hatten, in Gelderland -- a province firmly loyal to the Prince -- declared their independence from the Stadholder, William agreed to intervene militarily. The towns were taken and held against only meager resistance. the Stadholder had intended this operation to be a show of force that would intimidate the Patriots, <67> but naturally, the opposite happened. The unity and resolve of the burghers was strengthened. They set up a military cordon around Holland and Utrecht, raised funds for an army of 6,700, and Prepared the defenses of Utrecht for a siege. Amidst renewed patriotic fervor, the Amsterdam Regents gave their formal approval to the Act of Association. Perhaps daunted by all this, the Prince attempted to occupy another small Patriot town, Vreeswijk. He lost this time, decisively. The Patriots were now rather confident; after all, they had beaten the traditional commander of the only other military force in the country at the time. <68>

While William thought things over, the Patriots of Utrecht set out to impose their draft reforms, the Leiden Draft, on the city Council. Each day the Constituted simply issued demands to the Council for adherence to the new constitution. The Council invariably delayed, and then with support from the States, rejected the demands outright. At this point, several thousand Free Corps troops surrounded the tow hall, detained the recalcitrant Regents. The Regents then held out until vague threats of force arose from the Patriot ranks, at which time they conceded immediately. This same pattern was repeated often with great success, and in fact it became a model for Patriot actions across the nation. <69> By the fall of 1786, Utrecht was actually being governed by an elected Patriot council along with an elected commission of tribunes representing the Free Corps. This new governing body then joined with their counterparts in neighboring towns to form a regional assembly claiming the authority of the States of Utrecht. The previous States had fled. <70>

What makes these operations truly astonishing is that they were all but bloodless, with an unusual amount of civility shown by the Patriots, The Free Corps remained disciplined, well-organized, and dedicated throughout. They were generally said to be dismayed and startled after the Regents rejected demands, and they even sent refreshments to the Regents while they held them captive and harassed them. The Dutch just do not seem to have much of an appetite for quarreling. A popular student poet of the Patriot movement, Jacobus Bellamy (another radical), said that "my head burns with all the bustle and throng at our place . . . Utrecht has become a battlefield." He wished that "I could find a little village, far from all this turmoil where I might end my days peacefully." <71> He was 25.

With Utrecht under control, other Patriots turned their attention to Amsterdam, the largest and wealthiest city in the country. <72> On April 21, 1786, the local Free Corps and a large number of burghers assembled in Dam Square next to town hall. Their main demand was that the Act of Qualification be passed, which made only Patriots qualified for the city Council. It was quickly passed, and new, pro-burgher Regents were elected. Another simple, bloodless coup d'etat had given the Patriots control of a large share of the nation's wealth. Soon after, the Regents in Rotterdam and other towns in Holland were deposed as well. However, the Orangists in Holland, who were more numerous here than in Utrecht, were not about to give up easily. Days of Orangist demonstrations were followed by days of fighting between Orangists and the Free Corps. The new Amsterdam Council actually ordered the city's bridges burned to prevent intervention by the Stadholder, which in the end only made the town's wealthy aristocrats flee by boat rather than by horse. After order was restored, the States of Holland banned any public expression of sympathy for the House of Orange. <73> The Patriot movement had reached its height.

As substantial as they were, these victories only obscured the fundamental weaknesses of the Patriots. Despite having control of the larger cities, the Patriots were never able to control a large number of smaller towns and even regions: the Orange party could not be deprived of its hand in government everywhere. <74> By late 1786, the particularism, inherent conservatism, and hesitancy of the Patriot leaders was beginning to show. With the States-General, never purged by the burghers, thwarting their reform efforts, the Patriots considered replacing it with a new "National Assembly" that would have favored burghers. It was only considered. <75> Not surprisingly, the lack of forceful leadership resulted in an increasing militancy among some patriot groups, which threatened to alienate the more powerful moderates. Consequently, through the winter of 1786-7, the loyalty of much of the Free Corps was in doubt. Garrisons were deserted, logistical support suffered, and fears developed over just how strong old loyalties to the Stadholder really were. <76> By early 1787, the Patriots had clearly lost the initiative and were resigned to defend the strongholds under their control. It was up to William V to make the decisive move.

From the beginning, the two sides realized that any civil war would probably be decided by intervening foreign powers. Therefore, both decided to form alliances that would force larger powers to back them in a general conflict. With the Prince having traditional ties with England, France was the most likely ally of the burghers. The Patriot leaders were suspicious and uneasy diplomats however, and there was little chance for a serious alliance with the strife-torn France of the 1780s anyhow. <77> Meanwhile, the Stadholder's advisor, James Harris, an Englishman, formed a plan that would force a civil war if the Patriots did not surrender unconditionally by Spring 1787. He correctly believed that France would never intervene on the Patriots' behalf <78> (a French minister declared: "it is impossible to undertake anything or concert anything with democrats") <79> and he believed that an alliance with Prussia was feasible. In addition, Harris received 4000 pounds sterling from the British Secret Service-given as a "pension" to William V -- which he used to build up the Orange party, complete with and Orange "Free Corps." He also made political concessions to the displaced Regents, who by now were ready to ally themselves with even their old enemy; and he tried to get William to assume a more aggressive stance in public affairs. <80>

As it turned out, neither France nor Prussia were willing to go to war over the Low Countries. The French could not afford it, and Prussia was unwilling to risk it even if it meant the elimination of French influence in the Netherlands. <81> Of course, neither country wanted to give up its Dutch "ally" either. The two countries decided to negotiate their differences, The Dutch, however, did not want their nation's future decided in negotiations between France and Prussia. Both the Stadholder and the Patriots refused all terms, leaving the conflict even less resolved than before. It took fate and the Stadholder's wife to break the deadlock.

With victory for the Patriots in sight, fate indeed became an ally of the Prince. A bizarre series of events began when the Orange court became convinced that their supporters were about to retake the Hague at any moment. Since William was unwilling to go and rally the troops himself, Princess Wilhelmina, in every way a Hohenzollern, decided to go and do the job herself. Upon her arrival at the city, she was promptly arrested and confined by the Free Corps. Needless to say, the King of Prussia was outraged. He demanded her immediate release and punishment for her captors. As serious as it was, capturing Wilhelmina was not a fateful mistake for the Patriots since Prussia still had no intention of aiding the incompetent Stadholder. <82> The fateful mistake of the Patriots was their acceptance of money, artillery, and vague diplomatic support from France. This, combined with Wilhelmina's capture, convinced Prussia that the Patriot movement had to be crushed. <83>

Knowing well that France was neither willing nor able to fight for the Dutch burghers, the Stadholder marched on Utrecht with the Prussian army. The vastly outnumbered Free Corps quickly became totally demoralized, leading the garrison commander to order an evacuation. On September 16, 1787, the Stadholder entered an empty city. He entered the Hague three days later, and than only Amsterdam was left. <84> With the city's strong defenses, and with all of the remaining Free Corps as a garrison, Amsterdam was made ready for a long siege. The last Free Corps assembly was held on September 17, and the siege began on October 1. However, with typical practicality, the Patriots soon realized how hopeless the defense really was, and on October 10, 1787, they surrendered. The Patriots' great attempt to revitalize their nation ended with a foreign army marching into Amsterdam. <85>

Soon afterward, the Free Corps was disbanded, the press was restricted, Patriots were purged from every public body and arrested, while Orange crowds ransacked Patriot property throughout Holland. As many as 40,000 refugees fled the country. What had gone wrong? It can be said that the Dutch were no more capable psychologically of revolting than the French were capable of not revolting, but answer is not that simple. In order to revive ancient institutions and glory, the Dutch burghers tried to take and use powers which no longer existed in the United Netherlands: the Regents and the Prince had no more ability to act than the Patriots did. The Stadholder had indeed regained his former authority at the head of (or more likely behind) a foreign army. Goethe remarked: "It is said here that the Prussians have enter Amsterdam. This should be the first expedition in which our country shows its greatness." <86> As one nation exits the stage of power, another enters it. The revolution that would restore a lost era turned out to be only an illusion of what could not be. The days of Dutch glory had already passed, never to return.


1 Leonard Leeb, The Ideological Origins of the Batavian Revolution (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973) 164.

2 R. R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolutions (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1959) 325.

3 Leeb, p. 164.

4 E. H. Kossman, The Low Countries 1780-1940 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1978) 38.

5 Kossman, p. 37.

6 Palmer, p. 324.

7 Kossman, p. 39.

8 Kossman, p. 38.

9 Leeb, p. 149.

10 Kossman, p. 43.

11 Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators -- Revolution in the Netherlands 1780-1813 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977) 25.

12 R. R. Palmer, "Much in Little: The Dutch Revolution of 1795," Journal of Modern History (March 1954), 17.

13 Schama, p. 69.

14 Palmer, Age, p. 326.

15 Leeb, p. 155.

16 Schama, p. 80.

17 Kossman, p. 43.

18 Palmer, "Much in Little," p. 17.

19 Schama, p. 139.

20 Palmer, Age, p. 325.

21 Leeb, p. 158.

22 Schama, p. 101.

23 Kossman, p. 42.

24 Schama, p. 67.

25 Leeb, p. 156.

26 Palmer, Age, p. 323.

27 Leeb, p. 158.

28 Leeb, p. 159.

30 Helen L. Fairchild, Francis Adrian van der Kemp (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1924) 74.

31 Kossman, p. 40.

32 Schama, p. 73.

33 Schama, p. 73.

34 Schama, p. 71.

35 Schama, p. 74.

36 Kossman, p. 44.

37 Schama, p. 102-3.

38 Schama, p. 104.

39 Kossman, p. 44.

40 Scheme, p. 104.

41 Kossman, p. 40.

42 Kossman, p. 41.

43 Leeb, p. 119.

44 Kossman, p. 41.

41 Kossman, p. 41.

46 Leeb, p. 176.

47 Leeb, p. 156-7.

48 Schama, p. 80.

49 Schama, P. 81.

50 Schama, p. 83.

51 Schama, p. 86.

52 Schama, p. 84.

53 Schama, p. 87.

54 Kossman, p. 45.

55 Schama, p. 89.

56 Schama, p. 94.

57 Schama, p. 102.

58 Kossman, p. 45.

59 Schama, p. 94-5.

60 Schama, p. 90.

61 Schama, p. 90.

62 Schama, p. 91.

63 Schama, p. 92.

64 Schama, p. 92.

61 Schama, p. 93.

66 Schama, p. 105.

67 Schama, p. 107.

68 Schama, p. 108-9.

69 Schama, p. 98.

70 Schama, p. 100.

71 Schama, p. 99-100.

72 Schama, p. 113.

73 Schama, p. 116-17.

74 Schama, p. 111.

74 Schama, p. 120.

76 Schama, p. 110.

77 Schama, p. 123.

78 Schama, p. 107.

79 Schama, p. 125-26.

80 Schama, p. 106-7.

81 Schama, p. 126.

82 Schama, p. 121.

83 Schama, p. 127.

84 Schama, p. 130.

85 Schama, p. 131.

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