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The Age of the Democratic RevolutionA Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800$
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R. R. Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.001.0001

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Democrats and Aristocrats—Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss

Democrats and Aristocrats—Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss

Chapter:
(p.242) Chapter XI Democrats and Aristocrats—Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss
Source:
The Age of the Democratic Revolution
Author(s):

R. R. Palmer

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.003.0011

This chapter details events in the Netherlands and Belgium. In both countries, constituted bodies—in this case town councils and estate-assemblies—determining their own membership within a closed system, claimed to represent the country and to rule in their own right. Both asserted their powers and liberties against a “prince”—the Prince of Orange in the case of the Dutch, the Austrian Emperor in that of the Belgians—and both, after 1780, found a new popular party fighting at their side. The new party, which was neither exactly popular nor yet a party in a more modern sense, at first felt no difference of purpose from its allies. As the controversies developed, however, the new party began to brand its allies, or erstwhile allies, as “aristocrats,” and to favor an actual reconstitution of the old constituted bodies, so that these bodies would become representative in a new kind of way, either by actual choice at the hands of voters outside their own ranks, or through a broadening of membership to reflect wider segments of the population.

Keywords:   Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, democratic movements, revolution, constituted bodies

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