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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Nationalism as Negotiation and Interaction. Orangism’ and Nation Building in the Netherlands in the 19th Century

di Henk te Velde, Anne Petterson
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 42 (2013), p. 51

In the Netherlands a popular attachment to the later royal family existed even before its accession to the throne in 1813-1815. In the second half of the nineteenth century this popular ‘Orangism’ was stimulated by Liberal politics, commerce and the House of Orange itself and it was used as a means to overcome socio-religious divisions. In this case nation building appears to be much more a process of negotiation and interaction between social classes and groups rather than a top-down process, as it has often been presented. The case of the Dutch monarchy demonstrates the shift from an early nineteenth-century state-centred type of nation building, in which the monarchy played an important political role, to a more societal type of nationalism that wanted to please and mobilize the masses. Around 1900 Dutch nationalism would reach a peak and it was hard to conceive of an element of cultural nation building that did not involve the monarchy. Key words: The Netherlands, monarchy, nationalism, nation building, “Orangism”