2004
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X

Abstract

Abstract

Historians have struggled to pinpoint the Dutch Kappeynian liberal generation (1860-1880) ideologically. In this article I should like to show that the Kappeynians may be positioned as the ultimate examples of the doctrinal liberal ideals of Johan Thorbecke by assessing their ironical political style. I argue that their ironical style was part of a broad cultural ironical current in Dutch society in this period, which was expressed in the flourishing of debating clubs. This generation’s love for pure debate made them come closer to the doctrinal liberal ideal of parliamentary debate in the public interest than the actual doctrinal liberals themselves ever did.

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