Ragebol en Sabel | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 134 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Historians have interpreted the armament of Dutch citizens during the Dutch Patriot Revolt of the 1780s either as a revival of traditional urban militias, or as an essentially symbolic action echoing the classical-republican ideal of the active citizen. This article argues that these interpretations have overlooked the fact that the patriots innovated traditional forms of armament by setting up National or Provincial Assemblies of Civilian Corps (), and that popular armament was essential in order for the patriot movement to become an organized political force of national importance. In the summer of 1787 patriots in Holland deployed the so-called Flying Army to enforce the revolution on a local level, crush opposition, and instill fear and terror into their enemies.


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