Het vaderland vanuit kikkerperspectief - Recent Belgisch en Nederlands onderzoek naar natievorming tijdens de lange negentiende eeuw | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 122, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


This article offers a historiographic review of Belgian and Dutch nationhood during the long nineteenth century. It is argued that history from below is weakly represented. In the late 1980s the subjectivist turn was adopted in research on Belgian and Dutch nationalism, although the sources of inspiration differed (Hroch and A.D. Smith in the former, Gellner and Koselleck in the latter). Initially, a top-down vision predominated in which nation-building destroyed other identities. In the early 1990s this theoretical paradigm was challenged in the Netherlands. Research into nationhood from below emerged as case-centred micro-history on the local level, based on the everyday experience of individuals. Belgian historiography only followed a decade later due to its strong institutional focus. In the early 2000s both countries saw the rise of a history from below based on sources produced by ordinary people. Nevertheless, a one-sided top-down perspective often remains the subtext in current research.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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