De Bataafse Burgermacht als bolwerk der vrijheid - De politieke en militaire betekenis van een burgerschapsideaal | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 122, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


The ideal of the citizen-soldier around which the Dutch patriots of the 1780s rallied, has been well documented in the literature. However, little has been written on what happened to these ideals, once their proponents gained power in 1795 with the blessing of revolutionary France. This article describes how the arming of the citizenry in this newly named Batavian Republic, became a source of serious dissension. Four positions are distinguished in this debate, differing on questions such as whether the new citizens’ army should have a centralised or federal structure; if service had to be compulsory; and what political purposes it should serve. It is argued that a certain nationalisation of military service slowly appeared in this period, but that this was halted by the fear of being drawn into a large-scale war as a result of the alliance with France.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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