2004
Volume 127, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Abstract

Until 2013 Dutch biographers neglected the lives of the first three kings of the Netherlands. Three experienced historians have now written well-researched and innovative biographies which raise this genre of historiography to a high level. Within the large United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815-30) the autocratic William I presented himself as the father of the national household. William II posed as a triumphant general in Europe, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg. They prepared the ground on which the wilful William III could present himself as King of Peace and hero of the Dutch battle against floods, within a kingdom that had been reduced in size. Ministers and parliament intermittently succeeded in directing internal politics at the expense of the king. Notwithstanding the loss of royal power and the ticklish aspects of these reigns, hereditary kingship became sufficiently charismatic for loyalty to the dynasty to be shown by a considerable majority of the Dutch.

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2014-09-01
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