Het recht der historische kritiek | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 128, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The controversial celebration in 1868 of the 300-year anniversary of the Battle of Heiligerlee, the first Dutch victory against Spanish troops in the Dutch Revolt, led to a historical debate between Robert Fruin, Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, and Willem Nuyens. While historians have described this Heiligerlee Debate as an example of how religious differences affected historiography, this article offers a different perspective: it analyses the debate in the context of the professionalization of historiography, and argues that tensions inherent in this process are reflected in the way the three parties interacted with each other. Taking a historicizing as well as a generalizing approach, the article shows that this nineteenth-century debate involved issues that are still relevant for historians today.


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