Perscensuur en het Hof van Holland, 1749-1800 | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 132, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The Dutch Republic is often presented as having relative freedom of press already in the seventeenth century. However, it has been argued that censorship increased during the eighteenth century because of more efficient co-ordination between authorities. This paper examines this claim by examining trials and bills in the provincial court of Holland (). This court handled cases of appeal from urban courts and tried censorship cases from The Hague – the political centre of the Dutch Republic. It could also propose litigation regarding censorship. Censorship convictions in this court were nevertheless rare between 1750 and 1800. The court did go at lengths to propose novel censorship laws, only to find that enactment of those laws was not a real concern of the Provincial Estates. This suggests that the political fragmentation of the Dutch Republic continued to hinder enforcement of censorship.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): censorship; Dutch Republic; eighteenth century; press; trials
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