Het persoonlijke in Thorbeckes Tweede Kamer | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



There is always a risk in parliamentary politics that objective debate will change into personal debate and conflict. On the one hand, orators can choose to launch a personal verbal attack to their opponents. On the other hand, opponents can interpret verbal arguments as a personal attack, even if these words were not meant that way. In the most extreme cases personal honour is damaged and needs to be repaired through other means, including a physical duel. Compared to other young parliaments, the nineteenth century Dutch ‘Second Chamber’ (Tweede Kamer) had a quiet and calm reputation. How did Dutch Members of Parliament handle their emotions in confrontations that risked to become personal? How did the most influential politician, J.R. Thorbecke, deal with these confrontations? Which rules and rituals were at the disposal of MPs to protect themselves against personal politics? And what could contemporary parliamentary debate learn from these Dutch nineteenth-century examples? To find asnwers to these questions, this article explores personal politics in Thorbecke’s Second Chamber.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Aerts, R.(2018). Thorbecke wil het. Biografie van een staatsman. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Berezin, M.(2002). Secure states: Towards a political sociology of emotion. The Sociological Review, 50(2), 33-52.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Freeman, J.B.(2002). Affairs of honor. National politics in the New Republic. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Thorbecke, J.R.(1870). Parlementaire redevoeringen van september 1865 tot februari 1866. Deventer: Ter Gunne.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Van Velsen, A., & De Jong, J.(2007). ‘Hij is handig, om niet te zeggen onethisch’. De verleidingen van de praeteritio. In K.Korevaart, H.Jansen & J.de Jong (red.), Het woud van de retorica (pp. 191-205). Leiden: SNL.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Velde, H. te(2002). Stijlen van Leiderschap. Persoon en politiek van Thorbecke tot Den Uyl. Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Velde, H. te(2003). Het theater van de politiek. Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error