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Holland and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth CenturyThe Politics of Particularism$
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J. L. Price

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203834

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203834.001.0001

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The Not-So-United Provinces

The Not-So-United Provinces

(p.221) 2. The Not-So-United Provinces
Holland and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century

J. L. Price

Oxford University Press

The nearest thing the Dutch had to a constitution or founding charter was the Union of Utrecht, and whatever may have been read into this document by later politicians and jurists, it was in origin and intention an alliance to improve the prosecution of the war against Spain. This was one of the reasons why the signing of the 1609 Truce caused so much apprehension: many seem to have feared that once the war was ended the alliance would also collapse and with it the Union. There was no obvious or natural unity between the seven (or eight, with Drente) provinces, never mind between them and the Generality lands. The provinces commonly referred to as the bondgenoten, and this, together with the stress on the importance of the preservation of provincial autonomy, can be taken as a symbol of the rather limited sense of common identity possessed by the inhabitants of the Dutch Republic.

Keywords:   constitution, Union of Utrecht, Spain, 1609 Truce, provinces, generality, bondgenoten, Dutch Republic

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