In Batavian, the Seven Netherlands Republic took over. Louis Bonaparte ruled the Netherlands from January 19, 1795, to June 5, 1806. Batavian Commonwealth since October 1801. The Germanic Batavi tribes wanted Dutch loyalty and independence.

French soldiers overthrew the Dutch Republic in early 1795. The Republican insurrection was Dutch-backed. Armed French rebels initiated it. Napoleon’s “sister republics” began in Batavian. After three French-backed coups, parties changed policies. Before Napoleon crowned Louis Bonaparte, the Dutch constitution was political.

Batavian transformed economically, culturally, and politically. Only one state ended Dutch confederalism. The Netherlands’ first democratic constitution was written in 1798. Democratic Republic until the 1801 coup and law revisions enforced dictatorship. Democracy supports Thornbecke’s 1848 king-limiting amendment. The first Dutch ministerial cabinet established government agencies.

The new owners emancipated Batavian and safeguarded Dutch interests. Napoleon ended the Republic by opposing Schimmelpenninck’s “grand pensionary” rule. Bonaparte died opposing French orders after being ousted in 1810.

Getting Started

The brother-in-law of William In September 1787, Frederick William II fired the Patriots for opposing William V’s authoritarianism. Orangist Grand Pensionary Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel supported the “Ancien Régime” in the Netherlands after most Patriots moved to France. Anglo-Prussian domination began with the 1788 Dutch Republic, Prussia, and Britain Act of Guarantee and Triple Alliance. Strong nations used Holland.

Patriots opposed tyranny and backed the Batavian and French Revolutions. The Stadtholder joined the failed First Coalition to overthrow the anti-Austrian Batavian and French First Republics. When approaching the French Revolutionary Guard for support against the stadholder, the Patriots wanted to be termed a “sister republic,” not servile. The Patriots’ open-war win mattered. After losing Fleurus, Austria left the southern Netherlands. A frozen river helped French insurgents overthrow the stadholder in December 1794.

Founding the Republic

The Batavian Revolution

Stadtholders lost the Batavian and French Revolutions. Batavian and French forces under Charles Pichegru and Dutch forces under Herman Willem Daendels crossed large Dutch frozen rivers in 1794–1795. The Dutch welcomed the Batavian and French invasion as independence; therefore, the Batavian and French quickly defeated Stadtholder and his Austrian and British allies. Before the Batavian and French arrived, revolutionary committees ruled areas and the nation. By fishing boat, William reached England on January 18, 1795.

Republic Early Stages

On May 16, 1795, the Batavian and French Republics signed the contentious Treaty of The Hague, rejecting France’s emancipation promises. The Dutch hosted 25,000 French troops. In late July 1795, the team featured Dutch businessman Pieter Stadnitski. Dutch supplies would enable Batavian and French forces to combat hyperinflation on August 3. France retained independence and economic sovereignty. The Batavian and French Revolutions ended Dutch unrest. Dutch initiatives rarely change politics. French ambassadors were proconsuls and coup planners.

Revolutionary Generals

Revolucionaries used Confederate laws. Patriots supplanted Orangist regents after their 1787 expulsion. After disbanding the States, 18 Holland and West Friesland municipalities formed Provisional Representatives of the People of Holland. State workers under the States General. Particularists stayed while staff left and joined, affecting state general politics. Rebels tried to end black Confederate oppression.

A local political effort to reform the government began in the summer of 1795 with clubs and precinct meetings. Many “general assemblies,” municipalities, and provinces protested the edict. The States-General began a “by constitutional means” conspiracy to secretly build a National Assembly to dominate government, legislature, and people in November 1795. Conservatives spoke first. Friesland and Groningen won. The new National Assembly gathered in The Hague on March 1, 1796.

Conflict over the Constitution

In the new National Assembly, Pieter Vreede, Johan Valckenaer, Pieter Paulus, Federalist Jacob Abraham de Mist, and Gerard Willem van Marle disagreed but agreed on many issues. The Federalists succeeded Paulus. Conservative federalists enhanced government. Schemmelpenninck shines. Democratic protests inspired public and non-governmental action. The Assembly Constitutional Commission maintained a central government in November 1796. After unitarian protests, the Assembly explored church-state separation and minority freedom. The state’s five-member executive and two-chamber legislative corporations were indirectly elected. It matched the 1795 French Constitution. The Assembly passed it on May 10, 1797.

The Constitution was approved on August 8, 1797, with Batavian and French Ambassador Noël’s assistance. Following this failure, assembly resumed at 108,761 to 27,995. General Pierre Augereau’s 18-Fructidor coup interfered. Extremist Frenchmen infiltrated Dutch business. November 1797 saw Unitarians win the second National Assembly election. A new constitutional panel dislikes federalism. After a significant delay, Assembly Unitarians issued the Declaration of 43 on December 12, 1797. A nine-point platform defined the proposed constitution.

Everything accelerated. The new envoy, Francois Delacroix, supported the rebels. His threats drove radical-plan opponents away. Coup failed. General Daendel helped radicals seize power after Wybo Fijnje, Anthonie Willem Ockerse, and Pierre Auguste Brahain Ducange’s January 21–22, 1798, coup. A 50-person group rapidly adopted the unconventional idea. Every regional administration was abolished, the opposition assembly was sacked, an “interim executive directory” was established, and the constitutional panel was reduced to seven radicals.

In October 1797–January 1798, the constitutional committee developed the French-inspired Constitution. The constitutional panel rejected Delacroix’s “suggestions” and suggested unlimited male voting, six-year constitution amendments, and the expulsion of “crypto-Orangists” and other reactionaries from the voter rolls.

The March 17 referendum had 100–500 “primary” assemblies and was partly democratic, but the January 22, 1798, coup delayed constitution adoption. On April 23, 1798, 153,913 backed the Staatsregeling voor het Bataafsche Volk, and 11,587 opposed it. Nearly half the locals agreed. The new government allowed autonomy. The French recommended “safe” rump assembly verification.

Patriot reforming inherited posts, sinecures, and government obligations were in the 1785 Constitution. Republican economic arguments favored economic liberalism over mercantilism and guild and trade barrier elimination. National taxes would replace provincial funds. Schema: “[i]ts central aim was to change the nature of the Dutch state and to bind its new institutions into the framework of an electoral democracy.” Eight national agents controlled Foreign Affairs, Police, Interior, Justice, Finance, War, Navy, Education, and backing up

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Radicals won. Power tarnished their image. Politics estranged Assemblymen. They neglected their political base’s famous political clubs to avoid French Jacobin blunders, losing their most loyal adherents. Delacroix ordered voter record purges of “counter-revolutionaries.” As the regime struggled, moderate Patriots lost their rights. The new regime nullified the Representative Assembly elections.

Talleyrand’s backing for Dutch opposition MPs seeking the ambassador’s return following the 22nd Floréal coup harmed Delacroix. The cleansing committee made him despise his government. The chilly revolutionaries intrigued French General Joubert, who reddened. Uitvoerend Bewind’s ignorance made the new agent detest him. General Daendels broke Delacroix’s diplomatic immunity by stopping a dinner gathering with three Bewind members on June 12, 1798, with pistols to his breast. The session included members of the Representative Assembly.

After Vreede-Fijnje Bewind fell, the new constitution took effect. Despite Agenten’s opposition, the “Interim Directory” sought July 31 Representative Assembly elections. After mid-August rebuilding, revolutionaries worked at Uitvoerend Bewind. Strongly constitutionalist. The June coup was personal, not conservative. More government conciliation liberated most January and June coup prisoners. The 1797 Representative Assembly and second National Assembly shared members.

New leaders discovered congressional order hinders change. Constitution-based indirect democracy works. Political figures were elected via constitutional primary assemblies. Democratic republics have various agendas. Conservative opponents of the unitary state and constitutional revisions were picked.

The constitution chose conservative Patriot regents over brilliantly appointed conservative spies like Jacobus Spoors, Gerrit Jan Pijman, and Isaac Jan Alexander Gogel Bewind, who wanted to subvert the Netherlands, which was divided into Amstel (Amsterdam and its surroundings), Texel (the north), and Delf. Eems joined Frisia, Groningen, Ouden Yssel, Drente. The modest yet popular Amstel department separated the country into equal main assemblies. The new units’ governments were chosen in March 1799. This change did not affect local patriotism. Elected local and departmental governments would implement national plans. Vote for Joan Arend de Vos van Steenwijk, not Ouden Yssel. Political efforts to combine Patriot factions at all levels for “national unity” impeded Gogel’s unitary state.

Public Budget Reform

Unitary states aim higher. Republic fell pre-1795. In the Golden Age, the public finance system was world-class. It helped world politics until the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, but today it is a burden. Holland owed the Generality 68 million guilders, Holland 310 million, and lesser provinces and towns more by 1713. The Dutch debt treatment cost 14 million guilders more than taxes that year. The Dutch economy had an internal money cycle because private individuals held most government debt. Rentals often overcharge workers. In 1616, provincial revenue satisfied generality debts. In the 18th century, nothing changed.

Centuries of austerity decimated the Republic militarily and civilly. The debt declined until 1780–1794 when the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War raised 120 million bond guilders. In 1795, it owed 455 million guilders. Add 150 million guilders from UEIC, WIC, and five Dutch admirals. Other provinces owed 155 million guilders. Batavia owed 760 million guilders and requested 25 million annually in 1795. The Hague Treaty gave the French occupying army 12 million guilders and 100 million. The foreigners got $20 million more. Associated with the French Republic in late July 1795. French troops received Dutch money instead of assignments on August 3. In 1814, the government owed 1.7 billion guilders.

Annual republic earnings were 28–35 million guilders. Fights have cost 40–55 million since 1793. In 1800, the country needed 78 million guilders. New Finance Agent Gogel lost money. He often needed 50 million guilders. He supported direct income and wealth taxes since Dutch taxes favored indirect taxes on the poor. The final goal was consistent local and accessible state taxation. On September 30, 1799, the Representative Assembly rejected his plans. Poor progress led Staatsbewind to re-federalize the state in 1801. Holland accepted Gogel’s changes.

These show politics and economics don’t suit Uitvoerend Bewind’s noble ideals. Reforms to abolish guilds and help the impoverished failed. After the French “sister republic.”‘s transgressions, the dictatorship was weaker and less likely to get low-interest loans.

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