Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813

Knopf, 1977 - 745 pagina's
"A tour de force, the first work of a young English scholar that is already attracting the highest acclaim..., Patriots and Liberators captures the disintegration of a great European power--the Dutch Republic--into military impotence, economic ruin and near terminal eclipse as a nation state. Drawing on a mass of previously untouched archival material from several countries, Simon Schama gives us a brilliant portrait of an extraordinary nation at the point of no return. The moment is the ominous pause before the political cataclysm that will engulf the Old World in 1789. ... For more than a hundred years, the Dutch have been admired and envied as the miracle of a continent: affluent, urbane and tolerant, the masters of a global maritime empire, providers of Europe's ships, grain, cloth and spices, bankers to its monarchs, pioneers in science and printing, they have placed their stamp upon Western civilisation. But now their splendour is decaying, their Golden Century at an end. As grandeur sinks towards catastrophe (an incapable ruler, chaos in government, famine and poverty spreading across the land, an army and fleet pathetically inadequate to safeguard the Republic's independence), we see a people in extremis: they must either resign themselves to the total erosion of their power or else embark--deliberately--upon their own revolution. They choose the second course (three years before revolution erupts in France), but the brave attempt at regeneration--their enterprise: to create a democracy of citizens in arms--ends in disaster. Schama's book graphically documents the succession of calamities--civil war, invasion, occupation, economic strangulation and political sabotage--that befalls the Dutch from this moment on in their desperate efforts to avert obliteration as an independent state. Attacked by greedy enemies on all sides (first Prussia, then Britain, then Napoleonic France exporting "Liberty" and revolutionary imperialism on the points of bayonets), the country is tom apart. Livelihoods are ruined, crops destroyed; the fishermen of the deltas are driven to destitution by hostile privateers; beggars and academics in Leiden are caught up in a gunpowder explosion that rips their city apart; all across the land, people are subjected to financial extortion as agents and spies, generals and ambassadors, conspire to wreck the government and exploit every weakness to satisfy the limitless demands of the French war machine. Even Louis Bonaparte, installed by his brother as puppet king of the Dutch, joins his "subjects" in their concerted resistance; ultimately, he will contemplate breaking the dykes that protect his people from the seas and flooding the country rather than surrender. Patriots and Liberators is the anatomy of a satellite state in a time of total war. How the Dutch miraculously survived is the drama of this monumental, driving book, whose revelations mark a major contribution to our understanding of the shaping of modern Europe."--Dust jacket.

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Gebruikersrecensie  - ivanfranko - LibraryThing

An engaging account of the Batavian Republic and its struggles to modernise the administrative machinery of government while grappling with opposing federalist and unitarist forces in achieving this ... Volledige review lezen

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Gebruikersrecensie  - NicoDavout - LibraryThing

Most interesting book, however written in sophisticated and sometimes old English, comparing to the similar historical books from current times. Volledige review lezen


The Dutch Republic in Its Dotage 17471780

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Over de auteur (1977)

Simon Schama is an historian, educator, and writer. He was born in London, England on February 13, 1945. Schama earned a B.A. in history in 1966 from Cambridge University and later became a fellow of Christ College. Schama was a Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford from 1976 to 1980. He also was an Erasmus Lecturer in the civilization of the Netherlands at Harvard University in 1978, and from 1980 to 1993 he was Professor of History and Mellon Professor of the Social Sciences and Senior Associate at the Center for European Studies. Schama has been the Old Dominion Professor of Humanities at Columbia University since 1993, teaching in the history, art history and archaeology departments. Schama's 1977 book, Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813, received the Wolfson Prize for history and the Leo Gershoy Memorial Prize of the American History Association. Another book, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, won the NCR Prize for Nonfiction. Schama also worked as an art critic for The New Yorker and has written historical and art documentaries for the BBC. In 2001 he received the CBE. In 2006 Schama earned the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction for Rough Crossings. His more recent works include A History of Britain and The Sory of the Jews, both written in multiple volumes.

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