Il. Regents of the province of Utrecht on a Picture from 1731
Il. Plundering of van Assen house in Amsterdam (24th of June 1748) . Source: H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande.
Il. The Amsterdam Town Hall used since 1655 (since 1806 the Royal palace). This picture was taken by me on july 2005.
When we speak about the political system of De Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden, we face automatically on a tricky ground of monarchical-republican controversy. For formar and today’s republicans the Dutch Republic was an example of republican and civic virtues, and somewhat better understanding of peaple’s needs (afar from ambition of bellicose monarchs). Monarchists used to anwser, that hereditary monarchy is naturally stronger and more stable thank to natural succesion of the throne which enable royalistic governements to conducte long-term policy which can bring more profits. Republican governemnt composed of peaple with different political views cane more easily get drowned in pointless discussions and indecision.
Whereas in the 21st Century the word ‘republic’ has undoubtedly positive connotations, three centuries ago, when the Dutch Republic was surrounded mainly by monarchies, this word was quite often mocked and ridiculed, in spite of visual economic prosperity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Dutch, not only by monarchs and their ministers, but also by diplomats even the British ones (not just diplomats of absolutistic powers). British ambassador in Madrid Benjamin Keene wrote this on the 14th of march 1749 about his Dutch colleague:
...He is indeed young but generous and friendly, and has as much or mor the air of a gentleman than any I ever saw of his nation, if tit deserves that name ...
‘Common’ Britons often were less prejudicial. When the novelist and traveler Philipp Thicknesse (1719-1792) encountered in Barcelona a young Duthcman in finantial trouble, was glad to pay for his lodgings and give him some money for the journey, for he was touched by a genteel face and good English of that lad.
The inhabitants of the United Provinces usually perceived themselves as free citizens living in a free country, but in fact all power and influence was monopolized by so-called ‘regents’ – regenten. They were members of powerful families whose prosperity was based on commerce or manufactures (traffieken). This is how an Englishman wrote about them in 1740, after many years of living in the Republic:
…Their government is aristocratical : so that the so much boasted liberty of the Dutch in not to be understood in the absolute and general sense but cum grano salis. The Burgomasters and senate compose the sovereignty and, on a vacancy by death, the Burgomaster would be highly offended, if any petulant burgher presumed to murmur at his filling it up with some of the sons or friends of this Burgomaster….
Whereas in the 17th century the way of live of regenten was Rather typical for wealthy burghers (unpretentious food, and lodgings, at most one servant to serve a meal), one century later they grew more similar to French and German aristocracy (fancy clothes, whigs and food, buying land estates). Of all 24 regents-the burgomasters of Amsterdam within 1718 and 1748 only two were active as merchants, the majority lived the live of aristocracy. The organist coup d’état of 1748 changed a bit those proportion (13 active merchants, or people who just abandoned that profession to take up the public office, in the group of 37 burgomasters of Amsterdam within 1752 and 1795).
Not in all parts of the Republic regenten were the elite. In landlocked provinces with an economy based not on trade, but on agriculture, the elite consisted of typical landed gentry, similar to German nobility. Because the two trading provinces like Holland and Zeeland provided over 50% of income to the state (Holland alone circa 40%), historian often ‘forget’ about the land-locked part of the Union or provinces without big fleets, and – as Charles Ralph Boxer put it - rural nobility of Gelderland, tenants of Overijssel and rich farmers from Friesland. Generally even is so urbanized area like the Netherlands agriculture was still the main profession of the population, but it’s trade, which is believed to be the main factor forming the Dutch national character and everything what is so characteristic and special in Dutch culture. The Province of Holland was so dominant within the Union, that already in 17th and 18th Centuries the name ‘Holland’ was frequently used interchangeably with the name ‘Netherlands’. Strictly speaking even the name: Netherlands’ is incorrect, because it suggest also the so-called Southern Netherlands (Belgium) which was controlled in Slingeland’s time by Spain, and later (from 1713 on) by Austria (Spanish Netherlands, Austrian Netherlands) and for instance the independent bishopric of Liège.
Although the motto of the Union was from its beginning (1581) : Eendracht maakt macht (unity makes mightiness), as soon as 17th Century everybody knew that: Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Gelderland, Overijssel and Groningen form rather a military alliance than a confederacy. All provinces used to have separate treasury, military forces (within the union there were 7 armies, and 5 admiralties) and legislative organs (provincial estates). The deputies of provincial estates (mainly high officials, councilors, mayor of bigger towns), used to partake in session of the Generaal Staten in the Hague, which were entitled to make decisions concerning the policy of the whole Republic. Those sessions looked a bit like those of British House of Commons, but also like international congresses of independent states, not necessarily favorable to each other. No wonder than, that it used to many collisions of contradictory interests of provinces, mainly between those witch coastline and the landlocked ones. In the 18th C the main slogan of the Generaal Staten was frugality, because the war of the Spanish succession (1701-1714) had cost her a lot of money and casualties, that is why after the peace treaty it was decided to limit the navy (the Dutch Republic was the only European country (at least the only one that counted as a major force), that decreased the number of its war vessels. Republic, as we already mentioned in the introduction, possessed also a Council of State but, but since the late 17th C it’s influence was still decreasing.
What used to unite provinces on the level of mentality, was the legend of the house of Orange. It was William I, prince of Orange (1533-1584) - Willem van Oranje who led the Dutch against Spanish oppressors and occupants. Due to his courage his merits and courage, he was given a position of stadhouder (statholder), as some sort of successor of Spanish bloody governors (like the infamous prince of Alba). There were song about William like tha today’s Dutch national anthem composed between 1568 and 1572 to music of Adriaen Valerius: Wilhelmus van Nassauwe.
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ick van Duytschen bloet,
Den Vaderlant getrouwe
Blyf ick tot in den doet:
Een Prince van Oraengien
Ben ick vrij onverveert,
Den Coninck van Hispaengien
Heb ick altijt gheeert. (Original Dutch lyrics from 1568)
William of Nassau,
Of a German and ancient line,
I dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince am I undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I've granted
A lifelong loyalty.
Up to 1650 the statholders used to nominate the composition of town councils, but later this prerogative was taken over by Generaal Staten, i.e. the regents. Against this development many ‘democrats’ and ‘patriots’ of the 18th Century protested, because they wanted the population (or at least the guilds and other corporations grouping richer commoners) to partake in those nomination/elections.
The real leaders of regents’ ‘parties’ were the so-called grand-pensionaries (Dutch: raad(s)pensionaris) of the economically strongest provinces of Holland and Zeeland - Raadpensionaris van Holland/Zeeland. In the decades without any statholder (1650-1672 and 1702-1747), Or his position was weak due to the lack of charisma or political clumsiness, the grand-pensionaries were the main Dutch political decision-makers. The Orange Dynasty was perceived as a extemporary aid in the times of political crisis (centralized military command). The regents who usually disliked the princess of Orange, and were jealous of people’s affectation for them, used to consent to back the stadholder. The poor and peasants used to perceive stadholders as their protector against regents’ greed. Also the Calvinist clergy perceiving the regents as libertines, were usually staunch orangists. The history of the Dutch Republic was in the great part a history of a political struggle between regents and stadholders and their followers.
The elite of 18th Century Hollend and Zeeland probably wouldn’t agree with Samuel Johnson or Joseph de Maistre that every political power must be absolute (either we obey or not), but could agree with for instance Montesquieu, who claimed, that aristocracy is the main obstacle to tyranny. They played the role of this aristocracy in Dutch conditions, and monopolized almost all power in their provinces and towns. The burgher of Holland and Zeeland, it wasn’t a regent he must have been a ‘common man’ - gemeene man or: ‘little man’ - kleine man, with little chances of becoming ‘big’, becouse regents were a very hermetic group . The regent families used to sigh treaties with each othe, wchich were named: contracten van correspondentie, assuring each other of reciprocal backing for lucrative offices. The main slogan of the regents were” kleine man moet klein blijven – ‘the little man must remain little’. What is interesting the regents were usually supporters of religious toleration, also or maybe mostly because the Calvinist clergymen (praedikanten) usually coming from the lower classes of urban population (grauw), perceived by regents as a threat to their position were orangists. The Clergyman missed stronger royal power which could perform more rigorous religious policy. The regents very rarely enjoyed the sympathy of the street, just the opposite – they were perceived as greedy. One of the exceptions was Reinier Pauw (1564-1636).
The regents of Amsterdam used to have about 3200 official vacancies at their disposal. The majority of the officials were nominated by the four Burgomasters. Personal abilities were no real references, it were family connections that counted. In the first half of the 18th Century; almost all regents of Amsterdam belonged to houses: Trip, Corver i Hooft, the city of Delft was reigned by the Bleiswijk’s, Gorcum – by the family van Hoey. Some of the regents used to fear – not without a reason – that distribution of offices, soon will transform into trade, and selling them also to the people outside the regents’ caste. In Gelderland, the local legislature Geldrii, it was decreed, that urban official posts should be hereditary. The bill was passed in spite of the defiance of the “little people”. It was the first time since 1702 when the nostalgia was expressed for come-back of stadhouder’s power, which could create a counterbalance to regents’ willfulness.
There was a relatively high rate of unemployment in the Dutch Republic (there were sporadic hunger-protests especially in the country, but there were only peasants who used to protest, unlike the calm workers in manufactures, who in spite of the hard work conditions used to accept their fate). There were riots, not only those caused by hunger or natural disasters. (very severe Winter 1740/1741, pestilence decimating the cattle - 1744 roku), but also dearness and high taxes. Especially vexing were high indirect taxes imposed on luxury goods (on using that foods). In international trade, the Dutch used to apply some sort of dumping. In its towns goods were even occasionally destroyed in order to maintain overstated prices. This I think could be the source of Dutch visible fondness of economic regulation. The situation of the poor was of course hard. It happened even that so-called: armenjagers arranged round-ups for the poor, in order to use them as cheap manpower in regents’ manufactures. There were numerous laws against beggars and vagabonds – which was typical for that era.
Dutch army systematically diminished after 1713 was characterized by a very weak ethos among officers, but it didn’t discourage many foreigners (especially Germans) from service in Dutch military. Jacobus Cornelis Rademacher (1741-1783) was in 1782 as commissioner of the navy, responsible for strengthening the defense of Batavia (today Jakarta in Indonesia) before the expected British assault. Among German officers of Dutch army were also representatives of German aristocracy like: Carl Heinrich Anthing (1766-1823), or even several princes.
The United Provinces is known in historiography as a pioneer of introducing religious toleration. That resulted not so much from spreading of early liberal ideas, but mainly from the practice of Dutch politics. Restrictions directed against for example Catholics, German Lutherans or Portuguese Jews were seldom introduced, because several regents were ready to block the execution of them for suitable bribe. That’s why they turned the blind eye to secret cult and ceremonies. The ultimate effect was relatively much toleration and some liberty of the press and opinion.
Catholics who were quite numerous in the Provence of Utrecht, were because of their jansenist sympathies, more at odds with Rome than with the Hague. The Papacy treated the whole area of Northern Netherlands as a country of missions, which didn’t deserve its own archbishopric, so the inhabitants of Utrecht have instituted their own archbishopric in 1723 without Rome’s consent.
Quite interesting is the approach of Dutch authorities (relatively liberal for standards of the period) towards quackery and homosexuals. Quackers were present in Holland since the 17th Century and tolerated, although Dutch bourgeoisie disliked their custom to address everyone per “You”. Homosexuals were unfortunately perceived as criminals; in 1730 in Groningen 22 men and teenagers were even executed for homosexuality. In 1777 appeared a treatise attributed to the councilor to William V of Orange, Abraham Perrenot, who was of a opinion that homosexuality should be treated as criminal offence only if exploitation of minors was involved, In 1803 in Schiedam the last execution of a men sentenced for homosexuality took place.
The object of great admiration to many travelers was much developed philanthropy and freedom of the press. Dutch press was quite daring, tracking for example nepotism exerted by officials. What press escaped attention of the press, could have been published after all in anonymous pamphlet or brochure, so popular in 17th and 18th Centuries.
For some decades prevailed the French-speaking press, among which most important title was: Gazette de Leyde edited in Leyden and related to the internationally famous university of Leyden (French was the most important language of lecture there). The paper appeared for many years (1677-1798), and its consecutive editor were: Jean Alexandre de La Font (1677-1685), Claude Jordan (1685-1688), Anthony de La Font (1689-1738), Etienne Luzac (1738-1772), Jean Luzac (b. 1702, d. 1798), the nephew of the former (1772-1798). Its quality was higher than that of Gazette d'Amsterdam and Gazette de Rotterdam, it was also far more independent politically and culturally from France, whose foreign policy often criticized, which was perfectly understandable, because the Luzac family were French Huguenots, who escaped from Louis XIV, s religious intolerance. All Europe used to know the anti-absolutistic position of editors. Gazette de Leyde provided a reader with both political and economical information.
The French philosophes often took advantage of Dutch liberty, by publishing their works in Holland. It was possible to publish for instance a treaty about suicide in Amsterdam in 1773, what could have been misunderstood in other countries), and also newspapers with liberal and literary profile as edited in the Hague: Journal Britannique (w l. 1750-1755), Journal littéraire (1713-1736), Journal sur toutes sortes de sujets. (1693-1696) or: L’Europe savante. (monthly news paper, 12 volumes appeared in 1718-1720), and also about a dozen other titles.
To counterbalance somehow the influence of French language and philosophy, Justus van Effen (1684-1735), great admirer of British parliamentarism, decided in 1731 to start edition of Dutch-speaking: Hollandsche Spectator, the equivalent of the British: The Speectator (1711-1714). Whereas van Effen’s periodical was to form the public opinion, the edited in 1690-1750 in Amsterdam: Europische Mercurius was a typical journal d’information – a collection of information about various political events in many parts of the world. It was a thick (300 pages) book that used to appear twice a year. Typical more regularly appearing informative journals like: Amsterdamsche Courant and Oprechte Haarlemsche Courant (ed. Abraham Casteleyn) were also gladly read by Dutch townsmen.
Theoretically no criticism of the Dutch government and political system was allowed, but still happened, that journalist tried to induce certain political developments relating with the government and reforms, to mention the organist journal: Leonidas edited by the chief leader of royalist party Willem Bentinck, or: De Koopman that ascertained in the 70s and 80s of the 18th Century, a total political and social decline of the Dutch Republic.
Trade and economic history of the United Provinces are not a subject of this chapter and book, but it could be instructive to emend many circulating half-truths concerning them. First and foremost in spite of the huge cultural influence of the Dutch East India Company Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – VOC i and West India Company Zachodnioindyjskiej - West-Indische Compagnie – WIC on the Republic, it should be remembered that in absolute numebres Dutch trade with European countries was far greater than the trade of both companies with India and America put together, so their successes didn’t necessarily mean prosperity of the whole Republic, and their decline – a global recession, much bigger influence on Dutch trade and its decline in the 18th Century had the mercantilist and protectionist policy of Prussia, Britain or France. Secondly the United Provinces was always a propondent of the international free trade Since the early 17th Century (Hugo de Groot supported the ide of: mare liberum, whereas the English John Selden - mare clausum, but AT the same time we must see that VOC and WIC weren’t ideal examples of free trade, because of their extortions in – especially in Asia, its close connection to the state and fighting small private traders). Maybe the joining of the anti-British Armed Neutrality League by the Dutch in the 70s and 80s, as much as the Dutch custom of trading even with the actual war enemy would match with the definition of free market and the idealistic vision of the Early Modern Dutch as main force of European capitalism. Thirdly we must admit that Ductch capitalism has nothing or little to do with Calvinism. The Dutch traders formed part of relatively liberal (more in practice than in slogans), whereas the Calvinist preachers used to propone anti-capitalistic ideas. The majority of praedikanten, coming from the lowest classes of socjety (grauw) disliked the regents’ riches and ‘greed’ and claimed that life on earth is meaningless (dit leven is gans niet).
William III of Orange, elected for a stadholder by his terrified compatriots during the French invasion in 1672 has chosen destroying of the French hegemony in Europe as his life goal. The elite of the Dutch Republic was in those days divided into so-called: staatsgezinden (literarily: ‘the adherents of the state’ – that is of the regents) and prinsgezinden (adherents of royal orangist centralism and strengthening the power of stadhouder). The exaltation of William signified the supremacy of prinsgezinden, but the Republic, even when temporarily unified by such a vigorous politician like William wasn’t able to counterbalance the French power. Few decades later the French philosopher Gabriel Mably was as king himself why the Dutch didn’t contend themselves in forming that counterbalance, but wished to go further and destroy the French hegemony, by inciting everyone in Europe against the French Europe. But the Dutch perspective was different. It was all about the safety of a border between Belgium (Spanish, later Austrian Netherlands) and France, which – in Dutch opinion – should be guarded by Dutch troops. The British didn’t exert enough pressure on France, after the war of the Spanish succession (1701-1713) had shown, that Holland’s international prestige declined.
Willliam III died in 1702, so his war was conducted in his name, by his collaborators; the grand pensionary of Holland (practically a foreign minister of the whole Republic, although without much formal influence on Generaal-Staten) in years 1689-1720 Anthonie Heinsius, the general treasurer of the Republic Jacob Hop (1654-1725) and the main character in this book, the secretary of the Concil of State, Simon van Slingelandt. Already in 17th Century the grand pensionary of Holland was de facto a kind of foreign minister, so it was very import ant who should be designated for this post. Heinsius wasn’t a typical orangist; although – according to William’s projects – he renewed the alliance (1678) with Britain in 1716, but he did not prevent the exclusion of William’s relative, general Johan Wilhelm Friso (1687-1711), from the Council of State (1707). This was the will of his own Provence – the Provence of Holland. The regents of Holland distrusted Johan Friso so much, that they persuaded the elite of other provinces to make the British general John Churchill the chief commander of the Dutch army, with Friso as his subordinate. After a tragic death of the last (Johann drowned in 1711), the regents were much relieved (Son of Johan, Willem was yet a harmless child). From 1711 on the main chiefs of orangist ‘party’ were seniors of the Bentinck family; Hans William Bentinck, (1649–1709), a noble hailing from Gelderland, who was given by William of Orange, a title of lord of Portland, and who witnessed dying breath of William of Orange. Son of Hans Willem was Henry Bentinck, 1. Duke of Portland (1682- 1726), and his grandson was William Bentinck, 2. Duke of Portland (1709–1762). But the two last men lived British affaires, whereas from 1727 on the head of Dutch orangists was the son of Hans Willem Bentinck from second marriage; count Willem Bentinck (1704-1774), master of Rhoon and Pendrecht, who in the 40s created a real strong party fully devoted to orangist cause.
In time of Heinsius’ administration United Povinces had to face a severe stock market crash, which was parallel to French problems with shares of the so-called Missisipi Company and British South Sea Bubble. The Dutch used to talk about the ‘wind trade’ - vindhandel, i.e. trade with devaluated papers. The Republc experience a hard economic situation already in 1716. To Wight back against the crisis the ‘great meeting’ - Groote Verhadering was summoned to Hague in 1716. There came all representatives of all provinces and many discussions about the inefficiency of political and fiscal systems took place.
Also presented his Project of reform, but they were put in the archives without any bigger consideration. His works were printed only few decades later. But there were no obstacle in printing works, whose authors defended status quo. Meanwhile the kleine man wanted badly the return of stadholder and printed a lot of anonymous brochures. The old division between staatsgezinden and prinsgezinden was more and more an anachronism. Now it was important who stands for reform (and was most probably perceived as a almost-orangist), and who supports the ‘regentocracy’ and status quo. This new division was a consequence of rejecting plans of administrative centralization of Slingelandt and his supporters. That’s why the later history of the United Provinces is a rather depressing tale about a state that irrevocably lost its influence.
Heinsius’ successor as grand pensionary of Holland, Isaäc van Hoornbeek (1655-1727), the former pensionary of Rotterdam (many cities also used to have this type of councilors). He was a prudent man, disliking factious quarrels. In time of his administration, the supremacy of regenten grounded. Slingeland was Hoornbeeck’s successor. He renewed the British alliance (1728) and supported (1732) Austria and the so-called ‘Pragmatic Sanction’, concerning change in succession of the Hapsburg family. At the congress in Soissons (1728/1729) Slingelandt presented a project of common peace in Europe. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to introduce his reforms of the Dutch Republic. The next pensionary (1737-1745), Anthonie van der Heim (1693-1746), the former thesaurier-generaal (1727-1737), didn’t manage to oppose the pressure exerted on him by the regents, so he remained eventually a puppet in their hands. The same happened to Willem Buys (b. 1661, g. 1749, grand pensionary: 1745-1746). The regent enjoyed their ‘true freedom’ (vare vrijheid), i.e. the full oligarchic power. But the Buys’ administration faced orangist riots. All this were happening after Slingeland’s death (1736), but we have to discuss also those events in order to understand the whole picture of Dutch politics in 18th Century.
The orangists were in the political shade in the 30s and Elary 40s. In spite of the fact that the son of Johan Friso., Willem, was (to regents’ fury and astonishment) stadhouder of Utrecht since 1718, and of Gelderland since 1722, but there were no real structures that would enable the orangist ‘party’ to influence Dutch policy. The new stadhouder was authorized to choose one of the two candidates for mayors presented by town councils in Utrecht and Gelderland, but there was no chance of such development in Holland in Amsterdam, because regents of the strongest province already change the law in order to preserve autonomy from stadholder’s decisions in this domain.
The aforementioned Willem Bentinck industriously reconstructed the royalist ‘party’, also thank to next French invasion (war of the Austrian succession – 1741-1748), that reveald infirmity of the Dutch military and regents’ governing. The anxious people forced elites to reestablish stadhouderat (3rd of May 1747 in Holland, seven days later in Overijssel). But it wouldn’t be enough to defend United Provinces, had the French foreign minister d’Argenson, not resigned from annexation of conquered Ducthc territory (this resignation cost him his office).
In the autumn of 1747 riots ot the so-called: doelisten started in several Dutch cities. There were especially violent in Rotterdam, and Amsterdam, where the rebels chose for their leader a china manufacturer Daniël Raap (1702-1754). The revolt (supported unofficially by orangists) resulted in deposing many regents from public offices (some were even killed) and electing ones sympathizing with the mob. For new burgomasters of Amsterdam the doelisten elected: Mattheus Lestevenon (1715-1797) and Gerard Aarnout Hasselaar (1698-1766). Contrary to the former burgomasters, Hasselaar was a men actively involved in trade (also in VOC). The new burgomasters were representatives of the common bourgeoisie, not so much poorer than regents caste, but with poorer connections. Many artisans, annoyed with regents’ greed and egoism (avoiding taxes by exerting bribery) supported the rebellion.
The excessive taxation was believed to be the main cause of revolt. It was said for instance, that in the Republic ‘only the air is not taxed’. The fury of petit-bourgeois directed against private tax-collectors , whose houses were plundered (like van Assen hose in Amsterdam). The gendarmerie sympathized with the mob and didn’t intervene.
Doelisten wanted that every burgher could buy a public office, which would end the era of regents’ supremacy, family contracts and nepotism. They sought protection of the stadholder (scanned: Oranje en vrijheid and vaved orange banners), and also wanted his position to be strengthened by law (to make the office of stadholder hereditary also in female line. Bentinck and William IV. Organised Real purge among towns’ and country’s officials. Even the New pensionary of Holland (1746-1749) Jacob Gilles (1695-1765) sympathised with doelisten, likewise Pieter Steyn (1706-1772), pensionary from 1749 to 1772.
The burgher of Haarlem Hendrik van Gimnig précised the goals of doelisten. Among them were; reestablishing the medieveal control of gild and fraternities over Town administration, participation of non-regents in voting for towns’ officials. In 1748 doelisten were given several posts within the council of war, but in other administrative organs the majority was composed from orangists who didn’t share the doelist vision of government. Bentinck indeed advised to take demands of doelisten into consideration, but Willem IV. Disliked the doelisten movement. Without a stable orangist support the reformist movement was loosing its energy, but also their royalist attitude. After Willem IV’ s death (1751) and appointing regent his wife, of princess Anne (1709-1759), daughter of king George II of Great Britain. Her son Willem V was 3-years old in 1751. Anne was hard-working, but arrogant and imperious, which made her unpopular. No wonder that Turing the 50s ‘democratic ‘ viosion prevailed among doelisten. Many of doelisten, disappointed with the orangists (who became new regents and ruled in the same manner), became so-called ‘patriots’. “patriot’ ideology emerged from political and economical discussions in coffea-houses.
After death of Raap (1754) the ‘patriots’ already formed part of Dutch political situation. Princess Anne, and the next regent prince of Braunschweig-Wolefenbüttel weren’t able to win their support. The result was continued regionalization of the United Provinces, which suited many enlightened regents.
The main organization grouping supporters of the ‘patriot’ movement was the ‘Dutch Scientific Society’ – Hollandsche Maatschapij voor Wetenschappen - established in 1752, especially the economical branch of this association (formally established in 1777). This patriot economists differed from e.g. French physiocrats, because unlike physiocrats, they didn’t have any common ideal of economic stability and order. Instead they had common vision of democratic republic. Thay had to win the public support by competition with enlightened regents (deprived by the orangist of most of the power). For instance Pieter Paulus (1754-1796), was both ‘patriot’ and radical democrat, later also adherent of French resolution and abolitionist, whereas e.g. Simon Stijl (1731-1804) was also ‘patriot’, but searching of some consensus with regents.
The great disadvantage to the position of the regents was the isolation of United Provinces in Europe (because of announced neutrality of 1756, and a very mediocre economical gain during the seven years war). The treaty of Hubertusburg (1763) only temporarily improved the economic situation.
From 1766 Willem V of Orange ruled the Union personally. He was frequently compared in historiography with Louis XVI of France, the other good man, whose character was incompatible with ruler’s duties. They were both home-birds and both used to avoid public appearances. That is why Willem relied on councilors’ advice, especially that of prince of Braunschweig. The worst thing was, that in ‘patriots’ eyes it was him, and not the regents who represented the hateful patronage. Nevertheless the first eight years of Willem’s rule passed quietly, mainly thank to economic prosperity.
Also because Britain was no more so popular among Dutchmen as it used to be in Slingeland’s decade, Bentinck found Willem a Prussian wife Wilhelmine a niece of Frederick the Great. The wedding took place in Berlin on 4th of October 1767. When in 1775 the American colonists revolted against British government, most Dutchmen sympathized with them. The American Declaration of Independence of 1776 was perceived by Dutch ‘patriots’ a model of political activity. Even the word ‘patriots’ was used by democratic leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. Dutch democrats perceived the declaration as example of realization of liberal demands of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume, Priestley and Rousseau. Pristley and his political thought was for van der Capellen when he was writing his famous appeal to the Ducth nation: Aan het Volk de Nederland in 1781.
In 1776 the British and Dutch were arguing about Dutch smugglers from St. Eustace Island, who were supplying American rebels despite Britis blockade. The British ambassador (1751-1780) in the Hague gen. Joseph Yorke, lord Dover (1723-1792) extorted dismissal of Island’s governor van Heyliger and replacing him with De Graeff, but this broyght no alteration of situation. The agreement was still within reach, because the British fighting from 1778 on also with France agreed for limited supply from St. Eustace, provided they wouldn’t be too big and frequent, so that the Dutch islanders would be satisfied and the American colonists still of some want of armament. Unfortunately it was the moment when the French ambassador (in Hague since 1777) Paul François de Quélen, duke de Vauguyon (1746-1828) intervened. He informed the regents of Amsterdam, that if they won’t require respecting the rule of mare liberum by the British, France will brake the lucrative trade agreements with United Provinces. So we must remember that the later uneven and catastrophic war with Britai was a result of French blackmail, and not of some Dutch pro-American sympathies.
The war that United Provinces couldn’t win (about 300 war vessels of Royal Navy vs 20 Dutch) deprived ‘patriots’ from remaining of belief in the authorities. The position of the Provinces in Europe declined more and more. In 1780 the Dutch under pressure of emperor Joseph II and Austrian diplomats evacuated their troops from the Franco-Belgian border. On the 4th of October 1782 32 ‘patriot’ regents form various provinces have created a body that was supposed to replace the existing government - there was still no talk about the sovereignty of people etc, but many common burghers were accepted as coworkers. They created a militia that started to replace traditional urban militias. Thus the Dutch revolution commenced. This resolution had its own specificity and –historically speaking - ended with liberal suffrage reforms of Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798-1872) in 1848. roku. The Dutch revolution had nothing in common with parallel Belgian uprising against reforms of Joseph II, and still less with the French revolution.
The revolutionaries took over the whole province of Holland until 1787 (the Hague was taken already in September 1785 thank to internal peaople’s revolt) and Utrecht. Than the orangist still controlled Gelderland and Zeeland. The situation in other provinces was inconclusive. The orangists were backed up by the British ambassador James Harris, 1. Earl of Malmesbury (1746-1820), who co-financed their military forces and used to bribe as many officials as he could to persuade them into taking a conservative position. But still we couldn’t be sure which side would have won, hadn’t the Prussian intervention of 1787 taken place. Pieter van Bleiswijk (1724-1790), ‘democratic’ (this word was of ten used as a synonym of French ‘republican’) grand pensionary of Holland (1772-1787), and a reformist, was dismissed, and his post was given over to orangist Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel (1736-1800), the former (1785-1787) grand pensionary of Zeeland .
Revolutionaries like Johan Valckener, used exiled in France used to call themselves: Batavians like inhabitants of the biggest Dutch colonial city. This name was to symbolize the renewed Netherlands according to recipes of Rousseau and Mably. Many political clubs were established in France, many members of which served in the franche etrangére legion (next to the Swiss and Flamands) The Legion was only 2800 soldiers strong, so had little military significance, but it was a cradle of the new revolutionary ‘batavian’ elite after 1795 i.e. French invasion of Holland.
The events of the French revolution were of great interest of the Dutch, but it would be unjust to talk of some great fondness of the French cause. The aforementioned Gazette de Leyde of Jean Luzac (1702-1798), read in all Europe expressed typically enlightened hopes concerning the French States General and criticizing for instance the parliament of Franche-Comté, who tried to avoid sending their representatives to that meeting, but also sympathized with the ‘human and just” Louis XVI. The capture of Bastille was in Luzac’s opinion, a work of some hidden coterie. Differently from Prussian Gazette du Bas-Rhin Lusac’s paper didn’t search for excuse for the mob, that slaughtered the garrison of that fortress. Generally speaking Gazette de Leyde presented French revolutionaries in relatively positive light, although in the same time it criticized Belgian conservative revolt against enlightened reforms of the emperor Joseph II. Bringing Louis XVI from Versailles to Paris was understood as an act of good will (ensuring monarch’s security). Louis XVI was in Gazette’s opinion a classic good monarch, surrounded by destructive intrigues of the court, with time he was accused of passivity (Lusac’s newspaper regretted thet he didn’t conduct his policy in style of Stanislaus Poniatowski). The decree of 16th of june 1790 abolishing nobility in France aroused both fear (as a possibly destructive breech with past) and understanding. During the September massacres of prisoners (1792) the burghers of Leyden could have read that the French capital was given away to the ‘capricious people’s tyranny, where no innocent could feel safe, and the mob was bloodthirsty’”.
The next evidence for the lack of ideological connection between the two revolutions ca be fact, that in sommer 1795 many Calvinist preachers used to claim that ‘God wanted this rewolution, mainly because it had overthrown the hateful liberal regents’ power. On 19th of january 1795 the Batavian Republic was proclaimed. The deay before Willem of Orange left the country. Some orangists were tried. The conservative lawyer Willem Bilderdijk (1756-1831) was Hus able to defend many of them – such contrast with Jacobin terror in France !
On the 1st of march 1796 the first National Assembly of the Batavian Republic had its meeting. The two main ‘parties’ were represented; ‘federalists’ or ‘aristocrats’ were the adherents of the old system of regentocracy, whereas ‘democrats’ campaigned for suffrage for broader groups of society. The radical democrat, writer and textile manufacturer Pieter Vreede once said, that ‘federalists’ want that the ‘yoke carried by people should be padded with velvet and therefore easier to bear”.
The democrats won the first election in august 1797 with about 108.000 votes (federalists got only 30 000). Soon later the French, who up to this moment only looked with sympathy at the whole situation, decided to intervene again. On 27th of January 1798 the whole Batavian Republic was annexed by France and involved with the French political experiments. 22 federalist leaders were arrested, and their ‘party’ dissolved. The French imposed their own constitution based on the French one of 1795. The territory of the former United Provinces/Batavian Republic was divided into directorates. Up the congress of Vienna (1814-1815) the Dutch people remained French hostages. Napoleon introduced a strict and severe censure of the press, on the scale unknown earlier in the northern Netherlands. The Dutch were allowed to realize their own political visions only after Bonaparte’s defeat.
The Dutch enlightenment is a separate vast topic. The United Provinces were one of the main centers of the new liberal political thought. Already in the 17th Century preacher working in Amsterdam Balthasar Brekker claimed that reason is more important than revelation, even earlier Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677) attacked some elements of orthodox Christian morality, claiming for instance that remorse and guilt are superfluous destructive and unnecessary emotions, that make nobody’s situation better, and the file harder and created also a pantheistic vision of God who looks more on people’s action than orthodoxy. The Dictionnaire Historique et Critique (1695-1697) of a Huguenot refugee from Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) in which he advanced arguments for religious toleration, was up to the end of the 18th Century a Bible of les philiosophes. In 18th Century Holland quite popular were ideas of Christian Wolff, especially his interpretation of Leibnitz’s concepts. The Dutch liked the stress on ‘clarity and precision’ in science, that Wolff recommended. A Dutch Jew Isaac de Pinto (1717-1787) from a rich Sephardic family tried to argue with Voltaire’s negative opinion on Jewish character (greed, avarice etc.). Voltaire’s opinion of Dutch toleration and enlightenment was high, unlike Montesquieu’, who found it too much stepped in Calvinist zeal and mysticism, well the Dutch enlightenment apparently remained very much in a style of 17th Century. The Calvinist preachers succeeded in prohibiting print and distribution of Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ (1762) and Voltaire’s ‘Treaty on Tolerance’ (1763). But when someone really wanted to read them, it was possible for him to do so.
The Eighteenth Century United Provinces preserved its earlier predominance in legal studies, especially with regard to international law. It was a creative continuation of great Huig de Groot’s (Hugo Grotius) ideas. For instance the basic manual for European diplomats at the beginning of the 18th century and later was Abrahama de Wicquefort’ book: L'Ambassadeur et ses fonctions (the Hague 1682). Other Dutchman Cornelis van Bynkershoek (1673-1743), a professional Judg analysed the legal position and prerogatives of the diplomatic envoi in his work: De foro legatorum liber singularis (1721). One of Bynkershoek ‘s Works was edited also in English: On the Dominion of the Sea. His: Observationes tumulturiae is a storehouse of information about 18th Century legal practice.
The Dutch freemasonry was visible but didn’t play such a big rule in the work of enlightenment as its equivalents in other European countries. In 1735 the states of Holland dissolved the local loge, but after several years its sections were reeatsblished, this time with no disturbances from government’s side.
Among the educated elite of the 18th Century United Provinces it was popular, like in other parts of Europe, to write and speak in French. The philosopher Frans Hemsterhuis (1721-1790) wrote exclusively in this language, whereas and the Scotsman James Boswell came to Utrecht in 1763 in order to enrich and improve his French.
The Dutch enlightenment can boast with many scientific achievements both in physics and medicine or natural sciences. Willem Jakob van s’Gravesande (1688-1742) was a famous popularizer of newtonianim even before Voltaire. The most famous figure of the Dutch enlightenment would be Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738), whose botanical garden attracted many tourists from all Europe, and whose medical advice was listened even by oriental masters. We should also mention two other great names of one family; Gerard van Swieten (1700-1772), the physician of the empress Maria Theresia, and his son Gottfried van Swieten (1733-1803), a diplomat and educational reformer in Austrian service.
The Eighteenth century United Provinces had sometimes an opinion of a country, whose inhabitants discuss only finances, business, trade, stocks and shares, but with other knowledge in decline. When we quote the general governor of VOC Willem Gustaaf van Imhoff (1705-1750), who said in 1745 that copper is a ‘next bride to dance with’, we can easily believe that this opinion to be justified, but this can easily result from the fact that travelling aristocrats weren’t so keen on business as Dutch bourgeoisie.
In historiography there’s a constant tension concerning the transition from Dutch 17th century – ‘the Golden Age’ – Gouden Eeuw, and the often underestimated ‘Age of Wigs’ – Pruikentijd i.e. the 18th Century.
British historian Charles R. Boxer quoted his Dutch colleague van Laur, who claimed that the tendency to oppose Gouden Eeuw and Pruikentijd and claiming thar the former period was superior in al most every aspect is a product of revolutionary propaganda of 1795, didn’t agree with him and quoted the Dutchmen of the pre-revolutionary era, that proof that some of them have perceived their country as being in decline, like the author of a article in De Borger newspaper edited on 19th of October 1779, who was convinced that the population of the Provinces will be soon composed only from beggars and stockholders – two of the least advantageous groups for the nation”. Charles Boxer doubts if the achievements of the 18tyh Century enlightenment (hygiene, science, milder customs and law) could counter-balance the decline of the empire. This letter dated 17 of june 1764 written in Utrecht by James Boswell is often quoted as a proof of the decline. In this letter Boswell wrote that most of Dutch towns are neglected, there many poor people vegetating on the street can be seen. Utrecht was reportedly particularly ruined. The Hague was still shining, but this city was more French than Dutch in style (clumsy imitation of French extravagance and politeness replaced the old Dutch sincerity and candor). Also the universities were in financial troubles.
In Eighteenth Century the Dutch people usually claimed that the ‘greedy’ regents are to blame for the decline and risky business ventures (they used to translate the abbreviation: VOC as Vergaan Onder Corruptie - ‘perished because of corruption), the lack of patriotism among bankers who credited irresponsible bankrupt kings and princes although often refused to credit the Generaal-Staaten. But we know today that the main reason was not so much mistakes committed by Dutch financiers and traders, but the mercantilist regulations introduced by other countries; like the French embargo imposed on Dutch hering (1751), which was followed by similar actions of Austrian Netherlands, Denmark and Prussia. The last country has developed during the whole 18th Century the textile industry, and to protect it - blocked the importation of Dutch fabric.
Amsterdam with its 200.000 inhabitants (1740) still remained the main transit harbor, ‘main cash desk, and storage house of Europe’ (de gemene kassa en het gemeen pachhuys van Europa), that in 1729 obtained the possibility to trade with China via the harbor in Canton (Guangzhou), and that trade flourished for many decades.
The most famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) tried to ‘defend’ Pruikentijd by claiming that the Dutch eighteenth Century, ‘the time of wigs and snuff, bourgeois and sentimental, possessed much hidden grandeur, based on a clarity of thought of people living in that tome’. Huizinga deplored that a straggle between orangists and ‘patriots’ were too often presented in the convention of a comedy, and claimed that most of Dutch national character: ‘fondness of order an cleanliness and urban life, peaceful unostentatious patriotism, and toleration (sometimes even towards the intolerant) were formed precisely in the Eighteenth Century.
 C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800, Taylor & Francis, 1977, p. 30.
 Ph.. Thicknesse, A Year's Journey Through
France and Part of 1777, s. 80. Spain-
 C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800,, s. 42.
 Ibidem, p. 60-61.
 C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800, p. 7.
 Many Dutch politician of the era were of opinion, that Generaal Staten attracted provincial politicians with pensions and a possibility of taking bribes, vide: Ibidem, s. 40.
 In the 18th Century all other European navies, except of the Dutch, were regularly modernized and enlarged, J. Bromley, J. Meyer, „The Second Hundred Years War (1689-1815)” in: Britain and France Ten centuries, Folkestone (Kent) 1970.
 Up to 1932 it was an unofficial anthem.
 J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii, Ossolineum Wrocław 1989, p. 204.
 Sometimes members of regent families were designated for offices already as children. Because it was obvious that a child cannot perform official duties, the families used to hire (usually poorly paid) assistants who used to perform the job, : Ibidem
 His son was the great pensionary of Holland Adriaan Pauw (1585-1653), whose son was Adriaen Pauw (1622-1697), one of the regent of that province. We can see on this example how the hereditary power of regents looked like, H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande. Politik-Verfassung-Wirtschaft, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt 1983, p. 163.
 Ibidem, p. 163.
 Ibidem, p. 164.
 C. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800,
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 166.
 Already in the 17th C Britons visiting the Dutch Republic often ascertained that if the English were to be so heavily taxed as the Dutch, there would be nothing but constant revolts, C. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800,
 J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii, p. 209.
 In 1735 1.250.000 pounds of nutmeg was destroyed to maintain prices, Ibidem, p. 236.
 On the other hand round-ups of the poor drunkards to the navy, has never taken such a big scale as in Britain, C. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800,
 C. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800 , p. 76-77.
 Many examples of Dutch-German comradeship were presented by Jac van Essen in his book written in nazi-occupied Holland, J. van Essen, Mein Holland, Volk und Reich Verlag Amsterdam/Berlin/Prag/Wien 1944, p. 119.
 Alhough the Dutch administration of Batavia let in 1743-1749 the German Lutherans to build their own church, but they could have their own Lutheran preacher only in 1780, C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800, p. 148.
 J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii, s. 206.
 A.T. van Deursen, „The Dutch Republic”, In: J.C.H. Bloom, E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, Berghahn Books NY/Oxford 2006, s. 209.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, Facts on File inc. NY 2008.
 C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800 , s. 45.
 Jean Luzac was uncle of Elie Luzac (1721-1796)/. Elie, also an editor, and a proponent of a moderate protestant version of Enlightenment. Resolution of the 80s was too radical for him, so He declined from taking part in it. He was the most famous Dutch proponent of freedom of the prees In his age, :R van Vliet, Elie Luzac (1721-1796): Boekverkoper van de Verlichting, 2005.
 Vide: J. Dumas, Traité de Suicie, Amsterdam 1773.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, s. 80.
 There were examples of selfmademen among the directors of VOC. The managers of the company adopted some oriental style of living; flowing robes, tyrannizing of servants. The common sailors working for VOC were often called ‘kings of six days’ - herreen varensgasten, because they often to spend year’s wages on libations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The language of the Afican Dutchmen - afrikaans and the model of a rich African Dutch farmer who doesn’t work (because he has slaves) and starts a day with a snuff box, enriched the Dutch literature and culture, C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800 ,
 Vide: Ibidem, p. 88-114.
 The remarks of C.R. Boxera, contradict of course the old idea of Max Weber about the particular connection between Calvinism, the protection of possession, and entrepreneurial spirit . The ideas of Weber and similar opinions about protestant predilection towards capitalistic ventures are questioned by prof. Angusa Maddisona from the University of Groningen (he studies the growth of nations’ GDP through the ages) http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/
 Vide: C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 152
 The Hop family was a typical family of regents. Sons of Jacob Hop became high official of the state; Cornelis Hop (1685-1762), a diplomat was Dutch ambassador in Paris (1718-1726), Hendrick Hop (1686-1761) was ambassador in London (1723-1761) Johan Hop (1709-1772) was another general threasurer in the family , vide: A. Heinsius., De briefwisseling van Anthonie Heinsius, 1702-1720, Den Haag Instituut Nederlandse Geschiedenis 1998.
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 162.
 That doesn’t mean that the regent wanted no control over the army. Just the opposite, to Churchill’s annoyance civil representatives of the estate were always around him, ma king his campaigns harder . Those commissioners disliked the prospect of bloody struggle and heavy losses, hoping naively, that all that can be avoided. Also general military men used to quarrel a lot with Churchill (especially gen. Slangenburg, whereas gen. Ouverkerk was more conciliatory), vide: G. Edmundson, History of Holland, Cambridge University Press 1922.
 The first grand meeting took place in the 17th Century: Ibidem
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 167-172.
 What’s interesting the united Provinces didn’t favor states with similar republic an government. The Republic of Venice was treated with distrust, although sometimes the Dutch declared some ‘republican solidarity’ with Venetians, vide: J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii, s. 195.,
 Vide: G. Edmundson, History of Holland
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 173.
 Ibidem , p. 174.
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 175.
 J. Van der Kiste, George II and Queen Caroline, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing 1997, p. 198.
 A.T. van Deursen, „The Dutch Republic”, In: J.C.H. Bloom, E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, Berghahn Books NY/Oxford 2006, p. 214.
 This socjety organised competition for the Best economical Project. The first of them was won by certain
H.H. van de Heuvel
 Vide: H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande
 It was Hamburg which gained more economically from that conflict.
 A.T. van Deursen, „The Dutch Republic”, In: J.C.H. Bloom, E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, Berghahn Books NY/Oxford 2006, p. 214.
 Vide: G. Edmundson, History of Holland
 Vide: De Nederlandse Revolutie van de achttiende eeuw 1780-1787. Oligarchie en ploretariaat, Oirsbeek 1974.
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 192.
 The Prussians used the detention of Wilhelmina (wife of Willem V wanted to depart for Prussia) as pretext (crimen laesae maiestatis ) of invasion .
 Zeeland was traditionally orangist. Jacob Verheije (1640-1718), grand pensionary of Zeeland from 1687 to 1718 wanted even to resigne of his position after the death of William III. The States of Zeeland forbade him to do so. Verheije’s successor (1718-1734) Caspar van Citters (1674-1734) was married into both ‘republican’ and ‘orangist’ familie, chich enebled him to remain neutral. It was similar in case of P Dignus Francois Keetlaer (b. 1674, d. 1750, pensionary: 1734-1750). Johan Pieter Recxstoot (b. 1701, d. 1756) was an oarngist like Jacob du Bon (ur. 1695, zm. 1760), Willem I van Citters (zm. 1766), Adriaan Steengracht (d. 1770) and Johan Marinus Johnszoon Chalmers (ur. 1720, zm. 1796), predecessor of van de Speigel.
 Batavia – Jakarta – capital of today’s Indonesia.
 P. Ugniewski, Między absolutyzmem a jakobinizmem. Gazeta Lejdejska o Francji i Polsce 1788-1794, Wydawnictwo DIG Warszawa 1998, p. 33.
 Ibidem, p. 35.
 Ibidem, p. 36.
 Ibidem, p. 42.
 Ibidem, p. 44.
 Ibidem, p. 46.
 Ibidem, p. 82.
 Ibidem, p. 68.
 Ibidem, p. 120.
 H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande, p. 211.
 Ibidem, s. 213.
 A.T. van Deursen, „The Dutch Republic”, In: J.C.H. Bloom, E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, Berghahn Books NY/Oxford 2006, p. 201.
 Vide: S. Nadler, Spinoza; a life , Cambridge University Press 1999. Spinoza’s ideas were spreading mainly unofficially.
 Among his arguments were that every church believes it is the right one so "a heretical church would be in a position to persecute the true church". Bayle wrote that the erroneous conscience procures for error the same rights and privileges that the orthodox conscience procures for truth.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, p. 106.
 Or: Bijnkershoek
 S.E. Nehlik, Narodziny nowożytnej dyplomacji, Ossolineum Wrocław 1971, p. 24.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, p. 23.
 A.T. van Deursen, „The Dutch Republic”, In: J.C.H. Bloom, E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, Berghahn Books NY/Oxford 2006, p. 209.
 Vide: V. Cronin, Katarzyna – imperatorowa Wszechrosji, Wydawnictwo Da Capo Warszawa 2000.
 C.R. Boxer, Dutch seaborne empire, p. 271.
 Vide: J.C. van Laur, Indonesian Trade and Society, The Hague 1995, quote after: C.R. Boxer, Dutch seaborne empire
 Jan Balicki claimed that Dutch authors of early romanticism era were wrong in perceiving the wigs as symbols of decline and decadence, because the elites of most successful nations (Prussia, Britain) also used to wear them, , vide: J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii
 C.R. Boxer, Dutch seaborne empire, p.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, p. 107.
 Choć nie wydaje się by korupcja szkodziła istnieniu Kompanii, vide: C.R. Boxer, Dutch seaborne empire s. 211. Przynajmniej obyło się w tym kraju bez wielkich procesów jak szefa brytyjskiej Kompanii Wschodnioindyjskiej Warrena Hastings, po którym zarząd nad firma przejęło państwo.
 P.F. State, A brief history of the Netherlands, p. 104.
 J. Balicki, M. Bogucka, Historia Holandii, p 193.
 W 1711 roku Brytyjska Kompania Wschodnioindyjska założyła placówkę handlową w nazywanym wówczas Kanton. Kanton był następnie jednym z pięciu chińskich "portów traktatowych", otwartych dla handlu z zagranicą na skutek traktatu w Nankinie z 1842 roku.
 J. Huizinga, Dutch Civilisation in the 17th Century, 2008 Collins London 1968, p. 182-201.