Batavian Republic
Netherlands United, 1815-1830

The Kingdom of Holland, 1806-1810 and French Annexation, 1810-1813

A.) The Kingdom of Holland, 1806-1810

In 1806, Napoleon compelled the Dutch delegation to request Louis Napoleon Bonaparte to accept the crown of Holland (thus the Batavian Republic converted into the Kingdom of Holland, the latter encompassing the Northern Netherlands). Louis Napoleon entered Den Haag (The Hague) on June 23rd. The reception, unlike in Spain, was a hearty one; for one; many were relieved that the Batavian Republic had not been simply annexed into France.
Louis Napoleon introduced a Unified Currency, the Guilder (until then, the provinces and certain cities had minted coins) and had a Penal Law Code compiled, largely modelled on French law. He also strove to improve health care and education. Over the years, his popularity actually increased; his son Louis Napoleon later would enter the history books as French Emperor Napoleon III.
In Nov. 1806, the Continental System was introduced. In 1807, the County of East Frisia was annexed. The Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and the Arts at Amsterdam, the Royal Library at Den Haag and the State Museum for Paintings were founded in 1808. In 1809, a law code based on the French code civil was introduced. In August-Dec. 1809, the British invaded Walcheren (Zeeland), yet were unable to gain ground.
Napoleon was not satisfied with the observance of the Continental System (smuggling still went on on a considerable scale) and with the lackluster performance of the Dutch in the defense of their country. In March 1810, the Kingdom of Holland ceded the regions to the south of Waal and Merwede to France; on July 1st Louis Napoleon abdicated, on July 9th France, by Decree of Rambouillet, annexed the entire kingdom.

B.) A French Province, 1810-1813

Charles-Francois Lebrun was appointed governor general; Amsterdam was proclaimed 3rd capital of the French Empire. Meanwhile, in 1811, Java, the heart of the Dutch Colonial Empire, was occupied by a British expedition under Sir Stamford Raffles.
In November 1813 the French troops retreated; on Nov. 15th a provisional (post-French) administration was established at Amsterdam.

While the Batavian Republic still was a Dutch state, the Kingdom of Holland was perceived, by the large majority of the Dutch population, as a French puppet state. King Louis Napoleon had gained the sympathy of many of his subjects by aiding the victims of floods in 1808 and 1809; however he did not stand up to his brother.
The population of the Kingdom of Holland in 1806 was 2,178,000; that of the French departement of the IJssel, forming the Netherlands in 1813 2,215,000.

C.) Economic Developments

The first censi were held in 1795 and 1815. It has been observed, that during this period of time, the population of the province of Holland declined, while that of most other provinces increased (de Vries/van der Woude 1997 pp.57ff). This decline hit the cities of Holland especially hard, whose economy depended heavily on overseas trade, a trade severely hit by the Wars of the Coalition and the Continental System.

Article Kingdom of Holland, Louis Bonaparte, from Wikipedia English edition
Article Koninkrijk Holland, Lodewijk Napoleon Bonaparte, from Wikipedia, Dutch edition
Biographies of Louis Bonaparte, from The Napoleonic Guide, from Histofig, from Museum voor Vaderlandse Geschiedenis (in Dutch)
Planche uniformologique de la Garde royale hollandaise 1806-1810, from Histofig
Holland, in : French Heraldry : Napoleonic titles : Kings
De Nederlandse wetgeving van 1806 en het joodse onderwijs (The Dutch law of 1806 and Jewish education), by Marjoke Rietveld- van Wingerden, posted by Nationaal Schoolmuseum; in Dutch
DOCUMENTS Coins of the Kingdom of Holland, from Numismania
Coins of the Netherlands as a French Province, 1810-1813, from Numismania
Map : Empire Francaise en 1811, from Migeon, Geographie Universelle 1882
Image : Louis Bonaparte, from Costumes Francaises: The Reign of Napoleon
Portrait of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, from Napoleonic Gallery, scroll down; official portrait by Baron Gerard, from joconde
Map : frontieres de la France en 1789, 1797, 1811, 1814, 1815, from Histofig
Rifleman Harris, The Walcheren Expedition, 1809, eyewitness report from
Map : Attack of Flushing (i.e. Vlissingen) 1809, from; Map : Walcheren 1809, from
Louis Bonaparte, from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Collection, 1250 major exhibits, encyclopedia, L, Louis Bonaparte, thumbnail pictures
Royal Palace (hitherto Amsterdam's city hall), from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Collection, 1250 major exhibits, encyclopedia, R, Royal Palace
Sir John Kinkaid, Adventures in the rifle brigade in the Peninsula, France and the Netherlands from 1809-1815, London 1830. Chapter on Walcheren 1809
Medal : Battle of Waterloo, Hollands Glory, 1815, from Bramsen's Napoleonic Medals
An extensive list of treaties, correspondence, decrees concerning the Kingdom of Holland and Holland as a French province, click here (docs mostly in French, online; list posted at this site)
Medal Mint Visit by Queen Hortense, from Napoleonic Medals : Mint Visits by Fortiter, scroll down; Hortense was the wife of King Louis of Holland. Medal inscriptions in Greek
Population Statistics Kingdom of Holland 1806-1813, from The Netherlands : historical demographical data for the whole country, from Jan Lahmeyer, Population Statistics
Netherlands - Kingdom of Holland, Warflags, from
Index op personen uit Dokkum in leger van Napoleon (Index of Persons from Dokkum in Napoleon's Army), 1808-1813, from De Sneuper, in Dutch
Treaty between France and the Batavian Republic, May 24th 1806, from, in German
Kingdom of Holland, Constitutional Law, 1806, from, in German
Kingdom of Holland, Constitution of 1806, from, in German
REFERENCE Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500-1815, Cambridge : UP 1997, KMLA Lib.Sign. 330.9492 V982f
J. Rogiers and N.C.E. van Sas, Revolution in the North and in the South, pp.269-312 in : J.C.H. Blom and E. Lamberts, History of the Low Countries, N.Y.: Berghahn 1999, KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.3 B653h
Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators : Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813, reprint 1992
H.P.H. Jansen, Kalendarium. Geschiedenis van de Lage Landen in Jaartallen. Calendarium. History of the Low Countries by Years), Utrecht 1979

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on May 8th 2006

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz