1848-1870 1887-1914

The Netherlands, 1870-1887

Foreign Policy : In 1871 the Netherlands withdrew her embassy from the Papal State. In 1872, the Netherlands and Britain modified their agreement of 1824; the Netherlands ceded her factories on the Gold Coast and recognized British interest in North Borneo; Britain accepted Aceh to be within the Dutch sphere of interest. The Dutch conquest of Aceh began in 1873 (and lasted until 1908, due to the stubborn resistance of the Sultanate).

Domestic Policy : The Dutch Catholic bishops in 1868 refused the concept of public, i.e. state-run schools; the Catholic chuch came into confrontation with the state (in 1864, a papal encyclic had condemnd the liberal state), a situation which was severed when the Netherlands in 1871 withdrew her embassy to the Papal State.
In 1870 the Kingdom of the Netherlands abolished the death penalty. In 1878 the Antirevolutionary Party (Calvinist) was established, the leading politician being Abraham Kuyper. In 1881, the Social Democratic Union founded, in 1885 the Liberal Union.
In 1887 the constitution was amended; the right to vote was made dependent on education and property. Parliamentarism was reformed, as the Second Chamber was enlarged to 100 representatives, the term being limited to 4 years; the first chamber had 50 members. The franchise was expanded, to c. 29 % of the adult men.
In 1871 Aletta Jakobs was the first women in the Netherlands to be admitted as a universiy student.
Of significant importance was the Schoolstrijd (School Issue). The constitution of 1815 had created a non-confessional public school system. The religious organizations, most notably the Catholic Church and the Reformed Church (Calvinists) made use of the right to establish private confessional schools provided by the constitution of 1848. As requirements regarding the standards school had to meet made the running of schools costly (law of 1878), political parties organized on confessional lines promoted state financial support for confessional schools. In 1885 a coalition of Catholics and ARP (Calvinist) gained control of government; confessional schools were granted state financial aid. The organization of the Dutch schools along confessional and political lines laid the basis for a structure particular to the Netherlands and Belgium - the Pillarization of Society. These pillars were Catholicism, Calvinism and Liberalism, to which Social Democracy later was added.
Abraham Kuyper was the central figure in another schism within the Dutch Reformed Church (Doleance).

The economy : A Universal Netherlands Workers Union was founded in 1871. In 1874, child labour in factories below the age of 12 was forbidden. In 1875 the Gold Standard was introduced. In 1876 the North Sea Canal was opened, shortcutting the connection of Amsterdam (1878) with the North Sea at IJmuiden, a port city founded then. The Dutch merchant marine grew to become one of the world's largest. Dutch agriculture was modernized, specializing on flowers (tulip bulbs, flower seeds), fruit and dairy products (cheese).

Dutch Government Revenue and Expenditure, 1870-1913
Source : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics 1750-1988, pp.798, 801, 812 and 822
figures in Dutch Guilders




Articles Abraham Kuyper, Anti-Revolutionaire Partij, Liberale Unie, Schoolstrijd, Geschiedenis van Nederland : Hervormingen na 1848, Doleantie, from Wikipedia Dutch edition
The Netherlands : History, from infoplease, encyclopedic, scroll down
Biography of Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), from NBCi
History of political parties and movements : geschiedenis.com, go to menue : politiek, partiijen; chronological lists, in Dutch
Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen, at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam 1883, in Dutch, recreated, virtual exhibition
Short History of Dutch Catholicism : the Catholic Pillar, from Katholiek Documentatie Centrum at Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen
Biography of Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), of Jan Heemskerk Azn. (1818-1897), from Multatuli Encyclopedie
De Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling Amsterdam 1883, from Univ. Leiden, in Dutch
Timeline 1850-1899, 1900-1940, from geschiedenis.com, in Dutch
Periode 1848-1872 - het tijdperk van Thorbecke (1848-1872 - the period of Thorbecke); Periode 1872-1888, Kiesrecht- en Schoolstrijd (1872-1888 - franchise and school debate), from Parlement en Politiek, in Dutch, official site on the history of the Netherlands' Parliament
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics : the Netherlands, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
World Statesmen : the Netherlands, by Ben Cahoon; World Rulers : the Netherlands by Enno Schulz, illustrated, begins 1572
Links to Documents on the History of the Netherlands in the 19th Century, posted by psm-data
Coins issued under Willem III. (1849-1890), under Wilhelmina from Numismania
Portrait of King Willem III., from Art Istocracy
Vuur-Annihilateur of Vuur-Bluschmachine (Fire Extinguisher), 1881 report, M. Bernheim & Co., in Dutch
REFERENCE Mark T. Hooker, The History of Holland, Westport : Greenwood, 1999; KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.2 H783h
J.C.H. Blom, A Small European Nation State (1830-1870s), pp.387-404, The "Modernization" of the Netherlands (1880-1918), pp.404-423, in : J.C.H. Blom and E. Lamberts (ed.), History of the Low Countries, trsl. by James C. Kennedy, NY : Berghahn Books 1999, KMLA Lib. Sign. 949.3 B653h
A.J.W. Camijn, Een eeuw vol bedrijvigheid. De industrialisatie van Nederland, 1814-1914 (A century of industry, the industrialization of the NL), Utrecht : Veen 1987 [G]
Article : Netherlands, in : Statesman's Year Book 1878, pp.326-343 (data on 1877) [G]
Article : Netherlands, in : Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events 1886 pp.605-609 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000; last revised on September 6th 2007

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