The revolution of 1688 in Dutch pamphlet literature: a study in the Dutch public sphere in the late seventeenth century
Bergin, Emma Theresa
Thesis or dissertation
- © 2006 Emma Theresa Bergin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
This thesis examines the pamphlet literature published in the Dutch Republic during the period surrounding the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Although the Dutch side of the Revolution has been afforded significant attention in recent years, writing on the subject has focused largely on assessing the motivation of William III and the Dutch regents in taking the decision to intervene in England, or on considering how particular groups responded to the events of 1688-89. This study provides a broader perspective, analysing the pamphlet literature published in the Dutch Republic between 1685 and 1689 in reference to Habermas' theory of the public sphere. Through rigorous content analysis of the pamphlet literature, this thesis examines and quantifies the main subjects of interest to the Dutch public, both within a given year and over time, as well as evaluating the information and commentary available to them. Particular focus is placed on the nature of the public debate concerning England, in order to assess Dutch views and opinions of the English situation. The main source used is the Knuttel collection of Dutch pamphlet literature in the Royal Library at The Hague, the largest and most extensive collection in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Republic had a broadly accessible public sphere in the seventeenth century, in which political and religious matters were debated relatively freely and widely via the pamphlet medium. During the 1685-1689 period, a wide range of domestic and international issues were addressed in the pamphlet literature. The Dutch public had access to a variety of information sources including official documents, news reports, polemic, propaganda and graphic prints. Dutch interest in English domestic affairs reached its peak in the 1688-89 period, prompted by the translated works of British authors and unidentified anti-Stuart propagandists, which significantly influenced Dutch views of the English situation in the lead up to William's expedition. Dutch pamphleteers gave overwhelming support to William's intervention in England, which was regarded as a defensive measure designed to safeguard Europe's Protestant religion and liberties. However, the Dutch public quickly lost interest in English affairs from 1690 onwards.
- Department of History, The University of Hull
- Price, J. L.
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