Inventing the Belgian revolution': politics and political thought in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1814-1830)
Title: Inventing the Belgian revolution': politics and political thought in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1814-1830)
Author: MARTEEL, Stefaan
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2009
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
In Belgian national historiography the Belgian Revolution of 1830 is the subject that has been strongly appropriated for ‘nationalist’ purposes (either in support or against Belgian national identity). Furthermore it is also the subject over which different ‘schools’ in the study of history have come to fight over the most. In a similar way as the Revolution of 1789 does in French historiography, the Belgian Revolution invites the Belgian historian, even the most impartial one, to identify him or herself with it (or to reject it). The reason is that the very notion of a modern ‘history of Belgium’, no matter how far it is traced back in history, would not have been thinkable had the Belgian Revolution not occurred. Regardless whether a Belgian identity existed before 1830, a question which has been debated for some time, the existence of Belgium as a modern nation and the Belgian Revolution are wrapped up with each other. It could be argued, from this perspective, that every new study of the Belgian Revolution, to the extent that it has the ambition of being impartial, is a further exercise in detachment from the event. At the same time the political language of a revolution is always, to a larger extent than at any other moment in history, selfinventive, and with much more difficulty to place within either political, intellectual or social contexts (especially when it was ‘successful’), and this is why it does not let itself be reconstructed in an objective way without a strong methodology that draws on the previous developments in the historiography of the event. This study reconstructs the advent of the Belgian Revolution within its intellectual context, within the history of political thought and political languages of the period (the ‘Age of Revolutions’). In this introduction this approach will be followed in the light of the general development of the historiography on the subject and the recent theoretical developments in the history of politics and political thought.
LC Subject Heading: Belgium -- Politics and government -- 1814-1830; Belgium -- History -- Revolution, 1830-1839
Defense Date: 02/02/2009; Examining Board: Prof. Martin van Gelderen (EUI, Florence) - supervisor Prof. Els Witte (Free University of Brussels) - external supervisor Prof. Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (EUI, Florence) Prof. Niek van Sas (University of Amsterdam)
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.