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The Princes of Orange

The Stadholders in the Dutch Republic

The Princes of Orange
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This major study provides the first comprehensive assessment of an important European institution, the Stadholderate of the Dutch Republic. Professor Rowen looks at the career of each Prince of Orange in turn, from William I ('The Silent'), to the last and saddest, William V, examining their roles as Stadholder and interweaving their personal lives and characters with the development of the institution. Without engaging in psycho-history, Rowen treats the individual personality of each Stadholder as a significant factor, and shows how the Stadholderate contributed to a distinctive political and constitutional coloration that rendered the United Provinces unique in Europe. The work assesses the contribution of the Stadholderate to the rise and subsequent fall of the Dutch Republic as one of the great powers of early modern Europe, and analyses each prince within his contemporary context, avoiding the highly present-minded approach of many of the Republic's subsequent historians. The Princes of Orange is thus neither a work of hagiography, glorifying the Dutch royal house, nor a piece of destructive iconoclasm, but an authoritative account of a most unusual political, dynastic and diplomatic institution.
Cambridge University Press; May 1988
270 pages; ISBN 9781139240062
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