Orangism in the Dutch Republic in word and image, 1650-75

Stern, Jill
Date published: 
February 2010

This remarkable study represents a completely original presentation of the language and imagery used by the Orangists in the critical period in the mid-seventeenth century Netherlands as they sought the restoration of the stadholderate in the person of the young prince William III. Stern argues that the Orangists had no desire for the prince to become a monarch, rather that they viewed the stadholderate as an essential component of the Dutch constitution, the Union of Utrecht, and fulfilling a key role as defender of the rights and privileges of the citizenry against an overwheening urban oligarchy. Source material is drawn not only from books and political pamphlets but also from contemporary drama, poetry, portraits, prints, and medals. This enables the author to examine the imagery used by the supporters of the House of Orange, in particular the symbols of rebirth and regeneration which were deployed to propagate the restoration of the stadholderate in the person of William III.