Kingdom of Holland

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Kingdom of Holland

  • Koningrijk Holland  (Dutch)
  • Royaume de Hollande  (French)
1806–1810
1807koninkrijk holland crop.png
StatusFrench client state
Capital
Common languages Dutch, French
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
King of Holland  
 1806–1810
Louis the Good
 1810
Louis II
Historical era Napoleonic era
Currency Dutch guilder
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Batavian Republic
First French Empire Blank.png
Today part of Netherlands, Germany

The Kingdom of Holland (Dutch : Koningrijk Holland, French : Royaume de Hollande) was set up by Napoléon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom for his third brother, Louis Bonaparte, in order to better control the Netherlands. The name of the leading province, Holland, was now taken for the whole country. In 1807, East Frisia and Jever were added to the kingdom.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third-most-widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

A puppet state, puppet regime, or puppet government is a state that is de jure independent but is de facto completely dependent upon an outside power. It is nominally sovereign but effectively controlled by a foreign or otherwise alien power, for reasons such as financial interests, economic or military support.

Contents

In 1809, after the Walcheren Campaign, Holland had to surrender all territories south of the river Rhine to France. Also in 1809, Dutch forces fighting on the French side participated in defeating the anti-Bonapartist German rebellion led by Ferdinand von Schill, at the battle of Stralsund.

Walcheren Campaign conflict

The Walcheren Campaign was an unsuccessful British expedition to the Netherlands in 1809 intended to open another front in the Austrian Empire's struggle with France during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Around 40,000 soldiers, 15,000 horses together with field artillery and two siege trains crossed the North Sea and landed at Walcheren on 30 July. This was the largest British expedition of that year, larger than the army serving in the Peninsular War in Portugal. The Walcheren Campaign involved little fighting, but heavy losses from the sickness popularly dubbed "Walcheren Fever". Although more than 4,000 British troops died during the expedition, only 106 died in combat; the survivors withdrew on 9 December.

Ferdinand von Schill German noble

Ferdinand Baptista von Schill was a Prussian Major who revolted unsuccessfully against French domination of Prussia in May 1809.

The Battle of Stralsund on 31 May 1809 was a battle during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, between Ferdinand von Schill's freikorps and Napoleonic forces in Stralsund. In a "vicious street battle", the freikorps was defeated and Schill was killed in action.

King Louis did not perform to Napoleon's expectations—he tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's—and the kingdom was dissolved in 1810, after which the Netherlands were annexed by France until 1813. Holland covered the area of the present-day Netherlands, with the exception of Limburg, and parts of Zeeland, which were French territory, and with the addition of East Frisia. It was the first formal monarchy in the Netherlands since 1581.

Limburg (Netherlands) Province of the Netherlands

Limburg is the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. It is in the southeastern part of the country, stretched out from the north, where it touches the province of Gelderland, to the south, where it internationally borders Belgium. Its northern part has the North Brabant province to its west. Its long eastern boundary is the international border with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Much of the west border runs along the River Maas, bordering the Flemish province of Limburg, and a small part of the Walloon province of Liège. On the south end, it has borders with the Flemish exclave of Voeren and its surrounding part of Liège, Wallonia. The Vaalserberg is on the extreme south-eastern point, marking the tripoint of Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Zeeland Province of the Netherlands

Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

Coat of arms

Napoléon's brother Louis Bonaparte was installed as King of Holland on 5 June 1806. Originally the arms of the new kingdom were to be like those of the Kingdom of Italy: an eagle bearing a shield, with the arms of the United Netherlands, the lion, now royally crowned. In December 1806, A. Renodi in Paris designed arms quartering the Napoléonic eagle with the lion of the United Netherlands. Around the shield was the French Order of the Grand Aigle. Behind the shield are crossed sceptres, typical for Napoleonic heraldry, and above the shield, Napoleon's star.

Louis Bonaparte King of Holland, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, member of the House of Buonaparte

Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was a younger brother of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. He was a monarch in his own right from 1806 to 1810, ruling over the Kingdom of Holland. In that capacity he was known as Louis I.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) kingdom in southern Europe between 1805 and 1814

The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

Eagle (heraldry) heraldic bird

The eagle is used in heraldry as a charge, as a supporter, and as a crest. The symbolism of the heraldic eagle is connected with the Roman Empire on one hand, and with Saint John the Evangelist on the other.

A few months later, on 20 May 1807, King Louis—now called "Lodewijk"—altered these arms, adding a helmet, leaving out his brother's star and replacing the Grand Aigle with his own Dutch Order of the Union and the old Dutch devise "Unity makes strength" around the shield. Exemplary for the innovation in Napoleon's heraldry are the two hands coming out of clouds from behind the shield holding swords, designating King Louis as Connétable de France.

Order of the Union award

The Order of the Union was a chivalric order established in 1806 by Louis Bonaparte, younger brother of Napoleon I, for the Kingdom of Holland. The order was abolished in 1811 when the French Empire absorbed the Kingdom of Holland. It was succeeded by the Order of the Reunion.

Unity makes strength motto, originally used by the Dutch Republic; currently used by Bulgaria and Haiti on the national coat of arms and the national motto of Belgium and Bulgaria

"Unity makes strength" is a motto that has been used by various states and entities throughout history. It is used by Bulgaria and Haiti on their coats of arms and is the national motto of Belgium, Bolivia, Georgia and Bulgaria. Until 2000, it was the national motto of South Africa.

History

Part of a series on the
History of the Netherlands
Joannes van Deutecum - Leo Belgicus 1650 - published by Claes Jansz Visscher Amsterdam.jpg
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlandsportal

Napoléon felt the Batavian Republic was becoming too independent for his liking. He thus forced the Dutch to accept his brother, Louis Bonaparte, as king. The alternative would have been outright annexation to France. Despite these circumstances, many citizens were very happy with his arrival. But there was also opposition, because many feared the new King would introduce the dreaded conscription. This Louis would not do, much to the dismay of Napoléon, who demanded that King Louis would raise a large army to guard the North from British invasion, and to aid the French armies in Germany and Spain.

Batavian Republic Dutch predecessor state, 1795–1806

The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795 and ended on 5 June 1806, with the accession of Louis I to the throne of Holland. From October 1801 onward, it was known as the Batavian Commonwealth. Both names refer to the Germanic tribe of the Batavi, representing both the Dutch ancestry and their ancient quest for liberty in their nationalistic lore.

Apart from the lavishly uniformed Royal Guard, the army of the Kingdom of Holland would always be short of recruits, leading to units being disbanded or amalgamated. Acts to recruit more troops, for instance by raising a Jewish regiment or by adding all male orphans to the army as Velites, were of little effect, the latter leading to public riots and accusations of introducing the conscription.

Napoléon intended for Louis to be little more than the prefect of Holland. For example, the ministers were provided mostly by Napoléon. However, Louis had his own mind, and was determined to be as independent of his elder brother as possible. In addition to refusing to introduce conscription, he made a sincere effort to learn the Dutch language, even going as far as to adopt the Dutch spelling of his name, Lodewijk. He declared himself Dutch rather than French and demanded that his ministers renounce their French citizenships as well. He also required his ministers and court to only speak Dutch.

Due to the economic blockade enforced by Napoléon, the economy of the Kingdom of Holland was further ruined; the smuggling of British goods increased. Louis hesitated to oppose this, which led Napoléon to sending units of Douanes Imperiales to Holland.

After British troops invaded in the Walcheren Campaign of 1809, Napoléon lost patience with his hesitant brother and decided to make Holland an integral part of France. After annexing the southern provinces of Holland into the Empire, he forced King Louis to abdicate in 1810. Louis' son, Napoléon Louis Bonaparte, reigned for a week as Louis II before Napoléon annexed the rest of the kingdom into the French Empire. During that period Queen Hortense acted as Regent of the Kingdom.

While the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland was short-lived, in the aftermath of Napoléon's fall, the precedent of the Netherlands having been a Kingdom facilitated the House of Orange's successful efforts to upgrade themselves from the rank of stadhouder to being fully-fledged monarchs.

Footnotes

    Bibliography

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