Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands
Soeverein Vorstendom der Verenigde Nederlanden
Motto: Je maintiendrai
"I will maintain"
Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
"William of Nassau"
The Principality shown in dark yellow
|Historical era||Early Modern|
|20 November 1813|
|29 March 1814|
|21 June 1814|
|13 August 1814|
|16 March 1815|
|ISO 3166 code||NL|
The Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands (Dutch , old spelling: Souverein Vorstendom der Vereenigde Nederlanden) was a short-lived sovereign principality and the precursor of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, in which it was reunited with the Southern Netherlands in 1815. The principality was proclaimed in 1813 when the victors of the Napoleonic Wars established a political reorganisation of Europe, which would eventually be defined by the Congress of Vienna.
After the liberation of the Netherlands from France by Prussian and Russian troops in 1813, a provisional government took over the country. It was headed by a triumvirate of three Dutch noblemen, Frans Adam van der Duyn van Maasdam, Leopold of Limburg Stirum and Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp. This Driemanschap formally took control over the liberated country on 20 November and declared the Principality of the United Netherlands a day thereafter.
It was taken for granted that any new regime would have to be headed by William Frederick, the son of the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, William V. Although many members of the provisional government had helped drive out William V eighteen years earlier, most of its leading members agreed that it would be better for the Dutch to invite William Frederick themselves rather than have him imposed by the Allies. After receiving an invitation from the Driemanschap, William Frederick returned from his exile in England. He disembarked from HMS Warrior and landed at Scheveningen beach on 30 November 1813. William Frederick accepted sovereignty over the principality on 2 December, proclaiming himself "Sovereign Prince" of the United Netherlands.
Later that year, a commission seated by Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp was assembled and tasked with drafting a constitution. On 29 March 1814, a so-called "Assembly of Notables" met in Amsterdam to vote for the final draft. 474 of the 600 members of this assembly showed up to vote and only 26 of them, mostly Catholics, voted against it resulting in the draft being accepted by a vast majority.The constitution, which would be in force for over a year, introduced a centralised monarchy in which the prince held much power, although it did contain some democratic elements. A unicameral States General was introduced with its 55 members elected provincially by the States-Provincial. Those States were in turn elected by cities, countryside and nobility. The States General had the right of initiative and had to approve or disapprove all proposed legislation. However, the prince could settle many affairs by decree, greatly limiting the say of the States General. The power of the provinces and cities was considerably limited compared to during the Dutch Republic. Several fundamental rights were adopted from the French period. The constitution included freedom of religion and there were provisions of law and criminal procedure. William Frederick was formally inaugurated as sovereign prince by the assembly in the New Church in Amsterdam on 30 March.
In the former Austrian Netherlands, conquered by France in 1794 and annexed in 1795, the Allies made quick progress also. This presented the problem of what to do with this country. The thirty most prominent families of Brussels expressed the wish to restore the old Governorate-general of the Austrians and this was provisionally instituted by the Allies in February 1814 as their military government. However, Austria itself expressed little interest in resuming its rule. Therefore, the Allies provisionally apportioned the country to the new Dutch state in the secret annexes to the Treaty of Chaumont. This was further formalised in the Treaty of Paris of 30 May 1814, in which Belgium on the left bank of the river Meuse was apportioned to the (future) Netherlands, whereas the fate of the right bank area was to be determined later.
How this was to be structured was however still to be decided, while certain expectations had been raised by the representatives of the Belgian people at Chaumont in February that also needed to be honoured in some way. These "loose ends" were taken care of in the protocol that came to be known as the "Eight Articles of London". Under this treaty signed on 21 June 1814, William Frederick was awarded with the former Austrian Netherlands. He became Governor-General of Belgium on 1 August, leading to personal union between Northern and Southern Netherlands. For all intents and purposes, William Frederick had completed the House of Orange's three-century quest to unite the Low Countries.
William Frederick subsequently tried to get the assent of the (carefully selected) representatives of the Belgian people to the Dutch constitution, but encountered opposition from those who were suspicious of designs to undermine the position of the Catholic Church in those provinces. Nonetheless, the reunification was finalised on 16 March 1815 when William Frederick was crowned King William I of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in Brussels.
William I was a Prince of Orange and the first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was created in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars through the fusion of territories that had belonged to the former Dutch Republic, Austrian Netherlands, and Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The polity was a constitutional monarchy, ruled by William I of the House of Orange-Nassau.
The House of Orange-Nassau, a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the politics and government of the Netherlands and Europe especially since William the Silent organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) led to an independent Dutch state.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands according to the Constitution of the Netherlands, although the States General and the Executive Branch have been situated in The Hague since 1588, along with the Supreme Court and the Council of State. Since the 1983 revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands, Article 32 mentions that "the King shall be sworn in and inaugurated as soon as possible in the capital city, Amsterdam". It is the only reference in the document stating that Amsterdam is the capital.
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 April between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies. The treaty set the borders for France under the House of Bourbon and restored territories to other nations. It is sometimes called the First Peace of Paris, as another one followed in 1815.
The States General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both chambers meet at the Binnenhof in The Hague.
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands is the head of the executive branch of the Government of the Netherlands in his capacity as chair of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is de facto the head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates its policy with his cabinet. The current Dutch Prime Minister is Mark Rutte, in office since 2010.
Gijsbert Karel, Count van Hogendorp was a liberal conservative and liberal Dutch statesman. He was the brother of Dirk van Hogendorp the elder and the father of Dirk van Hogendorp the younger.
Leopold Count van Limburg Stirum was a politician who was part of the Dutch triumvirate that took power in 1813 in order to re-establish the monarchy in the Netherlands.
The Eight Articles of London, also known as the London Protocol of 21 June 1814, were a secret convention between the Great Powers: Britain, the Kingdom of Prussia, the Austrian Empire, and the Russian Empire to award the territory of current Belgium and The Netherlands to William I of the Netherlands, then "Sovereign Prince" of the United Netherlands. He accepted this award on 21 July 1814.
Hendrik George, Count de Perponcher Sedlnitsky was a Dutch general and diplomat. He commanded the 2nd Netherlands Division at the Battle of Quatre Bras and the Battle of Waterloo.
William II was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg.
The Driemanschap (Triumvirate) of 1813 was formed after Charles-François Lebrun and the French troops suddenly left the area of the Netherlands. It consisted of Frans Adam van der Duyn van Maasdam, Leopold of Limburg Stirum and Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp. The three statesmen invited the almost forgotten Prince William VI of Orange, the later King William I, to The Hague to prevent anarchy or a possible annexation of the Netherlands by Prussia or England. He was proclaimed the Sovereign Prince of the new Principality of the United Netherlands.
The current Constitution of Suriname was adopted on 30 September 1987, following a referendum. It marked the return to democracy after the Bouterse military dictatorship of the 1980s.
Antonie Frederik Jan Floris Jacob Baron van Omphal was a Dutch lieutenant-general and extraordinary aide-de-camp to William III of the Netherlands. He was awarded a knighthood in the Military William Order among other honours.
Adam Frans Jules Armand, Count van der Duyn, lord of Maasdam and 's-Gravenmoer was Dutch officer and politician. He was part of the Triumvirate in 1813 that invited Prince William Frederick of Orange-Nassau to become Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands. He was born in Deventer, Overijssel.
Lieutenant admiral Engelbertus Lucas was a Dutch naval officer of the Batavian Navy, the royal navy of the Kingdom of Holland, the navy of the First French Empire, and the Royal Dutch Navy, rising to the highest rank in the latter navy, and becoming Minister for the Navy in the first Cabinet of the Dutch Prime minister Johan Rudolph Thorbecke in 1849-1851.
The Vice-President of the Council of State is the de facto presiding officer of the Council of State. The Monarch serves as ex officio President of the Council of State but in reality seldom chairs meetings, in his absence the Vice-President serves as pro tempore chair of those meetings. The Vice-President is also in charge of the Council's organisation and administrative duties. The Constitution of the Netherlands stipulates that if the royal house were to become extinct the Vice-President will become the acting Head of state. Like the other Members of the Council of State the Vice President is appointed by the Monarch upon nomination by the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The service of the Vice-President is a life tenure appointment but is required by law to enter a mandatory retirement at the age of 70. Alternatively, an early retirement or a forced termination of his tenure can be given by the Monarch in a Royal Decree.
Part of a series on the
|History of the Netherlands|