N.C.F. van Sas, De metamorfose van Nederland. Van oude orde naar moderniteit, 1750-1900
Ido de Haan, N.C.F. van Sas, De metamorphose van Nederland The collection of articles, which N.C.F. van Sas wrote over the course of two decades, reflect a shift in the periodization of Dutch history; away from the beginning of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands in 1813, to what Van Sas describes as the birth of modern politics in the Netherlands in the Patriot Revolt in the 1780s. His version of the modernization of Dutch society, a the meal so discussed in the socio-economic history of Jan Luiten van Zanden and Arthur van Riel, and the cultural approach of Joost Kloek and Wijnand Mijnhardt, stresses the political aspects of the metamorphosis in the Dutch Sattelzeit.
Van Sas convincingly shows how this politicization of cultural ideals, and the revolutionary zeal with which this was practised, was not just an import from France but part and parcel of tendencies that were already present within Dutch society around 1800. Disappointingly, however, Van Sas refrains from giving a more general evaluation of the political reconstruction and innovation that took shape in the early nineteenth century, there by missing the opportunity to link these episodes to the discussion about the constitutional transition after 1848 and the renewed nationalism at the end of the nineteenth century.
This review is part of the discussion forum 'De metamorfose van Nederland' (N.C.F. van Sas).