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The Lion with the Seven Arrows. The Province in National Administration

Editors: Ida Nijenhuis, Joke Roelevink en Ronald Sluijter

The compilation De leeuw met de zeven pijlen. Het gewest in het landelijk bestuur (‘The Lion with the Seven Arrows. The Province in National Administration’) has its origins in a symposium – held in The Hague in 2007 – that dealt with the relationship between the provinces and the country as a whole from the early modern era until the end of the 19th century. The direct cause for this conference was the publication of two extensive digital files on the website of the Huygens Institute of Netherlands History: Repertorium van Ambtsdragers en Ambtenaren 1428-1861 (‘Repertorium of Office Holders and Civil Servants 1428-1861’) and the Resolutiën Staten-Generaal 1626-1630 (Resolutions of the States-General 1626-1630’). These two files are representative of Huygens ING’s traditionally high level of expertise in the area of the Netherlands’ political-institutional history.

The web publications can be used, among other things, to research the following questions. In times of internal crisis in the country, how did parties arrive at a decisive, unanimous policy? Did a specific province or specific families play a central role? How did administrators’ careers develop? How visible were administrative practices over time and for how long did they continue to play a role? Various specialists in the fields of political and administrative history have gone into several of these issues in their contributions. An outsider’s view of the relationship between the provinces and the country is provided by two renowned foreign historians. They handle the introduction to the compilation with, successively, an essay about cohesion within the early modern Republic and an analysis of the discussions surrounding the Belgian Province Act of 1836.