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Repertorium of the minor political parties 1918-1967

Edited by K.P.S.S. Vossen; with assistance from M. Kooijmans

When the district-based voting system was abandoned and proportional representation was implemented in the Netherlands in 1917, the minor political parties became an integral part of the political system. Yet despite this, they have hardly been mentioned at all in recorded history. One of the most important reasons for this is that relatively little information is available about most of the minor parties, aside from the fact that it is not always clear where information on them can be found.

The Repertorium Kleine politieke partijen, 1918-1967 is the result of a stock-taking process that sets out to collect basic information, as well as any general documentation, that was available on the minor political parties which, in the context of this repertorium, have been defined as parties that took part in the parliamentary elections during the period 1918-1967 but did not come to power. It concerns 186 groups in total, ranging from the more established minor parties such as the Dutch Communist Party and the National Protestant Party, to badly organised nine-day wonders such as the ‘Sports Party’ or the ‘Zuiderzee Party’.

The results of the inventory have been stored in a database that can be accessed through this website. Aside from information about the parties and the individuals who were involved in them, the database also contains bibliographic and archival references.

Photographs of party manifestos, statutes and other relevant material have also been included for a number of parties. These can also be accessed online.

The project is part of a research study conducted under the auspices of an NWO research programme called ‘De Natiestaat. Politiek in Nederland sinds 1815’ [Trans. ‘The Nation State. Politics in the Netherlands since 1815’].

A monograph has also been published in conjunction with this repertorium:Koen Vossen, Vrij vissen in het Vondelpark. Kleine politieke partijen in Nederland 1918-1940 (Amsterdam, 2003), published by the Wereldbibliotheek (not available from the Institute for the History of the Netherlands).

This book identifies the grievances and general feelings of discontent that the minor political parties tried to turn to their own advantage and examines why none of them ever succeeded in becoming a major party. The study confines itself to the period between World War I and World War II.

The introduction on this website deals exclusively with the aspect of the study relating to the repertorium and examines the terms that were used, the chronological trajectory, the process of setting up the database, and the methodological approach. A list of abbreviations has been added along with a list of consulted works and a list of all the archives, libraries and documentation centres visited during the data-gathering process.

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