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Napoleon and the Netherlands: A Country Misunderstood

Callister, Graeme ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3651-3919 (2023) Napoleon and the Netherlands: A Country Misunderstood. Napoleonica. The Journal, 2 (2). pp. 75-95.

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This article examines the assumptions, beliefs, and preconceptions behind Napoleonic foreign policy towards the Netherlands from the beginning of the Consulate up to the annexation of 1810. It argues that Napoleon based his policy on assumptions regarding Dutch wealth, commercial character, naval prowess, and latent Anglophilia – assumptions that were sometimes far removed from reality. This led Napoleon to form a series of unrealistic expectations regarding the Netherlands, and to his understanding of the good faith of the Dutch government being contingent on the fulfilment of those expectations. The inevitable ensuing disappointment played a key role in the decision to annex the Netherlands in 1810. The article also shows that while it took a decade for Napoleon to bring an end to legal Dutch independence, he conceived the Netherlands from the start as nothing more than a vassal state.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3917/napoj.002.0075
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DC France
D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7392

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