‘Orangism’ and Nation Building in the Netherlands in the 19th Century In the Netherlands a popular attachment to the later royal family existed even before its accession to the throne in 1813-1815. In the second half of the nineteenth century this popular ‘Orangism’ was stimulated by Liberal politics, commerce and the House of Orange itself and it was used as a means to overcome socio-religious divisions. In this case nation building appears to be much more a process of negotiation and interaction between social classes and groups rather than a top-down process, as it has often been presented. The case of the Dutch monarchy demonstrates the shift from an early nineteenth-century state-centred type of nation building, in which the monarchy played an important political role, to a more societal type of nationalism that wanted to please and mobilize the masses. Around 1900 Dutch nationalism would reach a peak and it was hard to conceive of an element of cultural nation building that did not involve the monarchy.
Keywords: The Netherlands, monarchy, nationalism, nation building, "Orangism"