Orangism (Netherlands)

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For Orangism in Belgium, see Orangism (Belgium), for Orangism in Luxembourg see Orangism (Luxembourg), and for Orangism in Northern Ireland see Orange Institution.

Orangism is a monarchist political support for the House of Orange-Nassau as monarchy of the Netherlands. It played a significant role in the political history of the Netherlands since the Dutch revolt. Since the mid-19th century, the Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the term 'Orangism' is no longer in general use and that the House of Orange, and the colour orange are now national symbols without much other political significance. Supporters of the monarchy are now referred to as 'monarchists' or 'supporters of the monarchy' rather than Orangists, with anti-monarchists known as 'republicans'.


To 1795[edit]

During the Dutch Republic Orangism, Prinsgezindheid or the Prinsgezinde (pro-prince) party was a political force opposing the Staatsgezinde (pro-Republic) party. This can be seen as a continuation of the political opposition between the remonstrants and counter-remonstrants during the Twelve Years' Truce. The Remonstrants were tolerant and republican, with a liberal view on biblical interpretation, no belief in predestination and were led by men like Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange relied on the counter-remonstrants to oppose van Oldenbarnevelt and support the prince's claim to the Dutch throne or stadthoudership, and things got so bad that civil war threatened.

Orangists such as the Vice-Admiral Johan Evertsen backed the election of William III, Prince of Orange, the posthumously-born son of William II, Prince of Orange, to the office of stadtholder of the Netherlands. The office had been vacant since the death of William II in 1650. The pro-Republic party was marked by caution (especially in all matters that could harm trade), led by raadspensionaris Johan de Witt and had supporters among the ruling class and the regenten. It was de Witt who, in the 1654 peace with England and its leader Oliver Cromwell, included the secret Act of Seclusion banning the stadtholder from leadership of the Republic. De Witt then put pressure on all seven of the Republic's provinces to uphold this ban. The pro-prince party was led by the stadholder himself and by men such as Cornelis Tromp. It played an important part in the expulsion of the de Witt brothers, which culminated in 1672 with William III's election as stadtholder on 28 June and with an organised lynch-mob at the Binnenhof on the Hague on 20 August.

In the second half of the 18th century the anti-Orangist party became known as the Patriots. These Patriots strongly opposed both the Prince of Orange, and the British connection. Many of their numbers were drawn from those with commercial and maritime interests who saw Britain as a natural rival of the Dutch, and generally supported the French. At various times the Princes of Orange tried to counter this by moving closer or further away from the British alliance.


Following the French invasion of the Dutch Republic and the Fall of Amsterdam in 1795, William V, Prince of Orange fled to Britain with many supporters, troops and ships - where he and his successor maintained a Government in Exile[citation needed] until their return in 1813. In his name the British Royal Navy and small contingents of the Dutch Navy conquered much of the Dutch Empire to keep it out of the hands of the French and their allies the Batavian Republic.

William I (1814-40)[edit]

William II (1840-49)[edit]

Since 1840[edit]


Davies, Norman; "Europe: a history." Pimlico, 1997.

External links[edit]