The group emerged from the secret society Pro aris et focis in the 1780s, and by 1789 had become a distinct faction. The Vonckists called for a popular government along the model seen during the French Revolution. After the proclamation of the United Belgian States in January 1790, the Vonckists were denounced as anticlerical by the Statists and many were hunted down by mobs in what was known as the "Summer Terror". Jan Frans Vonck was forced into exile in France.
- Pappas, Dale. "Belgium from Revolution to the War of the Sixth Coalition 1789-1814". www.napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 18 February 2013.