Remembering or Forgetting?

Accounts of the Recent Revolutionary Past in Dutch History Textbooks for Primary Education in the Early Nineteenth Century Author

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
Author: Willeke Los
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After several decades of political conflict and turbulence, in 1815 the Netherlands became a constitutional monarchy. In the ensuing process of nation-building, history education was considered an important means to instill feelings of national unity and concord into the hearts of children. This article seeks to investigate how this was possible in view of the recent revolutionary past. It analyzes accounts in history textbooks for primary education of the Patriot Revolt against Stadholder William V that took place in the 1780s and was suppressed in 1787, and of the Batavian Revolution that took place in 1795 and put an end to his rule. Although in many cases the historical narratives of these politically controversial events were adapted to suit the purpose of nation-building, the revolutionary past was by no means forgotten.

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