De vergadering van de Staten-Generaal in de Republiek voor 1795 en de publiciteit


  • J.W. Koopmans





The Assembly of the States-General in the Dutch Republic before 1795 and the information that it released to the general public

This paper examines the transparency of the meetings of the Dutch States-General during the early modern period. These meetings were held behind closed doors and were only accessible to the political elite. Despite this, some information did leak out to the citizens of the Republic. The key question is which procedures and rites did the general public know about and which aspects of the meetings remained obscure.


Following the description of an incident in 1787, in which a fight almost broke out between two deputies — something that was almost unheard of in the history of the States-General — a number of familiar aspects are discussed, such as the frequency of the meetings, the number of deputies present, their agenda and conference table, and the customs that were followed when receiving foreign guests. The paper goes on to discuss some other aspects of the confidential nature of the States-General’s meetings, such as the obligation to secrecy. This confidentiality resulted in an aloof press that only reported harmless facts together with information that was deemedimportant for the prestige of the political elite.


This article is part of the special issue 'Parlementen in de Nederlanden'.


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How to Cite

De vergadering van de Staten-Generaal in de Republiek voor 1795 en de publiciteit. (2005). BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 120(3), 379-396.