Tussen tafellaken en servet. Het stadhouderlijk hof in dynastiek Europa
Keywords:History (historiography), Court culture
Neither Fish, Flesh, nor Fowl. The Stadholder’s Court in Dynastic Europe
This contribution presents a concise image of the recent historiography on the European dynastic court, and then places the stadholder’s court within this context. The modest contours of the latter stand out sharply against developments elsewhere, such as the secular Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, for example. However, the stadholder’s court was far more than just the household of a high-ranking magistrate of noble birth, even though the group of courtiers and servants around the stadholder remained modest in terms of its size and structure. Nor did a wider circle of visitors and clients ever really materialise.
The absence of any sovereign basis for the position of stadholder in the Republic apparently made it difficult to turn court life into an instrument for the further advancement of power. Nevertheless, in his capacity as a ‘servant’ of the state machine, the stadholder was able to play a remarkable role under William III – and subsequent generations of stadholders even played a decisive role – within the system of nomination rights and the power relations that stemmed from that.
This article is part of the special issue 'The Internationalization of the National History and the Pillarization'.
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