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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 269–281 | Cite as

The ideological equivalent of the atomic bomb’. The Netherlands, Atlanticism, and human rights in the early Cold War

  • Floribert BaudetEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article analyses the roots of Dutch Atlanticism. It holds that during the early Cold War, in spite of the conviction that neutrality was a thing of the past, the Atlantic orientation of the Netherlands was something that had to be ‘sold’ to the public. A sustained propaganda campaign aimed at selling the notion of ‘Atlantic values’ domestically by defining security in moral terms. The memories of the Second World War and anticommunist sentiments that stemmed from the interwar years provided a framework that government agencies could build on.

Keywords

Netherlands Atlanticism human rights propaganda Cold War anti-Americanism 

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Notes

  1. 1.
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    As its English title ran - there were versions in English and some other languages; the Dutch title is Wij Leven Vrij (we live as a free people). It was shown in most allied capitals. NA, 2.03.01 file 11749, F.A. Da Costa, acting head of the Film department of the GIS, to H.W. Spoor, EIC member, 27 January 1953. See also: file 1746, memorandum on the second NATIS conference, where it was shown to enthusiastic audiences. G.J. Lammers to PM Drees, 6 March 1953.Google Scholar
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    Until 1967, the only challenge to the existing bipolar mindset had been posed by the Pacifist Socialist Party founded in 1957. It never attracted a large following. In the 1967 election both the Catholic and Protestant parties and the Social Democrats suffered defeats, while anti-establishment and thus anti-Cold War sentiments produced a resounding victory for the ‘non-ideological’ party Democraten’ 66. Lijphart and other characterize the 1967 election as the end of the Dutch pillarised consensus democracy.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Military SciencesNetherlands Defence AcademyBredaNetherlands

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