Napoleon’s Hundred Days and the Shaping of a Dutch Identity
This chapter explores popular reactions to the Hundred Days from a Dutch perspective. Pamphlets reveal that the political union between the Dutch and Belgian people became topical at two particular moments: (1) directly after William ’s proclamation as king of the United Netherlands on 16 March 1815, and (2) after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo . However, reactions were dominated by the Northern-Dutch perspective, which were strongly coloured by the years of Napoleonic annexation. Southern authors developed their own discourse on “national” identity that only partly overlapped with the northern narrative. As a result, two different cultures of identity were being created, which reflected the difficulties of melding the two nations that had been divided since their breakup in 1579 during the Eighty Years’ War .