Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News News articles

Onder aristocraten. Over hegemonie, welstand en aanzien van adel, patriciaat en andere notabelen in Nederland 1848-1914

24 May 2012

PhD ceremony: Mr. J.K.S. Moes, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Onder aristocraten. Over hegemonie, welstand en aanzien van adel, patriciaat en andere notabelen in Nederland 1848-1914

Promotor(s): prof. Y.B. Kuiper

Faculty: Theology and Religious Studies

Recently the history of aristocrats in the modern world captured the attention of a steadily growing number of historians and social scientists in several countries. Their disappearance from public life is evident everywhere. Blending of the old families in the upper middle classes of Europe is one of the leading themes in international historical research. Did aristocrats really merge with the upper middle classes? If so, why, when and how did this fusion take place?

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is an interesting case in Europe. Traditionally the nation is known as a particularly bourgeois nation of merchants, ministers and bankers. In Jaap Moes’s study, based on historical research in Dutch Parliamentary Archives, the up until now hardly used lists of the highest tax payers in the provinces who were eligible for the First Chamber (equivalent of the British House of Lords) and a sample of Death Duty Records, it becomes unambiguously clear that Dutch aristocrats, defined as nobility and the old patrician families remained at the head of society in the Netherlands for half a century after their birthrights were abolished by the liberal constitution of 1848. At least until the First World War they were disproportionally present in government and overrepresented in the socio-economic elites of the highest tax payers in the Dutch provinces as well.

These aristocratic families managed to adapt themselves to the changing world in modern times without losing their collective identity. They transformed by applying political, economical and socio-cultural reconversion strategies to confront the rising middle classes, the changing political culture and the process of re-urbanisation that gained momentum during the second half of the nineteenth century. Parallel to the upper middle classes and the emerging pillarised top ten of the consociational democracy, aristocrats remained an exclusive social elite in the ‘bourgeois’ kingdom of the Netherlands combining power and influence in politics, disproportionate wealth and a distinguished social status well into the twentieth century.

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.03 a.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 November 2021

    Theology for tenth time Top Rated Programme!

    Both the bachelor's programmes in Theology and Religious Studies at the UG are Top Rated Programmes. According to the Dutch Higher Education Guide 2022, Theology belongs in the top 10 of the best bachelor's programmes in the Netherlands.

  • 26 October 2021

    Nieuw academisch instituut voor werk en zingeving

    De Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) en AOG Contractonderwijs (AOG) lanceren op 28 oktober de ‘Emmius School voor werk en zingeving’. Daarmee bieden de RUG en AOG als eerste in Nederland academische programma’s op het gebied van werk en zingeving.

  • 05 October 2021

    Michael Jackson fans are shaping a meaningful life through their idol

    Michael Jackson’s passing in 2009 was grieved around the world. To this day, commemoration practices in memory of the pop star take place, such as a monthly virtual prayer and an annual pilgrimage. For her PhD research, religious studies expert...