Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots: The Political Culture of the Dutch Revolt (Hardback)Peter Arnade (author)
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The Dutch Revolt has long been hailed as the triumph of political freedom over monarchical tyranny. In 1781, John Adams observed that the American Revolution was its "transcript." Known for its many protagonists-King Philip II, the Duke of Alba, the counts of Egmont and Hornes, radical Calvinists, obstreperous townspeople, and William of Orange-the Dutch Revolt brought into relief conflicts among civic freedoms, religious dissent, representative institutions, and royal authority.
Drawing on a vast array of sources-including archival documents, political and religious pamphlets, ballads, chronicles and letters, and a rich store of popular prints-Peter Arnade gives us a new history of the core years of the revolt between 1566 and 1585, showing how the act of rebellion forged a political identity through ritual, symbol, and public action. In Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots, Arnade focuses on the political culture that took shape during the Revolt, a culture that itself fueled decades of turmoil. He sees the pulse of the Revolt in its public dramatization-the acts, words, and cultural representations that were its "daily bread and popular voice."
The violent wave of radical iconoclasm that swept the southern Netherlands in 1566 is the book's pivot, setting the stage for the Duke of Alba's brutal effort to restore the authority of the Spanish crown. Arnade details the sieges and violent sacks of Dutch cities by the Army of Flanders, and the response of Dutch rebels, who touted defiant cities as the seats and guarantors of unassailable rights and freedoms. This civic patriotism hailed William of Orange as father of the fatherland, his apotheosis hearkening back to late medieval princely ritual even as it invoked new republican imagery.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 709 g
Dimensions: 238 x 168 x 26 mm
"Incredible as it may sound, in such a well-belabored field, this book offers a novel view on the Dutch Revolt.... The well-known history of noble and popular protest against Habsburg centralization, tax regimes, and religious policies is traced not through diplomacy and military encounters, but by carefully looking at the 'iconic high moments of the Dutch Revolt'-at how people behaved, at the cultural scripts that the followed, and the representation of those events in contemporary media.... Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots is a joy to read. It dazzles its readers with a lavish use of contemporary images and the recreation of the visual effects of the displays of established power and patriotic protest. It succeeds in its stated aim 'to capture the political dramas and cultural conceits around which people rallied, found political voice, and forged a rebellion.'"-- Joke Spaans * Journal of Ecclesiastical History *
"Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots is a terrific book. In Peter Arnade's hands, the story of how iconoclasm, noble ambitions, and civic pride could have combined to produce a narrative able to justify and carry the Dutch revolt becomes comprehensible. Arnade moves easily among source genres and disciplines, making excellent use of images, stories, and songs alongside political pamphlets, chronicles, theoreticians' commentaries, court records, financial accounts, and diplomatic agreements."-- Martha Howell, Miriam Champion Professor of History, Columbia University