Amsterdam and William III : the role of influence, interest and patronage on policy-making in the Dutch Republic, 1672-1684
The general theme of the thesis is the relationship between Amsterdam and the restored stadholder, William III, from 1672 to 1684. Within this survey, several subsidiary themes analyse the interests of the decision-makers during a period of war and uneasy peace, and the compromises the principals made to prevent a return to the crisis politics of 1650 and 1672. After three years of the restored stadholdership the relationship tended to the confrontational, but the study shows that effective lines of communication enabled Amsterdam and the stadholder to survive their differences over the peace negotiations in 1677-78, the struggle for alliances, 1679-1681, and the crises over military expenditure, 1682-1684, and eventually to co-operate in the invasion of England in 1688. The two major subsidiary themes are firstly, the regency of Amsterdam, in particular the burgomasters, their backgrounds, interests and ideologies, and secondly, the principal advisers and officials in the service of the stadholder and the States. These two groups were not mutually exclusive and the study also shows how the Amsterdam regents in the 1680s were able to operate as a more coherent group than those in office in the 1670s. The first of these groups is examined within a discussion of the role of party, factional and individual interest in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, which further develops recent theories of party and faction. Analysis of the second centres around the changes in the administration of the Dutch Republic and the emergence of a new kind of raadpensionaris, working both with and for the provincial states and the stadholder. Both are further contextualised by analysis of the political, economic, religious and social changes which had taken place during the "Golden Age" and the first stadholderless period of the mid-seventeenth century, and the changing relations with France and England.