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(1795–1806), founded as a result of the entry of French Republican troops into Dutch territory in January 1795 combined with an uprising by the local population in January, February, and March 1795. It was named after the Batavi, who in ancient times inhabited the territory of what is now the Netherlands.
The military-political alliance of the Batavian Republic with France in May 1795 laid the basis for the republic’s dependence upon France and foreordained its participation in France’s wars against the anti-French coalition. The internal political development of the Batavian Republic was characterized by a sharp struggle by the petite and middle bourgeoisie, supported by the masses, against the predominance of the big commercial bourgeoisie and the financial oligarchy.
A draft constitution for the republic was prepared by a national assembly convened on Mar. 1, 17%. Predominant influence in this assembly was held by representatives of the upper bourgeoisie, and the draft constitution was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the population. The radical elements, having gained the advantage at the following election (January 1798), removed the conservatives from power and introduced the constitution of 1798, which was intended to eradicate the vestiges of feudalism in the country. However, a reactionary coup carried out in June 1798 prevented the bourgeois-democratic rights and liberties proclaimed by this constitution from being put into practice. In 1801 a new constitution, negating all democratic advances, was imposed on the Batavian Republic. In 1805 on the insistence of Napoleon, R. J. Schimmelpenninck, the so-called council pensionary, was placed in charge of the republic with dictatorial powers. In May-June 1806, Napoleon transformed the Batavian Republic into the Kingdom of the Netherlands (1806–10), and his brother Louis Bonaparte was proclaimed king.
REFERENCEColenbrander, H. T. De Bataafsche republiek. Amsterdam, 1908.
N. B. TER-AKOPIAN