Stadtholder

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stadtholder

 

(also stadhouder), the viceroy in the Netherlands of Burgundian and later of Hapsburg sovereigns during the 15th and 16th centuries. After the 16th-century bourgeois revolution in the Netherlands, the stadtholder was the chief executive power in the United Provinces of the Netherlands until the end of the 18th century.


Stadtholder

 

in a number of European countries, an official who exercised state authority over a certain territory. Stadtholders existed in the Netherlands during the rule of the Burgundian and Hapsburg dynasties, in the crown lands of the Austrian Empire, and in Austria-Hungary until 1918. In the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, the term stadtholder was applied to the governor of Alsace-Lorraine. The office of Reichsstatthalter existed in fascist Germany from 1933 to 1945.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He lodged an information against Cornelius de Witt, setting forth that the warden -- who, as he had shown by the letters added to his signature, was fuming at the repeal of the Perpetual Edict -- had, from hatred against William of Orange, hired an assassin to deliver the new Republic of its new Stadtholder; and he, Tyckelaer was the person thus chosen; but that, horrified at the bare idea of the act which he was asked to perpetrate, he had preferred rather to reveal the crime than to commit it.
In the meanwhile William of Orange urged on the course of events by every means in his power, eagerly waiting for the time when the people, by whom he was idolised, should have made of the bodies of the brothers the two steps over which he might ascend to the chair of Stadtholder.
"Moreover," hinted the Orange agitators interspersed through the crowd, whom they hoped to manage like a sharp-edged and at the same time crushing instrument, -- "moreover, will there not, from the Buytenhof to the gate of the town, a nice little opportunity present itself to throw some handfuls of dirt, or a few stones, at this Cornelius de Witt, who not only conferred the dignity of Stadtholder on the Prince of Orange merely vi coactus, but who also intended to have him assassinated?"
This spring is the stadtholder." It is remarked by Sir William Temple, "that in the intermissions of the stadtholdership, Holland, by her riches and her authority, which drew the others into a sort of dependence, supplied the place."
The kings and queens of the Netherlands, for instance, mostly reuse armchairs already in their collection, merely having them recovered for the occasion; their simplicity and human scale (except perhaps for the throne used by King William III in 1849 and his daughter Queen Wilhelmina in 1898) distinctively contrast with the masterpieces of Dutch craftsmanship that were the highly elaborate chairs of the 17th--and 18th-century stadtholders, some excellent examples of which are newly displayed at the Rijksmuseum.
The belligerent policy of the stadtholders of the House of Orange was in no small measure responsible for this course of action.
Yet for all of their talk about the tactics of the Dutch stadtholders Maurice of Orange-Nassau (1567-1625) and Willem Lodewijk of Nassau (1560-1620), gunpowder, artillery, ships armed with guns, and forts designed to endure bombardment, the Military Revolution scholars have said very little about gunpowder production or saltpeter, the basic necessary ingredient of gunpowder.