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Dirk Cornelis KUIKEN

Dirk Cornelis KUIKEN

Male 1746 - 1804  (58 years)


Dirk Cornelis Kuiken (1746 - 1804)

Dirk Cornelis Kuiken a Het Bildt farmer from Sint Jacobiparochie was a National Assembly delegate for Friesland in the newly formed Batavian Republic.

From 1795 to 1806, the Batavian Republic (Bataafse Republiek) designated the Netherlands as a republic modelled after the French Republic, to which it was a vassal state.

The Batavian Republic was proclaimed on January 19 1795, a day after stadtholder William V of Orange fled to England.

The Republic was divided into 126 constituencies. Each district sent a delegate to the National Assembly. The 126 delegates were far from representative of the Dutch population; they were all members of an erudite, progressive elite. But compared with the oligarchic clique of regents that had governed the country until then it was a considerable improvement. The Rijksmuseum collection includes sixty-six ink portraits (Silhouette portraits) of delegates including that of Dirk Cornelis Kuiken. The portraits were completed in 1796 by the artist Hausdorff.

Dirk Cornelis Kuiken was assembly member as provisional representative for the people of Friesland, from 19 February 1795 to 23 June 1795
and elected again assembly member as provisional representative for the people of Friesland, from 23 June 1795 to 23 June 1796.
Member Staten-Generaal for Friesland, from January 1795 to 29 February 1796 and member First National Assembly for the district of Berlikum, from 19 April 1796 to 1 September 1797.

At the First National Meeting Dirk Cornelius Kuiken objected to the nominations of the Friesland moderates Eduard Marius van Beijma and Jan Lambertus Huber as members for the National Assembly. At the time factional fighting between ‘radicals’ in Friesland had led to the concern that the French would use this as an opportunity to send French troops into the region. Much of the factionalism was in fact based on ancestral conflicts that predated Batavian Republicanism. The moderates Beijma and Huber were selected as an attempt to appease the factional groups. In 1797 Beijma and Huber were elected as Friesland’s representative despite a great many radicals remaining in power in Friesland. (Source 1: Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators & Source 2: Parlementair Documentatie Centrum, Universiteit Leiden)

In contrast to events in France, revolutionary changes in the Netherlands occurred comparatively peacefully. The country had been a republic for two centuries and had a limited nobility. The guillotine proved unnecessary to the new state. The old Republic had been a very archaic and ineffective political construction. Decision-making had proceeded very slowly and sometimes did not happen at all. The individual provinces had possessed so much power that they blocked many sensible innovations. The Batavian Republic marked the transition to a more centralised and functional government. Many of its innovations were retained in later times.

The new Republic took its name from the Batavii, a tribe who lived in the Netherlands in Roman times and who were regarded as the ancestors of the Dutch nation.

Again in contrast to France, the new Republic did not experience a terror regime or lapse into dictatorship. Changes were imposed from outside after Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power. In 1805 Napoleon installed the shrewd politician Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck as raadspensionaris ("councillor pensionary", i.e. president of the republic) to strengthen the executive branch. In 1806 Napoleon forced Schimmelpenninck to resign and declared his brother Louis Bonaparte king of the new Kingdom of Holland.

The only signs of political instability were a pair of coups. The first coup occurred in 1798, when revolutionary commanders were annoyed by the slow pace of democratic reforms (the National Assembly, convened in 1796, was divided by faction struggle). The second coup occurred in 1801, when a French commander, backed by Napoleon, staged a conservative coup reversing changes made after the 1798 coup.

[- lid commissie waarnemende de zaken van het collegie, van 1796 tot 1798
gedelegeerde commissies

- lid commissie tot het examineren van de geloofsbrieven van de representanten voor de staten
- lid comité voor de koophandel, zeevaart en fabrieken, vanaf 6 maart 1795 (vergadering provisionele representanten)
- Hij verzette zich op 19-12-1796 in de vergadering van de Staten-Generaal tegen het besluit het bijeenroepen van een nationale vergadering te verhinderen

- Vitringa zegt in zijn geschiedenis van de Bataafse republiek dat de redevoeringen van Kuiken met recht zijn eigendom waren, omdat hij er voor betaald had

Sint Jacobiparochie, van 1746 tot 3 november 1804
publicaties over
Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, dl.IX, 561

Linked toDirk Cornelis KUIKEN

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