Labour Party (Netherlands)
The Labour Party is a social democratic political party in the Netherlands. The party was founded in 1946 as a merger of the Social Democratic Workers' Party, the Free-thinking Democratic League, the Christian Democratic Union. Prime Ministers from the Labour Party have been Willem Drees, Joop den Uyl, Wim Kok. From 2012 to 2017, the PvdA formed the second largest parliamental faction and was the junior partner in the Second Rutte cabinet with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. Since 2016, Lodewijk Asscher has been Leader of the Labour Party; the party fell to only nine seats in the House of Representatives at the 2017 general election, making it only the seventh-largest faction in the chamber–its worst showing ever. The Labour Party is a member of the European Party of European Socialists and the global Progressive Alliance. In the European Parliament, where the Labour Party has 3 seats, it is part of the parliamentary group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. During the German Occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War a group of prominent Dutchmen of all democratic political ideologies were interned as hostages in St. Michielsgestel by the German occupation authorities.
They came to the consensus that the pre-war fragmentation of Dutch political life, known as "Pillarization," should be overcome after the war in a so-called doorbraak. These people formed the Dutch People's Movement after the war ended in 1945; the new movement promoted the foundation of the Labour Party ) on 9 February 1946, through a merger of three pre-war parties: the Social Democratic Workers' Party, the social liberal Free-thinking Democratic League and progressive-Protestant Christian Democratic Union. They were joined by individuals from Catholic resistance group Christofoor, as well as some of the more progressive members of the Protestant parties Christian Historical Union and Anti-Revolutionary Party; the founding Congress was chaired by NVB-member Willem Banning. The founders of the PvdA wanted to create a broad party, breaking with the historic tradition of pillarisation; the party combined socialists with progressive Christians. However, the party was unable to break pillarisation.
Instead the new party renewed. In 1948 some of the left-liberal members, led by former VDB leader Pieter Oud, left the PvdA after concluding it had become too socialist for their liking. Together with the Freedom Party, they formed the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, a conservative liberal party. Between 1946 and 1958, the PvdA led coalition governments with the Catholic People's Party, combinations of VVD, ARP and CHU, with the PvdA's Willem Drees as prime minister; the KVP and the PvdA together had a large majority in parliament. Under his leadership the Netherlands recovered from the war, began to build its welfare state and Indonesia became independent. After the cabinet crisis of 1958, the PvdA was replaced by the VVD; the PvdA was in opposition until 1965. The electoral support of PvdA voters began to decline. In 1965 a conflict in the KVP-ARP-CHU-VVD cabinet made continuation of the government impossible; the three confessional, Christian-influenced parties turned towards the PvdA.
Together they formed the Cals cabinet, with KVP leader Jo Cals as prime minister. This cabinet was short lived and conflict ridden; the conflicts culminated in the fall of the Cals cabinet over economic policy. Meanwhile, a younger generation was attempting to gain control of the PvdA. A group of young PvdA members, calling themselves the New Left, changed the party; the New Left believed the party should become oriented towards the new social movements, adopting their anti-parliamentary strategies and their issues, such as women's liberation, environmental conservation and Third World development. Prominent New Left members were André van der Louw and Bram Peper. One of their early victories followed the fall of the Cals cabinet; the party Congress adopted a motion that made it impossible for the PvdA to govern with the KVP and its Protestant allies. In response to the growing power of the New Left group, a group of older, centrist party members, led by Willem Drees' son, Willem Drees, Jr. founded the New Right.
They split in 1970, after it was clear that they had lost the conflict with the New Left, founded a new moderate Social Democratic party, Democratic Socialists'70. Under the New Left, the PvdA started a strategy of polarisation, striving for a cabinet based on a progressive majority in parliament. In order to form that cabinet the PvdA allied itself with the social liberal party Democrats 66 and the progressive Christian Political Party of Radicals; the alliance was called the Progressive Accord. In the 1971 and 1972 elections, these three parties promised to form a cabinet with a radical common programme after the elections, they were unable to gain a majority in either election. In 1971, they were kept out of cabinet, the party of former PvdA members, DS70, became a partner of the First Biesheuvel cabinet. In the 1972 elections, neither the PvdA and its allies or the KVP and its allies were able to gain a majority; the two sides were forced to work together. Joop den Uyl, the leader of the PvdA, led the cabinet.
The cabinet was an extra-parliamentary cabinet and it was composed of members of the three progressive parties and members of the KVP and the ARP. The cabinet attempted to radically reform government and the economy, a wide range
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Democrats 66 is a social-liberal political party in the Netherlands. Its name originates from the year in which it was founded. D66 was formed in 1966 by a group of politically unaligned young intellectuals, led by journalist Hans van Mierlo; the party's main objective was to democratise the political system. In the 1967 general election, the party won 7 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives; the electoral history of the party is characterised by large fluctuations. They won a maximum of 24 seats and following the 2017 Dutch general election they have 19; the party was in government from 1973 to 1977, 1981 to 1982, 1994 to 2002 and 2003 to 2006 and is again since 2017. Over time the party began to emphasise other issues in addition to democratic reform, creating a social liberal programme. In addition to its seats in the House of Representatives, D66 holds 10 in the Senate and 4 in the European Parliament; the parliamentary leader is Rob Jetten. The party has a growing number of elected local and provincial politicians and supplies a large proportion of mayors, who are appointed.
The party's voters are concentrated in larger cities among people who hold a university degree and in towns with an above-average number of wealthy citizens. D66 is a member of the Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Democrats 66 was founded on 14 October 1966 by 44 people, its founders were described as homines novi, although 25 of the 44 had been members of a political party. The initiators were Hans van Mierlo, a journalist for the Algemeen Handelsblad and Hans Gruijters, a municipal councillor in Amsterdam. Van Mierlo became the party's political leader and Gruijters the party's chair; the foundation of the party was preceded by the Appeal 1966 on October 10, in which the founders appealed to the people of the Netherlands to re-take their democratic institutions. The party renounced the 19th-century political ideologies, which dominated the political system and wanted to end pillarisation, it called for radical democratisation of the Dutch society and its political system and it called for pragmatic and scientific policy-making.
The party entered in the 1967 general election with Hans van Mierlo as their top candidate. The party won an unprecedented seven seats in parliament. In the 1971 general election the party won an additional four seats and it formed a Shadow Cabinet with the Labour Party and the Christian left Political Party of Radicals. In the 1972 general election, the three parties formed a political alliance called the "Progressive Accord" and presented a common electoral program. In the elections D66 lost nearly half its seats, leaving only six; the alliance became the largest political force in the country, but it did not gain a majority. After long cabinet formation talks the three PAK-parties formed an extra-parliamentary cabinet joined by progressive members of the Protestant Anti-Revolutionary Party and the Catholic People's Party; the cabinet was led by the Labour politician Joop den Uyl. After the formation talks, Van Mierlo left politics, feeling that his political position within the parliamentary party was untenable.
The other party-founder Hans Gruijters became Minister of Housing and Spatial Planning. Van Mierlo was replaced by Jan Terlouw, he became the Parliamentary leader. In the period 1972–1974 the party lost a dramatic number of members and polled poorly in the provincial elections of 1974; the party lost half of its senators in the 1974 indirect election to the Senate. On one of the party congresses, a motion was put forth to abolish the party. A majority of the members voted in favour, but the two-thirds majority was not reached. In reaction Terlouw started a campaign to revitalise the party, involving a membership drive and a petition to the electorate, he emphasised issues other than democratic reform and gave the party a more liberal orientation. The party doubled its membership in 1975 and in the 1977 general election D66 won two additional seats, although that same year the party lost all its seats in the Senate. In the election of 1981 D66 more than doubled its seats, to seventeen, they entered government with the Christian Democratic Appeal and the Labour Party.
Terlouw became Minister of the Economy. The cabinet was riddled by the personal and ideological conflicts between the Christian Democratic Prime Minister Dries van Agt and the Labour minister of Social Affairs Joop den Uyl; the cabinet fell nine months after it was formed when Labour left the cabinet. D66 and the CDA continued to govern in a caretaker government. In the subsequent 1982 general election, D66 lost two-thirds of its support, was left with only six seats. After the elections Terlouw left politics, he was replaced by Maarten Engwirda; the party was confined to opposition. In 1986 Van Mierlo returned to politics, he emphasised democratic reform as the core issue of the party and wanted to end the polarisation between the Labour Party and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, in order to form a government without the Christian Democratic Appeal. He led the party in the 1986 general election and gained three seats. In the 1989 election the party won another three seats, making a total of twelve, it was asked to join the formation talks of a CDA-PvdA-D66 governing coalition.
Although the PvdA preferred a government with D66, the CDA did not. In the end, D66 was numerically not necessary for the coalition, they were e
Party for the Animals
The Party for the Animals is a political party in the Netherlands. Among its main goals are animal rights and animal welfare, though it claims not to be a single-issue party; the party considers itself a testimonial party, which does not seek to gain political power but to testify its beliefs and thereby influence other parties. Since its foundation in 2002, the PvdD's political leader has been Marianne Thieme. With 3.2% of the vote at the general election, 2017, the PvdD holds five of the 150 House of Representatives's seats. In the Senate it has two of the 75 seats, in the European Parliament it has one of the 26 seats allocated to the Netherlands constituency; the Party for the Animals was founded on 28 October 2002 by Marianne Thieme, among others. In the Dutch general election of 2003 it gained 50,000 votes, but not a seat in the House of Representatives. In the 2004 European Parliament election the party gained 153,000 votes, three times as many as in the 2003 general election. However, the number of votes was not enough to obtain a seat in the European Parliament.
At the 2006 parliamentary election it gained 179,988 votes, enough for two seats in the Dutch parliament. In the run-up to that election the party was supported by several Dutch celebrities, such as writers Maarten't Hart and Jan Wolkers. In its first municipal council elections in 2010, the party gained one seat in each of the five places where it participated. In its third parliamentary election, on June 9, 2010, the PvdD retained its two seats in the House of Representatives with 122,317 votes. In the 2012 general election the party got 182,162 votes, an increase of 45%, but with just under 2% of the popular vote this did not secure a third seat in the House of Representatives. In the March 2017 general election the party gained three more seats, resulting in a total of 5; the PvdD is the first political party in the world to gain parliamentary seats with an agenda focused on animal rights. One of the results that the PvdD claims to have reached during its first four-year parliamentary period is the fact that the government has declared that reduction of national meat consumption further on is one of its priorities.
The Party for Animals welcomed its 10,000th member in late 2009. After the 2017 elections the party has five representatives in the House of Representatives: Marianne Thieme, Parliamentary group leader Esther Ouwehand Lammert van Raan Frank Wassenberg Femke Merel van Kooten-Arissen Eva Akerboom replacing Femke Merel van Kooten during maternity leave Christine Teunissen replacing Marianne Thieme during sick leave After the 2015 Senate elections, the party has two representatives in the Senate: Niko Koffeman, Senate group leader Christine Teunissen Current members of the European Parliament since the European Parliamentary election of 2014: Anja HazekampThe MEPs of the Party for the Animals are part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left Group in the European parliament. List of animal advocacy parties Official website Official website international Official website youth Euro Animal 7
GreenLeft is a green political party in the Netherlands. It was formed on 1 March 1989 from the merger of four left-wing parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party. After disappointing results in the 1989 and 1994 general elections, the nascent party fared well in the 1998 and 2002 elections; the party's leader at that time, Paul Rosenmöller, was seen as the unofficial Leader of the Opposition against the First Kok cabinet, a purple government. GroenLinks describes itself as "green", "social" and "tolerant"; the party holds 14 seats in the House of Representatives, 5 in the Senate and 2 in the European Parliament. The current Leader of GroenLinks and chair of the House parliamentary group is Jesse Klaver; the party is in opposition against the governing Third Rutte cabinet. The party has over 100 local councillors and it participates in the government of sixteen of the twenty largest municipalities.
The party's voters are concentrated in larger cities those with a university. The party has 21,901 members; the party congress is open to all members. GroenLinks is a member of the European Green Party; the party's number of seats fell from 10 to 4 seats in the 2012 election, before increasing to 14 in the 2017 general election. GroenLinks was founded in 1989 as a merger of four parties that were to the left of the Labour Party, a social-democratic party which has traditionally been the largest centre-left party in the Netherlands; the founding parties were the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, which originated in the peace movement, the green-influenced Political Party of Radicals a progressive Christian party, the progressive Christian Evangelical People's Party. These four parties were classified as "small left". In the 1972 general election these parties won sixteen seats, in the 1977 general election they only won six. From that moment on, members and voters began to argue for close cooperation.
From the 1980s onwards the four parties started to cooperate in provincial elections. As fewer seats are available in these representations, a higher percentage of votes is required to gain a seat. In the 1984 European election, the PPR, CPN and PSP formed the Green Progressive Accord that entered as one into the European elections, they gained one seat, which rotated between the PSP and PPR. Party-members of the four parties encountered each other in grassroots extraparliamentary protest against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. More than 80% of the members of the PSP, CPN and PPR attended at least one of the two mass protests against the placement of nuclear weapons, which took place in 1981 and 1983; the Evangelical People's Party was a new party, founded in 1981, as a splinter group from the Christian Democratic Appeal, the largest party of the Dutch centre-right. During its period in parliament, 1982–1986, it had trouble positioning itself between the small left parties, the PvdA and the CDA.
The close cooperation between PPR, PSP, CPN and EVP, the ideological change that accompanied it was not without internal dissent within the parties. The ideological change that CPN made from official communism to'reformism' led to a split in the CPN. In 1983, a group of "deep" Greens split from the PPR to found The Greens; the CPN and the PPR wanted to form an electoral alliance with the PSP for the 1986 elections. This led to a crisis within the PSP, in which chair of the parliamentary party Fred van der Spek, who opposed cooperation, was replaced by Andrée van Es, who favoured cooperation. Van der Spek left the PSP to found his own Party for Disarmament; the 1986 PSP congress, rejected the electoral alliance. In the 1986 general election, all four parties lost seats; the CPN and the EVP disappeared from parliament. The PPR was left with the PSP with one seat. While the parties were preparing to enter in the 1990 elections separately, the pressure to cooperate increased. In 1989, the PPR, CPN and PSP entered the 1989 European Parliament election with a single list, called the Rainbow.
Joost Lagendijk and Leo Platvoet, both PSP party board members, initiated an internal referendum in which the members of the PSP declared to support leftwing cooperation. Their initiative for left-wing cooperation was supported by an open letter from influential members of trade unions, of environmental movements and from arts; this letter called for the formation of a single progressive party to the left of the Labour Party. Lagendijk and Platvoet had been taking part in informal meetings between prominent PSP, PPR and CPN-members, who favoured cooperation. Other participants were former CPN leader Ina Brouwer; these talks were called "F. C. Sittardia" or Cliché bv. In the spring of 1989, the PSP party board initiated formal talks between the CPN, the PSP and the PPR about a common list for the upcoming general elections, it soon became clear that the CPN wanted to maintain an independent communist identity and not merge into a new left-wing formation. This was reason for the PPR leaving the talks.
Negotiations about cooperation were reopened after the fall of the second Lubbers cabinet and the announcement that elections would
Party for Freedom
The Party for Freedom is a Dutch far right nationalist and right-wing populist political party in the Netherlands. Founded in 2006 as the successor to Geert Wilders' one-man party in the House of Representatives, it won nine seats in the 2006 general election making it the fifth-largest party in parliament. In the 2010 general election it won 24 seats. At that time the PVV agreed to support the minority government led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte without having ministers in the cabinet; however the PVV withdrew its support in April 2012 due to differences over budget cuts at the Catshuis. It came third in the 2014 European Parliament election. In the 2017 election, the Party for Freedom won 20 seats, making it the second-largest party in Parliament; the PVV calls for items like administrative detention and a strong assimilationist stance on the integration of immigrants into Dutch society, differing from the established centre-right parties in the Netherlands. The PVV has proposed banning the Quran and shutting down all mosques in the Netherlands.
In addition, the party is Eurosceptic and since early July 2012, according to the platform it presented prior to elections in September, it advocates withdrawal from the EU. Party for Freedom is an association with Geert Wilders as its sole member; the party relies on donations. The party's history began with Geert Wilders' departure from the VVD in September 2004. Wilders could not accept the VVD's positive stance towards Turkey's possible accession to the European Union, left the party disgruntled. Although the VVD expected Wilders to return his parliamentary seat to the party, he refused, continued to sit in parliament as a one-man party, Groep Wilders. In June 2005, Wilders was one of the leaders in the campaign against the European Constitution, rejected by Dutch voters by 62%. On 22 February 2006, the Party for Freedom was registered with the Electoral Council. Bart Jan Spruyt, director of the conservative Edmund Burke Foundation, joined Wilders in January 2006 in order to formulate a party programme and to train its prospective representatives for the forthcoming national election.
Spruyt left the party in the summer of 2006 after it proved unable to build broad conservative backing, people like Joost Eerdmans and Marco Pastors proved unwilling to join. After the 2006 elections, Spruyt said he was not surprised that the Party for Freedom had gained seats but maintained that, if the Party for Freedom had sought cooperation with Eerdmans and Pastors, it would have won more enough to bring about a CDA-VVD majority government. Spruyt commented that the PVV had a'natural tendency' toward fascism, he qualified the statement, though he didn't withdraw it. Former PVV candidate Lucas Hartong called Spruyt's claims'a cheap insinuation'. In an HP/De Tijd profile dated December 2006, the party was described as a cult, with an distrustful Wilders only accepting fellow candidates loyal to him, compared the PVV to the Socialist Party led by Jan Marijnissen but without reaching that degree of organisational perfection. On 10 January 2007, the PVV announced it would not field candidates at the forthcoming Provincial elections.
This meant. On 13 January 2007, NRC Handelsblad reported that a PVV intern had solicited for signatures on the website forums Dutch Disease Report and Polinco, the latter a forum described as far-right by various organisations, among them the Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet. Any party participating in this election was required to collect at least 30 signatures from supporters in each of the 19 electoral districts. In a response, Wilders said he regretted that far-right sympathisers had provided signatures, denied any personal responsibility for them and reasserted his dislike of far-right parties like National Front of France and Flemish Interest. Noted writer and columnist Leon de Winter declared the affair to be the result of a campaign of demonisation against Geert Wilders led by NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant newspapers, as well as the broadcaster VARA. Former trade union leader and prominent Christian Democrat Doekle Terpstra proposed an initiative against Geert Wilders and the PVV on 30 November 2007, in the newspaper Trouw.
Terpstra sees Wilders as promoting intolerance, discrimination against Muslims. He is supported in his cause by the large Dutch trade unions and refugee organisations. Politicians and the public are divided on Terpstra's initiative; the newspaper De Pers reported the next day that much of Terpstra's claimed support did not materialise. In 2008, the Friends of the Party of Freedom commissioned a producer, who acted under the name of "Scarlet Pimpernel Productions", a pseudonym adopted out of fear of reprisal, to produce Fitna, a short film by Geert Wilders. 17 minutes in length, it shows selected excerpts from Suras of the Qur'an, interspersed with media clips and newspaper cuttings showing or describing acts of violence or hatred by Muslims. The film attempts to demonstrate that the Qur'an motivates its followers to hate all who violate Islamic teachings; the film argues that Islam encourages acts of terrorism, violence against women and homosexuals, Islamic universalism. A large part of the film deals with the influence of Islam on the Netherlands.
The film's title, the Arabic word "fitna", means either "disagreeme
Johan Rudolph Thorbecke
Johan Rudolph Thorbecke was a Dutch statesman of a liberal bent, one of the most important Dutch politicians of the 19th century. In 1848, he single-handedly drafted the revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands, giving less power to the king and more to the States General, guaranteeing more religious and political freedom to the people. Thorbecke was born in Zwolle, his father Frederik Willem was a Lutheran tobacco manufacturer of German descent, while his mother Christine Regina was born in the Lower Saxon Osnabrück. Frederik Willem's business suffered badly from the anti-British policies of the French occupiers, his tobacco factory went bankrupt in 1803, after which he was unable to find another source of employment and would spend most of his time on the education of Johan Rudolph and his younger brother. Johan Rudolph proved to be diligent and exemplary at a young age, showing intelligence and curiosity; because of the sacrifices of his parents, who continued to struggle with financial problems, he was able to enjoy decent education.
He enjoyed primary education in his birthplace and in Amsterdam, where he lived until 1806, attended a Latin school back in Zwolle until 1814. Thorbecke began studying classical literature and philosophy in Amsterdam, studies he finished in Leiden defending a thesis on Asinius Pollio in 1820. Shortly after taking his doctorate, Thorbecke was granted a state scholarship for a journey through Germany. At Giessen he lectured as an extraordinary professor, at Göttingen, in 1824, published his treatise, Ueber das Wesen der Geschichte, he would spend four years travelling, during which he was introduced to historism and Romanticism, developed and spiritually. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1824, he settled in Amsterdam, where he wrote his first political work of significance, Bedenkingen aangaande het Regt en Den Staat; the work managed to catch attention, Thorbecke became professor of Political Science at Ghent University the following year, a position he was forced to resign from due to the Belgian Revolution in 1830.
The following year, Thorbecke became professor of Diplomacy and Modern History at the Leiden University, where his students would describe him as a distant, analytical mind, living a secluded life in his study. A loyal supporter of the conservative government of William I, Thorbecke developed a more critical view of the government and indeed the autocratic system of government throughout the 1830s, his strong support for constitutional reform is shown in a series of essays he published from 1839 onward, starting with Aanteekening op de grondwet "Annotation on the constitution". The climax of this series was Over het hedendaags burgerschap "On contemporary citizenship", published in 1844, in which he argued that universal suffrage would be unavoidable. On 21 May 1844, Thorbecke was elected into the House of Representatives for South Holland. In the House, he developed into the leader of the liberal opposition and that year, joined forces with eight like-minded members in a vain attempt to amend the constitution in the so-called Voorstel der Negenmannen.
Four years with much of Europe convulsed by the Revolutions of 1848, William II agreed upon the formation of a committee for revision of the constitution. Thorbecke was appointed as head of this committee on 17 March; the changes were all created by Thorbecke, as the other members of the committee did little but approve of his proposals. The drafted constitution was somewhat reluctantly approved by the States General, was proclaimed on 3 November 1848; the new constitution established civil rights and parliamentary competences, introduced direct election of members of House of Representatives and ministerial responsibility, thus limiting the power of the King and turning the country into a complete constitutional monarchy. Despite initial reluctance, William II appointed Thorbecke as formateur in late October 1849, his first cabinet took office on 13 November. In this cabinet, Thorbecke served as minister of the Interior and chaired the Council of Ministers, thus becoming de facto Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
Thorbecke's first cabinet passed several acts of particular importance, including the Electoral Act and the Province Act in 1850, the Municipality Act in the following year. Despite these successes, Thorbecke's reforms were subjected to resistance, he was criticised for his haughtiness and his strained relationship with the King. In 1853, the Catholic Church sought to restore the episcopal hierarchy in the Netherlands. Common people and conservative notables showed resistance to this in an anti-papal movement known as the Aprilbeweging. Thorbecke, who remained passive in the issue in defence of the separation of church and state, was accused of catholic sympathies, he was forced to resign. Thorbecke spent nine years as leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives, he pleaded for neutrality in the Crimean War 1854, opposed the religious nature of the Primary Education Act in 1857. The collapse of the conservative cabinet in 1862 brought Thorbecke back in power. On 31 January 1862, he started his second term as minister of the Interior and chairman of the Council of Minister.
Thorbecke's relationship with the King had improved because the focus of his reforms had shifted from politics to economics, despite the increased disunity among the liberals, his cabinet lasted for four years because of the support of the Catholics. One of Thorbecke's first acts in his second term was the abolition of the governmental departments for religious services. Other notable achievements