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Je Maintiendrai: The Royal Netherlands Army Within the Alliance
INDIANA UNIV AT BLOOMINGTON DEPT OF WEST EUROPEAN STUDIES
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Dutch soldiers distinguished themselves in battle from 1588 to 1714 . Following humiliation in the War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748, however, the quality of the Dutch Army declined dramatically. Since then, despite individual unit achievements in various theatres of war, the Dutch Army has compiled a mediocre combat record. This lackluster performance in modern times has led some to believe that the Dutch Army was merely representative of a people traditionally inclined to pacifism and, therefore, lacked the discipline required of an effective military organization. While there is an element of truth in this assessment, it should not be overstated. The principal causes for the decline of the Dutch Army, since 1748, were threefold 1 a greater public and political pragmatism regarding the limited size of the country and its relatively small population this was further exacerbated by the Belgian Succession in 1831 2 the huge costs associated with maintaining a large, well-equipped standing army, which was thought to retard normal economic and social developments, and resulted in consecutive cutbacks in military expenditures and 3 an increasing anti-militarism fueled by conscription and which, after 1900, came to be represented by various labor and social organizations. The impact of these three considerations on the present KL are examined in successive chapters. Keyword Theses.
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