Stages in The History of The New Republic
Though the French presented themselves as liberators, they behaved like conquerors. After acrimonious negotiations between the representatives of the new Batavian Republic, a name that refers to the Germanic tribe of the Batavians that in Dutch nationalistic lore represented both its ancestry and its ancient quest for liberty, and those of the French Republic, a harsh Treaty of The Hague was concluded on May 16, 1795. Apart from imposing territorial concessions and a huge indemnity, this obligated the Dutch to maintain a French army of occupation of 25,000 men. This changed the new republic from an Anglo-Prussian to a French client state; henceforth it would conduct a foreign and military policy dictated by France, where its predecessor had followed British dictates since 1787 (an offensive and defensive alliance of the two republics was part of the treaty), while its economic policies would in effect also be made subservient to the interests of France. However, this did not mean that it lost its independence in all respects. The program of reform that the Dutch revolutionaries attempted to put in place (however constrained by the political realities of the French revolution as this was to progress) was mostly driven by indigenous needs and aspirations. The political events in the Netherlands were mainly derived from Dutch initiative, with some notable exceptions. The French were responsible for at least one of the coups d'état, and the French ambassador often acted as a proconsul.
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