Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori
“Europe” as a “Hothouse” for Dutch Domestic Politics, 1948-1967
Robin de BRUIN
Lecturer, University of Amsterdam
European integration and the Netherlands
In the 1940s and 1950s, the Nazis, the Communists and democratic parties in Europe all emphasised their ability to provide their citizens with welfare in their claim to power. Creating an affluent society had become a top political priority in reaction to the economic crisis of the 1930s. The economic crisis and the Second World War intensified a demand for social solidarity.1 After the Second World War, the political response in West European democracies to this intensified demand was an important economic driving force for the European integration process.2
Dutch politicians regarded the integration of Europe as a necessary condition for a general economic rationalisation. They expected that this rationalisation would increase production and wages and would reduce prices. Thereby, it would diminish socio-economic inequality. The “European” push for socio-economic peace corresponded with postwar anti-totalitarian conceptions of human rights and consensus democracy.
In addition to the linking of Europeanisation and prosperity, many Dutch politicians of the 1950s seemed to think of European integration as both a necessity and a historical inevitability. In accordance with the pan-European thinking of the interwar years, European integration was presented by Dutch politicians both as a subcase of, and an adequate ← 337 | 338 → administrative response to, a worldwide process of growing global interconnectedness.3
In the first decades of the 20th Century, the development of the Netherlands’ East Indies (Indonesia)...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.