‘Sonder regard toe nemen op oere privaet saecken…’ Why the Estates of Guelders did not develop a standing committee in the late sixteenth century.
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During the Dutch Revolt the Netherlands broke away from their legal ruler, Philip II of Spain. The seven provinces, united as the Dutch Republic, had to find a new form of government. Eventually they would rule themselves. Every one of them developed a standing committee to conduct administrative business. Only the province of Gelderland did not. Its ruling class, united in the Estates of Guelders, retained the pre-revolt (Habsburg) chancery to do the job, while in other provinces the political and administrative tasks of such institutions were taken away. My thesis sheds new light on this strange situation and answers two interrelated questions: (1) why did Gelderland not develop a single / central standing committee during the last quarter of the sixteenth century and (2) how can we explain that only in this province the chancery retained its dual task?