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Anti Revolutionary Party
Anti-Revolutionaire Partij
Leader Abraham Kuyper (1879-1905)
Theo Heemskerk (1905-1922)
Hendrikus Colijn (1922-1940)
Sjoerd Gerbrandy (1940-1945)
Jan Schouten (1945-1956)
Jelle Zijlstra (1956-1963)
Barend Biesheuvel (1963-1971)
Willem Aantjes (1971-1977)
Founded 1879
Dissolved 1980
Merged into Christian Democratic Appeal
Headquarters Kuyperhuis
Dr. Kuyperstraat 3 The Hague
Ideology Christian Democracy
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament Group Christian Democratic Group
Official colours none
Website
none
Politics of the Netherlands
Political parties
Elections

The Anti Revolutionary Party (in Dutch: Anti-Revolutionaire Partij, ARP) was a Dutch Protestant Christian democratic political party. The ARP is one of the predecessors of the Christian Democratic Appeal. Although after 1917 the party never received more than twenty percent of the vote, its influence was far greater.

Contents

Party history

History before 1879

The anti-revolutionary parliamentary caucus had existed since the 1840s. It represented orthodox tendencies within the Dutch Reformed Church. Under the leadership of Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer they became a real political force, which opposed the liberal tendencies within the Dutch Reformed Church and the liberal tendencies within Dutch politics. The three values of the anti-revolutionaries were "God, the Netherlands, and the House of Orange". At the time the anti-revolutionary ideal was a Protestant theocracy in which Catholics and Jews were second-class citizens.

An important issue was public education, which in the view of the anti-revolutionairies should be Protestant-Christian in nature. The anti-revolutionaries had ties with the April movement, which opposed the official re-establishment of Roman Catholic bishoprics, and a mixed relationship with (liberal-)conservatives in the House of Representatives, who also opposed reforms to the social and political system but often on basis of a mix of liberal Protestantism and secular humanism. During the 1860s Groen van Prinsterer became more isolated from his conservative allies. He also began to reformulate his Protestant-Christian ideals, and began to plead for "souvereiniteit in eigen kring" (sphere sovereignty) instead of theocracy. This meant that instead of one Protestant-Christian society, Groen van Prinsterer wanted a Protestant society within a pluriform society. Orthodox Protestants would have their own churches, schools, papers, political parties and sport clubs. This laid the basis for pillarization, which was to dominate Dutch society between 1880 and 1960.

In 1864 Groen van Prinsterer began to correspond with a young Dutch Reformed theologian named Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper was heavily influenced by Groen van Prinsterer's ideals and began to put the latter's ideal of an orthodox Protestant society within Dutch society into practice.

Foundation

On April 3, 1879 Abraham Kuyper founded the ARP, as part of the larger separate orthodox Protestant society within society. It was the first nationally organized political party in the Netherlands. An 1878 petition for equal payment for religious schools became one of the catalysts for the foundation of the political movement. In 1877 Kuyper had already written "Our Program" in which the political ideals of the ARP were written down (see below). Around the ARP the separate Protestant society began to grow: many Protestant schools were founded, a Protestant university (the Free University was founded in 1880), and a paper (De Standaard). In 1886 Kuyper broke free from the liberal Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlands-Hervormde Kerk) to founded the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in 1892 (in Dutch: Gerformeerde Kerken Nederland).

The ARP had one practical political goal: equalization of payment between public and religious schools. It had one political strategy: the anti-thesis between religious and non-religious parties, which meant that he sought to break the cooperation between liberals and Catholics and to create an alliance between Catholics and Protestants.

1879-1917

Portrait of Abraham Kuyper by Jan Veth

In 1879 13 (out of 100) anti-revolutionaries were in the House of Representatives, although not all were members of the ARP. During the period 1879-1883 their numbers grew slowly, peaking at 19. After the 1884 election they had 21 members parliament. In 1886 they won their first seat in the Senate.

In the 1888 election the ARP won 31.4% of the vote and 27 seats. A confessional cabinet was formed led by the anti-revolutionary Æneas Baron Mackay: it combined anti-revolutionary and Catholic ministers, joined by two conservative independents. Because the liberals still controlled the Senate, many of the cabinet's proposals met resistance there and the cabinet fell before the end of its four year term.

In the 1891 election the ARP lost 2% of its votes, but 6 of its seats. The confessional parties also lost their majority. A liberal cabinet, led by Van Tienhoven was formed. It proposed drastic changes to the census, which would result practically in universal male suffrage, proposed by minister Tak. The ARP was divided on the issue: Kuyper and a majority of the parliamentary party voted in favour of the law, while Alexander de Savorin-Lohman vehemently opposed it. Kuyper had tactical reasons to support enlarged franchise - the 'kleine luyden' (middle class) who would be allowed to vote often supported the ARP. De Savorin-Lohman opposed the law because it would imply some form of popular sovereignty instead of divine sovereignty. In 1894 this resulted in a split between the ARP and the group around De Savorin-Lohman. Party discipline also played a role in the conflict between Kuyper and De Savorin-Lohman: Kuyper, the party leader, favoured strong party discipline, while De Savorin Lohman opposed strong parties. The split results in the foundation of the Free Anti Revolutionary Party in 1898, which would become the Christian Historical Union in 1904. With Savorin Lohman a group of prominent party politicians left the party, including many of its aristocratic members (who like De Savorin-Lohman have double names). The CHU continued its opposition against universal suffrage and is more anti-papist than the ARP.

In the 1894 elections the ARP lost almost half of its vote and six of its twenty-one seats. The Catholics broke their alliance with the ARP and support a conservative cabinet. In the 1897 elections the ARP won back some ground: it was supported by 26% of the electorate and won seventeen seats. The group around De Savorin Lohman, won 11% of the vote and six seats. A liberal cabinet was formed and the ARP was confined to opposition.

In 1901 the ARP won a decisive victory. It won 27.4% of the vote and twenty-three seats. A cabinet was formed out of the ARP, the Catholics and the group around De Savorin-Lohman, now called the Christian Historical Party. The cabinet is led by Kuyper. It is characterized by Kuypers' authoritarian leadership. He is the first person to formally lead the cabinet for four years. This can best be seen by the railway strike of 1903, in which Kuyper showed no mercy to the strikers and instead pushed several particularly harsh anti-strike laws through parliament. After the Senate, where there was a liberal majority, rejected Kuypers' law on higher education, which sought to bring equal titles for alumni of the Free University, which Kuyper himself founded, Kuyper calls new elections for the Senate. With a confessional majority in the Senate, the law was pushed through.

In the 1905 elections the ARP loses only 3% of vote, but eight seats, although it was able to strengthen its position in the Senate. Kuyper, the party's leader, loses his own seat in Amsterdam to a progressive liberal. Theo Heemskerk led the anti-revolutionary parliamentary party. A minority liberal cabinet was formed. Former anti-revolutionary MP Staalman leaves ARP and founds the Christian Democratic Party, which later became the Christian Democratic Union, which would play a minor role in the interbellum political landscape.

In a 1908 Kuyper returned to the House of Representatives. After a crisis in the liberal cabinet Theo Heemskerk was given the chance to form a new cabinet. A minority confessional cabinet was formed. In the 1909 elections the ARP wins 3% of vote and twenty-five seats. The Heemskerk cabinet continues.

In 1912 Kuyper left national politics because of health reasons, and in 1913 he was elected to the Senate. In the 1913 election the ARP lost 6% of the votes, but lost more than half of its seats and was left with 11 seats. Another minority liberal cabinet was formed. The leadership of the ARP lay in the hands of less prominent politicians. Although a relatively small opposition party, the ARP played an important role in Dutch politics. The liberal minority cabinet, led by Cort van der Linden sought to resolve two important issues in Dutch politics: the conflict over the equalization of payment for religious schools and universal suffrage. In the constitution change of 1918 both items were resolved. The ARP is given equal payment for religious schools, but it has to accept female suffrage and proportional representation.

1917-1945

1925 election poster depicting prime minister Colijn. It reads "the country's helmsman, vote Colijn.

The 1918 elections provided a decisive test for the party, where the party won two additional seats. The three confessional parties won 50 seats. The confessional parties formed a new cabinet, led by the Catholic Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck. The ARP supplied three ministers and former prime minister Theo Heemskerk became minister of Justice. A group of concerned anti-revolutionaries, led by Gerrit Kersten, founded the Political Reformed Party, which opposed universal suffrage and cooperation with the Catholics. The electorate of the ARP changed in the interbellum - the difference between lower class Protestants who voted ARP and middle class Protestant Protestants who voted CHU began to disappear, with religious differences between the Dutch Reformed Church (CHU) and the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (ARP) becoming more important.

In the 1922 elections former minister of war Hendrikus Colijn becomes the leader of the ARP. He emphasized defense and fiscal conservatism as core issues of the party. With him the ARP gets sixteen seats in the House of Representatives and fifteen in the Senate. He becomes Minister of Finance in the second cabinet of Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck. He leads the party in the 1925 elections and the party lost three seats. The ARP continues to govern with Jan Donner as minister of Justice. In the 1929 elections the ARP lost another seat. The confessional parties continued to govern.

In the 1930s with the growing international political and economic crisis, the ARP began to regain its popularity, under the leadership of Colijn. In 1933 the ARP gained two seats and Colijn formed a broad cabinet comprising of the RKSP, CHU, ARP, LSP and VDB. Jan Schouten led the party's parliamentary party. Between 1933 and 1939 Colijn leads several parliamentary and extra-parliamentary cabinets with changing composition, although the CHU, ARP and RKSP continued to form the core of the cabinet. Colijn kept to classical economic policies, refused to devaluate the guilder and was unable to resolve the economic crisis. In 1937 the ARP gained three seats and reached a historic seventeen seats. Colijn continued to govern. In 1939 his fifth cabinet fell and Colijn was succeeded by Dirk Jan de Geer. Pieter Gerbrandy joined the cabinet without support of his parliamentary party.

In the Second World War members of the ARP played a role in both the governments in exile, of which many were led by Pieter Gerbrandy and the resistance movements. The resistance paper Trouw was founded by ARP'ers. Many future ARP MPs began their political career in the Dutch resistance.

1945-1980

1946 election poster depicting a dike standing against a communist storm. It reads "Strengthen the Dike"

After the Second World War the ARP returned to Dutch politics. The anti-revolutionary Jo Meynen was minister of War, albeit without support of his parliamentary party.

In the 1946 elections Jan Schouten led the party. It lost four seats. During the formation in became clear that the ARP could not govern: it was heavily opposed to decolonization of the Dutch Indies. It saw maintenance of the Dutch colonial empire as necessary for the continued wealth and power of the Netherlands. The social-democrats and the Catholics however favoured decolonization, under heavy pressure from the United States. For six years the ARP was relatively isolated. In 1944 a theological conflict within the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands led to a break between the Reformed Church and the Reformed Churches (liberated). This also had political repercussions, as in 1948 the Reformed Political Alliance was set up by members of the liberated churches. They were unable to win seats until 1963. The party remained stable in the 1948 elections and remained in opposition.

1959 election poster depicting Zijlstra.

After the 1952 elections the ARP returned to the cabinet, which was consisted of the confessional ARP, CHU, KVP and the social-democratic PvdA, led by the social-democrat Drees. Jelle Zijlstra became minister of economic affairs. In the 1956 elections in which Jelle Zijlstra became political leader the ARP kept its 10% of the vote, but due to the enlargement of the House of Representatives it got 15 seats. A conflict between the PvdA and the KVP caused the early downfall of the cabinet. The ARP remained part of the care-taker cabinet led by Louis Beel. In the 1959 elections the ARP lost another seat. It continued to be part of the cabinet, now led by Jan de Quay. The three confessional parties were joined by the conservative liberal VVD. After the 1963 elections the cabinet continued, now led by Victor Marijnen. The new anti-revolutionary leader Barend Biesheuvel became Minister of Agriculture. In 1965 this cabinet fell over a conflict between the liberals and the confessionals. The PvdA joins the ARP and the KVP in a new cabinet, led by Jo Cals. This cabinet fell after one year, over conflict between the KVP and PvdA over government spending. The ARP joins the PvdA in its plea for more government spending. A caretaker government is formed by the KVP and ARP, led by former ARP-leader Jelle Zijlstra. In the 1967 election campaign the ARP, CHU and KVP declared that they would continue to govern together. This led to considerable conflict with the KVP, which also spilled over into the ARP, as the younger generation wanted to govern with the PvdA. The ARP gained two seats, but the KVP loses eight seats. A new liberal/confessional cabinet is formed. Biesheuvel does not enter government but instead chooses to remain in parliament.

1971 election poster depicting Biesheuvel.

In the 1971 elections the ARP lost two seats, and its confessional allies (KVP and CHU) lost seven and three seats respectively. They faced competition from the leftwing Christian PPR, which was formed by former KVP members and joined by some prominent anti-revolutionaries, including Bas de Gaay Fortman, son of Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman, one of the party's ministers. The liberal/confessional cabinet lost its majority. A new government was formed comprising of liberals and confessionals, now joined by Democratic Socialists '70 - a group of moderate social-democrats, who left the "radicalizing" PvdA. This cabinet was led by Barend Biesheuvel. Willem Aantjes became the chair of the party's parliamentary party. Under his leadership the ARP fashioned itself a new leftwing radical evangelical image, while the CHU retains its conservative image. The cabinet did not hold together for long: DS '70 were unable to agree with proposed budget cuts, and the cabinet fell. In the subsequent elections the ARP gained one seat. After long coalition talks several prominent anti-revolutionaries, including Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman, joined the progressive cabinet led by Joop den Uyl. The cabinet was riddled with conflicts between confessional and progressive politicians.

Dissolution

Meanwhile a process of merger had started between the KVP, ARP and CHU. In 1974 they founded a federation called the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). In the formation of a common Christian-democratic identity anti-revolutionary Aantjes played a decisive role: he orients the party towards the sermon on the Mount where Christ says that Christians should clothe the naked and feed the hungry. In the 1977 elections they campaigned together under as the CDA. Some prominent anti-revolutionaries, like Aantjes did not agree the CDA/VVD cabinet that was formed after the elections, and wanted to continue with the PvdA, however they supported the cabinet politically. A group of these anti-revolutionaries left the CDA in 1981 to found the left-wing Christian Evangelical People's Party.

The power of anti-revolutionaries within the CDA is still large. The current prime minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende comes from an anti-revolutionary family. His colleague Piet Hein Donner comes from a prominent anti-revolutionary family, who also brought forth minister Jan Donner.

Name

The ARP derived its name "Anti Revolutionary Party" from its opposition to the ideals of the liberal French Revolution (and certainly against those of Marxists). The label conservative was already taken by a parliamentary group of monarchists and colonialists, who fell from favour during the late 1800s. In its early years the terms anti-revolutionary and Christian-historical were used interchangeable. With the split between the ARP and the Christian Historical Union the terms began to gain their own separate meanings.

Ideology & Issues

The ARP started out as an orthodox Protestant party, heavily opposed to the ideals of the French revolution. Against the revolution, they put the Bible: instead of liberty, it favoured divine providence, instead of equality it favoured hierarchy and instead of brotherhood it favoured sovereignty in its own circle. Its ideals could be summed up in the trio "God, the Netherlands and the House of Orange". For most of its history it had this conservative Protestant image. In the 1960s and 1970s the party began to adopt a more leftwing radical evangelical image.

God

The ARP was a confessional Protestant party which based its politics on the bible and opposed the concept of popular sovereignty.

The concept of sphere sovereignty was very important for the party. It wanted to create an independent Protestant society within the Dutch society, with its own schools, papers, hospitals etc. It sought equal government finances for its own institutions. Societies should care for their own, therefore they opposed a large role for the state in social-economic policy.

The ARP saw an important role for the state in upholding the values of the Dutch people. It was socially conservative: it opposed co-education, mandatory vaccination, divorce, pornography, euthanasia, abortion etc. It also favoured the death penalty.

The Netherlands

The party can be seen as rather nationalist. It favoured a strong defense to retain Dutch neutrality. It opposed decolonization. It saw the colonies in Indonesia, as vital for the continued wealth and influence for the Dutch people. It also wanted to enlighten the native population with Christian values.

Orange

The ARP favoured monarchy, and saw the House of Orange as historically and religiously linked to the Dutch people. It opposed changes to Dutch political system, it wanted to retain bicameralism, opposed popular referendums etc. Its commitment to universal suffrage was only tactical as the ARP expected that it would be able to gain more seats this way. Principally it wanted Householder Franchise where the father of each family would vote for his family.

The party was fiscally conservative: the Dutch government should be like a good father: it should not spend more than it got through taxes.

Christian Radicalism

In the 1960s and 1970s the party became more leftwing on many issues. Social justice became an important ideal of the party, both nationally, where it began to favour a stronger welfare state, and internationally, where development aid became an important issue.

Representation

This table shows the results of the ARP in elections to the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter, is the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker is the party's top candidate in the general election, these posts are normally taken by the party's leader. If the party is in government, a high ranking minister, often the prime minister can also be party leader. If the high ranking minister is the Prime Minister, this can be seen by the "PM" behind his name. If he is in the cabinet without support of his party his is listed as "independent". The party's membership is also presented in this figure.

Year HoR S Fractievoorzitter Lijsttrekker Cabinet Membership
1879 13 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1880 13 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1881 16 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1882 19 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1883 18 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1884 21 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1885 21 0 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1886 18 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1887 18 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1888 27 (31.4%) 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a Aeneas baron Mackay (PM) unknown
1889 27 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a Aeneas baron Mackay (PM) unknown
1890 27 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a Aeneas baron Mackay (PM) unknown
1891 21 (29.5%) 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1892 21 2 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1893 21 3 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1894 15 (17.1%) 2 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1895 15 2 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1896 15 3 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1897 17 (26.2%) 3 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1898 17 1 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1899 17 3 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1900 17 3 Abraham Kuyper n/a opposition unknown
1901 23 (27.4%) 4 Jan van Alphen n/a Abraham Kuyper (PM) unknown
1902 23 5 Jan van Alphen n/a Abraham Kuyper (PM) unknown
1903 23 5 Theo Heemskerk n/a Abraham Kuyper (PM) unknown
1904 23 8 Theo Heemskerk n/a Abraham Kuyper (PM) unknown
1905 15 (24.7%) 10 Theo Heemskerk n/a opposition unknown
1906 15 9 Theo Heemskerk n/a opposition unknown
1907 15 9 Theo Heemskerk n/a opposition unknown
1908 15 9 Abraham Kuyper n/a Theo Heemskerk (PM) unknown
1909 25 (27.9%) 9 Abraham Kuyper n/a Theo Heemskerk (PM) unknown
1910 25 10 Abraham Kuyper n/a Theo Heemskerk (PM) unknown
1911 25 10 Abraham Kuyper n/a Theo Heemskerk (PM) unknown
1912 25 10 Abraham Kuyper n/a Theo Heemskerk (PM) unknown
1913 11 (21.5%) 10 Gerrit Middelberg n/a opposition unknown
1914 11 10 Coenraad van der Voort van Zijp n/a opposition unknown
1915 11 10 Coenraad van der Voort van Zijp n/a opposition unknown
1916 11 9 Victor Rutgers n/a opposition unknown
1917 11 10 Victor Rutgers n/a opposition unknown
1918 13 9 Victor Rutgers multiple Theo Heemskerk unknown
1919 13 9 Victor Rutgers no elections Theo Heemskerk unknown
1920 13 10 Victor Rutgers no elections Theo Heemskerk unknown
1921 13 10 Victor Rutgers no elections Theo Heemskerk unknown
1922 16 15 Hendrikus Colijn multiple, including Colijn,
Schouten and Heemskerk
Theo Heemskerk unknown
1923 16 15 Victor Rutgers no elections Hendrikus Colijn unknown
1924 16 10 Victor Rutgers no elections Hendrikus Colijn unknown
1925 13 9 Theo Heemskerk Hendrikus Colijn Hendrikus Colijn unknown
1926 13 9 Theo Heemskerk no elections Hendrikus Colijn unknown
1927 13 7 Theo Heemskerk no elections Jan Donner unknown
1928 13 7 Theo Heemskerk no elections Jan Donner unknown
1929 12 7 Hendrikus Colijn multiple including Colijn Jan Donner unknown
1930 12 7 Hendrikus Colijn no elections Jan Donner unknown
1931 12 7 Hendrikus Colijn no elections Jan Donner unknown
1932 12 7 Hendrikus Colijn no elections Jan Donner unknown
1933 14 7 Jan Schouten Hendrikus Colijn Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1934 14 7 Jan Schouten no elections Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1935 14 7 Jan Schouten no elections Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1936 14 7 Jan Schouten no elections Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1937 17 8 Jan Schouten Hendrikus Colijn Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1938 17 8 Jan Schouten no elections Hendrikus Colijn (PM) unknown
1939 17 8 Jan Schouten no elections Pieter Gerbrandy
(as independent)
unknown
1940 out of session Pieter Gerbrandy (PM) unknown
1941 out of session Pieter Gerbrandy (PM) unknown
1942 out of session Pieter Gerbrandy (PM) unknown
1943 out of session Pieter Gerbrandy (PM) unknown
1944 out of session Pieter Gerbrandy (PM) unknown
1945 17 7 Jan Schouten no elections Jo Meynen
(as independent)
unknown
1946 13 7 Jan Schouten Jan Schouten opposition 86.500
1947 13 7 Jan Schouten no elections opposition unknown
1948 13 7 Jan Schouten Jan Schouten opposition unknown
1949 13 7 Jan Schouten no elections opposition unknown
1950 13 7 Jan Schouten no elections opposition 102.737
1951 13 7 Jan Schouten no elections Lubertus Götzen
(as independent)
unknown
1952 12 7 Jan Schouten Jan Schouten Jelle Zijlstra unknown
1953 12 7 Jan Schouten no elections Jelle Zijlstra unknown
1954 12 7 Jan Schouten no elections Jelle Zijlstra unknown
1955 12 7 Jan Schouten no elections Jelle Zijlstra 98.028
1956 15 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot Jelle Zijlstra Jelle Zijlstra 95.038
1957 15 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot no elections Jelle Zijlstra 97.186
1958 15 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot no elections Jelle Zijlstra 99.340
1959 14 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot Jelle Zijlstra Jelle Zijlstra 99.613
1960 14 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot no elections Jelle Zijlstra 97.980
1961 14 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot no elections Jelle Zijlstra 98.544
1962 14 8 Sieuwert Bruins Slot no elections Jelle Zijlstra 100.847
1963 13 7 Henk van Eijsden various including Biesheuvel

Smallenbroek and Roolvink

Barend Biesheuvel 98.016
1964 13 7 Jan Smallenbroek no elections Barend Biesheuvel 95.796
1965 13 7 Bauke Roolvink no elections Barend Biesheuvel 94.164
1966 13 7 Bauke Roolvink no elections Jelle Zijlstra (PM) 93.398
1967 15 7 Barend Biesheuvel Barend Biesheuvel Joop Bakker 90.904
1968 15 7 Barend Biesheuvel no elections Joop Bakker 87.378
1969 15 7 Barend Biesheuvel no elections Joop Bakker 83.127
1970 15 7 Barend Biesheuvel no elections Joop Bakker 80.695
1971 13 7 Willem Aantjes Barend Biesheuvel Barend Biesheuvel (PM) 74.118
1972 14 7 Willem Aantjes Barend Biesheuvel Barend Biesheuvel (PM) unknown
1973 14 7 Willem Aantjes no elections Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman 69.742
1974 14 6 Willem Aantjes no elections Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman 61.116
1975 14 6 Willem Aantjes no elections Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman 61.761
1976 14 6 Willem Aantjes no elections Wilhelm de Gaay Fortman 59.495

Municipal and Provincial Government

The party was particularly strong in rural municipal and provincial governments. Especially in Friesland, Overijssel, Zeeland and the Veluwe the party was particularly strong.

Electorate

The electorate of the ARP has seen three decisive shifts, especially in its relation with the CHU, the other Protestant party. Although dates are given here, the changes were gradual

  • Between 1879 and 1917 the ARP appealed to "kleine luyden" (Dutch for the little people), the middle class, farmers, and workers, as a confessional party that favoured universal suffrage.
  • Between 1917 and 1967 the ARP appealed to members of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.
  • Between 1967 and 1977, in the time of secularization and depillarization the party was able to appeal to younger generations, as the more leftwing confessional party.

Organization

National Organization

The party's national secretariat was long housed in the Kuyper House in The Hague. It now houses the national secretariat of the CDA

Linked organisations

The party published the magazine "Nederlandse Gedachten" ("Dutch Thoughts"). Its youth organization was the Anti-Revolutionaire Jongeren Studieclubs (Anti-Revolutionary Youth Studyclubs). Its scientific institute was the Dr. A. Kuyper foundation.

International organisations

Internationally the ARP was a relatively isolated party. In the European Parliament its members sat in the Christian Democratic faction.

Pillarized organisations

The party had close ties to many Protestant organizations, such as the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, the Protestant broadcaster NCRV, the employers' organization NCW, the trade union CNV, and the paper De Standaard and after the Second World War, the Trouw. Together these organizations formed the Protestant pillar.

Relationships to other parties

Because of the philosophy of anti-thesis it has strong links with the Catholic parties (General League/RKSP/KVP and the CHU. In the period 1879 to 1917 it saw the liberal LU as its main opponent. After 1917 it saw the social democratic SDAP as its main opponent, and it formed several governments with liberals.

After the Second World War, the ARP became more isolated because of its position on the decolonization of the Dutch Indies. After Indonesia became independent, it joined the PvdA, KVP and the CHU in the cabinet. Links with the KVP were exceptionally good and it governed with the KVP and either the CHU and the PvdA. After the 1960s calls to govern with the PvdA became stronger.

International Comparison

Internationally the ARP was very similar to the Scandinavian Christian Democratic parties (such as the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and the Finnish Christian Democrats), that are all socially and fiscally conservative, with a social heart. All have their roots in orthodox tendencies within the national church. In its conservative policies the ARP also shared similarities with the UK Conservatives and the US Republicans.

Further reading

  • Changing Procedures and Changing Strategies in Dutch Coalition Building by Hans Daalder In: Legislative Studies Quarterly Vol. 11, No. 4 (Nov., 1986), pp. 507-531.
  • Conservatism in the Netherlands by Hermann von der Dunk In: Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1978), pp. 741-763 .







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