The Development of Dutch Christian Democracy
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION 1945-1995, Emiel Lamberts, ed., Leuven University Press, 1997
15 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2010
Date Written: 1997
The topic of this chapter is the development of Dutch Christian Democracy between 1945 and 1995. It should be noted at the outset, however, that unlike several of its neighbouring countries, the Netherlands did not have a unified Christian Democratic party until 1980. Before that, there were three major religious parties: the orthodox Protestant Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and Christian-Historical Union (CHU) and the Catholic People's Party (KVP; between 1926 and 1945 called the Roman Catholic State Party or RKSP). Although from a comparative point of view it may be true that Christian Democracy is essentially a Roman Catholic movement, in the Netherlands the two orthodox Protestant parties should be regarded as "embryo Christian Democratic parties" as well. Therefore, this chapter will have to consist of two parts that deal with the ARP, the CHU and the KVP between 1945 and 1980 (section 3), and the CDA between 1980 and 1995 (section 4). Since it is impossible, moreover, to understand the developments within the ARP, the CHU and the KVP in the post-war period without first considering the religious and political situation in the 19th and early 20th centuries, I will start out with some remarks on the historical background before 1945 (section 2). I will end with a conclusion (section 5).
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