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Conference | Workshop

Tradition and Transition - Political practice and the benefits of continuity in the Age of Revolutions, 1750-1850

Thursday 27 June 2019 - Friday 28 June 2019
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Room 148

NB please note that the program has been changed as of June 20th

This workshop seeks to explore and compare the role of tradition in political processes and practices during the period of major political change that we know of as the Age of Revolutions. We propose to do so by shifting the perspective from modernization with its exclusive attention for what was new, to the use of older, often local practices. Our aim in doing so is to highlight the role of political traditions and traditional political practices in forging and enabling political change in the Age of Revolutions. We hypothesise that traditional practices were crucial both for political activism and the implementation of processes of radical change, and thus played as significant a role in political practice after 1800 as they had done before. 

This workshop emerges from the NOW-funded research project The persistence of civic identities in the Netherlands, 1748-1848, that Henk te Velde and Judith Pollmann have been directing at Leiden since 2014.

If you want to attend (parts) of this workshop, please send an e-mail to d.g.a.alkemade@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Please include which day you will attend.


Thursday, June 27


9:00                                      Arrival  (Lipsius Building, room 148, Cleveringaplaats 1)

9:30                                      Opening by Henk te Velde & Judith Pollmann


10:00- 12:30                        Session 1 – Tradition and Institutional Change              

Gary Gerstle                      Police Power in the Age of America’s Revolution

Diederik Smit                    Regional Resilience in the Age of Revolutions: The Persistence of the Dutch Provinces, 1748-1848

                                               Coffee break

Joanna Innes                    Revolution and Reform: Coming to Terms with Change in Britain’s ‘Age of Reform’


12:30 – 14:00                      Lunch for all registered participants


14:00 - 17:30                       Session 2 – Domesticating the New

James Sanders                 Indigenous Citizens and Black Republicans: Continuities and Evolutions of Subalterns’ Political Visions and Repertoires in post-Independence Colombia and Mexico

Joris Oddens                     Restoring the Moral Order of the Community. The Symbolic Repertoire of Collective Action in the Dutch Age of Revolutions

Coffee break

Anne Sophie Overkamp   Just Protecting Vested Interests? – The Political Interventions of a Mercantile Elite during Revolutionary Times

James Brophy                  Traditions of Dissent: Bookshops and Print Markets in Germany During the Age of Revolution



Friday, June 28


9:30 – 12:30                        Session 3 – Repertoires of Contention

Dana Nelson                     Democratic Society Without Sovereignty: The Commons and Collaborative Citizenship

Ana María Stuven           “He who resists this government contradicts God’s orders”: The Chilean Republic between Tradition and Change.

Judith Pollmann              Domesticating Novelty. Chronicling Urban Continuities in an Age of Revolution


12:30 – 14:00                      Lunch for all registered participants



14:00 – 16:00                     Session 4 – Discussion

                                               Summing up and future perspectives by Henk te Velde

                                               Roundtable discussion





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