This article addresses the question why in the Netherlands it was the orthodox protestants who were able to mobilize the masses and not, the political establishment of liberals and enlightened protestants during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The biblical rhetoric of their leader Abraham Kuyper reflects the lack of a tradition of popular political participation until late in the nineteenth century in the Netherlands. In contrast, the liberal language of his Victorian counterpart Gladstone, whose evangelical creed was equally orthodox, was marked by the absence of biblical drama. The familiarity of the masses with the moral rationalism of political liberalism is related to a longer tradition of political participation and agitation among working men and the power of popular liberalism in general, in England during the nineteenth century.
Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Hoekstra, H. J. (2003). The power of the spoken word: Political mobilization and nation-building by Kuyper and Gladstone [De kracht van het gesproken woord. Politieke mobilisatie en natievorming bij Kuyper en Gladstone]. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 494–511. Retrieved from