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Abraham Kuyper

Abraham Kuyper

Overview
Abraham Kuijper generally known as Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch
Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and theologian. He founded the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister of the Netherlands
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands is the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands. He is the de facto head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates the policy of the government...

 between 1901 and 1905.

Kuyper was home schooled by his father, Jan Frederik Kuyper, who was a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

 in Hoogmade
Hoogmade
Hoogmade is a village in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is located about 7 km east of Leiden, in the municipality of Kaag en Braassem.Hoogmade was a separate municipality between 1817 and 1855, when it merged with Woubrugge....

, Maassluis
Maassluis
Maassluis is a town in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 32,847 in 2004, and covers an area of 10.11 km² .It received city rights in 1811...

, Middelburg
Middelburg
Middelburg is a municipality and a city in the south-western Netherlands and the capital of the province of Zeeland. It is situated in the Midden-Zeeland region. It has a population of about 48,000.- History of Middelburg :...

 and Leiden. He had no formal primary education
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

, but received secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 at the Gymnasium
Education in the Netherlands
Education in the Netherlands is characterized by division: education is orientated toward the needs and background of the pupil. Education is divided over schools for different age groups, some of which are divided in streams for different educational levels...

 of Leiden.

In 1855 he graduated from the gymnasium and began to study literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 at Leiden University
Leiden University
Leiden University , located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The royal Dutch House of Orange-Nassau and Leiden University still have a close...

.
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Encyclopedia
Abraham Kuijper generally known as Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch
Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and theologian. He founded the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister of the Netherlands
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands is the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands. He is the de facto head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates the policy of the government...

 between 1901 and 1905.

Early life


Kuyper was home schooled by his father, Jan Frederik Kuyper, who was a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

 in Hoogmade
Hoogmade
Hoogmade is a village in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is located about 7 km east of Leiden, in the municipality of Kaag en Braassem.Hoogmade was a separate municipality between 1817 and 1855, when it merged with Woubrugge....

, Maassluis
Maassluis
Maassluis is a town in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 32,847 in 2004, and covers an area of 10.11 km² .It received city rights in 1811...

, Middelburg
Middelburg
Middelburg is a municipality and a city in the south-western Netherlands and the capital of the province of Zeeland. It is situated in the Midden-Zeeland region. It has a population of about 48,000.- History of Middelburg :...

 and Leiden. He had no formal primary education
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

, but received secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 at the Gymnasium
Education in the Netherlands
Education in the Netherlands is characterized by division: education is orientated toward the needs and background of the pupil. Education is divided over schools for different age groups, some of which are divided in streams for different educational levels...

 of Leiden.

In 1855 he graduated from the gymnasium and began to study literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 at Leiden University
Leiden University
Leiden University , located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The royal Dutch House of Orange-Nassau and Leiden University still have a close...

. He received his propaedeuse
Propaedeutics
Propaedeutics or propedeutics is a historical term for an introductory course into a discipline: art, science, etc. Etymology: pro- + Greek: paideutikós, "pertaining to teaching"....

 in literature in 1857, summa cum laude, and in philosophy in 1858, also summa cum laude. He also took classes in Arabic, Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

 and physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

.

In 1862 he was promoted to doctor in Theology on the basis of a dissertation called "Disquisitio historico-theologica, exhibens Johannis Calvini et Johannis à Lasco de Ecclesia Sententiarum inter se compositionem" (Theological-historical dissertation showing the differences in the rules of the church, between John Calvin and John Łaski). In comparing the views of John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 and Jan Łaski, Kuyper showed a clear sympathy for the more liberal Łaski. During his studies Kuyper was a member of the modern tendency
Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward...

 within the Dutch Reformed Church.

Religious Life


In May 1862 he was declared eligible for the ministry
Minister of religion
In Christian churches, a minister is someone who is authorized by a church or religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community...

 and 1863 he accepted a call to become minister for the Dutch Reformed Church for the town of Beesd
Beesd
Beesd is a town in the Dutch province of Gelderland. It is a part of the municipality of Geldermalsen, and lies about 16 km west of Tiel. It is situated near the river Linge and has a railway station on the railway from Dordrecht to Geldermalsen....

. In the same year he married Johanna Hendrika Schaay (1842–1899). They would have five sons and three daughters. In 1864 he began corresponding with the anti-revolutionary MP Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer
Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer
Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer , Dutch politician and historian, was born at Voorburg, near the Hague.-Overview:...

, who heavily influenced his political and theological views (see below).

Around 1866 he began to sympathize with the orthodox tendency within the Dutch Reformed Church. He was inspired by the simple reformed faith of Pietje Balthus, a farmer's wife. He began to oppose the centralization in the church, the role of the King and began to plead for the separation of church and state
Separation of church and state
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state....

.

In 1867 Kuyper was asked to become minister for the parish in Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

 and he left Beesd. In 1870 he was asked to come to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. In 1871 he began to write for the "De Heraut" ("The Herald").

In 1872 he founded his own paper, "De Standaard" ("the Standard"). This paper would lay the foundation for the network of reformed organization, (the reformed pillar), which Kuyper would found.

Doleantie


In 1886 Kuyper led an exodus from the Dutch Reformed Church. He grieved the loss of Reformed distinctives within this State Church, which no longer required office bearers to agree to the Reformed standards which had once been foundational.

Kuyper and the consistory of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 insisted that both ministers and church members subscribe to the Reformed confessions. This was appealed to Classis, and Kuyper, along with about 80 members of the Amsterdam consistory, were suspended in Dec. 1885. This was appealed to the provincial synod, which upheld the ruling in a 1 July 1886 ruling.

Refusing to accept his suspension, Kuyper preached to his followers in an auditorium on Sunday, 11 July 1886. Because of their deep sorrow at the state of the Dutch Reformed Church, the group called itself the Doleantie
Doleantie
The Doleantie was the name of a prominent schism in the Dutch Reformed Church which took place in 1886 and was led by the renowned minister Abraham Kuyper. The Doleantie was not the first schism in the Dutch Reformed Church...

 (grieving ones).

By 1889 the Doleantie churches had over 200 congregations, 180,000 members, and about 80 ministers.

Kuyper, (although at first antagonistic towards them), soon began to seek union with the churches of the Secession of 1834
Secession of 1834
The Secession of 1834 refers to a split that occurred from out of the Dutch Reformed Church in the year 1834. The federation of churches resulting from this Secession, the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken , still exists in the Netherlands today...

, the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken (Christian Reformed Church). These churches had earlier broken off from the Dutch Reformed Church. This union was effected in 1892, and the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Reformed Church in the Netherlands) was formed. This denomination has its counterpart in the Christian Reformed Church in North America
Christian Reformed Church in North America
The Christian Reformed Church in North America is a Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada. Having roots in the Dutch Reformed churches of the Netherlands, the Christian Reformed Church was founded by Gijsbert Haan and Dutch immigrants who left the Reformed Church in...

.

Member of Parliament


In 1873 Kuyper stood as candidate in the general election for parliament for the constituency of Gouda
Gouda
Gouda is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, smoking pipes, and 15th-century city hall....

, but he was defeated by the incumbent member of parliament, the conservative Jonkheer
Jonkheer
Jonkheer is a Dutch honorific of nobility.-Honorific of nobility:"Jonkheer" or "Jonkvrouw" is literally translated as "young lord" or "young lady". In medieval times such a person was a young and unmarried son or daughter of a high ranking knight or nobleman...

 Willem Maurits de Brauw. When De Brauw died the next year, Kuyper stood again in the bye-election for the same district. This time he was elected to parliament, defeating the liberal candidate Herman Verners van der Loeff.

Kuyper subsequently moved to the Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, without telling his friends in Amsterdam. In parliament he showed a particular interest in education, especially the equal financing of public and religious schools. In 1876 he wrote "Our Program" which laid the foundation for the Anti Revolutionary Party
Anti Revolutionary Party
The Anti Revolutionary Party was a Dutch Protestant Christian democratic political party. The ARP is one of the predecessors of the Christian Democratic Appeal. After 1917 the party never received more than twenty percent of the vote.-History before 1879:The anti-revolutionary parliamentary caucus...

. In this programme he formulated the principle of antithesis
Christian democracy in the Netherlands
This article gives an overview of christian democracy in the Netherlands, which is also called confessional politics, including political Catholicism and Protestantism. It is limited to Christian democratic parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament...

, the conflict between the religious (reformed and Catholics) and non-religious. In 1877 he left parliament because of problems with his health, suffering from overexertion.

In 1878 Kuyper returned to politics, he led the petition
Petition
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

 against a new law on education
Education in the Netherlands
Education in the Netherlands is characterized by division: education is orientated toward the needs and background of the pupil. Education is divided over schools for different age groups, some of which are divided in streams for different educational levels...

, which would further disadvantage religious schools. This was an important impetus for the foundation of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) in 1879, of which Kuyper would be chairman between 1879 and 1905. He would be the indisputed leader of the party between 1879 and 1920. His followers gave him the nickname "Abraham de Geweldige" (Abraham the Great). In 1880 he founded the Free University
Vrije Universiteit
The Vrije Universiteit is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch name is often abbreviated as VU and in English the university uses the name "VU University". The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern part of Amsterdam in the Buitenveldert district...

 in Amsterdam and he was made professor of Theology there. He also served as its first rector magnificus. In 1881 he also became professor of literature. In 1886 he left the Dutch Reformed Church, with a large group of followers. The parish in Amsterdam was made independent of the church, and kept their own building. Between 1886 and 1892 they would be called the Dolerenden
Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands was the second largest Protestant church in the Netherlands until it merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands in 2004.-History:...

, (those with grievances). In 1892 those Dolerenden founded a new denomination called The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands after merging with other orthodox Reformed people who had seceded from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1834.

In the general election
Dutch general election, 1894
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1894.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party * Liberal Union...

 of 1894 Kuyper was re-elected to the House of Representatives for the district of Sliedrecht
Sliedrecht
Sliedrecht is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of ....

. He defeated the liberal Van Haaften and the anti-takkian anti-revolutionary Beelaerts van Blokland. He also ran as a candidate in Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

 and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, but was defeated there. In the election he joined the so-called Takkians, in a conflict between the liberal minister Tak, and a majority House of Representatives. Tak wanted to reform the census-suffrage
Householder Franchise
Householder Franchise or census suffrage is where a homeowner has the right to vote in an election. This is a limited form of suffrage, but different from equal voting because, to borrow a dictum, householder franchise is one Household, one vote because it entitles only the householder one vote....

, but a majority in parliament rejected his proposal. Kuyper favoured the legislation because he expected the enfranchised lower class voters would favour his party. This orientation towards the lower classes gave him the nickname "De bellringer of the common people" (klokkeluider van de kleine luyden). His position on suffrage also led to a conflict within the ARP: a group around Alexander de Savornin Lohman
Alexander de Savornin Lohman
Jkr. Alexander Frederik de Savornin Lohman was a Dutch politician and leader of the Christian Historical Union during the first quarter of the 20th century....

 was opposed on principle to universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 because they rejected popular sovereignty
Popular sovereignty
Popular sovereignty or the sovereignty of the people is the political principle that the legitimacy of the state is created and sustained by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power. It is closely associated with Republicanism and the social contract...

; they left the ARP to found the CHU in 1901. The authoritarian leadership of Kuyper also played an important role in this conflict. Lohman opposed party discipline
Party discipline
Party discipline is the ability of a parliamentary group of a political party to get its members to support the policies of their party leadership. In liberal democracies, it usually refers to the control that party leaders have over its legislature...

 and wanted MPs to make up their own mind, while Kuyper favoured strong leadership. After the elections Kuyper became chair of the parliamentary caucus of the ARP. In his second term as MP he concentrated on more issues than education, like suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

, labour
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

, and foreign affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

. In foreign affairs especially the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 was of particular interest to him, in the conflict between the Dutch-speaking
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 reformed farmers and the English-speaking Anglicans he sided with the Boers, and heavily opposed the English. In 1896 Kuyper voted against the new suffrage law of Van Houten
Samuel van Houten
Samuel van Houten was a Dutch liberal politician.Van Houten was born in Groningen. He studied law at the University of Groningen, obtaining a degree in 1859...

, because according to Kuyper the reforms did not go far enough. In the 1897 elections
Dutch general election, 1897
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1897.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 Kuyper competed in Zuidhorn
Zuidhorn
Zuidhorn is a municipality and a town in the northeastern Netherlands. Due to a municipal reoganisation in 1990, Zuidhorn was extended when it merged with, though not physically connected to Oldehove, Grijpskerk and Aduard. It is a pleasant town, which depends largely on the city of Groningen...

, Sliedrecht
Sliedrecht
Sliedrecht is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of ....

 and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. He was defeated by liberals in Zuidhorn and Amsterdam, but he defeated the liberal Wisboom in Sliedrecht. In Amsterdam he was defeated by Johannes Tak van Poortvliet. As an MP Kuyper kept his job as journalist, and he even became chair of the Dutch Circle of Journalists in 1898; when he left in 1901 he was made honorary president. In the same year, at the invitation of B.B. Warfield
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was professor of theology at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. Some conservative Presbyterians consider him to be the last of the great Princeton theologians before the split in 1929 that formed Westminster Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.-Early...

, Kuyper delivered the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary
Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton Theological Seminary is a theological seminary of the Presbyterian Church located in the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey in the United States...

, which was his first widespread exposure to a North American audience. These lectures were given 10–11 October 14 and 19-21 in 1898. He also received a honorary doctorate in law there. During his time in the United States, he also traveled to address several Dutch reformed congregations in Michigan and Iowa and presbyterian gatherings in Ohio and New Jersey.

Prime minister


In the 1901 elections
Dutch general election, 1901
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1901.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 Kuyper was re-elected in Sliedrecht, defeating the liberal De Klerk. In Amsterdam he was defeated again, now by the freethinking liberal Nolting. He did not take his seat in parliament however but was instead appointed formateur and later prime minister
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands is the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands. He is the de facto head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates the policy of the government...

 of the Dutch cabinet. He also served as minister of Home Affairs. He originally wanted to become minister of labour and enterprise, but neither Mackay or Heemskerk
Theo Heemskerk
Theodorus "Theo" Heemskerk , son of Jan Heemskerk, was a Dutch politician in the party ARP. From 1908 to 1913 Heemskerk was minister of the Interior and president of the Council of Ministers . Heemskerk is particularly known as the founder of the Dutch poverty and vaccination laws....

, prominent anti-revolutionaries, wanted to become minister of Home Affairs, forcing him to take the portfolio. During his time as prime minister he showed a strong leadership style: he changed the rules of procedure
Procedural law
Procedural law or adjective law comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process or fundamental justice to all cases that come before...

 of cabinet in order to become chair of cabinet for four years (before him, the chairmanship of the cabinet had rotated among its members).

The portfolio of home affairs at the time was very broad: it involved local government, industrial relations, education and public morality. The 1903 railway strike was one of the decisive issues for his cabinet. Kuyper produced several particularly harsh laws to end the strikes (the so-called "worgwetten", strangling laws), and pushed them through parliament. He also proposed legislation to improve working conditions; however only those on fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 and harbour construction passed through parliament. In education Kuyper changed several education laws to improve the financial situation of religious schools. His law on higher education, which would make the diplomas of faith-based universities equal to that of the public universities, was defeated in the Senate. Consequently Kuyper dissolved the Senate and, after a new one was elected, the legislation was accepted. He was also heavily involved in foreign policy, giving him the nickname "Minister of Foreign Travels".

Minister of State


In 1905 his ARP lost the elections
Dutch general election, 1905
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1905.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 and was confined to opposition. Between 1905 and 1907 Kuyper made a grand tour around the Mediterranean. In 1907 Kuyper became honorary doctor at the Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology , also known as TU Delft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technical university, located in Delft, Netherlands...

. In 1907 he was re-elected chair of the ARP, a post which he would hold to his death in 1920. In 1907 Kuyper wanted to return to parliament. In a by-election in Sneek
Sneek
Sneek is a city southwest of Leeuwarden and seat of the former municipality of Sneek in the province of Friesland . As for 2011 it is part of the municipality Súdwest Fryslân...

 he needed the support of the local CHU. They refused him support. This led to a personal conflict between Kuyper and De Savorin Lohman. In 1908 he came into conflict with Heemskerk
Theo Heemskerk
Theodorus "Theo" Heemskerk , son of Jan Heemskerk, was a Dutch politician in the party ARP. From 1908 to 1913 Heemskerk was minister of the Interior and president of the Council of Ministers . Heemskerk is particularly known as the founder of the Dutch poverty and vaccination laws....

, who had not involved him in the formation of the CHU/ARP/Catholic General League
Algemeene Bond van RK-kiesverenigingen
The General League of Roman Catholic Caucuses was a Dutch Catholic political party...

 cabinet, thereby denying him the chance to return as minister. In 1908 Kuyper received the honorary title of minister of state. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the district of Ommen
Ommen
Ommen is a municipality and a Hanseatic city in the Vecht valley of the Salland region, which is at the heart of the province of Overijssel in the eastern Netherlands. Historical records first name Ommen in the early 12th century and it was officially founded as a city in 1248...

 in the by-elections in the same year, defeating the liberal De Meester. He also ran in Sneek where he was elected as sole candidate. Kuyper took the seat for Ommen. In 1909 he was made chair of the committee which would write the new orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

 of the Dutch language
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

. In the same year he also received an honorary doctorate at the Catholic University of Leuven
Catholic University of Leuven
The Catholic University of Leuven, or of Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. The university was founded in 1425 as the University of Leuven by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.During France's occupation of Belgium in the...

. In the 1909 elections
Dutch general election, 1909
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1909.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 he was re-elected in Ommen, defeating the liberal Teesselink, but he was defeated in Dordrecht by the liberal De Kanter.

In 1909 he came under heavy criticism in the so-called decorations affairs (lintjeszaak). While minister of home affairs, Kuyper allegedly received money from one Rudolf Lehman, to make him Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau
Order of Orange-Nassau
The Order of Orange-Nassau is a military and civil order of the Netherlands which was created on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma of the Netherlands, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina. The Order is a chivalry order open to "everyone who have earned special merits for...

. A parliamentary debate was held on the subject and a committee of wise men was instituted to research the claim. In 1910 the committee reported that Kuyper was innocent. Between 1910 and 1912 he was member of the committee headed by Heemskerk, which prepared a revision of the constitution. In 1912 he resigned his seat in parliament for health reasons, but he returned to politics in the following year, this time as a member of the Senate for the province of South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

. He would retain this seat until his death. In 1913 he was made commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. During the First World War Kuyper sided with the Germans, because he had opposed the English since the Boer wars. In 1918 Kuyper played an important role in the formation of the first cabinet led by Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Jhr. Charles Joseph Maria Ruijs de Beerenbrouck was a Dutch nobleman and Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1918 to 1925 and again from 1929 to 1933...

. In 1920, at the age of 83 Kuyper died in The Hague and was buried amid great public attention.

Views


Kuyper's theological and political views are linked. His orthodox Protestant beliefs heavily influenced his anti-revolutionary politics.

Theological views


Theologically Kuyper has also been very influential. He opposed the liberal tendencies within the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

. This eventually led to secession and the foundation of Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands was the second largest Protestant church in the Netherlands until it merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands in 2004.-History:...

. He developed so-called Neo-Calvinism
Neo-Calvinism
Neo-Calvinism, a form of Dutch Calvinism, is the movement initiated by the theologian and former Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper.- Introduction :...

, which goes beyond conventional Calvinism on a number of issues. Furthermore, Kuyper made a significant contribution to the formulation of the principle of common grace
Common grace
Common Grace is a theological concept in Protestant Christianity, primarily in Reformed and Calvinistic circles, referring to the grace of God that is either common to all humankind, or common to everyone within a particular sphere of influence...

 in the context of a Reformed world-view.

Most important has been Kuyper's view on the role of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 in everyday life. He believed that God continually influenced the life of believers, and daily events could show his workings. Kuyper famously said, "Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" God continually re-creates the universe through acts of grace. God's acts are necessary to ensure the continued existence of creation. Without his direct activity creation would self-destruct."

Political views



Kuypers political ideals were orthodox-Protestant and anti-revolutionary.

The concept of sphere sovereignty
Sphere sovereignty
In Neo-Calvinism, sphere sovereignty is the concept that each sphere of life has its own distinct responsibilities and authority or competence, and stands equal to other spheres of life. Sphere sovereignty involves the idea of an all encompassing created order, designed and governed by God...

 was very important for Kuyper. He rejected the popular sovereignty of France in which all rights originated with the individual, and the state-sovereignty of Germany in which all rights derived from the state. Instead, he wanted to honour the "intermediate bodies" in society, such as schools and universities, the press, business and industry, the arts etc., each of which would be sovereign in its own sphere. In the interest of a level playing field, he championed the right of every faith community (among whom he counted humanists and socialists) to operate their own schools, newspapers, hospitals, youth movements etc. He sought equal government finances for all faith-based institutions. He saw an important role for the state in upholding the morality of the Dutch people. He favoured monarchy, and saw the House of Orange as historically and religiously linked to the Dutch people. His commitment to universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 was only tactical; he expected the Anti-Revolutionary Party would be able to gain more seats this way. In actuality, Kuyper wanted a Householder Franchise
Householder Franchise
Householder Franchise or census suffrage is where a homeowner has the right to vote in an election. This is a limited form of suffrage, but different from equal voting because, to borrow a dictum, householder franchise is one Household, one vote because it entitles only the householder one vote....

 where fathers of each family would vote for his family. He also favoured a Senate representing the various interest, vocational and professional groups in society.

With his ideals he defended the interests of a group of middle class orthodox reformed, who were often referred to as "the little people" (de kleine luyden). He formulated the principle of antithesis
Christian democracy in the Netherlands
This article gives an overview of christian democracy in the Netherlands, which is also called confessional politics, including political Catholicism and Protestantism. It is limited to Christian democratic parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament...

: a divide between secular and religious politics. Liberals and socialists
Social Democratic Workers' Party (Netherlands)
The Social Democratic Workers' Party was a Dutch socialist political party and a predecessor of the social-democratic PvdA.-1893-1904:...

, who were opposed to mixing religion and politics were his natural opponents. Catholics were a natural ally, for not only did they want to practice religiously inspired politics, but they also were no electoral opponent, because they appealed to different religious groups. Socialists, who preached class conflict
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

 were a danger to the reformed workers. He called for workers to accept their fates and be happy with a simple life, because the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

 would be much more satisfying and revolution would only lead to instability. At the same time he argued that the system of unrestricted free enterprise was in need of "architectonic critique" and he urged government to adopt labour legislation and to inspect workplaces.

Legacy


Kuyper's political views and acts have influenced Dutch politics
Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state...

. Kuyper stood at the cradle of pillarization, the social expression of the anti-thesis
Christian democracy in the Netherlands
This article gives an overview of christian democracy in the Netherlands, which is also called confessional politics, including political Catholicism and Protestantism. It is limited to Christian democratic parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament...

 in public life. His championing of parity treatment for faith-based organizations and institutions created the basis for the alliance between Protestants and Catholics that would dominate Dutch politics to the present day. One of the current governing parties of the Netherlands, the CDA
Christian Democratic Appeal
The Christian Democratic Appeal is a centre-right Dutch Christian democratic political party. It suffered severe losses in the 2010 elections and fell from the first to the fourth place...

, is still heavily influenced by Kuyper's thought. His greatest theological act, the founding of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands was the second largest Protestant church in the Netherlands until it merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands in 2004.-History:...

 was undone in 2005 with the creation of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands
Protestant Church in the Netherlands
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands is the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the Netherlands. With 2,000 congregations and a membership of some 1.8 million , it is the second largest church in the Netherlands after the Roman Catholic Church.It was founded 1 May 2004 as a merger of...

 which united the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands was a denomination in the Netherlands which under that name existed from 1818 to 2004...

.

In the North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Kuyper's political and theological views have had a significant impact, especially in the Reformed community. He is considered the father of Dutch Neo-Calvinism and had considerable influence on the thought of philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd
Herman Dooyeweerd
Herman Dooyeweerd was a Dutch juridical scholar by training, who by vocation was a philosopher and the founder of the philosophy of the cosmonomic idea. He received early support for his work from his brother-in-law D. H. Th. Vollenhoven...

. Others that have been influenced by Kuyper include Francis Schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer
Francis August Schaeffer was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland...

, Cornelius Van Til
Cornelius Van Til
Cornelius Van Til , born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, was a Christian philosopher, Reformed theologian, and presuppositional apologist.-Biography:...

, Alvin Plantinga
Alvin Plantinga
Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

, Nicholas Wolterstorff
Nicholas Wolterstorff
Nicholas Wolterstorff is an American philosopher and currently the Noah Porter Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University...

, Albert M. Wolters
Albert M. Wolters
Albert Wolters is a professor of Religion & Theology, and Classical Studies at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario and has provided expert commentary for the Copper Scroll in the Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls , and also in a Nova documentary.After World War II, his family left...

, Chuck Colson, James Skillen
James Skillen
James W. Skillen is a Christian theologian and author. He was the executive director of the Center for Public Justice from 1981 to 2000, at which time he became president. He helped found the organization in 1977.-Education:...

, Stephen Perks, R Tudur Jones, and Bobi Jones
Bobi Jones
Emeritus Professor Robert Maynard Jones , generally known as Bobi Jones, is a Welsh Christian academic, one of the most prolific writers in the history of the Welsh language. A versatile master of poetry, fictional prose and criticism, he is now in his seventies and still producing work of a high...

.

Institutions influenced by Kuyper include Cardus (formerly The Work Research Foundation), Calvin College
Calvin College
Calvin College is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1876, Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism...

, The Clapham Institute, Dordt College
Dordt College
Dordt College is a private, Christian, liberal arts college located in Sioux Center, Iowa. It was founded in 1955 and is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. The college name is a reference to the Synod of Dort....

, Institute for Christian Studies
Institute for Christian Studies
The Institute for Christian Studies Toronto, Ontario is one of several unrelated institutions bearing that name.ICS Toronto is an independent graduate school of inter-disciplinary philosophy. At ICS, Junior Members and Senior members take part in shared learning through participatory seminars,...

, Redeemer University College
Redeemer University College
Redeemer University College is an undergraduate Christian Liberal Arts and Science University located in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1982, Redeemer stands in the Reformed Tradition and offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Science degrees.-History:The college...

, The Coalition for Christian Outreach
Coalition for Christian Outreach
Coalition for Christian Outreach is a nonprofit campus ministry headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. CCO was officially incorporated on March 23, 1971. As of 2010, the CCO employs 224 staff members on 90 campuses and universities, primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia...

, Covenant College
Covenant College
Covenant College is a Christian liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, United States.-History:Founded in 1955 in Pasadena, California, Covenant College and Theological Seminary moved its campus to St. Louis, Missouri the following year, and, in 1965, separated from the seminary, moving...

, The Center for Public Justice, and the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, & Culture. In 2006, Reformed Bible College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 was renamed in honor of Abraham Kuyper and is now Kuyper College
Kuyper College
Kuyper College is a ministry-focused Christian leadership college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, that educates and trains Christian leaders for ministry and service...

.

As well as Kuyper's profound influence upon European Christian-Democrat politics up to the present, his political theology
Political theology
Political theology or public theology is a branch of both political philosophy and practical theology that investigates the ways in which theological concepts or ways of thinking underlie political, social, economic and cultural discourses....

 was also crucial in the history of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. Scholars have noted Kuyper's involvement with South African politics, and his influence upon the founders of Apartheid. His legacy in South Africa is arguably even greater than within the Netherlands. There, his Christian-National conception, centred upon the identification of the Afrikaner Calvinist community as the kern der natie became a rallying position for the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk and the Gereformeerde Kerk, the South African offshoot of his own Gereformeerde Kerken during and after the Boer war. As Christian-Nationalists, Kuyper's adherents in South Africa were instrumental in the building of Afrikaner cultural, political and economic institutions to restore Afrikaner fortunes following the Boer War
Boer War
The Boer Wars were two wars fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics, the Oranje Vrijstaat and the Republiek van Transvaal ....

. One key creation was the Afrikaner Broederbond
Afrikaner Broederbond
The Afrikaner Broederbond or Broederbond was a secret, exclusively male and Afrikaner Calvinist organization in South Africa dedicated to the advancement of Afrikaner interests. It was founded by HJ Klopper, HW van der Merwe, DHC du Plessis and Rev...

, the anti-British and White Supremacist political secret society whose foundation was explicitly Christian-National. It was the Afrikaner Broederbond, in course of time, loyal to its specifically Kuyperian Christian-Nationalist ideology, which created the Afrikaner National Party, with its Apartheid plans. Throughout the Apartheid era, party and state officials swore oaths affirming the 'sovereignty and guidance of God in the destiny of countries and peoples' and to 'seek the development of South Africa's life along Christian-National lines.' Dr. Vorster's 1961 essay on the biblical foundations of apartheid quotes Kuyper 6 times. Yet Harinck argues that "Kuyper was not guided by the cultural racism of his day, but by his calvinistic creed of human equality".

Kuyper's legacy includes a granddaughter, Johtje Vos, who is noted for having sheltered many Jews in her home in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 from the Nazis. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 she moved to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.
Conversely, Kuyper's son Professor H. H. Kuyper, a supporter of Afrikaner Nationalism and colour racism was a wartime Nazi collaborator, and his grandson joined the Waffen SS and died on the Russian front.

Literature

  • Tjitze Kuipers, Abraham Kuyper: An Annotated Bibliography 1857-2010. Foreword by George Harinck (Leiden, Brill, 2011) (Brill's Series in Church History, 55).

External links