Communist Party of the Netherlands

Communist Party of the Netherlands

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The Communist Party of the Netherlands (Dutch
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...

: Communistische Partij Nederland, CPN) 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...

 communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

. The CPN is one of the predecessors of the GreenLeft
GreenLeft
GreenLeft is a green political party operating in the Netherlands.GreenLeft was formed on 1 March 1989 as a merger of four left-wing political parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party...

.

Foundation


In 1907 Ceton and D. Wijnkoop founded De Tribune (The Tribune), a magazine in which they criticized the leadership of the Social Democratic Workers' Party
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:...

 (SDAP) of which they were members. They were still oriented towards orthodox Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and expected a proletarian revolution
Proletarian revolution
A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

 and opposed the leadership of the SDAP, who were more oriented towards more a revisionist ideology and a parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

ary and reformist
Reformism
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 political strategy. At a party congress in Deventer
Deventer
Deventer is a municipality and city in the Salland region of the Dutch province of Overijssel. Deventer is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank. In 2005 the municipality of Bathmen Deventer is a municipality and city in...

 1908 the leadership of the SDAP demanded that they stop publishing De Tribune or be expelled from the party. Wijnkoop and Ceton refused and they and their supporters, including the poet Herman Gorter
Herman Gorter
Herman Gorter was a Dutch poet and socialist. He was a leading member of the Tachtigers, a highly influential group of Dutch writers who worked together in Amsterdam in the 1880s, centered around De Nieuwe Gids .Gorter's first book, a 4,000 verse epic poem called "Mei" , sealed his reputation...

, lost their membership to the SDAP. This conflict took place in almost all European Socialist parties, but the SDP was one of the parties founded as an orthodox Marxist split. In 1909 dissenters founded a new party called the Social-Democratic Party (SDP).

1909-1945


In the 1910s the SDAP paid much attention to attacking the newly formed SDP. The mobilization for the First World War, which the SDAP supported and the SDP opposed further strengthened the differences between the parties. The Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

 fractured most European parties between their revolutionary and reformist factions, which had already happened in the Netherlands. The party entered the 1917 elections
Dutch general election, 1917
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands in 1917.In this election, the parties agreed to hold elections in which the incumbent members of parliament were the only candidates in order to allow a change in the constitution to introduce...

 but was unable to win any seats.

In 1918
Dutch general election, 1918
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 3, 1918. It was the first election in which universal male suffrage was applied, and the first in which a system of proportional representation was used...

 the SDP entered the elections again. Now it won two seats and Wijnkoop assumed the leadership of the party. The SDP formed a revolutionary parliamentary party with the League of Christian Socialists, which had one seat and the Socialist Party
Socialist Party (Netherlands, interbellum)
The Socialist Party was a Dutch revolutionary syndicalist libertarian socialist political party. The SP played only a minor role in Dutch political history.-Party History:...

, also with one seat. In 1919 the MP for the League of Christian Socialists joins the SDP and the MP for the Socialist Party leaves the revolutionary parliamentary party. In the same year the SDP joined the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

, the worldwide alliance of revolutionary socialist parties, which was led by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

. It was forced to change its name to Communist Party Holland (CPH) by the Comintern. In 1920 prominent communists Gorter and Pannekoek left the party, because they advocated council communism
Council communism
Council communism is a current of libertarian Marxism that emerged out of the November Revolution in the 1920s, characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism as well as its advocacy of workers' councils as the basis for workers' democracy.Originally affiliated with the...

. In the 1922 elections
Dutch general election, 1922
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 5, 1922. It was the first election under universal suffrage, which became reality after the acceptance of a proposal by Marchant in 1919 that gave women full voting rights...

 the CPH retained its two seats. One of its unsuccessful candidates that year, Tan Malaka
Tan Malaka
Tan Malaka was an Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader. A staunch critic of both the colonial Dutch East Indies government and the republican Sukarno administration that governed the country after the Indonesian National Revolution, he was also frequently in conflict with the...

, was the first subject of the colonial Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 to run for office in the Netherlands.

Before the 1925 elections
Dutch general election, 1925
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 1, 1925.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party * Agrarians' League...

 Wijnkoop was replaced as party leader by De Visser under pressures of the Comintern. This was the cause of heavy internal division within the party.Jacques de Kadt
Jacques de Kadt
Jacques de Kadt was a prominent and often controversial 20th Century Dutch political thinker, politician and man of letters. Born into a liberal Jewish family, he was the youngest son of a factory manager, Roelof de Kadt, and his wife Bertha Koppens...

 had already left the party in 1924 to help set up The League of Communist Struggle & Propaganda Clubs
League of Communist Struggle & Propaganda Clubs
The League of Communist Struggle & Propaganda Clubs ) was a communist organization in the Netherlands. BKSP was formed by people like Henriëtte Roland Holst, Jacq Engels and Jacques de Kadt in May 1924, after a split from the Communist Party of Holland...

. In the background of several of these conflicts was the conflict in the Soviet Union between Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. Wijnkoop, Henk Sneevliet
Henk Sneevliet
Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie Sneevliet, known as Henk Sneevliet or the pseudonym Maring , was a Dutch Communist, who was active in both the Netherlands and the Dutch East-Indies...

 a prominent international communist and an ally of Trotsky and other prominent membes were expelled from the party. Sneevliet founded the Revolutionary Socialist Union, which later becomes the Revolutionary Socialist Party
Revolutionary Socialist Party (Netherlands)
The Revolutionary Socialist Party was a Dutch socialist political party.-Predecessors:The oldest predecessor of the Revolutionary Socialist Party is the Revolutionary Socialist Union , a group of dissidents from the Communist Party Holland led by Henk Sneevliet...

 (RSP). In 1926 the entire Rotterdam branch was expelled. These expellees joined Wijnkoop to form a separate Communist Party of Holland-Central Committee
Communist Party of Holland-Central Committee
Communist Party of Holland-Central Committee was a political party in the Netherlands...

. All three, the RSP, the CPH-central committee and the old CPH (which ran under the name "CPH - Dutch section of the Communist International"), contested the 1929 elections
Dutch general election, 1929
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 3, 1929.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party * Agrarians' League...

 and both CPHs won one seat each, whilst the RSP failed to win any. In 1930 the CPHs are forced to merge by the Comintern.

After the mutiny on the Zeven Provinciën in the same year the independence the Dutch Indies became an important theme in the 1933 election
Dutch general election, 1933
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on April 26, 1933.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

. The party performs particularly well, doubling its seats to four. Among those elected was the Indonesian nationalist Rustam Effendi, the first subject from the Dutch Indies to enter parliament. In the 1937 elections
Dutch general election, 1937
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 26, 1937.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 the party was able to retain its seats.

On May 15, 1940, immediately after the German occupation, the party decided to organize an underground movement. In July 1940 the Nazi
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 occupation force banned the CPN. The party continued illegally. Together with the much smaller anti-Stalinist communist party RSAP the only pre-war organisation that already in 1940 protested against the anti-Semitic measures by the German occupiers. It founded a resistance
Dutch resistance
Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II can be mainly characterized by its prominent non-violence, summitting in over 300,000 people in hiding in the autumn of 1944, tended to by some 60,000 to 200,000 illegal landlords and caretakers and tolerated knowingly...

 movement called Raad van Verzet (Resistance Council). It published a resistance newspaper called De Waarheid (The Truth). Both took part in the February Strike
February strike
The 1941 February Strike, also known as 'The Strike of February 1941', was a general strike organized during World War II in the Netherlands against the anti-Jewish measures and activities of the Nazis. Its direct causes were the pogroms held by the Germans in the Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam....

 in 1941, the largest act of resistance in the Netherlands. The party lost about 2000 lives during resistance; most victims fell because the pre-war Dutch intelligence services did not destroy their files about communists and continued their pre-war cooperation with the Gestapo and also continued their infiltration of the now underground party. After the war the same persons that betrayed the CPN in resistance formed the kernel of the newly formed secret service BVD.

1945-1963


After the war, the party was led by Paul de Groot, who had a strong grip on the party's organization. In 1945 the CPN is offered one minister in the cabinet Schermerhorn
Netherlands cabinet Schermerhorn/Drees
The Schermerhorn-Drees cabinet was in office in the Netherlands from 24 June 1945 until 3 July 1946.- Introduction :The Schermerhorn-Drees cabinet, the first Dutch cabinet after World War II, was appointed by Queen Wilhelmina just a month after the Netherlands were liberated by the Allied forces...

, mainly because of the CPNs role in the Dutch resistance. It refused because the CPN wanted a second minister. In 1946
Dutch general election, 1946
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 17, 1946.After the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, parties that existed prior to the war underwent mergers and reorganizations.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti...

 the party obtained nearly 11% of the vote and 10 seats in the House of Representatives. It also the first time the party obtained seats in the Senate. The electoral victory is linked to the role of the CPN in the Second World War-resistance.

The following period was characterized by decreasing popularity for communism, the rise of internal divisions and the methodical isolation of the CPN by other parties.

With the rise of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the party began to lose popularity. The 1948 communist coup in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia: 1948-1968
From the Communist coup d'état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia . The country belonged to the Eastern Bloc and was a member of the Warsaw Pact and of Comecon...

 tainted the popularity of communism. In the 1948 elections
Dutch general election, 1948
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 7, 1948.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 the party lost two seats. In 1949 a group of Frisian
Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

 communists were removed from the party ranks; they founded the Socialist Union, but they were unable to play a significant role in Dutch politics. In the 1952 elections
Dutch general election, 1952
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on June 25, 1952.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 the party lost two additional seats. In 1956
Dutch general election, 1956
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on June 13, 1956.The 1956 election marks an important change in the history of the Dutch House of Representatives: the number of seats in the House was increased from 100 to 150.-National...

 the CPN lost votes again, but because of the expansion of parliament it won an additional seat. In 1956 the party supported the Russian intervention against the Hungarian revolution
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

. After the invasion the party bureau, in Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, was attacked by people who oppose the invasion.

Meanwhile internal dissent against the strict leadership of De Groot was rising. In 1958 the Bruggroep (Bridge group) leaves the CPN in a conflict over the role of the communist union the Eenheidsvakcentrale (Unity Trade Union). Leaders of the Bruggroup were prominent resistance figures like Gerben Wagenaar
Gerben Wagenaar
Gerben Wagenaar was a Dutch politician.He was a member of the Communist Party of the Netherlands .When the Nazis conquered the Netherlands, he soon became a member of the Dutch resistance....

 and Henk Gortzak. The secret service claimed to be behind the split, while the CPN leadership claimed that the dissenters were agents working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

. The Bruggroup founded a new party, the Socialistische Werkers Party (Socialist Workers' Party
Socialist Workers' Party (Netherlands, 1959)
The Socialist Workers' Party was a communist party in the Netherlands. SWP was founded in 1959, after a split within the leadership of the Communist Party of the Netherlands. The founders of CPN opposed the CPN party secretary Paul de Groot. They had formed the Brug-group, and launched the new...

, SWP). In 1957 the Pacifist Socialist Party
Pacifist Socialist Party
The Pacifist Socialist Party was a Dutch left-socialist political party. The PSP played a small role in Dutch politics. It is a predecessor of the GreenLeft.-Before 1957:...

 was founded. The PSP united former members of the CPN, including members of the Socialist Union, and the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) and other leftwing independents. In the following 1959 elections
Dutch general election, 1959
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on March 12, 1959.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 the CPN lost all but three seats, while the PSP won two seats, and the SWP was unable to win any seats. Many SWP members, like Gortzak, later joined the PSP.

In the 1940s and 1950s the CPN was methodically isolated by other parties. Civil servants were forbidden to become members of the CPN and it was not allowed separate time on public radio or television. The party's unequivocal support for decolonization of the Dutch Indies isolated the party in parliament. Because of its anti-NATO and European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 stances the party was blocked from the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Nuclear Energy committees in parliament. The Dutch secret service kept close tabs on the party. All other parties in parliament were deeply anti-communist, especially the social-democratic PvdA.

In the 1963 elections
Dutch general election, 1963
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 15, 1963.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 the party gained one seat. The developing students' movement is an important impetus for the party. In 1964 the international conflict between the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and USSR also split the CPN. A group called Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands left the CPN in that year. They went through several intense splits based on ideological and personal conflicts. In 1971 one of the small groups formed the Socialist Party
Socialist Party (Netherlands)
The Socialist Party is a democratic socialist political party in the Netherlands. After the 2006 general election, the Socialist Party became one of the major parties of the Netherlands with 25 seats of 150, an increase of 16 seats. The party was in opposition against the fourth Balkenende cabinet...

, which became a successful political party from the mid 1990s. The CPN took a rather ambiguous stance in the conflict between the USSR and the PRC.

1967-1989



Before the 1967 elections
Dutch general election, 1967
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on 15 February 1967.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

 De Groot was replaced by Marcus Bakker. De Groot was made an honorary member of the CPN. The party won another seat, making the total five. The CPN condemned the Soviet intervention against the Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

. In 1971
Dutch general election, 1971
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on April 28, 1971.-National summary:turnout: 79.1%...

 yet another seat was added, and in 1972
Dutch general election, 1972
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on November 29, 1972.-National summary:...

 the party had seven seats. The 1977 election
Dutch general election, 1977
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 25, 1977....

 saw a conflict between the social-democrat Joop den Uyl
Joop den Uyl
Johannes Marten den Uijl, known as Joop den Uyl was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party . He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from May 11, 1973 until December 19, 1977....

 and the Christian-democrat Dries van Agt
Dries van Agt
Andreas Antonius Maria "Dries" van Agt is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal . He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from December 19, 1977, until November 4, 1982....

. Many CPN sympathizers voted for the social-democratic PvdA and the CPN lost all but two seats. In 1978 under pressure from new young members De Groot lost his honorary membership. In the 1981 elections
Dutch general election, 1981
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 26, 1981.-National summary:...

 the placement of American nuclear weapons
Netherlands and weapons of mass destruction
Although the Netherlands does not have weapons of mass destruction made by itself, the country participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering U.S...

 is a major issue. The CPN, which prominently led one of the campaigning groups, The Committee against the N-bomb, was rewarded with another seat.

In the 1982 the party got its first mayor in the Communist stronghold of Beerta
Reiderland
Reiderland is a former municipality in the province Groningen in the northeastern Netherlands, which was founded in 1990 during a large municipal reorganization. The former municipalities Finsterwolde and Bad Nieuweschans were abolished and added to Beerta. In 1992, the new municipality was given...

. Before the elections of the same year
Dutch general election, 1982
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on September 8, 1982.-National summary:...

 Marcus Bakker stepped down in favour of Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer is a Dutch politician. She was chairperson of the Communist Party of the Netherlands in the House of Representatives and MP for GreenLeft, into which the CPN merged in 1989.-Education and early career:...

. With her a new generation of younger, often female MPs entered politics. She was able to keep the three seats. The CPN tried to renew its political program, emphasizing New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 issues like feminism and gay rights. In reaction to this working class-oriented members founded the Horizontal Council of Communists (called so because they were members from different local branches, breaking the vertical organization of democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

). The group tried to pressure the CPN into returning to its Old Left course. In 1983 they left the party and formed the League of Communists in the Netherlands
League of Communists in the Netherlands
The League of Communists in the Netherlands, in Dutch known as Verbond van Communisten in Nederland was a communist political party in the Netherlands. The VCN was the result of a split in 1984 in the Communist Party of the Netherlands , who disagreed with the revisionist and eurocommunist line of...

 (Verbond van Communisten In Nederland). In 1986
Dutch general election, 1986
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 21, 1986.-National summary:...

 both the CPN and VCN contested the elections. Neither won a seat in the House of Representatives. The CPN still had two senators. As one of the last acts of the party, the party leadership attended the festivities surrounding 50th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

.

Dissolution


In 1989 the party merged with three other small leftwing parties, namely the Pacifist Socialist Party
Pacifist Socialist Party
The Pacifist Socialist Party was a Dutch left-socialist political party. The PSP played a small role in Dutch politics. It is a predecessor of the GreenLeft.-Before 1957:...

 (PSP), the left-wing Christian Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the Evangelical People's Party
Evangelical People's Party
The Evangelical People's Party was a minor progressive Christian political party in the Netherlands.-History:The EVP was founded in March 1981 by members of the Christian Democratic Appeal , which were united in the group "Not by Bread Alone" and members of the Evangelical Progressive Party,...

 (EVP) to form the GreenLeft
GreenLeft
GreenLeft is a green political party operating in the Netherlands.GreenLeft was formed on 1 March 1989 as a merger of four left-wing political parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party...

. In 1991, the party officially disbanded; the VCN was joined by other former members of the CPN, who left because they disagreed with the new course, and founded the New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN), which still exists today.

The influence of the old Marxist wing of CPN in the GreenLeft is rather small. The "new" generation has been very prominent: Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer is a Dutch politician. She was chairperson of the Communist Party of the Netherlands in the House of Representatives and MP for GreenLeft, into which the CPN merged in 1989.-Education and early career:...

 led the party in the 1994 elections
Dutch general election, 1994
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 3, 1994.-Results:...

 and one of the party's senators Jos van der Lans
Jos van der Lans
Josephus Johannes Maria van der Lans is a cultural psychologist, journalist and writer. Between 1999 and 2007 he was member of the Dutch Senate for GreenLeft- Background :...

 was a member of the CPN. The former party chair who was very influential in the formulation of the new liberal course, Herman Meijer, was one of the gay right activists who joined the CPN in the 1970s.

Name


The CPN changed its name two times. It was originally founded as Sociaal-Democratische Partij (Social-Democratic party; SDP). It followers were commonly known as 'Tribunists' after their main organ. After the Russian Revolution the term social-democracy became linked to the reformist socialists, while the term communist was linked to Leninist revolutionary socialism. All sections of the Comintern were obliged to adopt the name 'Communist Party'. In 1919 the party changed its name to Communistische Partij Holland (Communist Party Holland; CPH). The name implied that the CPH was the Dutch section of the worldwide Communist International
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

. In 1935 the party changed its name to Communistische Partij van Nederland (Communist Party of the Netherlands; CPN), to express, its allegiance to the Netherlands and Dutch institutions.

Ideological development


The SDP was founded as an orthodox Marxist party advocating an economic and social revolution
Proletarian revolution
A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

 that would overthrow the capitalist
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 economic and political system, in favour for a socialist dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

, which would in turn evolve into a classless, communist society.

After the Russian Revolution the party become oriented towards Marxism-Leninism
Marxism-Leninism
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology, officially based upon the theories of Marxism and Vladimir Lenin, that promotes the development and creation of a international communist society through the leadership of a vanguard party over a revolutionary socialist state that represents a dictatorship...

, the official ideology of the USSR and the Comintern. This advocated the overthrow of the state by a vanguard party
Vanguard party
A vanguard party is a political party at the forefront of a mass action, movement, or revolution. The idea of a vanguard party has its origins in the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

, which would lead the country towards socialism. The party remained faithful to the USSR's version of Marxism-Leninism during the 1920s, when Trotsky's interpretation
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 became an important ideological competitor of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's. This led to a split when a group around a prominent ally of Trotsky, Henk Sneevliet
Henk Sneevliet
Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie Sneevliet, known as Henk Sneevliet or the pseudonym Maring , was a Dutch Communist, who was active in both the Netherlands and the Dutch East-Indies...

, left the party to form the Revolutionary Socialist Party
Revolutionary Socialist Party (Netherlands)
The Revolutionary Socialist Party was a Dutch socialist political party.-Predecessors:The oldest predecessor of the Revolutionary Socialist Party is the Revolutionary Socialist Union , a group of dissidents from the Communist Party Holland led by Henk Sneevliet...

 (RSP).

In the 1960s the party did not choose sides in the conflict between the People's Republic of China and the USSR. Nevertheless a Maoist group, called the Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands split from the Party. In the 1970s and 1980s the Party began to move away from its Marxist/Leninist roots and began embrace a more libertarian and Eurocommunist programme with a strong emphasis on feminism
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

.

Social policy


An important issue for the Communists has always been the practical needs of the working class. Most simply put the party advocated higher wages and lower prices. They also felt that work conditions in factories should be improved, that child labour should be banned completely, that the work day should be regulated and that laws against striking
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 should be repealed.

The CPN advocated a strong role of the state in the economy. They believed the state should supply cheap housing, free and neutral education and health care insurance. They felt that important industries should be nationalized in the short term (in the long term the entire economy should be planned
Economic planning
Economic planning refers to any directing or planning of economic activity outside the mechanisisms of the market, in an attempt to achieve specific economic or social outcomes. Planning is an economic mechanism for resource allocation and decision-making in contrast with the market mechanism...

), that taxation should be progressive and that those without jobs should receive benefits.

Foreign policy


One of the most important early issues of the Communists was their opposition to the First World War. After 1918 the recognition of the USSR and the independence of Indonesia became important issues. During the Second World War the party was active in resistance movement
Dutch resistance
Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II can be mainly characterized by its prominent non-violence, summitting in over 300,000 people in hiding in the autumn of 1944, tended to by some 60,000 to 200,000 illegal landlords and caretakers and tolerated knowingly...

. After the war, its foreign policy was explicitly anti-German and pro-USSR. It favoured Soviet interventions in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia: 1948-1968
From the Communist coup d'état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia . The country belonged to the Eastern Bloc and was a member of the Warsaw Pact and of Comecon...

and Hungary
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

 and sought Dutch recognition of the East Germany
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

. It opposed Dutch membership of NATO and the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

. In the 1970s and 1980s its policy became more critical of the USA, supporting the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
The Vietcong , or National Liberation Front , was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War . It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized...

 in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. It played an important role in the popular opposition against the placement of nuclear weapons
Netherlands and weapons of mass destruction
Although the Netherlands does not have weapons of mass destruction made by itself, the country participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering U.S...

 in the Netherlands.

Domestic issues


The party also emphasised the radical democratisation of the Dutch political system. It opposed monarchy. It sought to abolish the Council of State and the Senate. A referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 and trial by jury
Trial by Jury
Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London's Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its...

 should be implemented. Citizen should appoint civil servants.

In the 1970s and 1980s the party began to embrace New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 issues like the fight for women's
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

 and gay rights.

Representation


This table shown the CPN's results in elections to the House of Representatives, Senate, States-Provincial
States-Provincial
The States'-Provincial is the provincial parliament and legislative assembly in each of the Provinces of the Netherlands. It is elected for each province simultaneously once every four years and has the responsibility for matters of sub-national or regional importance...

 and European elections, 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. The membership of CPN is also represented.
Year HoR S SP
States-Provincial
The States'-Provincial is the provincial parliament and legislative assembly in each of the Provinces of the Netherlands. It is elected for each province simultaneously once every four years and has the responsibility for matters of sub-national or regional importance...

EP
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

Fractievoorzitter Lijsttrekker
Lijsttrekker
Lijsttrekker is a Dutch term for the top candidate of a party on a party list. He or she is almost always the party's political leader. After an election, this person usually leads the party's faction in the States-General, or serves in a senior position in the Cabinet if his party is part of...

membership
1918
Dutch general election, 1918
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 3, 1918. It was the first election in which universal male suffrage was applied, and the first in which a system of proportional representation was used...

2 0 0 n/a David Wijnkoop David Wijnkoop unknown
1919 3 0 8 n/a David Wijnkoop no elections unknown
1920 3 0 8 n/a David Wijnkoop no elections unknown
1921 3 0 8 n/a David Wijnkoop no elections unknown
1922
Dutch general election, 1922
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 5, 1922. It was the first election under universal suffrage, which became reality after the acceptance of a proposal by Marchant in 1919 that gave women full voting rights...

2 0 8 n/a David Wijnkoop David Wijnkoop unknown
1923 2 0 7 n/a David Wijnkoop no elections unknown
1924 2 0 7 n/a David Wijnkoop no elections unknown
1925
Dutch general election, 1925
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 1, 1925.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party * Agrarians' League...

1 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser Lou de Visser unknown
1926 1 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1927 1 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1928 1 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1929
Dutch general election, 1929
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 3, 1929.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party * Agrarians' League...

1+1* 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser
David Wijnkoop
Lou de Visser
David Wijnkoop
unknown
1930 1+1* 0 7 n/a Lou de Visser
David Wijnkoop
no elections unknown
1931 2 0 10 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1932 1 0 10 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1933
Dutch general election, 1933
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on April 26, 1933.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

4 0 10 n/a Lou de Visser Lou de Visser unknown
1934 4 0 10 n/a Lou de Visser Lou de Visser unknown
1935 4 0 12 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1936 4 0 12 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1937
Dutch general election, 1937
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 26, 1937.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

4 0 12 n/a Lou de Visser Lou de Visser unknown
1938 4 0 12 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1939 4 0 12 n/a Lou de Visser no elections unknown
1940 out of session no elections unknown
1941 out of session no elections unknown
1942 out of session no elections unknown
1943 out of session no elections unknown
1944 out of session no elections unknown
1945 out of session no elections unknown
1946
Dutch general election, 1946
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 17, 1946.After the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, parties that existed prior to the war underwent mergers and reorganizations.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti...

10 4 58 n/a Paul de Groot Paul de Groot 50,000
1947 10 4 58 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 53,000
1948
Dutch general election, 1948
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on July 7, 1948.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

8 4 58 n/a Paul de Groot Paul de Groot 53,000
1949 8 4 58 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 34,000
1950 8 4 31 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 27,392
1951 8 3 31 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1952
Dutch general election, 1952
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on June 25, 1952.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

6 3 31 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1953 6 2 31 n/a Paul de Groot Paul de Groot 17,000
1954 6 2 24 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1955 6 2 24 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 15,463
1956
Dutch general election, 1956
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on June 13, 1956.The 1956 election marks an important change in the history of the Dutch House of Representatives: the number of seats in the House was increased from 100 to 150.-National...

7 4 24 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1957 7 4 24 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 12,858
1958 7 4 18 n/a Paul de Groot no elections 12,317
1959
Dutch general election, 1959
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on March 12, 1959.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

3 4 18 n/a Paul de Groot Paul de Groot 11,262
1960 3 2 18 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1961 3 2 18 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1962 3 2 13 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1963
Dutch general election, 1963
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on May 15, 1963.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

4 1 13 n/a Paul de Groot Paul de Groot unknown
1964 4 1 13 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1965 4 1 13 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1966 4 1 13 n/a Paul de Groot no elections unknown
1967
Dutch general election, 1967
A general election of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament was held in the Netherlands on 15 February 1967.-National summary:-Parties:* Anti Revolutionary Party...

5 1 13 n/a Marcus Bakker
Marcus Bakker
Marcus Bakker was a Dutch politician of the defunct Communist Party of the Netherlands now merged into GreenLeft . He was the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives from December 15, 1963 until September 7, 1982.-Early life:Bakker was the son of an accountant who worked for the...

Marcus Bakker unknown
1968 5 1 13 n/a Marcus Bakker no election unknown
1969 5 1 13 n/a Marcus Bakker no election unknown
1970 5 1 27 n/a Marcus Bakker no election unknown
1971
Dutch general election, 1971
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on April 28, 1971.-National summary:turnout: 79.1%...

6 3 27 n/a Marcus Bakker Marcus Bakker unknown
1972
Dutch general election, 1972
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on November 29, 1972.-National summary:...

7 3 27 n/a Marcus Bakker Marcus Bakker unknown
1973 7 3 27 n/a Marcus Bakker no election 10,147
1974 7 4 19 n/a Marcus Bakker no election unknown
1975 7 4 19 n/a Marcus Bakker no election unknown
1976 7 4 19 n/a Marcus Bakker no election 11,550
1977
Dutch general election, 1977
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 25, 1977....

2 2 19 n/a Marcus Bakker Marcus Bakker 13,082
1978 2 2 5 n/a Marcus Bakker no election 15,298
1979 2 2 5 0 Marcus Bakker no election 14,979
1980 2 1 5 0 Marcus Bakker no election 15,510
1981
Dutch general election, 1981
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 26, 1981.-National summary:...

3 1 5 0 Marcus Bakker no election 15,014
1982
Dutch general election, 1982
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on September 8, 1982.-National summary:...

3 2 14+5** 0 Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer
Ina Brouwer is a Dutch politician. She was chairperson of the Communist Party of the Netherlands in the House of Representatives and MP for GreenLeft, into which the CPN merged in 1989.-Education and early career:...

Ina Brouwer 14,370
1983 3 2 14+5** 0 Ina Brouwer no election 14,370
1984 3 2 14+5** 1 Ina Brouwer no election 13,868
1985 3 2 14+5** 1 Ina Brouwer no election 11,594
1986
Dutch general election, 1986
The General Election to the House of Representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands was held in the Netherlands on May 21, 1986.-National summary:...

0 2 4+4** 1 Cees IJmkers*** Ina Brouwer 9,000
1987 0 2 4+4** 1 Fenne Bolding*** no elections 8,500
1988 0 2 4+4** 1 Fenne Bolding*** no elections 7,000

* separate CPH-Central Committee party.

** estimate of the seats in combined CPN/PSP/(PPR) lists.

*** chair of the parliamentary party in the Senate.

Municipal and provincial government


Although the CPN was particularly strong in several provinces, especially Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

, it never cooperated in any provincial executive.

The party supplied only one mayor, namely Hanneke Jagersma in the CPN stronghold of Beerta
Beerta
Beerta is a village in the municipality of Reiderland in the Netherlands.Until 1991, Beerta was a separate municipality. It merged with Finsterwolde and Nieuweschans. The new municipality was originally named "Beerta", but changed its name a year later to "Reiderland".-External links: Map of the...

. In the late 1940s the CPN participated in several local executives but after the USSR's intervention in Hungary, these all fell. In the 1950s the party got an absolute majority in the municipal council of Finsterwolde
Finsterwolde
Finsterwolde is a village in the Dutch province of Groningen. It is located in the municipality of Reiderland, about 7 km northeast of Winschoten.Finsterwolde was a separate municipality until 1990, when it was merged with Beerta.-External links:*...

 the municipality was consequently put under control of the national government. In the 1980s the party again started to cooperate in local executives.

In the following figure one can see the election results of the provincial election of 1962 by province. It shows the areas where the CPN was strong, namely North Holland and to a lesser extent Groningen and South Holland. The party was very weak in rural and catholic Limburg and Brabant.
Province Result (seats)
Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

2
Friesland
Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

1
Drenthe
Drenthe
Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands, located in the north-east of the country. The capital city is Assen. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east.-History:Drenthe, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands, has been a...

1
Overijssel
Overijssel
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands in the central eastern part of the country. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21. The province's name means "Lands across river IJssel". The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede...

1
Gelderland
Gelderland
Gelderland is the largest province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. The capital city is Arnhem. The two other major cities, Nijmegen and Apeldoorn have more inhabitants. Other major regional centers in Gelderland are Ede, Doetinchem, Zutphen, Tiel, Wijchen,...

0
Utrecht
Utrecht (province)
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest...

0
North Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

6
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...

2
Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

0
North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

0
Limburg
Limburg (Netherlands)
Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and bordered by the province of Gelderland to the north, Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and part of the west, andthe Dutch province of North Brabant partly to...

0

Electorate


The support for the SDP, which was founded before the introduction of 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 strong among leftwing intellectuals and educated working class circles. This was mainly limited 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...

 and Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

. With the introduction of universal suffrage, the SDP, and later CPH began to branch out to the poorest circles of the working classes. In the Zaanstreek, around Zaandam
Zaandam
Zaandam is a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is the main city of the municipality of Zaanstad, and received city rights in 1811...

 and the harbour cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam the party was especially strong. After the Second World War, the CPN branched out to the poor rural province of Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 and other poor rural areas like West Friesland
West Friesland (region)
West Friesland is a contemporary region in the northwestern Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.The region covers an area of about , delineated by the Westfriese Omringdijk...

. In some Groningen municipalities like Finsterwolde, Beerta, the party won near absolute majorities. In these municipalities, which now form Reiderland
Reiderland
Reiderland is a former municipality in the province Groningen in the northeastern Netherlands, which was founded in 1990 during a large municipal reorganization. The former municipalities Finsterwolde and Bad Nieuweschans were abolished and added to Beerta. In 1992, the new municipality was given...

 the refounded CPN, NCPN still performs particularly well. In the 1950s the general support for the CPN weakened with the rise of Cold War. In the 1960s and 1970s the CPN began to gain support form students. In the 1980s the party lost its working class support.

Organizational structure


The party was organized on the principle of democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

. The party's board was the highest organ of the party, it decided the order of candidates on election lists for the Senate, House of Representatives and European Parliament, had the final say over the party program and had the ability to expel members. It was elected by the party's Congress
Party Congress
A party congress is a general conference of a political party. The congress is attended by delegates who represent the party membership. In most parties the party congress is the highest decision making body of the organisation and elects the party's leadership bodies such as the National Executive...

. The party saw its political unity and strong discipline as conditions for its ideological zeal.

Between 1946 and 1980, the party's headquarters was in Felix Meritis
Felix Meritis
Felix Meritis is the name of a former society and its building on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. Since 1988 The Felix Meritis Foundation has been located in the building as a European centre for art, culture and science.- Society :...

 in Amsterdam.

Linked and pillarized organisations


The party had a small, but strong communist pillar around it. Important organizations were the communist trade union, the Rode Vakcentrale (Red Trade Union) before 1940 and the Eenheidsvakcentrale (Unity Trade Union) between 1945 and 1960, and the party's paper, De Tribune (the Tribune) before 1940 and De Waarheid
De Waarheid
De Waarheid was the Dutch Communist Party newspaper. It originated in 1940 under the German occupation as a resistance paper, the day after general H.G. Winkelman had forbidden publication of the earlier Communist Volksdagblad. The party decided on May 15, 1940, to continue the Volksdagblad...

(The Truth), which was founded as a resistance paper and named after its Soviet counterpart
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

 after 1940. The party's youth organization was the formally independent General Dutch Youth League
General Dutch Youth League
Algemeen Nederlands Jeugd Verbond, a political youth movement in the Netherlands. ANJV was founded on June 15, 1945 in Concert building, Amsterdam...

. The party's scientific organization was the Instituut voor Politiek en Sociaal Onderzoek (Institute for Political and Social Research) which published Politiek en Cultuur (Politics and Culture). The CPN had its own publisher called Pegasus
Pegasus
Pegasus is one of the best known fantastical as well as mythological creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine horse, usually white in color. He was sired by Poseidon, in his role as horse-god, and foaled by the Gorgon Medusa. He was the brother of Chrysaor, born at a single birthing...

.

International organisations


Since 1918 the party was a member of the Third International, first in the form of the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

, and after 1947 in the Cominform
Cominform
Founded in 1947, Cominform is the common name for what was officially referred to as the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties...

.

Relationships to other parties


For a long time the Communists were methodically isolated, partially because of its revolutionary ideology and partially because of the antagonistic style of its politics. The communists used this style to prevent its electorate from moving to its competitors.

The relationship between the Social Democratic Workers' Party
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:...

 (before the Second World War) and the PvdA (after the Second World War) was always troublesome. The SDP split from the SDAP over ideological differences, orthodox Marxist, revolutionary
Proletarian revolution
A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

 politics versus revisionist and reformist politics. The social-democrats saw the communists as insignificant while the communists taunted the social-democrats by calling them "servants to capitalism" and "social fascists". During the Cold War, the PvdA embraced Atlanticism
Atlanticism
Atlanticism is a philosophy of cooperation among Western European and North American nations regarding political, economic, and defense issues, with the purpose to maintain the security of the participating countries, and to protect the values that unite them: "democracy, individual liberty and...

, NATO and the alliance with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, while the CPN advocated stronger links with the USSR. The PvdA had the strongest anti-communists in its ranks. During the 1970s when a more radicalized PvdA advocated a large progressive coalition, they still excluded the CPN.

The relationship between leftwing splinter groups and the communists was notoriously bad. The CPH ignored the Revolutionary Socialist Party
Revolutionary Socialist Party (Netherlands)
The Revolutionary Socialist Party was a Dutch socialist political party.-Predecessors:The oldest predecessor of the Revolutionary Socialist Party is the Revolutionary Socialist Union , a group of dissidents from the Communist Party Holland led by Henk Sneevliet...

 during its four year term in the 1930s. The Pacifist Socialist Party
Pacifist Socialist Party
The Pacifist Socialist Party was a Dutch left-socialist political party. The PSP played a small role in Dutch politics. It is a predecessor of the GreenLeft.-Before 1957:...

, which was partially composed of those expelled from the CPN, was denounced as a party of agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

. The CPN methodically voted against proposals of the PSP, even when they supported them. In the 1980s the PSP and the CPN grew closer as they both campaigned against nuclear armament and both began to embrace New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 and libertarian politics. In 1984 they formed a common list for the European Election together with the green Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the The Greens
The Greens (Netherlands)
The Greens are a Dutch deep green party, which has been of only marginal importance in Dutch politics, as it has never gained national representation on its own.-History:...

. In the 1989 the CPN, PSP and PPR were joined by the leftwing Christian Evangelical People's Party in the formation of the GreenLeft
GreenLeft
GreenLeft is a green political party operating in the Netherlands.GreenLeft was formed on 1 March 1989 as a merger of four left-wing political parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party...

.

Relationships with the other parties whether liberal or Christian democratic was very poor.

International comparison


The CPN is one of the few Communist parties to be formed before the Russian Revolution. It lies between the Northern European Communist Parties, like the Communist Party of Sweden
Left Party (Sweden)
The Left Party is a socialist and feminist political party in Sweden, from 1967 to 1990 known as the Left Party – The Communists .On welfare issues, the party opposes privatizations...

 and the Southern European communist parties, like the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

. Like its Italian counterparts, and unlike its Swedish counterparts it was methodically isolated in parliament. Like its Swedish counterparts, but unlike its Italian counterparts, it gained around 5% of the vote. Like its Italian counterpart it was closely linked to Moscow until the 1960s. In the 1970s it became involved in New Left politics, like its Swedish counterpart.