Besides the history of parliamentary institutions and politicians, there was also an undercurrent of political activity in civil society, the network of associations and people that operated in the public sphere although independent of the state and the market. Occasionally this undercurrent rose to the surface, as was the case at the time of the patriots in the 18th century and at the upsurge of the electoral associations in the 19th century.
The Political Stability project wishes to give an impulse to further research on associations that provided, officially or unofficially, a framework for political exchanges of ideas and political action. By choosing a period that links the 18th and 19th centuries, the long-term effects become more visible. For example, little is actually known of the possible political significance of the gentlemen’s clubs during the government of the first queen. The aim is to record the date of founding, the statutes, the founders, the number of members, the place of congress and the archives of the institution in question, on the basis of literature, newspapers, the association’s own archives and the archives of (local) governments and courts of justice.