- During the period of the Republicin the 17th and 18th centuries, censorship of the press was in the hands of local and re gional authorities. The States General issued only a few edicts against libelous and other offensive printings. Because of the diver sity of local authorities, widespread preventive censorship was not very effective. Hence, many books that were forbidden in England or France were easily printed and distributed in the Republic. During the first half of the 19th century, censorship, based on the new penal code and some special laws, was relatively lenient. Since the ratifi cation of the democratic constitution of 1848, freedom of the press has been guaranteed. The limits of defamation, especially of the king and public authorities, were occasionally tightly restricted (as in the case of the Socialist leader Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis in 1885), but in general, censorship has not been very aggressive.See also MEETER, Eillert (1818–1862).
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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