Great assembly

   Two Great Assemblies were convened as at tempts to improve the political system of the Republic. In 1651, rep resentatives of the provincial States assembled in The Hague be cause new measures seemed necessary after the sudden death of the young stadtholder William II. Although the members of this assem bly conferred without consulting their principals, regional particular ism proved too strong to alter the terms of the 1579 Union of Utrecht. Decisions were reached only in military matters: appoint ments would be made by the provincialStates insofar as it concerned soldiers who were paid by them. The assembly of 1716–1717 seemed necessary because of the fi nancial problems and the declining international position of the Re public. Despite some reports with proposals for political reform, among others by Grand Pensionary Simon van Slingelandt, no re sults were reached, mainly because the provinces did not accept a more centralizing government.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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