1700-1800: Subdued freedom II
Proclamatie. Het Uitvoerend Bewind der Bataafsche Republiek,... De Vrijheid der Drukpers
[Proclamation. The Executive Authority of the Batavian Republic,... The Freedom of the Press...]
Equality, liberty, fraternity! That was the slogan that began this proclamation of 22 May 1798 on the freedom of the press in the Batavian Republic. "De vryheid der Drukpers is het Bolwerk der Burgerlyke Vryheid" ["The freedom of the press is the bastion of civil liberty"]. The new authorities assumed that a truly free press would do nothing that would damage the national constitution (which had been passed a month earlier). In other words, unacceptable texts from "vyanden der Vryheid en het Vaderland" ["enemies of Freedom and the Fatherland"] could still be prosecuted and banned. The roles had been reversed - those who had previously been oppressed and prosecuted were now the censors.