Education and Dutch Society: The Bond van Nederlandse Onderwijzers in the Late Nineteenth Century


  • Erik Hansen
  • Peter Prosper Jr.


The Bond van Nederlanse Onderwijzers was formed in the late nineteenth century as a voluntary civic association to advance and protect the interests of the Dutch primary school teachers. The organization was supported by teachers in the public sector of the school system and functioned as their lobby. As it evolved it offered a growing number of services to its members. During the decades before the First World War, some members attempted to transform the BNO into a trade union and to move it into the social democratic orbit. These attempts failed and the BNO remained a professional association with liberal orientations. Throughout the 1890-1914 era, the BNO struggled to check the growth of the confessional school systems. Given a growing clerical political bloc in Dutch public life and increased public support for clerical organizations and the churches, this effort was doomed to failure.