Joop den Uyl

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Johannes Marten den Uijl, known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjoːp dɛn ˈœyl]; August 9, 1919 - December 24, 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from May 11, 1973 until December 19, 1977.

He was seen as an idealistic, but also polarizing politician. Throughout history, Dutch political leaders have tended to soothing manners - Den Uyl was one of a relatively few exceptions. People either loved him or hated him. Followers of his idealistic policies called him Ome Joop (Uncle Joop).[1] He was criticized for creating a budget deficit and polarizing Dutch politics.[2] Associated with Den Uyl was the maakbare samenleving (the makeable society, the idea that society is constructed and that government is a player in the construction). Another idea associated with Den Uyl was de verbeelding aan de macht (imagination in the driver's seat, the power of conceptual thinking, particularly in politics).[3]



Early life

Den Uyl was born in a Calvinist reformed family. His father, Johannes den Uyl, was a shopkeeper and a basketweaver who died when Den Uyl was only 10. Den Uyl attended the Christian Lyceum in Hilversum from 1931 to 1936. Following this, he studied economics at the University of Amsterdam. During this period in his life he left the church. In 1942 he attained the doctorandus degree. Until 1945 he was a civil servant at the National Bureau for Prices of Chemical Products, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. During that period he was part of the underground newspaper group that published the clandestine Het Parool (The Password). After the Second World War he worked for Het Parool, Vrij Nederland, and other former resistance papers. From January 1949 to 1963 he was head of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting, the think tank of the Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party, a Dutch democratic-socialist party). In 1953, at the invitation of the American government, Den Uyl stayed for a few months in the United States, gaining an appreciation of the American experience.[4]

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