Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1164

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806 NETHERLANDS

bequeathing the crown to his son "W'illem 11. , who, after a reign of nine years, left it to his heir, "Willem III. This king reigned 41 years, and died in 1890 ; in default of male heirs, he was succeeded by his only daughter Wilhelmina.

King Willem II. had a civil list of 1,000,000 guilders, but the amount was reduced to 600,000 guilders at the commencement of the reign of King Willem III., and is since maintained. There is also a large revenue from domains, and in addition an allovrance of 50,000 guilders for the maintenance of the royal palaces. The Queen-Regent receives an annual allowance of 150,000 guilders. The family of Orange is, besides, in the possession of a very large private fortune, acquired in greater part by King Willem I, in the prosecution of vast enterprises tending to raise the commerce of the Nether- lands.

The House of Orange has given the following Sovereigns to the Nether- jands since its reconstruction as a kingdom by the Congress of Vienna : —

Willem I. 1815

Willem II 1840

Willem III 1849

Wilhelmina 1890

Government and Constitution. I. Central Government.

The first Constitution of the Netherlands after its reconstruc- tion as a kingdom was given in 1815, and was revised in 1848 and in 1887. According to this charter the Netherlands form a constitutional and hereditary monarchy. The royal succession is in the direct male line in the order of primogeniture ; in default of male heirs, the female line ascends the throne. In default of a legal heir, the successor to the throne is designated by the Sove- reign and a joint meeting of both the Houses of Parliament (each containing twice the usual number of members), and by this assembly alone if the case occurs after the Sovereign's death. The age of majority of the Sovereign is 18 years. During his minority the royal power is vested in a Eegent — designated by law — and in some cases in the State Council.

The executive power of the State belongs exclusively to the Sovereign, while the whole legislative authority rests conjointly in the Sovereign and Parliament, the latter — called the States- General — consisting of two Chambers. The Upper or First Chamber is composed of 50 members, elected by the Provincial States from among the most highly assessed inhabitants of the eleven provinces, or from among some high and important function- aries, mentioned by law. Members of the First Chamber not resid- ing in the Hague, where the Parliament meets, are allowed 10 guilders (16s. 8d.) a day during the Session of the States-General. The Second Chamber of the States-General numbers 100 deputies, who are elected directly.