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Citizenship is and has for a long time been a core component of constitutional theory. The rebirth of citizenship in the quattrocento in Northern Italy from classical Greek and Roman sources of inspiration demonstrates its salience, as does the importance citizenship had in French Revolutionary thinking. In general, citizenship constitutes a reciprocal relationship between the citizen and the polity with a set of fundamental rights and obligations. These might include the right to vote for representative assemblies, the right to free movement within the territory of the state and the obligation to bear arms when required by law. However, the relationship between a state and the citizens of its overseas territories challenges the basic model of citizenship. Contrasting the approaches of the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the rights of citizens of overseas territories sheds light on the meaning and contours of citizenship in constitutional theory and law.