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This article discusses the potential of satire as a valuable source of knowledge for historical research, specifically for understanding the Dutch Age of Revolution (c. 1780-1800). Using the practice of petitioning—the submission of formal requests by (groups of) citizens—as a case study, it argues that satire can lay bare feelings and opinions that non-satirical sources cannot. More specifically, satirical sources address problems that in other sources are deemed taboo, as they conflict with the existing political consensus. Thus, studying satire enables historians to better understand the tensions hidden beneath the surface of a given historical epoch.