Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

State

Capital

Netherlands

The Hague/Den Haag

Nederland

s'Gravenhage

Currency unit

euro

Connections

Antilles

Benelux

EU

Hegemony

Indonesia

NATO

Suriname

 St Maartin

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

The Low Countries were part of the area between the new kingdom of France and the kingdom of Germany when Charlemagne's empire was divided among his three grandsons. Lotharingia included the Netherlands, Burgundy (Lorraine), Switzerland and Italy. In the 16th century the northern provinces became Protestant, adopting the Presbyterian and Calvinist version (as did Scotland).

After many dynastic moves the Netherlands came to be ruled by the Habsburgs and were attached to Spain. They included what is now Belgium.

Provoked by the Catholicising Spanish kings the United Provinces led by Holland fought for independence in the 16th century and then became a worldwide trading power in competition with Spain and England. Belgium remained Catholic under the power of the Habsburgs.

They maintained their independence as a merchant republic with a hereditary military commander (Stadholder).

The Netherlands had a colonial empire in Indonesia which was as influential and profitable as India was to Britain. There were also colonies in the Caribbean, a legacy of slave trading days. (See Suriname) While England was ruled by Charles the second - a puppet of the French - the Netherlands became the dominant European overseas power and was in conflict with the French under Louis the fourteenth who was attempting to make France a world power.

During the 17th century there were several wars with the English. However, these ended when the Stadholder in 1688 became the English king William the third after invading England at Totnes to overthrow James the second.

The rise of England also marked the decline of the Netherlands as a world power but they retained colonies in Indonesia until the second world war. They lost the other colonies: New Amsterdam became New York and the South African Cape and Ceylon passed to Britain during the Napoleonic wars. Surinam in South America lasted until the 1970s.

The country was occupied by Napoleon who first made the country into the Batavian Republic, then into a puppet kingdom. At the settlement at the end of the Napoleonic wars the country was combined with Belgium - the former Austrian Netherlands as a united kingdom of the Netherlands. However, the Protestant north and the Catholic south split in 1830 when the Belgians revolted to form their own country. Since 1830 the country has occupied its present frontiers.

In the first world war the Netherlands was neutral but in the second war occupied by the Germans. In 1945 as the Germans approached defeat there was serious famine and the protecting dykes were breached to hinder the occupiers.

With Belgium and Luxembourg they formed Benelux, a precursor of the European Community. The country is sometimes known as Holland, from the leading province.

Languages

Dutch

(Nederlands)

Frisian (the nearest language to English)

Motley - The Rise of the Dutch Republic


The Rise of the Dutch Republic: Volume 1


The Rise of the Dutch Republic. a History. by John Lothrop Motley. Vol. 3

nederlands


Fondation de la république des provinces-unies. la révolution des pays-bas au xvie sécle. traduit de l'anglais par gustave jottrand et albert lacroix.

the classic account of the growth of Dutch hegemony.

Lisa Jardin - Going Dutch



the Dutch invasion of England in 1688

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

The country has a constitutional monarchy with a symbolic head of state and a parliamentary system. The Prime Minister is chosen by parliament from a variety of parties.

The Netherlands has a proportional representation system with a number of parties, many based on religious sects. Governments tend to take a long time to form after elections because of the amount of negotiation required between many different parties to form a coalition. But policy tends to be stable.

The 2002 election ended a long period of Social Democrat dominance when an anti-immigration party gained many seats. A Rightwing coalition took office with a policy of reducing immigration and welfare provisions. However, after a few months it collapsed in October.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

A strong economy based on intensive agriculture, finance, entrepot trade (Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe, serving Germany as well as the Netherlands).

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

The Netherlands is famous for having recovered land from the sea. At the time of the Roman Empire it was settled by small groups of people living on raised areas in the delta of the Rhine and the swampy land to its north.

Gradually this land has been enclosed by dykes and drained. During the 20th century the Dutch have drained a large area of what was called the Zuider Zee (southern sea) which was formed after a storm in the 13th century. The result has been a number of new agricultural districts - polders - built on drained land, as well as a new city, Lelystad. The remaining sea has become a fresh water lake - Ijselmeer.

The Netherlands suffers from polluted water coming down the Rhine and other rivers. Almost all the fresh water in the country is supplied by this river which passes through the industrial districts of Germany. Floods in the upper Rhine basin affects them too, but the water can be diverted into the Ijselmeer.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

The Netherlands has fewer people in prison than most European countries. Marijuana use is tolerated though other drugs are not. Euthanasia is said to be practiced by doctors with the patients' consent, though it remains illegal.

Climate effects

If the sea level rises as a result of Global Warming the Netherlands may suffer or have to spend a great deal on new sea defenses as much of the land is below even present sea level.

Last revised 23/07/09


Europe


World Info


Home

Return to the top

eXTReMe Tracker