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The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
as the Dutch Republic, was a
federal republic A federal republic is a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of In ...
which existed from 1588 (during the Dutch Revolt) to 1795 (the
Batavian Revolution The Batavian Revolution ( nl, De Bataafse Revolutie) was a time of political, social and cultural turmoil at the end of the 18th century that marked the end of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces ...
). It was a
predecessor state Predecessor may refer to: * A holy person announcing the approaching appearance of a prophet, see precursor Precursor or Precursors may refer to: *Precursor (religion), a forerunner, predecessor ** The Precursor, John the Baptist Science and tech ...
of the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
and the first fully independent
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (news ...
. The republic was established after several Dutch provinces in the
Spanish Netherlands Spanish Netherlands es, Países Bajos Españoles; nl, Spaanse Nederlanden; french: Pays-Bas espagnols; german: Spanische Niederlande. (historically in Spanish: ''Flandes'', the name "Flanders" was used as a ''pars pro toto ''Pars pro toto'' (, ...

Spanish Netherlands
revolted against
rule by Spain
rule by Spain
. The provinces formed a mutual alliance against Spain in 1579 (the
Union of Utrecht __NOTOC__ The Union of Utrecht ( nl, Unie van Utrecht) was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the and a of the , capital and most populous city of the of . It is located in the eastern corner of the , in the ...

Union of Utrecht
) and declared their independence in 1581 (the
Act of Abjuration The Act of Abjuration ( nl, Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, es, Acta de Abjuración, literally 'placard of abjuration Abjuration is the solemn repudiation, abandonment, or renunciation by or upon oath, often the renunciation of citizenship or some ot ...
). It comprised
Groningen Groningen ( , , , ; gos, Grunn or ) is the capital city and main municipality of Groningen province Groningen (; gos, Grunn; fry, Grinslân) is the northeasternmost Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands. It borders on ...
,
Frisia Frisia (, ; ) is a cross-border cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of the Celtic languages The Celtic ...
,
Overijssel Overijssel (, ; nds, Oaveriessel ; german: Oberyssel) is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands located in the eastern part of the country. The province's name translates to "across the IJssel", from the perspective of the ...
,
Guelders Guelders or Gueldres ( nl, Gelre, german: Geldern) is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries. Geography The duchy was named after the town of Geldern (''Gelder'') in present-day Germany. Thoug ...
,
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the List of cities in the Netherlands by province, fourth-largest city and a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the Provinces of the Netherlands, provin ...
,
Holland Holland is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (en ...
and
Zeeland , nl, Ik worstel en kom boven("I struggle and emerge") , anthem = "Zeeuws volkslied"("Zeelandic Anthem") , image_map = Zeeland in the Netherlands.svg , map_alt = , ma ...
. Although the state was small and contained only around 1.5 million inhabitants, it controlled a worldwide network of seafaring
trade route A trade route is a Logistics, logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing Good (economics and accountin ...
s. Through its trading companies, the
Dutch East India Company (VOC) The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation Image:Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie spiegelretourschip Am ...

Dutch East India Company (VOC)
and the Dutch West India Company (GWC), it established a
Dutch colonial empire The Dutch colonial empire ( nl, Nederlandse koloniale rijk) comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies—mainly the Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company— ...
. The income from this trade allowed the Dutch Republic to compete militarily against much larger countries. It amassed a huge fleet of 2,000 ships, initially larger than the fleets of England and France combined. Major conflicts were fought in the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg a ...
against Spain (from the foundation of the Dutch Republic until 1648), the
Dutch–Portuguese War The Dutch–Portuguese War (; ) was an armed conflict involving Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''fle ...
(1602–1663), four
Anglo-Dutch Wars The Anglo–Dutch Wars ( nl, Engels–Nederlandse Oorlogen) were a series of conflicts mainly fought between the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United N ...
; 3 against the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

Kingdom of England
and a fourth against the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
: ( 1652–1654, 1665–1667, 1672–1674 and 1780–1784), the
Franco-Dutch War The 1672 to 1678 Franco-Dutch War, also known as the Dutch War (french: Guerre de Hollande; nl, Hollandse Oorlog), was fought between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a Li ...
(1672–1678), and
War of the Grand Alliance The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is ...
(1688–1697) against the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the Middle Ages ...
. The republic was more tolerant of different religions and ideas than its contemporary states were, allowing
freedom of thought Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience or ideas) is the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present s ...
to its residents. Artists flourished under this regime, including painters such as
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and Drawing, draughtsman. An innovative and prolific Old Masters, master in three art medi ...

Rembrandt
,
Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , see below; also known as Jan Vermeer; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period The Baroque (, ; ) is a style of architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessi ...
and many others. So did scientists, such as
Hugo Grotius Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and in Dutch as Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was bor ...

Hugo Grotius
,
Christiaan Huygens Christiaan Huygens ( , also , ; la, Hugenius; 14 April 1629 – 8 July 1695), also spelled Huyghens, was a Dutch mathematician, physicist, astronomer and inventor, who is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major fig ...

Christiaan Huygens
and
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek ( ; ; 24 October 1632 – 26 August 1723) was a Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium ...
. Because Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world during much of the 17th century, this period became known in
Dutch history The History of the Netherlands is a history of seafaring people thriving on a lowland river delta on the North Sea in northwestern Europe. Records begin with the four centuries during which the region formed a militarized border zone of the Roma ...
as the
Dutch Golden Age The Dutch Golden Age ( nl, Gouden Eeuw ) was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic) to 1672 (the Rampjaar, "Disaster Year"), in which Dutch trade, science, and Dutch art, ...
. The republic was a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
of provinces each with a high degree of independence from the federal assembly, known as the States General. In the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
(1648) the republic gained approximately 20% more territory, located outside the member provinces, which was ruled directly by the States General as
Generality Lands The Generality Lands, Lands of the Generality or Common Lands ( nl, Generaliteitslanden) were about one fifth of the territories of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, that were directly governed by the States-General. Unlike the seven pro ...
. Each province was led by an official known as the ''
stadtholder In the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in No ...
'' ( for, , Dutch, steward); this office was nominally open to anyone, but most provinces appointed a member of the
House of Orange The House of Orange-Nassau (Dutch language, Dutch: ''Huis van Oranje-Nassau'', ) is the current dynasty, reigning house of the Netherlands. A branch of the European House of Nassau, the house has played a central role in the Politics and governmen ...
. The position gradually became hereditary, with the
Prince of Orange Prince of Orange (or Princess of Orange if the holder is female) is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or ...
simultaneously holding most or all of the stadtholderships, making them effectively the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
. This created tension between political factions: the Orangists favoured a powerful stadtholder, while the Republicans favoured a strong States General. The Republicans forced two Stadtholderless Periods, 1650–1672 and 1702–1747, with the latter causing national instability and the end of Great Power status. Economic decline led to a period of political instability known as the
Patriottentijd The ''Patriottentijd'' (; ) was a period of political instability in the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historio ...
(1780–87). This unrest was temporarily suppressed by a Prussian invasion in support of the stadtholder. The
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
and subsequent
War of the First Coalition The War of the First Coalition (french: Guerre de la Première Coalition) was a set of wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 initially against the constitutional Kingdom of France and then the French Republic ...
caused these tensions to reignite. Following military defeat by France, the stadtholder was expelled in the
Batavian Revolution The Batavian Revolution ( nl, De Bataafse Revolutie) was a time of political, social and cultural turmoil at the end of the 18th century that marked the end of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces ...
of 1795. This ended the Dutch Republic; it was succeeded by the
Batavian Republic The Batavian Republic ( nl, Bataafse Republiek; french: République Batave) was the successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1 ...
.


History

Until the 16th century, the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
—corresponding roughly to the present-day
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
, and
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
—consisted of a number of
duchies A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
, counties, and
prince-bishop A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some Secularity, secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or Hochstift, prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his ...
rics, almost all of which were under the supremacy of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, with the exception of the county of Flanders, most of which was under the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the Middle Ages ...
. Most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the
House of Burgundy The House of Burgundy () was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, descending from Robert I, Duke of Burgundy, a younger son of Robert II of France. The House ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1032–1361. The last member of the House was Philip ...
and subsequently the
House of Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...
. In 1549
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V Charles V, french: Charles Quint, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, ca, Carles V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( l ...

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
issued the
Pragmatic Sanction A pragmatic sanction is a sovereign's solemn decree on a matter of primary importance and has the force of fundamental law. In the late history of the Holy Roman Empire, it referred more specifically to an edict issued by the Emperor. When used ...
, which further unified the Seven Provinces under his rule. Charles was succeeded by his son, King
Philip II of Spain Philip II) in Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption ...

Philip II of Spain
. In 1568, the Netherlands, led by
William I of Orange
William I of Orange
, revolted against Philip II because of high taxes, persecution of Protestants by the government, and Philip's efforts to modernize and centralize the devolved-medieval government structures of the provinces. This was the start of the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg a ...
. During the initial phase of the war, the revolt was largely unsuccessful. Spain regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. This period is known as the " Spanish Fury" due to the high number of massacres, instances of mass looting, and total destruction of multiple cities between 1572 and 1579. In 1579, a number of the northern provinces of the Low Countries signed the
Union of Utrecht __NOTOC__ The Union of Utrecht ( nl, Unie van Utrecht) was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the and a of the , capital and most populous city of the of . It is located in the eastern corner of the , in the ...

Union of Utrecht
, in which they promised to support each other in their defence against the
Army of Flanders An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
. This was followed in 1581 by the
Act of Abjuration The Act of Abjuration ( nl, Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, es, Acta de Abjuración, literally 'placard of abjuration Abjuration is the solemn repudiation, abandonment, or renunciation by or upon oath, often the renunciation of citizenship or some ot ...
, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II. Dutch colonialism began at this point, as the Netherlands was able to swipe a number of
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
and Spanish colonies, particularly in the
Asia-Pacific The Asia-Pacific is the part of the world In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in dif ...

Asia-Pacific
region. After the assassination of William of Orange on 10 July 1584, both
Henry III of France Henry III (french: Henri III, né Alexandre Édouard; pl, Henryk House of Valois, Walezy; lt, Henrikas Valua; 19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589) was King of France from 1574 until his death in 1589, as well as King of Poland and Grand Du ...
and
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I of England
declined offers of sovereignty. However, the latter agreed to turn the United Provinces into a
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
of England (
Treaty of Nonsuch The Treaty of Nonsuch was signed on 10 August 1585 by Elizabeth I of England and the Dutch Revolt, Dutch rebels fighting against Spanish rule. It was the first international treaty signed by what would become the Dutch Republic. It was signed at No ...
, 1585), and sent the
Earl of Leicester Earl of Leicester is a title that has been created seven times. The first title was granted during the 12th century in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of ...
as governor-general. This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a
confederacy Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...
. The Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, which was not recognized by Spain until the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
in 1648. During the Anglo-French War (1778), the internal territory was divided into two groups: the Patriots, who were pro-French and pro-American, and the Orangists, who were pro-British. The Republic of the United Provinces faced a series of republican revolutions in 1783–1787. During this period, republican forces occupied several major Dutch cities. Initially on the defence, the Orangist forces received aid from
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n troops and retook the Netherlands in 1787. The republican forces fled to France, but then successfully re-invaded alongside the army of the French Republic (1793–1795), ousting stadtholder
William VWilliam V may refer to: * William V, Count of Nevers () * William V, Duke of Aquitaine (969–1030) * William V, Duke of Bavaria (1548–1626) * William V, Duke of Jülich (1299–1361) * William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (1602–1637) * William ...
, abolishing the Dutch Republic, and replacing it with the
Batavian Republic The Batavian Republic ( nl, Bataafse Republiek; french: République Batave) was the successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1 ...
(1795–1806). After the French Republic became the French Empire under
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
, the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Napoleonic
Kingdom of Holland The Kingdom of Holland ( nl, Holland (contemporary), (modern); french: Royaume de Hollande) was set up by Napoléon Bonaparte Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to p ...
(1806–1810). The Netherlands regained independence from France in 1813. In the
Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 (also known as the Convention of London; nl, Verdrag van Londen) was signed by the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Brita ...
the names "United Provinces of the Netherlands" and "United Netherlands" were used. In 1815, it was rejoined with the
Austrian Netherlands The Austrian Netherlands nl, Oostenrijkse Nederlanden; french: Pays-Bas Autrichiens; german: Österreichische Niederlande; la, Belgium Austriacum. was the larger part of the Southern Netherlands between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the ...
and
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...
(the "Southern provinces") to become the
Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-10-10.png , map_caption2 = Map of the four constituent countries shown to scale , capital = ...
, informally known as the
United Kingdom of the Netherlands The United Kingdom of the Netherlands ( nl, Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; french: Royaume-Uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherla ...

United Kingdom of the Netherlands
, to create a strong
buffer state A buffer state is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalis ...
north of France. On 16 March 1815, the son of stadtholder William V crowned himself King
William I of the Netherlands William I (Willem Frederik, Prince of Orange-Nassau; 24 August 1772 – 12 December 1843) was a Prince of Orange Prince of Orange (or Princess of Orange if the holder is female) is a title A title is one or more words used before or af ...

William I of the Netherlands
. Between 1815 and 1890, the King of the Netherlands was also in a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
the Grand Duke of the sovereign Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. After Belgium gained its independence in 1830, the state became unequivocally known as the "Kingdom of the Netherlands", as it remains today.


Economy

During the
Dutch Golden Age The Dutch Golden Age ( nl, Gouden Eeuw ) was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic) to 1672 (the Rampjaar, "Disaster Year"), in which Dutch trade, science, and Dutch art, ...
in the late-16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch Republic dominated world trade, conquering a vast
colonial empire A colonial empire is a collective of territories (often called colony, colonies), either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas territory, overseas, Plantation (settlement or colony), settled by the population of a certain Sovereig ...
and operating the largest fleet of
merchantmen
merchantmen
of any nation. The County of Holland was the wealthiest and most urbanized region in the world. In 1650 the Urban area, urban population of the Dutch Republic as a percentage of total population was 31.7 percent, while that of the Spanish Netherlands was 20.8 percent, of Portugal 16.6 percent, and of Italy 14 percent. In 1675 the urban population density of Holland alone was 61 percent, that of the rest of the Dutch Republic 27 percent. The free trade spirit of the time was augmented by the development of a modern, effective stock market in the Low Countries. The Netherlands has the oldest stock exchange in the world, founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, while Rotterdam has the oldest Exchange (organized market), bourse in the Netherlands. The Dutch East-India Company exchange went public in six different cities. Later, a court ruled that the company had to reside legally in a single city, so Amsterdam is recognized as the oldest such institution based on modern trading principles. While the banking system evolved in the Low Countries, it was quickly incorporated by the well-connected English, stimulating English economic output. During the period of Proto-industrialization, the empire received 50% of textiles and 80% of silks import from the Indian Mughal Empire, chiefly from its most developed region known as Bengal Subah.Om Prakash (historian), Om Prakash,
Empire, Mughal
, ''History of World Trade Since 1450'', edited by John J. McCusker, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 237–240, ''World History in Context''. Retrieved 3 August 2017
The Dutch Republic was a master of banking, often compared to 14th century Florence. When Southern Europe was experiencing poor harvests, surplus of grain from Poland was sold by the Dutch for large profits.


Politics

The republic was a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
of seven provinces, which had their own governments and were very independent, and a number of so-called
Generality Lands The Generality Lands, Lands of the Generality or Common Lands ( nl, Generaliteitslanden) were about one fifth of the territories of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, that were directly governed by the States-General. Unlike the seven pro ...
. The latter were governed directly by the States General, the federal government. The States General were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives of each of the seven provinces. The provinces of the republic were, in official feudal order: # Duchy of Guelders # County of Holland # County of Zeeland # Lordship of Utrecht # Lordship of Overijssel # Lordship of Frisia # Lordship of Groningen There was an eighth province, the County of Drenthe, but this area was so poor that it was exempt from paying federal taxes, and as a consequence, it was denied representation in the States General. Each province was governed by the Provincial States, the main executive official (though not the official head of state) was a ''raadspensionaris''. In times of war, the
stadtholder In the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in No ...
, who commanded the army, would have more power than the ''raadspensionaris''. In theory, the stadtholders were freely appointed by and subordinate to the states of each province. However, in practice the Prince of Orange, princes of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau, beginning with William the Silent, were always chosen as stadtholders of most of the provinces. Zeeland and usually Utrecht had the same stadtholder as Holland. There was a constant power struggle between the Orangists, who supported the stadtholders and specifically the princes of Orange, and the Republicans, who supported the States General and hoped to replace the semi-hereditary nature of the stadtholdership with a true republican structure. After the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
, several border territories were assigned to the United Provinces. They were federally governed
Generality Lands The Generality Lands, Lands of the Generality or Common Lands ( nl, Generaliteitslanden) were about one fifth of the territories of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, that were directly governed by the States-General. Unlike the seven pro ...
. These were Staats-Brabant, Staats-Vlaanderen, Staats-Overmaas, and (after the Treaty of Utrecht) Staats-Opper-Gelre. The States General of the United Provinces were in control of the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, but some shipping expeditions were initiated by some of the provinces, mostly Holland and Zeeland. The framers of the U.S. Constitution were influenced by the Constitution of the Republic of the United Provinces, as Federalist No. 20, by James Madison, shows. Such influence appears, however, to have been of a negative nature, as Madison describes the Dutch confederacy as exhibiting "Imbecility in the government; discord among the provinces; foreign influence and indignities; a precarious existence in peace, and peculiar calamities from war." Apart from this, the American Declaration of Independence is similar to the
Act of Abjuration The Act of Abjuration ( nl, Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, es, Acta de Abjuración, literally 'placard of abjuration Abjuration is the solemn repudiation, abandonment, or renunciation by or upon oath, often the renunciation of citizenship or some ot ...
, essentially the declaration of independence of the United Provinces, but concrete evidence that the latter directly influenced the former is absent.


Religion

In the
Union of Utrecht __NOTOC__ The Union of Utrecht ( nl, Unie van Utrecht) was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the and a of the , capital and most populous city of the of . It is located in the eastern corner of the , in the ...

Union of Utrecht
of 20 January 1579, Holland and Zeeland were granted the right to accept only one religion (in practice, Calvinism). Every other province had the freedom to regulate the religious question as it wished, although the Union stated every person should be free in the choice of personal religion and that no person should be prosecuted based on religious choice. William of Orange had been a strong supporter of public and personal freedom of religion and hoped to unite Protestants and Catholics in the new union, and, for him, the Union was a defeat. In practice, Catholic services in all provinces were quickly forbidden, and the Dutch Reformed Church became the "public" or "privileged" church in the Republic. During the Republic, any person who wished to hold public office had to conform to the Reformed Church and take an oath to this effect. The extent to which different religions or denominations were persecuted depended much on the time period and regional or city leaders. In the beginning, this was especially focused on Roman Catholics, being the religion of the enemy. In 17th-century Leiden, for instance, people opening their homes to services could be fined 200 guilders (a year's wage for a skilled tradesman) and banned from the city. Throughout this, however, personal freedom of religion existed and was one factor—along with economic reasons—in causing large immigration of religious refugees from other parts of Europe. In the first years of the Republic, controversy arose within the Reformed Church, mainly around the subject of predestination. This has become known as the struggle between Arminianism and Gomarism, or between Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants. In 1618, the Synod of Dort tackled this issue, which led to the banning of the Remonstrant faith. Beginning in the 18th century, the situation changed from more or less active persecution of religious services to a state of restricted toleration of other religions, as long as their services took place secretly in Schuilkerk, private churches.


Decline

Long-term rivalry between the two main factions in Dutch society, the ''Staatsgezinden'' (Republicans) and the ''Prinsgezinden'' (Royalists or Orangism (Netherlands), Orangists), sapped the strength and unity of the country. Johan de Witt and the Republicans did reign supreme for a time at the middle of the 17th century (the First Stadtholderless Period) until his overthrow and murder in 1672. Subsequently, William III of England, William III of Orange became stadtholder. After a 22-year stadtholderless era, the Orangists regained power, and his first problem was to survive the
Franco-Dutch War The 1672 to 1678 Franco-Dutch War, also known as the Dutch War (french: Guerre de Hollande; nl, Hollandse Oorlog), was fought between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a Li ...
(with the derivative Third Anglo-Dutch war), when France, England, Prince-Bishopric of Münster, Münster, and Archbishopric of Cologne, Cologne united against this country. Wars to contain the expansionist policies of France in various coalitions after the Glorious Revolution, mostly including England and Scotland—after 1707, Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain—burdened the republic with huge debts, although little of the fighting after 1673 took place on its own territory. The necessity to maintain a vast army against France meant that less money could be spent on the navy, weakening the Republic's economy. After William III's death in 1702 the Second Stadtholderless Period was inaugurated. Despite having contributed much in the War of Spanish Succession, the Dutch Republic gained little from the peace talks in Utrecht (1713). The end of the War of Austrian Succession in 1748, and Austria becoming allies with France against Prussia, marked the end of the republic as a major military power.O. van Nimwegen, ''De Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden als grote mogendheid. Buitenlandse politiek en oorlogvoering in de eerste helft van de achttiende eeuw en in het bijzonder tijdens de Oostenrijkse Successieoorlog (1740–1748)'' Fierce competition for trade and colonies, especially from France and England, furthered the economic downturn of the country. The three Anglo-Dutch Wars and the rise of mercantilism had a negative effect on Dutch shipping and commerce.


References


Footnotes


Bibliography

* * * * Hoftijzer, Paul G.
''The Dutch Republic, Centre of the European Book Trade in the 17th Century''EGO – European History Online
Mainz
Institute of European History
2015, retrieved: 8 March 2020
pdf
. * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Dutch Republic, 1581 establishments in Europe 1581 establishments in the Dutch Republic 16th century in the Netherlands 17th century in the Dutch Republic 1795 disestablishments in Europe 1795 disestablishments in the Dutch Republic 18th century in the Dutch Republic Early Modern Netherlands Former confederations Former polities in the Netherlands Former republics Republicanism in the Netherlands States and territories disestablished in 1795 States and territories established in 1581 Christian states