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The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands
Netherlands
in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e. what is now Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg; plus most of the modern French department of Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Nord-Pas-de-Calais
including Artois, French Flanders, and French Hainaut. Also within this area were semi-independent fiefdoms, mainly ecclesiastical ones, such as Liège, Cambrai
Cambrai
and Stavelot-Malmedy. The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
arose from the Burgundian Netherlands, a number of fiefs held by the House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy
and inherited by the Habsburg dynasty in 1482, from 1556 held by Habsburg Spain. Starting in 1512 the Provinces formed the major part of the Burgundian Circle. In 1581 the Seven United Provinces seceded to form the Dutch Republic.

Contents

1 Composition 2 History 3 Economy 4 Netherlands 5 Flanders 6 Coats of arms 7 See also 8 Notes and references 9 External links

Composition[edit] After the Habsburg emperor Charles V had re-acquired the Duchy of Guelders
Guelders
from Duke William of Jülich-Cleves-Berg by the 1543 Treaty of Venlo, the Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
comprised:

Map of the Low Countries
Low Countries
in 1477

the County
County
of Artois the County
County
of Flanders, including the burgraviates of Lille, Douai, Orchies, the Lordship of Tournai
Tournai
and the Tournaisis the Lordship of Mechelen the County
County
of Namur the County
County
of Hainaut the County
County
of Zeeland the County
County
of Holland the Duchy of Brabant, including the Lordship of Breda, the Margraviate of Antwerp, the counties of Leuven
Leuven
and of Brussels, and the advocacy of the Abbey of Nivelles
Nivelles
and of Gembloux the Duchy of Limburg
Duchy of Limburg
and the "Overmaas" lands of Brabant (Dalhem, Valkenburg and Herzogenrath) the Duchy of Luxembourg the Prince-Bishopric, later Lordship of Utrecht the Lordship of Frisia the Duchy of Guelders the Lordship of Groningen (including the Ommelanden) the Lordship of Drenthe, Lingen, Wedde, and Westerwolde the Lordship of Overijssel the County
County
of Zutphen

It was not always the same seventeen provinces represented at the Estates-General of the Netherlands. Sometimes one delegation was included in another. In later years the County of Zutphen
County of Zutphen
became a part of the Duchy of Guelders, and the Duchy of Limburg
Duchy of Limburg
was dependent on the Duchy of Brabant. The Lordship of Drenthe is sometimes considered as part of the Lordship of Overijssel. On the other hand, the French-speaking cities of Flanders were sometimes recognised as a separate province. Therefore, in some lists Zutphen and Drenthe
Drenthe
are replaced by

burgraviates of Lille, Douai, Orchies
Orchies
(also called Walloon Flanders) Tournai
Tournai
and the Tournaisis

There were a number of fiefdoms in the Low Countries
Low Countries
that were not part of the Seventeen Provinces, mainly because they did not belong to the Burgundian Circle
Burgundian Circle
but to the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle. The largest of these was the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, the green area on the map, including the County
County
of Horne. The ethnically and culturally Netherlandish duchies of Cleves and Julich did not join either. In the north, there were also a few smaller entities like the island of Ameland
Ameland
that would retain their own lords until the French Revolution. Historians came up with different variations of the list, but always with 17 members. This number could have been chosen because of its Christian connotation.[1] History[edit]

History of the Low Countries

Frisii

Belgae

Cana- nefates Chamavi, Tubanti

Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica
(55 BC – 5th c. AD) Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
(83 – 5th c.)

Salian Franks

Batavii

unpopulated (4th–5th c.) Saxons Salian Franks (4th–5th c.)

Frisian Kingdom (6th c.–734)

Frankish Kingdom
Frankish Kingdom
(481–843)— Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
(800–843)

Austrasia
Austrasia
(511–687)

Middle Francia
Middle Francia
(843–855) West Francia (843–)

Kingdom of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
(855– 959) Duchy of Lower Lorraine
Lower Lorraine
(959–)

Frisia

Frisian Freedom (11–16th century)

County
County
of Holland (880–1432)

Bishopric of Utrecht (695–1456)

Duchy of Brabant (1183–1430)

Duchy of Guelders (1046–1543) County
County
of Flanders (862–1384)

County
County
of Hainaut (1071–1432)

County
County
of Namur (981–1421)

P.-Bish. of Liège

(980–1794)

Duchy of Luxem- bourg (1059–1443)

 

Burgundian Netherlands
Netherlands
(1384–1482)

Habsburg Netherlands
Habsburg Netherlands
(1482–1795) ( Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
after 1543)

 

Dutch Republic (Seven United Netherlands) (1581–1795)

Spanish Netherlands (1556–1714)  

 

Austrian Netherlands (1714–1795)

 

United States of Belgium (1790)

R. Liège (1789–'91)

 

   

Batavian Republic
Batavian Republic
(1795–1801) Batavian Commonwealth (1801–1806) Kingdom of Holland
Kingdom of Holland
(1806–1810)

associated with French First Republic
French First Republic
(1795–1804) part of First French Empire
First French Empire
(1804–1815)

   

Princip. of the Netherlands
Netherlands
(1813–1815)  

United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands
(1815–1830)

Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands
(1839–)

Kingdom of Belgium
Belgium
(1830–)

Gr D. L. (1839–)

Gr D. of Luxem- bourg (1890–)

The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
originated from the Burgundian Netherlands. The dukes of Burgundy systematically became the lord of different provinces. Mary I of Valois, Duchess of Burgundy was the last of the House of Burgundy. Mary married Maximilian I of Habsburg, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1477, and the provinces were acquired by the House of Habsburg on her death in 1482, with the exception of the Duchy of Burgundy itself, which, with an appeal to Salic law, had been reabsorbed into France
France
upon the death of Mary's father, Charles the Bold. Maximilian and Mary's grandson, Charles V of Habsburg, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
and King of Spain, eventually united all 17 provinces under his rule, the last one being the Duchy of Guelders, in 1543. Most of these provinces were fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire. Two provinces, the County of Flanders
County of Flanders
and County
County
of Artois, were originally French fiefs, but sovereignty was ceded to the Empire in the Treaty of Cambrai
Cambrai
in 1529. The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 determined that the Provinces should remain united in the future and inherited by the same monarch. Therefore, Charles V introduced the title of Heer der Nederlanden ("Lord of the Netherlands"). Only he and his son could ever use this title. After Charles V's abdication in 1555, his realms were divided between his son, Philip II of Habsburg, King of Spain, and his brother, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
went to his son, the King of Spain. Conflicts between Philip II and his Dutch subjects led to the Eighty Years' War, which started in 1568. The seven northern provinces gained their independence as a republic called the Seven United Provinces. They were:

the Lordship of Groningen and of the Ommelanden the Lordship of Friesland the Lordship of Overijssel the Duchy of Guelders
Guelders
(except its upper quarter) and the County
County
of Zutphen the Prince-Bishopric, later Lordship of Utrecht the County
County
of Holland the County
County
of Zeeland

The southern provinces, Flanders, Brabant, Namur, Hainaut, Luxembourg and the others, were restored to Spanish rule due to the military and political talent of the Duke of Parma, especially at the Siege of Antwerp
Antwerp
(1584–1585). Hence, these provinces became known as the Spanish Netherlands
Spanish Netherlands
or Southern Netherlands. The northern Seven United Provinces kept parts of Limburg, Brabant, and Flanders during the Eighty Years' War
Eighty Years' War
(see Generality Lands), which ended with the Treaty of Westphalia
Treaty of Westphalia
in 1648. Artois
Artois
and parts of Flanders and Hainaut ( French Flanders
French Flanders
and French Hainaut) were ceded to France
France
in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries. Economy[edit] By the mid-16th century, the Margraviate of Antwerp
Margraviate of Antwerp
(Duchy of Brabant) had become the economic, political, and cultural center of the Netherlands
Netherlands
after its capital had shifted from the nearby Lordship of Mechelen to the city of Brussels. Bruges
Bruges
( County
County
of Flanders) had already lost its prominent position as economic powerhouse of northern Europe. And Holland was gradually gaining importance in the 15th and 16th centuries. However, after the revolt of the seven northern provinces (1568), the Sack of Antwerp
Sack of Antwerp
(1576), the Fall of Antwerp
Fall of Antwerp
(1584-1585), and the resulting closure of the Scheldt
Scheldt
river to navigation, a large number of people from the southern provinces emigrated north to the new republic. The center of prosperity moved from cities in the south such as Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels
Brussels
to cities in the north, mostly Holland, including Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam. Netherlands[edit] Main article: Netherlands
Netherlands
(terminology)

Leo Belgicus
Leo Belgicus
map

To distinguish between the older and larger Low Countries
Low Countries
of the Netherlands
Netherlands
from the current country of the Netherlands, Dutch speakers usually drop the plural for the latter. They speak of Nederland in singular for the current country and of de Nederlanden in plural for the integral domains of Charles V. In other languages, this has not been adopted, though the larger area is sometimes known as the Low Countries
Low Countries
in English. The fact that the term Netherlands
Netherlands
has such different historical meanings can sometimes lead to difficulties in expressing oneself correctly. For example, composers from the 16th century are often said to belong to the Dutch School (Nederlandse School). Although they themselves would not have objected to that term at that time, today it may wrongly create the impression that they were from the current Netherlands. In fact, they were almost exclusively from current Belgium. Flanders[edit] The same confusion exists around the word Flanders. Historically, it applied to the County
County
of Flanders, corresponding roughly with the present day provinces of West Flanders
West Flanders
and East Flanders. But when the Dutch-speaking population of Belgium
Belgium
sought more rights in the 19th century, the word Flanders was reused, but now to indicate the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, which is larger, and contains only part of the old county of Flanders (see Flemish Movement). So the territory of the County of Flanders
County of Flanders
and present-day Flanders do not fully match:

French Flanders
French Flanders
belonged to the County
County
of Flanders, but is today part of France. Zeelandic Flanders
Zeelandic Flanders
belonged to the County
County
of Flanders, but is today part of the Netherlands. Tournai and the Tournaisis
Tournai and the Tournaisis
was some period considered as part of the County
County
of Flanders, but is today part of Wallonia. The present-day Belgian province of Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant
belongs to present-day Flanders, but was part of the Duchy of Brabant. The present-day Belgian province of Antwerp
Antwerp
belongs to present-day Flanders, but was part of the Duchy of Brabant. The present-day Belgian province of Limburg belongs to present-day Flanders, but was part of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.

This explains for instance why the province of East Flanders
East Flanders
is not situated in the east of present-day Flanders. Coats of arms[edit]

Seventeen Provinces

County
County
of Artois

Duchy of Brabant

Bishopric of Tournai

County
County
of Flanders

Lordship of Friesland

Lordship of Groningen and of the Ommelanden

Duchy of Guelders

County
County
of Hainaut

County
County
of Holland

Duchy of Limburg

Duchy of Luxembourg

Lordship of Mechelen

County
County
of Namur

Lordship of Overijssel

Prince-Bishopric, later Lordship of Utrecht

County
County
of Zeeland

County
County
of Zutphen

See also[edit]

Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands The Netherlands
Netherlands
(other) Burgundian Netherlands Greater Netherlands French Flemish Benelux Armorial of the leading Netherlands
Netherlands
Nobles (in French)

Notes and references[edit]

^ http://www.leidenuniv.nl/en/researcharchive/index.php3-c=297.htm The Invention of the Dutchman: the Dynamics of Identity in the Low Countries, 1400-1600; international colloquium, 2007 Leiden University

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Seventeen Provinces.

Map of the Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
(1555)

v t e

Burgundian Circle
Burgundian Circle
(1512–1797) of the Holy Roman Empire

Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
of Habsburg Netherlands

Seceded 1581

Guelders
Guelders
(Veluwe Quarter, Nijmegen Quarter
Nijmegen Quarter
and Zutphen) Drenthe Friesland Groningen Holland Overijssel Utrecht Zeeland

Remained

Artois2 Brabant Flanders Guelders
Guelders
(Upper Quarter) Hainaut Limburg Luxemburg Mechelen Namur

County

Burgundy3

Imperial City

Besançon3

Dependent territories

Antwerp Breda1

1 until 1648;    2 until 1659;   3 until 1678. Circles est. 1500: Bavarian, Swabian, Upper Rhenish, Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Franconian, (Lower) Saxon Circles est. 1512: Austrian, Burgundian, Upper Saxon, Electoral Rhenish     ·     Unencircled territories

v t e

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