HOME
TheInfoList



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 have ...
as the Dutch Republic, was a
federal republic A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and ...
which existed from 1588 (during the
Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
) 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 and saw the proclamation of the Batavian Republic. The period of Dut ...
). It was a
predecessor state Predecessor may refer to: * A holy person announcing the approaching appearance of a prophet, see precursor * Predecessor (graph theory), a term in graph theory * The predecessor problem, a problem in theoretical computer science {{disambiguat ...
of the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

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 * D ...
nation state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political boundaries. According to one definition, "a nation state is a so ...
. The republic was established after several Dutch provinces revolted against rule by Spain, as 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) was the name for the Habsbu ...

Spanish Netherlands
. 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, Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain. The Union of Utrecht is r ...

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') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the D ...
). It comprised
Groningen Groningen (, also , , ; gos, Grunn ''or'' Grunnen, italic=invert) is the capital city and main municipality of Groningen province in the Netherlands. It is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. As of December 2020, it had 233,218 inhabi ...
,
Frisia Frisia (, ; ; ) is a cultural region in Germany and the Netherlands, along the southeastern corner of the North Sea. The region is traditionally inhabited by the Frisians, a West Germanic ethnic group. Names The names for "Frisia" in the local l ...
,
Overijssel Overijssel (; nds, Oaveriessel ; german: Oberyssel) is a 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 Episcopal principality of Utrecht ...
,
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. Though ...
,
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands ...
,
Holland Holland is a geographical regionG. Geerts & H. Heestermans, 1981, ''Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal. Deel I'', Van Dale Lexicografie, Utrecht, p 1105 and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name ''Holland'' is also ...
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 = , map_ca ...
. 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 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 goods to reach distant markets, a single ...
s. Through its trading companies, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch West India Company (GWC), it established a
Dutch colonial empire The Dutch colonial empire 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—and subsequently by the Dutch Republ ...
. 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, 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 revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II ...
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 forces, in the form of the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, against the Portuguese Empire. Beginning in 1602, the conflict primarily involved the Dutch comp ...
(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 and England (later Great Britain). The first three occurred in the second half of the 17th century over trade and ov ...
against the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, until 1 May 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Kingdom ...
(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 primarily between France and the Dutch Republic, supported by the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Brandenburg-Prussia and De ...
(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 and a European coalition which mainly included the Holy Roman Empire (led by the Habsburg Monarchy ...
(1688–1697) against the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was among the most powerful states in Europe and a great power from the High ...
. 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 of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints. Overview Every person attempts to have a mental mastery by ...
to its residents. Artists flourished under this regime, including painters such as
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in ...

Rembrandt
,
Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , see below; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, r ...
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 ...
,
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 widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a majo ...

Christiaan Huygens
and
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek ( ; ; 24 October 1632 – 26 August 1723) was a Dutch businessman and scientist in the Golden Age of Dutch science and technology. A largely self-taught man in science, he is commonly known as "the Father of ...
. 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 art and the ...
. 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
Treaty 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 and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years War and brought peace to the Holy Rom ...
(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 provin ...
. Each province was led by an official known as the ''
stadtholder In the Low Countries, ''stadtholder'' ( nl, stadhouder ) was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and then a national leader. The ''stadtholder'' was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsbur ...
'' ( 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: ''Huis van Oranje-Nassau'', ) is the current reigning house of the Netherlands. A branch of the European House of Nassau, the house has played a central role in the politics and government of the Netherlands and ...
. 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 originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. The title "Prince of Orange" was created in 1163 by the Emperor Frede ...
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 who officially embodies a stateFoakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and legitim ...
. 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#REDIRECT Great power#REDIRECT Great power {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
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 between approximately 1780 and 1787. Its name derives from the Patriots (''Patriotten'') faction who opposed the rule of the stadtholder, William V, Prince of ...
(1780-87). This unrest was temporarily suppressed by a Prussian invasion in support of the stadtholder. The
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate. Many of its ideas are considered fundamental principles of Western liberal de ...
and subsequent
War of the First Coalition The War of the First Coalition (french: Guerre de la Première Coalition) is a set of wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against initially the constitutional Kingdom of France and then the French Republic that succee ...
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 and saw the proclamation of the Batavian Republic. The period of Dut ...
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 to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795 and ended on 5 June 1806, with the accession of Louis I to th ...
.


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 forming ...
—corresponding roughly to the present-day
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the so ...
, 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 count ...
—consisted of a number of
duchies A duchy is a medieval country, territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess, a high-ranking nobleman hierarchically second to the king or queen in European tradition. The term is used almost exclusively in Europe, where in the present day ...
, counties, and
prince-bishop#REDIRECT Prince-bishop ...
rics, almost all of which were under the supremacy of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 180 ...
, 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=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was among the most powerful states in Europe and a great power from the High ...
. 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 House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich, es, link=no, Casa de Austria), was one of the most ...
. In 1549
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V Charles V, german: Karl V, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria from 1519 to 1556, King of Spain (Castile and Aragon) from 1516 to 1556, and Lord of the ...
issued the
Pragmatic Sanction{{More footnotes, date=March 2009 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 issu ...
, which further unified the Seven Provinces under his rule. Charles was succeeded by his son, King
Philip II of Spain Philip II ( es, Felipe II; 21 May 152713 September 1598) was King of Spain (1556–1598), King of Portugal (1580–1598, as Philip I, pt, Filipe I), King of Naples and Sicily (both from 1554), and ''jure uxoris'' King of England and Ireland (duri ...
. In 1568, the Netherlands, led by
William I of Orange#REDIRECT William the Silent {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, 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 revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II ...
. 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 A Spanish Fury (or the Spanish Terror) was one of a number of violent sackings of cities in the Low Countries mostly by Spanish Habsburg armies, that occurred in the years 1572–1579 during the Dutch Revolt. In some cases the sack did not follow ...
" 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, Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain. The Union of Utrecht is r ...

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, service branch or ...
. 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') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the D ...
, 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 300px, Map showing the general definition of Asia-Pacific. Dark green refers to the core Asia-Pacific countries, while light green refers to regions that may be included. The Asia-Pacific is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean ...
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 Walezy; lt, Henrikas Valua; 19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589) was King of France from 1574 until his death as well as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1573 to 1 ...
and
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Sometimes called the Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the Hou ...
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 that has been granted local autonomy over most internal affairs while still recognizing the suzerainty of a more powerful sovereign ...
of England (
Treaty of Nonsuch The Treaty of Nonsuch was signed on 10 August 1585 by Elizabeth I of England and the Dutch rebels fighting against Spanish rule. It was the first international treaty signed by what would become the Dutch Republic. It was signed at Nonsuch Palace, ...
, 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 current title is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and was created in 1837. Early creations Th ...
as governor-general. This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a confederacy. 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 and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years War and brought peace to the Holy Rom ...
in 1648. During the
Anglo-French War (1778) The Anglo-French Wars were a series of conflicts between England (and after 1707, Britain) and France, including: Middle Ages High Middle Ages * Anglo-French War (1109–1113) – first conflict between the Capetian Dynasty and the House of Norma ...
, 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
Prussian Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centered on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was ''de facto'' dissolved by an e ...
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 to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795 and ended on 5 June 1806, with the accession of Louis I to th ...
(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 and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Empe ...
, the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Napoleonic
Kingdom of Holland The Kingdom of Holland ( nl, Holland (contemporary), ''Koninkrijk Holland'' (modern), french: Royaume de Hollande) was set up by Napoléon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom for his third brother, Louis Bonaparte, in order to better control the Nethe ...
(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 and the Netherlands in London on 13 August 1814. The treaty restored most of the territories in Malaya that Br ...
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 Au ...
and
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège. The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse, in the east of Belgium, not far f ...
(the "Southern provinces") to become the
Kingdom of the Netherlands ) when they act as Kingdom Ministers, as for example with "Our Minister of Justice in his capacity as Minister of the Kingdom" ( nl, Onze Minister van Justitie in zijn hoedanigheid van minister van het Koninkrijk), except for the Minister of Fore ...
, 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 as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was cre ...
, to create a strong
buffer state A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile great powers. Its existence can sometimes be thought to prevent conflict between them. A buffer state is sometimes a mutually agreed upon area lying between two greater pow ...
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, the King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He was the son of the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. After an a ...

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 that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, s ...
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 art and the ...
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 colonies), either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas, settled by the population of a certain state and governed by that state. Example:- Mughal Empire, British Empir ...
and operating the largest fleet of merchantmen of any nation. The
County of Holland The County of Holland was a State of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1432 part of the Burgundian Netherlands, from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands and from 1581 onward the leading province of the Dutch Republic, of which it remained a part u ...
was the wealthiest and most urbanized region in the world. In 1650 the
urban population An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or ...

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 A stock market, equity market, or share market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks (also called shares), which represent ownership claims on businesses; these may include ''securities'' listed on a public stock exchange, a ...
in the Low Countries. The Netherlands has the oldest
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
in the world, founded in 1602 by the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation founded by a government-directed consolidation of several rival ...
, while
Rotterdam Rotterdam (, , ) is the second largest city and municipality in the Netherlands. It is in the province of South Holland, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea. Its history goes b ...
has the oldest 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 Amsterdam (, , ) is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the urban area and 2,480,394 in the metropolitan area. Found within the province of North Holland, Ams ...
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 Proto-industrialization is the regional development, alongside commercial agriculture, of rural handicraft production for external markets. The term was introduced in the early 1970s by economic historians who argued that such developments in part ...
, the empire received 50% of textiles and 80% of silks import from the Indian
Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the dynasty and the empire itself became ...
, chiefly from its most developed region known as
Bengal Subah The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision of the Mughal Empire encompassing much of the Bengal region, which includes modern Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, between the 16th and 18th centuries. Th ...
.
Om Prakash Om Prakash Bakshi (19 December 1919 – 21 February 1998) was an Indian character actor. He was born in Jammu, as Om Prakash Bakshi. He used to play the role of Kamla in the stage play by the famous Dewan Mandir Natak Samaj Jammu. Since his care ...
,
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 with Florence during the 14th century. When Southern Europe was experiencing poor harvests, surplus of grain from Poland was sold by the Dutch for sky high prices.


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 provin ...
. The latter were governed directly by the States General, the federal government. The States General were seated in
The Hague The Hague (; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city and municipality on the western coast of the Netherlands on the North Sea, the administrative and royal capital of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat o ...
and consisted of representatives of each of the seven provinces. The provinces of the republic were, in official feudal order: #
Duchy of 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. Though ...
#
County of Holland The County of Holland was a State of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1432 part of the Burgundian Netherlands, from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands and from 1581 onward the leading province of the Dutch Republic, of which it remained a part u ...
#
County of Zeeland The County of Zeeland ( nl, Graafschap Zeeland) was a county of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries. It covered an area in the Scheldt and Meuse delta roughly corresponding to the modern Dutch province of Zeeland. The County of Zeeland did ...
#
Lordship of Utrecht The Lordship of Utrecht was formed in 1528 when Charles V of Habsburg conquered the Bishopric of Utrecht, during the Guelders Wars. In 1528, at the demand of Henry of the Palatinate, Prince-Bishop of Utrecht, Habsburg forces under Georg Schenck v ...
#
Lordship of Overijssel The Lordship of Overijssel or Overissel (Latin: ''Transisalania''Christyn, Jean Baptiste. Histoire Generale Des Pais-Bas: Contenant la Description Des XVII Provinces : Divisée en IV. volumes, augmentée de plusieurs remarques curieuses, de nouvel ...
#
Lordship of Frisia The Lordship of Frisia or Lordship of Friesland ( fry, Hearlikheid Fryslân, nl, Heerlijkheid Friesland) was a feudal dominion in the Netherlands. It was formed in 1524 when Emperor Charles V finally conquered Frisia. History The former Frisian ki ...
#
Lordship of Groningen The Lordship of Groningen ( nl, Heerlijkheid Groningen) was a lordship under the rule of the House of Habsburg between 1536 and 1594, which is the present-day province of Groningen. Before 1536 A distinction must be made between the City of Groni ...
There was an eighth province, the
County of Drenthe The County of Drenthe ( nl, Landschap Drenthe, german: Grafschaft Drente), was a province of the Holy Roman Empire from 1046, and of the Dutch Republic from 1581 until 1795. It corresponds to the area west of the lower Ems, today the eponymous provi ...
, 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, ''stadtholder'' ( nl, stadhouder ) was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and then a national leader. The ''stadtholder'' was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsbur ...
, 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
princes of Orange Prince of Orange (or Princess of Orange if the holder is female) is a title originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. The title "Prince of Orange" was created in 1163 by the Emperor Frede ...
of the
House of Orange-Nassau The House of Orange-Nassau (Dutch: ''Huis van Oranje-Nassau'', ) is the current reigning house of the Netherlands. A branch of the European House of Nassau, the house has played a central role in the politics and government of the Netherlands and ...
, beginning with
William the Silent#REDIRECT William the Silent#REDIRECT William the Silent {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, 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 and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years War and brought peace to the Holy Rom ...
, 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 provin ...
. These were Staats-Brabant, Staats-Vlaanderen, Staats-Overmaas, and (after the
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht is a series of peace treaties signed by the belligerents in the War of the Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht between April 1713 and February 1715. The war involved three contenders for the vacant throne of S ...
) Staats-Opper-Gelre. The States General of the United Provinces were in control of the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation founded by a government-directed consolidation of several rival ...
and the
Dutch West India Company The Dutch West India Company ( nl, Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, or GWC; ; en, Chartered West India Company) was a chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors. Among its founders was Willem Usselincx (1567–1647) and ...
, 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 James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the ...

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 The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration explained why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom o ...
is similar to the
Act of Abjuration The Act of Abjuration ( nl, Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, es, Acta de Abjuración, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the D ...
, 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, Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain. The Union of Utrecht is r ...

Union of Utrecht
of 20 January 1579, Holland and Zeeland were granted the right to accept only one religion (in practice,
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
). 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 The Dutch Reformed Church (, abbreviated NHK) was the largest Christian denomination in the Netherlands from the onset of the Protestant Reformation until 1930. It was the foremost Protestant denomination, and—since 1892—one of the two major ...
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 Leiden (, ; in English and archaic Dutch also ''Leyden'') is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connecte ...
, for instance, people opening their homes to services could be fined 200 guilders (a year's wage for a skilled
tradesman A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education, but not a bachelor's degree. As opposed to ...
) 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 Predestination, in Christian theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul. Explanations of predestination often seek to address the "paradox of free will", w ...
. This has become known as the struggle between
Arminianism Arminianism is a branch of Protestantism based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, b ...
and Gomarism, or between
Remonstrants The Remonstrants (or the Remonstrant Brotherhood) is a Protestant movement that had split off of the Dutch Reformed Church in the early 17th century. The early Remonstrants supported Jacobus Arminius, and after his death, continued to maintain hi ...
and
Contra-Remonstrants Franciscus Gomarus (François Gomaer; 30 January 1563 – 11 January 1641) was a Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and an opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius (and his followers), whose theological disputes were addressed at the Synod o ...
. In 1618, the
Synod of Dort The Synod of Dort (also known as the Synod of Dordt or the Synod of Dordrecht) was an international Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The fi ...

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
private churches
private churches
.


Decline

Long-term rivalry between the two main factions in Dutch society, the ''Staatsgezinden'' (Republicans) and the ''Prinsgezinden'' (Royalists or Orangists), sapped the strength and unity of the country.
Johan de Witt Johan de Witt (24 September 1625 – 20 August 1672) was a Dutch statesman and a major political figure in the Dutch Republic in the mid-17th century, when its flourishing sea trade in a period of globalization made the republic a leading Eu ...

Johan de Witt
and the Republicans did reign supreme for a time at the middle of the 17th century (the
First Stadtholderless Period#REDIRECT First Stadtholderless period {{R from move ...
) until his overthrow and murder in 1672. Subsequently,
William III of Orange William is a popular given name of an old Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, , p. 276. It became very popular in the English language after the Norman conquest ...

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 primarily between France and the Dutch Republic, supported by the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Brandenburg-Prussia and De ...
(with the derivative
Third Anglo-Dutch war The Third Anglo-Dutch War, or Third Dutch War ( nl, Derde Engelse Zeeoorlog), was a naval conflict between England, in alliance with France, and the Dutch Republic. It lasted from 7 April 1672 to 19 February 1674, and was a subsidiary of the wide ...
), when France, England,
Münster Münster (, Low Franconian and nds, Mönster; la, Monasterium, from the Greek ''monastērion'', "monastery") is an independent city (''Kreisfreie Stadt'') in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the northern part of the state and is consid ...
, and
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the fourth-most populous city in Germany. With 3.6 million people in the urban region and 1.1 million inhabitants ...
united against this country. Wars to contain the expansionist policies of France in various coalitions after the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), is also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch. It refers to the deposition of James ...
, mostly including England and Scotland—after 1707,
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The isl ...
—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#REDIRECT Second Stadtholderless period {{R from move ...
was inaugurated. Despite having contributed much in the
War of Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was an early-18th-century European war, triggered by the death in November 1700 of the childless Charles II of Spain. It established the principle that dynastic rights were secondary to maintaini ...
, the Dutch Republic gained little from the peace talks in
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands ...
(1713). The end of the
War of Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the Bourbon-Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Prussia as a major power. Related conflicts included King Geor ...
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 Mercantilism is an economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism and tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal. The policy aims to reduce a possible cu ...
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: March 8, 2020
pdf
. * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control 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