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Holanda

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Holanda



DADOS PRINCIPAIS:
Nome oficial: Reino da Holanda (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden).
Nacionalidade: neerlandesa.
Data nacional: 30 de abril (aniversário da Rainha).
Capital: Amsterdã, Haia (sede do governo).
Cidades principais: Amsterdã (715.148), Roterdã (589.987), Haia (442.159), Utrecht (233.951), Eindhoven (197.766) (1997).
Idioma: neerlandês.
Religião: cristianismo 54% (católicos 33%, Igreja Reformista Holandesa 14%, calvinistas 7%), islamismo 4,1%, hinduísmo 0,5%, sem filiação 39%, outras 2,4% (1995).

GEOGRAFIA:
Localização: oeste da Europa.
Hora local: +4h.
Área: 41.526 km2.
Clima: temperado oceânico.
Área de floresta: 3 mil km2 (1995).

POPULAÇÃO:
Total: 15,8 milhões (2000), sendo neerlandeses 96%, indonésios, guianeses e outros 4% (1996).
Densidade: 380,48 hab./km2.
População urbana: 89% (1998).
População rural: 11% (1998).
Crescimento demográfico: 0,4% ao ano (1995-2000).
Fecundidade: 1,5 filho por mulher (1995-2000).
Expectativa de vida M/F: 75/81 anos (1995-2000).
Mortalidade infantil: 6 por mil nascimentos (1995-2000).
Analfabetismo: não há.
IDH (0-1): 0,925 (1998).

POLÍTICA:
Forma de governo: Monarquia parlamentarista.
Divisão administrativa: 12 províncias.
Principais partidos: Trabalhista (PvdA), Apelo Cristão-Democrático (CDA), Popular por Liberdade e Democracia/Liberal da Holanda (VVD), Democrata 66 (D66).
Legislativo: bicameral - Primeira Câmara, com 75 membros eleitos por voto indireto pelos 12 conselhos provinciais; Segunda Câmara, com 150 membros eleitos por voto direto. Ambas com mandato de 4 anos.
Constituição em vigor: 1983.

ECONOMIA:
Moeda: Euro.
PIB: US$ 381,8 bilhões (1998).
PIB agropecuária: 3% (1998).
PIB indústria: 27% (1998).
PIB serviços: 70% (1995).
Crescimento do PIB: 2,6% ao ano (1990-1998).
Renda per capita: US$ 24.780 (1998).
Força de trabalho: 7 milhões (1998).
Agricultura: beterraba, batata, cereais, legumes e verduras, frutas, flores e bulbos.
Pecuária: bovinos, ovinos, suínos, aves.
Pesca: 550 mil t (1997).
Mineração: gás natural, petróleo.
Indústria: alimentícia, máquinas, química.
Exportações: US$ 198,6 bilhões (1998).
Importações: US$ 153 milhões (1998).
Principais parceiros comerciais: Alemanha, Bélgica, Luxemburgo, Reino Unido, EUA, França.

DEFESA:
Efetivo total: 57,2 mil (1998).
Gastos: US$ 6,6 bilhões (1998).

RELAÇÕES EXTERIORES:
Organizações: Banco Mundial, FMI, OCDE, OMC, ONU, Otan, UE.
Embaixada: Tel. (61) 3321-4769, fax (61) 3321-1518, e-mail: nlgovbra@brnet.com.br - Brasília, DF.


Holanda é o nome de uma região histórica no centro-oeste dos Países Baixos. Foi um condado do Sacro Império Romano-Germânico e mais tarde a liderança da República das Sete Províncias Unidas dos Países Baixos (1581 - 1795).

A área é hoje dividida em duas províncias: Holanda do Norte (Noord-Holland) e Holanda do Sul (Zuid-Holland), criadas em 1840.

A província da Holanda era o centro cultural, político e econômico das Províncias Unidas. As maiores cidades da República localizavam-se na Holanda, tais como Amsterdã (a capital), Roterdã, Leiden, Haia (a sede do governo), Delft e Haarlem. Das grandes cidades portuárias da Holanda, mercadores neerlandeses velejavam de e para destinos em toda a Europa, e os comerciantes europeus se reuniam para fazer negócios nos armazéns de Amsterdã e outras cidades holandesas. Em consequência, muitos europeus ouviam falar das Províncias Unidas antes como "Holanda" do que como "Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden". Esta tradição continua até hoje.

Desta forma, embora isto seja oficialmente incorreto, a palavra "Holanda" (Holland) é frequentemente usada por estrangeiros e ocasionalmente por falantes do neerlandês para denotar o conjunto dos Países Baixos, provavelmente porque "Países Baixos" (Nederland) é uma expressão mais longa. Outro motivo para o uso de "Holanda" poderia ser o facto de a designação "Países Baixos" ("Lage Landen" ou "Nederlanden"), ao contrário de "País Baixo", incluir também a Bélgica (ou parte da Bélgica) e o Luxemburgo.

Por um curto período (1806 - 1810), entretanto, existiu o Reino da Holanda, que, sob o domínio de Napoleão Bonaparte, abrangia o conjunto dos Países Baixos.


Países Baixos (em neerlandês: Nederland, literalmente "país baixo") é uma nação constituinte do Reino dos Países Baixos localizada na Europa ocidental. O país é uma monarquia constitucional parlamentar democrática banhada pelo Mar do Norte ao norte e a oeste, que faz fronteira com a Bélgica ao sul e com a Alemanha a leste. A capital é Amsterdão (português europeu) ou Amsterdã (português brasileiro) e a sede do governo é Haia. Os Países Baixos são frequentemente chamados de Holanda, o que é tecnicamente impreciso, já que as Holandas do Norte e do Sul são duas de suas doze províncias. O gentílico holandês é o normalmente utilizado para se referir ao povo, à língua e a qualquer coisa que pertença aos Países Baixos, embora mantenha a ambiguidade. Neerlandês é o gentílico não-ambíguo, alternativo.

Geograficamente, os Países Baixos são um país de baixa altitude, com cerca de 27% de sua área e 60% de sua população situados abaixo do nível do mar. Uma significativa parte de seu território foi obtida através da recuperação e preservação de terras através de um elaborado sistema de pôlderes e diques. Grande parte dos Países Baixos é formada por um grande delta, o delta do Reno e Mosa.

Os Países Baixos são um país densamente povoado que é conhecido por seus moinhos de vento, tulipas, tamancos, cerâmica de Delft, queijo gouda, artistas visuais, bicicletas e, além disso, pelos valores tradicionais e virtudes civis, tais como a sua tolerância social, tendo se tornado conhecido por sua política liberal em relação à homossexualidade, drogas, prostituição, eutanásia e aborto. É um dos países com melhor qualidade de vida do mundo, fator pelo qual possuí um dos melhores Índices de Desenvolvimento Humano da Europa e do mundo, segmentado em sua forte política de assistência social e direitos considerados essenciais, como educação, saúde e segurança de qualidade, garantidos em nível máximo a seus habitantes. O país possui uma das economias capitalistas mais livres do mundo, 12ª posição entre 157 países de acordo com o Índice de Liberdade Econômica.

Entre outras afiliações, o país é membro fundador da União Europeia (UE), da OTAN, da OCDE, da OMC e assinou o Protocolo de Quioto. Junto com a Bélgica e com Luxemburgo, o país constitui a União Económica do Benelux. O país é palco de cinco tribunais internacionais: a Corte Permanente de Arbitragem, o Tribunal Internacional de Justiça, o Tribunal Penal Internacional para a antiga Jugoslávia, o Tribunal Penal Internacional e o Tribunal Especial para o Líbano. Os quatro primeiros estão situados em Haia assim como a sede da agência da UE de informação criminal, a Europol. Isto levou a cidade a ser apelidada de "capital judiciária do mundo".


Pré-História, Roma e Idade Média


Os Países Baixos têm sido habitados desde a última glaciação; os vestígios mais antigos encontrados têm uma antiguidade de 100 000 anos, quando o país possuía um clima de tundra com uma vegetação muito escassa. Seus primeiros povoadores eram caçadores-coletores.9 Ao final da Era do Gelo a área passou a ser habitada por vários grupos paleolíticos. Um destes grupos fabricava inclusive canoas (6 500 a.C.) A agricultura chegou por volta do ano de 5000 a.C. porém somente foi praticada nas planícies do extremo sul do país (Limburgo do Sul). Os coletores-caçadores da cultura Swifterbant estiveram presentes a partir de 5 600 a.C.11 Eles desenvolveram uma sociedade agrícola entre 4 300-4 000 a.C. Os primeiros restos notáveis da Pré-História foram os dólmens que foram encontrados na província de Drente, e foram provavelmente construídos pelas pessoas pertencentes à cultura de Funnelbeaker entre 4 100 e 3 200 a.C.14

A primeira evidência do uso de rodas está datada em torno de 2 400 a.C., e provavelmente está relacionada com a cultura Bellbeaker (Klokbeker cultuur). Esta cultura também demonstrou algumas experiências com o uso do cobre. A Idade do Bronze provavelmente começou ao redor de 2 000 a.C. como é o caso da tumba do "Ferreiro de Wageningen". Depois desta descoberta, mais objetos da Idade do Bronze apareceram, como em Epe, Drouwen e principalmente em Drente, que devido a grande quantidade de objetos encontrados como contas de estanho, colares etc. indica-nos que era um centro comercial na época. A riqueza dos Países Baixos na Idade do Ferro pode ser vista na "Tumba do rei de Oss" (datada de 500 a.C.), ali um verdadeiro rei foi enterrado com alguns de seus objetos, como uma espada de ferro com inscritos em ouro, no que é a maior tumba da Europa Ocidental, com 53 metros de largura. Na época da chegada dos romanos, os Países Baixos se encontravam habitados por várias tribos germânicas que haviam se assentado provavelmente em 600 a.C., tal como os frísios. Tribos celtas assentaram-se ao sul.

No século I a.C., os romanos conquistaram a parte sul do país, onde criaram a província da Germânia Inferior. Os romanos foram os primeiros a construir cidades no país, como Utrecht, Nimega e Maastricht. Na época da ocupação romana, que se mantém até ao século IV, a região dos Países Baixos era povoada por tribos célticas e germânicas. Os Saxões estabelecem-se a leste dos futuros Países Baixos e os Francos ocuparam os territórios meridionais.

A cristianização só se completa no final do século VIII, com a submissão destes povos a Carlos Magno. A administração carolíngia permite o desenvolvimento da atividade económica, enquanto nasce uma indústria têxtil.

Habsburgos, República, dominação francesa e Reino



Um dia comum no Século de Ouro dos Países Baixos retratado por Jan Steen.
No reinado de Carlos V, Sacro Imperador Romano e rei da Espanha, a região era parte das Dezessete Províncias dos Países Baixos, abrangendo a maior parte do que hoje é a Bélgica. À proclamação da independência (União de Utrecht, 1579; abjuração da soberania espanhola, 1581), no reinado de Filipe II, seguiu-se a guerra de independência. A assinatura, sob Filipe IV, do Tratado de Münster pôs fim à Guerra dos Oitenta Anos. O império espanhol reconheceu a República Holandesa dos Países Baixos Unidos, governados pela casa de Orange-Nassau e os Estados Generais, que anteriormente foram uma província do império espanhol. Os Países Baixos tornaram-se assim a primeira nação europeia a assumir uma forma de governo republicana.

Ainda que o novo Estado exercesse autonomia apenas sobre as províncias do norte, a República das Sete Províncias Unidas dos Países Baixos desenvolveu-se e tornou-se uma das mais importantes potências navais e econômicas do século XVII. Neste período, conhecido como o Século de Ouro, os Países Baixos estenderam suas redes comerciais por todo o planeta, estabelecendo colônias em lugares tão distantes quanto Java e o nordeste brasileiro (Brasil neerlandês).

Eclipsada pela ascensão britânica durante o século XVIII, a região foi mais tarde incorporada ao império francês sob Napoleão Bonaparte. Após o Congresso de Viena (1815), o Reino Unido dos Países Baixos foi criado, incluindo os atuais Bélgica e Luxemburgo. A Bélgica conseguiu sua independência em 1830; o Luxemburgo, que seguia regras sucessórias distintas, seguiu seu próprio caminho após a morte do rei Guilherme III. Já no século XIX, os Países Baixos industrializaram-se mais lentamente do que os países vizinhos.

Reino dos Países Baixos


Nova Amsterdã em 1664, antes de ser trocada com a Grã-Bretanha pelo Suriname. Sob o domínio britânico tornou-se conhecida como Nova York.
Guilherme I dos Países Baixos, filho do último rei, Guilherme V, Príncipe de Orange, voltou para os Países Baixos em 1813 e tornou-se príncipe soberano da nação. Em 16 de março de 1815, o príncipe soberano tornou-se rei do país. Em 1815, o Congresso de Viena formou o Reino Unido dos Países Baixos, unido os Países Baixos com a Bélgica com o objetivo de criar um país forte na fronteira norte da França. Além disso, Guilherme V tornou-se hereditário do Grão-Duque do Luxemburgo. O Congresso de Viena deu Luxemburgo à Guilherme como propriedade particular, em troca de suas possessões alemãs: Ducado de Nassau, Siegen, Hadamar e Diez. A Bélgica rebelou-se e conquistou a independência em 1830, enquanto a união pessoal entre Luxemburgo e os Países Baixos foi rompida em 1890, quando o rei Guilherme III dos Países Baixos morreu sem herdeiros masculinos vivos. As leis de ascendência impediram que a sua filha, a Rainha Guilhermina, se tornasse a Grã-Duquesa seguinte. Portanto, o trono de Luxemburgo passou da Casa de Orange-Nassau para a Casa de Nassau-Weilburg, um ramo da Casa de Nassau.





Um mapa anacrónico do Império Colonial Holandês. Verde claro: territórios administrados por ou provenientes de territórios administrados pela Companhia Holandesa das Índias Orientais; verde escuro: territórios da Companhia Holandesa das Índias Ocidentais.
A maior colônia holandesa no exterior foi a Colônia do Cabo. Criada por Jan van Riebeeck em nome da Companhia Holandesa das Índias Orientais na Cidade do Cabo em 1652. O Príncipe de Orange, concordou com a ocupação e controle da Colônia do Cabo pelos britânica, em 1788. A Holanda também possuía várias outras colônias, mas a colonização holandesa nestas terras foi limitada. As mais notáveis foram as Índias Orientais Holandesas (atual Indonésia) e a Colônia do Suriname (hoje o Suriname). Estas "colônias" foram primeiro administradas pela Companhia Holandesa das Índias Orientais e pela Companhia Holandesa das Índias Ocidentais, ambas empresas coletivas privadas. Três séculos mais tarde essas empresas começaram a ter problemas financeiros e os territórios em que operavam foram assumidos pelo governo holandês (em 1815 e 1791, respectivamente). Só então essas áreas se tornaram colônias oficiais.

Durante o período colonial, a Holanda envolveu-se fortemente no comércio de escravos. Os plantadores holandeses dependiam muito de escravos africanos para cultivar café, cacau, cana-de-açúcar e plantações de algodão ao longo dos rios. O tratamento dado aos escravos por seus proprietários era notoriamente ruim e muitos deles fugiam das plantações. A escravidão foi abolida pela Holanda na Guiana Holandesa e Curaçao e Dependências em 1863, mas os escravos não foram totalmente libertos até 1873, depois de um período obrigatório de transição de 10 anos, durante os quais eles eram obrigados a trabalhar nas plantações por um salário mínimo e o estado sancionado de tortura. Assim que se tornaram verdadeiramente livres, a maioria dos escravos abandonou as plantações onde eles tinham sofrido por várias gerações em favor da cidade de Paramaribo.

Durante o século XIX, a Holanda demorou para se industrializar em comparação aos países vizinhos, principalmente por causa da grande complexidade envolvida na modernização da sua infra-estrutura, composta em grande parte por cursos de água, e a grande resistência da sua indústria em relação a energia eólica.

Guerras mundiais





Roterdã em ruínas após os ataques aéreos alemães em 1940, durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Embora tenham se mantido neutros durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, os Países Baixos foram fortemente envolvidos na guerra.18 Alfred von Schlieffen tinha originalmente planejado invadir os Países Baixos, enquanto avançava pela França, no Plano Schlieffen original. Isso foi alterado por Helmuth von Moltke, o Jovem, a fim de manter a neutralidade neerlandesa. Mais tarde, durante a guerra, a neutralidade neerlandesa provou ser essencial para a sobrevivência alemã, até o bloqueio integrado pelos Estados Unidos e Grã-Bretanha em 1916, quando a importação de mercadorias através dos Países Baixos já não era possível. No entanto, os neerlandeses foram capazes de manterem-se neutros durante a guerra usando a sua diplomacia e sua capacidade de negociar.

O país pretendia permanecer neutro durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, embora planos de contingência, envolvendo os exércitos da Bélgica, França e Reino Unido, tenham sido elaborados em caso de agressão alemã. Apesar desta neutralidade, a Alemanha nazista invadiu a Holanda em 10 de maio de 1940 como parte de sua campanha contra as forças aliadas. Forças francesas no sul e navios britânicos a oeste vieram ajudar, mas recuaram rapidamente, evacuando muitos civis e vários milhares de prisioneiros de guerra alemães. O país foi invadido em apenas cinco dias. Apenas após (mas não por conta disso) do Bombardeio de Roterdã, o exército holandês se rendeu em 14 de maio de 1940, apesar de uma força holandesa e francesa controlar a parte ocidental da Zelândia algum tempo após a rendição. O Reino continuou na guerra através do Império Colonial Holandês; o governo no exílio residia em Londres.

Durante a ocupação, mais de 100 000 judeus holandeses19 foram presos e levados para campos de concentração nazistas na Alemanha, na Polônia ocupada e na Tchecoslováquia ocupada pelos alemães. No momento em que estes campos foram libertados, apenas 876 judeus holandeses estavam vivos. Os trabalhadores holandeses eram recrutados para o trabalho forçado em fábricas alemãs, os civis eram mortos em represália por ataques a soldados alemães e a área rural foi saqueada por comida para os soldados alemães na Holanda e para o embarque para a Alemanha. Embora milhares de holandeses tenham arriscado suas vidas por esconder os judeus dos alemães, como contado em O Refúgio Secreto por Corrie ten Boom e em The Heart Has Reasons de Mark Klempner, houve também holandeses que colaboraram com as forças de ocupação na caça aos judeus escondidos.


Geografia




Um aspecto notável do país é o fato de ser extremamente plano. Aproximadamente metade do território fica a menos de 1 metro acima do nível do mar, e boa parte das terras estão de fato abaixo do nível do mar. O ponto mais baixo, Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, perto de Roterdão, localiza-se a um nível de 6,76 m abaixo do nível do mar. O ponto mais alto, Vaalserberg, na fronteira sudeste, localiza-se a uma altitude de 321 m. Muitas áreas baixas estão protegidas por diques e barragens. Partes dos Países Baixos, inclusive quase toda a moderna província da Flevolândia, foram conquistadas ao mar - estas áreas são conhecidas como pôlderes.

O país é cheio de canais e o transporte fluvial torna-se um dos principais meios de exportação e importação. A localização geográfica dos Países Baixos é bastante favorável em relação à Europa. Do aeroporto de Schiphol, em Amsterdã, é possível chegar a Berlim, Londres ou Paris em apenas uma hora de voo. O país é dividido em duas partes principais pelos rios Reno (Rijn), Waal e Mosa (Maas). Há muitos dialetos falados a norte e sul desses grandes rios. Os ventos predominantes no país são de sudoeste, o que causa um clima marítimo moderado, com verões agradáveis e invernos suaves.



Demografia


Holandeses vestidos de laranja para celebrar o Dia da Rainha em Amsterdã.
Os Países Baixos têm uma população estimada em 16 742 993 (agosto de 2012).33 É o 11º país mais populoso da Europa e o 61º país mais populoso do mundo. Entre 1900 e 1950, a população do país quase dobrou, de 5,1 para 10,0 milhões de pessoas. De 1950 a 2000, a população aumentou de 10,0 para 15,9 milhões de pessoas, mas a taxa de crescimento da população foi menor do que a dos 50 anos anteriores.

A taxa de fertilidade nos Países Baixos é de 1,82 filhos por mulher (em 2011), que é alta em comparação com muitos outros países europeus, mas abaixo da taxa de 2,1 filhos por mulher necessária para a reposição natural da população. A expectativa de vida no país é alta, de 83,08 anos para as meninas recém-nascidas e de 78,84 para os meninos (2012). O país tem uma taxa de migração anual de 2,55 migrantes por mil habitantes.

A maioria da população dos Países Baixos é etnicamente holandesa (ou neerlandesa). Uma estimativa de 2005 mostrou que 80,9% da população se considera holandesa, 2,4% indonésia, 2,4% alemã, 2,2% turca, 2,0% surinamesa, 1,9% marroquina, 0,8% das Antilhas e de Aruba, e 7,4% de outras etnias.35 Os holandeses são as pessoas mais altas do mundo, com uma altura média de 1,81 metros para adultos do sexo masculino e de 1,67 metros para mulheres adultas, em 2009.36 As pessoas do sul são, em média, cerca de 2 cm mais baixas que as do norte.

Os holandeses ou descendentes de holandeses também são encontrados em comunidades de imigrantes ao redor do mundo, principalmente no Canadá, Austrália, África do Sul e Estados Unidos. De acordo com o censo de 2006 dos Estados Unidos, mais de 5 milhões de americanos declararam ascendência holandesa total ou parcial ascendência holandesa.37 Há cerca de 3 milhões de descendentes de holandeses chamados africâneres vivendo na África do Sul.38 Em 1940, havia 290.000 europeus e eurasiáticos na Indonésia,39 mas a maioria já deixou o país.40 De acordo com o Eurostat, em 2010, havia 1,8 milhão de residentes estrangeiros nos Países Baixos, o que corresponde a 11,1% da população total. Destes, 1,4 milhões (8,5%) nasceram fora da União Europeia (UE) e 0,428 milhões (2,6%) nasceram em outro Estado-membro da UE.

Os Países Baixos são o 30º país mais densamente povoado do mundo, com 395 habitantes por quilômetro quadrado, ou 484 habitantes por quilômetro quadrado se apenas a área terrestre for contada. É o oitavo país mais densamente povoado da Europa, com uma densidade populacional de 393/km². A Randstad é a maior aglomeração urbana do país, localizada no oeste e com as quatro maiores cidades: Amsterdã, na província da Holanda do Norte, Roterdã e Haia, na província da Holanda do Sul, e Utrecht, na província de Utrecht. A Randstad tem uma população de 7 milhões de habitantes e é a sexta maior área metropolitana da Europa.



The Netherlands ( listen is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in North-West Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary democracy organised as a unitary state. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as "Holland", although North and South Holland are actually only two of its provinces.

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and 50% of its land lying less than one metre above sea level. This distinct feature contributes to the country's name: in Dutch (Nederland), English, and in many other European languages, its name literally means "(The) Low Countries" or "Low Country". Most of the areas below sea level are man-made, caused by centuries of extensive and poorly controlled peat extraction, lowering the surface by several metres. Even in flooded areas peat extraction continued through turf dredging. From the late 16th century land reclamation started and large polder areas are now preserved through elaborate drainage systems with dikes, canals and pumping stations. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far south-east and several low hill ranges in the central parts.

The Netherlands was one of the first countries to have an elected parliament, and the country is a founding member of the EU, G-10, NATO, OECD, WTO and a part of the trilateral Benelux economic union. The Netherlands had the tenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2011. The country is host to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in The Hague, as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital". The Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. In May 2011, the Netherlands was ranked as the "happiest" country according to results published by the OECD


Habsburg Netherlands




The Four Days' Battle, 1–4 June 1666, during the Second Anglo–Dutch War.
Under Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain, the current Netherlands region was part of the Seventeen Provinces of the Low Countries, which also included most of present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and some land in France and Germany.

In 1568, the Eighty Years' War between the Provinces and Spain began. In 1579, the northern half of the Seventeen Provinces forged the Union of Utrecht, a treaty in which they committed to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army. The Union of Utrecht is seen as the foundation of the modern Netherlands. In 1581, the northern provinces adopted the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence in which the provinces officially deposed Philip II of Spain as reigning monarch in the northern provinces.

Queen Elizabeth I of England sympathised with the Dutch struggle against the Spanish, and in 1585 she concluded a treaty with the Dutch whereby she promised to send an English army to the Netherlands to aid the Dutch in their war with the Spanish. In December 1585, 7,600 soldiers were sent to the Netherlands from England under the command of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. In spite of the significant size for that time, the English army was of no real benefit to the Dutch rebellion.

Although Robert Dudley returned to the Netherlands in November 1586 with another army, the army still had little effect in the rebellion. Philip II, the son of Charles V, was not prepared to let them go easily, and war continued until 1648, when Spain under King Philip IV finally recognised the independence of the seven north-western provinces in the Peace of Münster. Parts of the southern provinces became de facto colonies of the new republican-mercantile empire.

Dutch Republic (1581–1795)

Main article: Dutch Republic




Amsterdam's Dam Square in 1656
After declaring their independence, the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Groningen, Friesland, Utrecht, Overijssel, and Gelderland formed a confederation. All these provinces were autonomous and had their own government, the "States of the Province". The States-General, the confederal government, were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives from each of the seven provinces. The sparsely populated region of Drenthe, mainly consisting of poor peatland, was part of the republic too, although Drenthe was not considered one of the provinces; it had its own States, but the landdrost of Drenthe was appointed by the States-General.

Moreover, the Republic had come to occupy during the Eighty Years' War a number of so-called Generality Lands (Generaliteitslanden in Dutch). These territories were governed directly by the States-General. They did not have a governmental structure of their own and did not have representatives in the States-General. Their population was mainly Roman Catholic, and these areas were used as a buffer zone between the Republic and the Southern Netherlands.[citation needed]

The Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major seafaring and economic powers of the 17th century. In the Dutch Golden Age ("Gouden Eeuw"), colonies and trading posts were established all over the world. Dutch settlement in North America began with the founding of New Amsterdam, on the southern part of Manhattan in 1614. In South Africa, the Dutch settled the Cape Colony in 1652. By 1650, the Dutch owned 16,000 merchant ships. During the 17th century, the Dutch population increased from an estimated 1.5 million to almost 2 million.

For a comprehensive list of the territories that formed the Dutch Empire, see Evolution of the Dutch Empire.

Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. In early modern Europe it had the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well as phenomena such as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania of 1636–1637, and, according to Murray Sayle, the world's first bear raider, Isaac le Maire, who forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount. The republic went into a state of general decline in the later 18th century, with economic competition from England and long standing rivalries between the two main factions in Dutch society, the Staatsgezinden (Republicans) and the Prinsgezinden (Royalists or Orangists), as main factors.[citation needed]

In the 17th century, plantation colonies were established by the Dutch and English along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains. The earliest documented colony in Guiana was along the Suriname River and called Marshall's Creek. The area was named after an Englishman. Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English. In 1667, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Suriname conquered from the English, resulting from the Treaty of Breda. The English were left with New Amsterdam, a small trading post in North America, which is now known as New York City.[citation needed]

French Influence (1795–1814)

Further information: Batavian Republic and Kingdom of Holland

On 19 January 1795, one day after the stadtholder, William V of Orange, fled to England, the Bataafse Republiek (Batavian Republic) was proclaimed, rendering the Netherlands a unitary state. From 1795 to 1806, the Batavian Republic designated the Netherlands as a republic modelled after the French Republic.

From 1806 to 1810, the Koninkrijk Holland (Kingdom of Holland) was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom governed by his brother Louis Bonaparte in order to control the Netherlands more effectively. The name of the leading province, Holland, was used for the whole country. The Kingdom of Holland covered the area of the present day Netherlands, with the exception of Limburg and parts of Zeeland, which were French territory. In 1807, Prussian East Frisia and Jever were added to the kingdom. In 1809, however, after a failed British invasion, Holland had to hand over all territories south of the Rhine to France.

King Louis Bonaparte did not meet Napoleon's expectations – he tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's, allowed trade with the British in spite of the Continental System and even tried to learn Dutch – and he was forced to abdicate on 1 July 1810. He was succeeded by his five-year-old son Napoleon Louis Bonaparte. Napoleon Louis reigned as Louis II for just ten days as Napoleon ignored his young nephew’s accession to the throne. The Emperor sent in an army to invade the country and dissolved the Kingdom of Holland. The Netherlands then became part of the French Empire.

The Netherlands remained part of the French Empire until the autumn of 1813, when Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Leipzig and forced to withdraw his troops from the country.

Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1940

Main articles: United Kingdom of the Netherlands and Kingdom of the Netherlands







A map of the Dutch colonial empire. Light green: territories administered by or originating from territories administered by the Dutch East India Company; dark green: the Dutch West India Company. In yellow the territories occupied later, during the 19th century.


William Frederick, son of the last stadtholder, returned to the Netherlands in 1813 at the invitation of the provisional government formed after the withdrawal of the French. Although it comprised mostly the same men who had driven out his father 18 years earlier, all parties agreed that William was the only choice to head any new government. On 6 December, he proclaimed himself Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands. On 16 March 1815, the Sovereign Prince raised the Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself William I (Willem I in Dutch).

In 1815, the Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands by adding the southern Netherlands to the north in order to create a strong country on the northern border of France. In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Congress of Vienna gave Luxembourg to William as personal property in exchange for his German possessions, Nassau-Dillenburg, Siegen, Hadamar, and Diez.

The Southern Netherlands had been culturally separate from the north since 1581, and rebelled against William's attempt to create a single culture. The south rebelled and gained independence in 1830 as Belgium, while the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was severed in 1890, when William III died with no surviving male heirs. Ascendancy laws prevented his daughter Queen Wilhelmina from becoming the next Grand Duchess. Therefore the throne of Luxembourg passed over from the House of Orange-Nassau to the House of Nassau-Weilburg, a junior branch of the House of Nassau.

The largest Dutch settlement abroad was the Cape Colony. It was established by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company at Cape Town (Dutch: Kaapstad) in 1652. The Prince of Orange acquiesced to British occupation and control of the Cape Colony in 1788. The Netherlands also possessed several other colonies, but Dutch settlement in these lands was limited. Most notable were the vast Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and the Colony of Surinam (now Suriname). These 'colonies' were first administered by the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, both collective private enterprises. Three centuries later these companies got into financial trouble, and the territories in which they operated were taken over by the Dutch government (in 1815 and 1791 respectively). Only then did they become official colonies.

During its colonial period, the Netherlands was heavily involved in the slave trade. The Dutch planters relied heavily on African slaves to cultivate the coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and cotton plantations along the rivers. Treatment of the slaves by their owners was notoriously bad, and many slaves escaped the plantations. Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands in Dutch Guiana and Curaçao and Dependencies in 1863, but the slaves were not fully released until 1873, after a mandatory 10-year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture. As soon as they became truly free, the slaves largely abandoned the plantations where they had suffered for several generations in favour of the city Paramaribo. Every year this is remembered during Keti Koti, 1 July, Emancipation Day (end of slavery).

During the 19th century, the Netherlands was slow to industrialise compared to neighbouring countries, mainly because of the great complexity involved in modernising the infrastructure, consisting largely of waterways, and the great reliance its industry had on windpower.

Although the Netherlands remained neutral during the First World War, it was heavily involved in the war.[25] The German general Count Schlieffen, who was Chief of the Imperial German General Staff, had originally planned to invade the Netherlands while advancing into France in the original Schlieffen Plan. This was changed by Schlieffen's successor, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, in order to maintain Dutch neutrality. Later during the war Dutch neutrality proved essential to German survival until the blockade by Great Britain in 1916, when the import of goods through the Netherlands was no longer possible. The Dutch were nevertheless able to continue to remain neutral during the war using their diplomacy and their ability to trade.

Second World War (1940–1945)

Main article: History of the Netherlands (1939–1945)





Rotterdam after German air raids in 1940.
The Netherlands intended to remain neutral during the Second World War, although contingency plans involving the armies of Belgium, France and the United Kingdom were drawn up in case of German aggression. Despite this neutrality, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 as part of their campaign against the Allied forces. French forces in the south and British ships in the west came to help but turned around quickly, evacuating many civilians and several thousand German prisoners of war from the German elite airborne divisions.

The country was overrun in five days. Only after (but not because of) the Rotterdam Blitz, the main element of the Dutch army surrendered on 14 May 1940, although a Dutch and French force held the western part of Zeeland for some time after the surrender. The Kingdom as such, continued the war from the colonial empire; the government in exile resided in London.

During the occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up to be transported to Nazi German concentration camps in Germany, German-occupied Poland and German-occupied Czechoslovakia. By the time these camps were liberated, only few Dutch Jews survived. Dutch workers were conscripted for forced labour in German factories, civilians were killed in reprisal for attacks on German soldiers, and the countryside was plundered for food for German soldiers in the Netherlands and for shipment to Germany. Although there were thousands of Dutch who risked their lives by hiding Jews from the Germans, as recounted in The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom and The Heart Has Reasons by Mark Klempner, there were also Dutch who collaborated with the occupying force in hunting down hiding Jews.





Dutch resistance members with troops of the US 101st Airborne in Eindhoven during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
Local fascists and anti-Bolsheviks joined the Waffen-SS in the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Netherlands, fighting on the Eastern Front as well as other units. Racial restrictions were relaxed to the extent that even Asians from Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) units were recruited.[29] Political collaborators were members of the fascist NSB, the only legal political party in the occupied Netherlands.

On 8 December 1941, the Netherlands declared war on Japan. The government-in-exile then lost control of its major colonial stronghold, the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), to Japanese forces in March 1942. "American-British-Dutch-Australian" (ABDA) forces fought hard in some instances but were overwhelmed. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, the Japanese interned Dutch civilians and used Dutch and Indos (Eurasians of Dutch and Indonesian descent) alike as forced labour, both in the Netherlands East Indies and in neighbouring countries.





Crowds during the liberation of Eindhoven, September 1944.
The Dutch Red Cross reported the deaths in Japanese custody of 14,800 European civilians out of 80,000 interned and 12,500 of the 34,000 POW captured. A later UN report stated that 4 million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labour (known as romusha) during the Japanese occupation. Some military personnel escaped to Australia and other Allied countries from where they carried on the fight against Japan. Soon after VE day, the Dutch fought a colonial war against the new republic of Indonesia.

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and heir to the throne, sought refuge in Ottawa, Canada, with her two daughters, Beatrix and Irene, during the war. During Princess Juliana’s stay in Canada, preparations were made for the birth of her third child. To ensure the Dutch citizenship of this royal baby, the Canadian Parliament passed a special law declaring Princess Juliana's suite at the Ottawa Civic Hospital “extraterritorial”.

On 19 January 1943, Princess Margriet was born. The day after Princess Margriet's birth, the Dutch flag was flown on the Peace Tower. This was the only time in history a foreign flag has waved above Canada’s Parliament Buildings. In 1944–45, the First Canadian Army, which included Canadian, British and Polish troops, was responsible for liberating much of the Netherlands from German occupation. The joyous "Canadian summer" that ensued after the liberation, forged deep and long-lasting bonds of friendship between the Netherlands and Canada[35] (See Canada–Netherlands relations). In 1949, Dutch troops occupied an area of 69 km² of the British zone of occupied Germany, including Elten and Selfkant, and annexed it. At that time, these areas were inhabited by almost 10,000 people. As the result of a Dutch-German agreement, signed on 8 April 1960 in The Hague, the territory was returned to Germany on 1 August 1963, except one small hill (about 3 km²) called Duivelsberg which was annexed by the Netherlands




Países Bajos (en neerlandés Nederland (?·i) [ˈneːdərˌlɑnt]) es un país europeo que forma parte del Reino de los Países Bajos (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden). Es miembro de la Unión Europea (UE). En los Países Bajos se sitúa la organización y administración del reino; es la sede oficial de la monarquía, así como de sus autoridades ejecutivas, legislativas y judiciales.

Como su nombre indica, el territorio del país está formado por tierras (land) bajas (neder) de las que, aproximadamente, una cuarta parte están situadas al nivel del mar o por debajo de éste.

Con frecuencia, el país es conocido por el nombre de su región histórica más influyente o relevante, Holanda, situada en la parte occidental del país. Su idioma también es conocido tradicionalmente, por extensión, como holandés, aún cuando su nombre oficial es neerlandés.

Los Países Bajos están situados en el noroeste de Europa y limitan al norte y oeste con el mar del Norte, al sur con Bélgica y al este con Alemania. El país constituye una de las zonas más densamente pobladas del mundo y es uno de los estados más desarrollados: en 2011 estaba situado en el tercer lugar en cuanto a desarrollo humano según el Índice de Desarrollo Humano publicado por Naciones Unidas.

A menudo, se confunden también los Países Bajos con la unión aduanera conocida como Benelux formada por Bélgica (België o Belgique o Belgien), Países Bajos (Nederland) y Luxemburgo (Luxemburg); la denominación tiene su base en el acuerdo de cooperación intergubernamental que se hizo efectivo en 1944



Los Países Bajos han sido habitados desde la última glaciación; los vestigios más antiguos hallados tienen una antigüedad de 100.000 años, cuando el país poseía un clima de tundra con muy escasa vegetación. Sus primeros pobladores fueron cazadores-recolectores.5 Al finalizar la edad de hielo, el área fue habitada por varios grupos paleolíticos. Uno de ellos fabricaba incluso canoas (Pesse, hacia 6500 a. C.)6 y antes de eso, alrededor de 8000 a. C., una tribu mesolítica residió cerca de Bergumermeer (Frisia).

La agricultura llegó hacia el año 5000 a. C., a través de la cultura de alfarería lineal (probablemente proveniente de Europa central), pero sólo fue practicada en las llanuras del extremo sur del país (Limburgo del Sur). Los recolectores-cazadores de la cultura Swifterbant están atestiguados a partir del 5600 a. C.7 Ellos desarrollaron una sociedad agrícola hacia el 4300-4000 a. C.8 9 en la que destacó la introducción de pequeñas proporciones de granos en una economía tradicional.

Los primeros restos notables de la prehistoria fueron los dólmenes, que han sido encontrados en la provincia de Drente, y fueron probablemente construidos por gente de la cultura granjera de Funnelbeaker entre 4100 y 3200 a. C.11 La primera evidencia del uso de ruedas está datada en torno al 2400 a. C., y probablemente está relacionado con la cultura Bellbeaker (Klokbeker cultuur). Esta cultura también experimentó con cobre, de lo que alguna evidencia (yunques de piedra, cuchillos de cobre, diademas de cobre) fue encontrada en el parque de Veluwe. Los hallazgos de cobre demuestran el comercio con otras regiones, debido a que el mineral de cobre no se encuentra en el país.

La Edad del Bronce probablemente comenzó alrededor del 2000 a. C., como en la tumba de "El herrero de Wageningen".13 Después de este descubrimiento, más objetos de la edad de bronce aparecieron, como en Epe, en Drouwen y sobre todo en Drenthe que debido a la cantidad de objetos encontrados como cuentas de estaño en un collar nos indican que era centro de comercio de la época. La riqueza de los Países Bajos en la Edad del Hierro puede ser vista en la "Tumba del rey en Oss" (sobre el 500 a. C.), allí un verdadero rey fue enterrado con algunos objetos como una espada de hierro con un grabado de oro y coral en el mayor túmulo funerario de Europa Occidental, que tenía 52 m de ancho.

En la época de la llegada de los romanos, los Países Bajos se hallaban habitados por varias tribus germánicas, quienes se habían asentado aquí alrededor del 600 a. C., como los tubanti, los canninefates o los frisios.5 Tribus celtas se asentaron en el sur, entre ellas los eburones, menapios y texuandri. Diversos germanos se asentaron en el delta del Rin al comienzo de la ocupación romana, y formaron la tribu de los bátavos


The Netherlands (i/ˈnɛðərləndz/; Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdərˌlɑnt] ( listen)) is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a small, densely populated country, lying mainly in Western Europe, but also including three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders with Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany. The three largest and most important cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. Amsterdam is the country's capital. The Hague holds the Dutch seat of government. The port of Rotterdam is the largest port of Europe - as large as the next three largest combined.

The Netherlands' name literally means "Low Country", inspired by its low and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made. Since the late 16th century, large areas (polders) have been reclaimed from the sea and from lakes, amounting to nearly 17% of the country's current land mass.
With a population density of 406 people per km² - 497 if water is excluded - the Netherlands is a very densely populated country for its size. Only Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan have both a larger population and a higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of food and agriculture products, after the United States.

The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to have an elected parliament, and since 1848 it has been governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, organised as a unitary state. The Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion, prostitution and euthanasia, while maintaining a progressive drugs policy. In 2001 it became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, G-10, NATO, OECD, WTO and a part of the trilateral Benelux economic union. The country is host to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in The Hague, as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital".

The Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. It had the tenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2011. In 2013, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the fourth happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life.




Etymology

The Netherlands in its entirety is often erroneously referred to as "Holland", which in strict usage, refers only to North and South Holland, two of its provinces. Since these two provinces are the most populous and famous of the Netherlands, they often serve as a metonym for the entire country. Referring to the Netherlands as Holland is technically incorrect or informal, depending on the context, but is more acceptable when referring to the national football team.

While De Lage landen (The Low Countries) is a geographical designation of the general area of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, Benelux, and depending on the context, sometimes extended with parts of northern France (French Flanders, French Hainaut, Artois, Picardy to the Somme) and the former Luxembourg region around Diedenhoven and Germany (east Frisia, Julich, Cleves, Bentheim, Lingen, the region around Geldern, around Bitburg, some municipalities east of the eastern provinces which were annexed by Prussia in 1815, etc.). Netherlands has about the same meaning as the Low Countries, but of a more historiographical and political nature.

In the fifteenth century the name Netherlands (Nederlanden) came into use. Unlike France and England it had no ethnic origin, but it was originally a geographical term which denoted only the difference with a higher ground. Place names with Nieder are used in various places in the German language area. Also terms like lower Rhine and lower Meuse were commonly used (vs. middle Rhine or upper Rhine). Niderlant was in the late Middle Ages the region between the Meuse and the Rhine, the Lower Rhine Area now included. The area known as Oberland (High country) was considered to begin approximately at the nearby higher located Cologne. By extension, the term could also be applied to the delta of the Schelde, Meuse and Rhine, and then would occur in the plural form. Due to the great importance of the Low Countries, the name was increasingly used specifically for this area. From about 1490 the Burgundian-Habsburg provinces thus also were indicated. Besides Flanders, "the Netherlands" was, from the mid- sixteenth century on, probably the most commonly used name.

History



The Four Days' Battle, 1–4 June 1666, during the Second Anglo–Dutch War.
Under Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain, the current Netherlands region was part of the Seventeen Provinces of the Low Countries, which also included most of present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and some land in France and Germany.

In 1568, the Eighty Years' War between the Provinces and Spain began. In 1579, the northern half of the Seventeen Provinces forged the Union of Utrecht, a treaty in which they committed to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army. The Union of Utrecht is seen as the foundation of the modern Netherlands. In 1581, the northern provinces adopted the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence in which the provinces officially deposed Philip II of Spain as reigning monarch in the northern provinces.

Queen Elizabeth I of England sympathised with the Dutch struggle against the Spanish, and in 1585 she concluded a treaty with the Dutch whereby she promised to send an English army to the Netherlands to aid the Dutch in their war with the Spanish. In December 1585, 7,600 soldiers were sent to the Netherlands from England under the command of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. In spite of the significant size for that time, the English army was of no real benefit to the Dutch rebellion.

Although Robert Dudley returned to the Netherlands in November 1586 with another army, the army still had little effect in the rebellion. Philip II, the son of Charles V, was not prepared to let them go easily, and war continued until 1648, when Spain under King Philip IV finally recognised the independence of the seven north-western provinces in the Peace of Münster. Parts of the southern provinces became de facto colonies of the new republican-mercantile empire.

Dutch Republic


After declaring their independence, the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Groningen, Friesland, Utrecht, Overijssel, and Gelderland formed a confederation. All these provinces were autonomous and had their own government, the "States of the Province". The States General, the confederal government, were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives from each of the seven provinces. The sparsely populated region of Drenthe, mainly consisting of poor peatland, was part of the republic too, although Drenthe was not considered one of the provinces; it had its own States, but the landdrost of Drenthe was appointed by the States General.

Moreover, the Republic had come to occupy during the Eighty Years' War a number of so-called Generality Lands (Generaliteitslanden in Dutch). These territories were governed directly by the States General. They did not have a governmental structure of their own and did not have representatives in the States General. Their population was mainly Roman Catholic, and these areas were used as a buffer zone between the Republic and the Southern Netherlands.[citation needed]

The Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major seafaring and economic powers of the 17th century. In the Dutch Golden Age ("Gouden Eeuw"), colonies and trading posts were established all over the world. Dutch settlement in North America began with the founding of New Amsterdam, on the southern part of Manhattan in 1614. In South Africa, the Dutch settled the Cape Colony in 1652. By 1650, the Dutch owned 16,000 merchant ships. During the 17th century, the Dutch population increased from an estimated 1.5 million to almost 2 million.

For a comprehensive list of the territories that formed the Dutch Empire, see Evolution of the Dutch Empire.

Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. In early modern Europe it had the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well as phenomena such as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania of 1636–1637, and the world's first bear raider, Isaac le Maire, who forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount. The republic went into a state of general decline in the later 18th century, with economic competition from England and long standing rivalries between the two main factions in Dutch society, the Staatsgezinden (Republicans) and the Prinsgezinden (Royalists or Orangists), as main factors.[citation needed]

In the 17th century, plantation colonies were established by the Dutch and English along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains. The earliest documented colony in Guiana was along the Suriname River and called Marshall's Creek. The area was named after an Englishman. Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English. In 1667, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Suriname conquered from the English, resulting from the Treaty of Breda. The English were left with New Amsterdam, a small trading post in North America, which is now known as New York City.

F

Further information: Batavian Republic and Kingdom of Holland

On 19 January 1795, one day after the stadtholder, William V of Orange, fled to England, the Bataafse Republiek (Batavian Republic) was proclaimed, rendering the Netherlands a unitary state. From 1795 to 1806, the Batavian Republic designated the Netherlands as a republic modelled after the French Republic.

From 1806 to 1810, the Koninkrijk Holland (Kingdom of Holland) was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom governed by his brother Louis Bonaparte in order to control the Netherlands more effectively. The name of the leading province, Holland, was used for the whole country. The Kingdom of Holland covered the area of the present day Netherlands, with the exception of Limburg and parts of Zeeland, which were French territory. In 1807, Prussian East Frisia and Jever were added to the kingdom. In 1809, however, after a failed British invasion, Holland had to surrender all territories south of the Rhine to France.

King Louis Bonaparte did not meet Napoleon's expectations – he tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's, allowed trade with the British in spite of the Continental System and even tried to learn Dutch – and he was forced to abdicate on 1 July 1810. He was succeeded by his five-year-old son Napoleon Louis Bonaparte. Napoleon Louis reigned as Louis II for just ten days as Napoleon ignored his young nephew's accession to the throne. The Emperor sent in an army to invade the country and dissolved the Kingdom of Holland. The Netherlands then became part of the French Empire.

The Netherlands remained part of the French Empire until the autumn of 1813, when Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Leipzig and forced to withdraw his troops from the country.

Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1940)

Main articles: United Kingdom of the Netherlands and Kingdom of the Netherlands





A map of the Dutch colonial empire. Light green: territories administered by or originating from territories administered by the Dutch East India Company; dark green: the Dutch West India Company. In yellow the territories occupied later, during the 19th century.
William Frederick, son of the last stadtholder, returned to the Netherlands in 1813 at the invitation of the provisional government formed after the withdrawal of the French. Although it comprised mostly the same men who had driven out his father 18 years earlier, all parties agreed that William was the only choice to head any new government. On 6 December, he proclaimed himself Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands. On 16 March 1815, the Sovereign Prince raised the Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself William I (Willem I in Dutch).

In 1815, the Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands by adding the southern Netherlands to the north in order to create a strong country on the northern border of France. In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Congress of Vienna gave Luxembourg to William as personal property in exchange for his German possessions, Nassau-Dillenburg, Siegen, Hadamar, and Diez.


The Southern Netherlands had been culturally separate from the north since 1581, and rebelled against William's attempt to create a single culture. The south rebelled and gained independence in 1830 as Belgium, while the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was severed in 1890, when William III died with no surviving male heirs. Ascendancy laws prevented his daughter Queen Wilhelmina from becoming the next Grand Duchess. Therefore the throne of Luxembourg passed over from the House of Orange-Nassau to the House of Nassau-Weilburg, a junior branch of the House of Nassau.

The largest Dutch settlement abroad was the Cape Colony. It was established by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company at Cape Town (Dutch: Kaapstad) in 1652. The Prince of Orange acquiesced to British occupation and control of the Cape Colony in 1788. The Netherlands also possessed several other colonies, but Dutch settlement in these lands was limited. Most notable were the vast Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and the Colony of Surinam (now Suriname). These 'colonies' were first administered by the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, both collective private enterprises. Three centuries later these companies got into financial trouble, and the territories in which they operated were taken over by the Dutch government (in 1815 and 1791 respectively). Only then did they become official colonies.





The submission of Diponegoro to General De Kock at the end of the Java War in 1830
During its colonial period, the Netherlands was heavily involved in the slave trade. The Dutch planters relied heavily on African slaves to cultivate the coffee, cocoa, sugarcane and cotton plantations along the rivers. Treatment of the slaves by their owners was notoriously bad, and many slaves escaped the plantations. Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands in Dutch Guiana and Curaçao and Dependencies in 1863, but the slaves were not fully released until 1873, after a mandatory 10-year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture. As soon as they became truly free, the slaves largely abandoned the plantations where they had suffered for several generations in favour of the city Paramaribo. Every year this is remembered during Keti Koti, 1 July, Emancipation Day (end of slavery).

During the 19th century, the Netherlands was slow to industrialise compared to neighbouring countries, mainly because of the great complexity involved in modernising the infrastructure, consisting largely of waterways, and the great reliance its industry had on windpower.

Although the Netherlands remained neutral during the First World War, it was heavily involved in the war. The German general Count Schlieffen, who was Chief of the Imperial German General Staff, had originally planned to invade the Netherlands while advancing into France in the original Schlieffen Plan. This was changed by Schlieffen's successor, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, in order to maintain Dutch neutrality. Later during the war Dutch neutrality proved essential to German survival until the blockade by the British Royal Navy in 1916, when the import of goods through the Netherlands was no longer possible. The Dutch were nevertheless able to continue to remain neutral during the war using their diplomacy and their ability to trad

Main article: Netherlands in World War II





Rotterdam after German air raids in 1940.
The Netherlands intended to remain neutral during World War II, although contingency plans involving the armies of Belgium, France and the United Kingdom were drawn up in case of German aggression. Despite this neutrality, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 as part of their campaign against the Allied forces. French forces in the south and British ships in the west came to help but turned around quickly, evacuating many civilians and several thousand German prisoners of war from the German elite airborne divisions.

The country was overrun in five days. Only after (but not because of) the Rotterdam Blitz did the main element of the Dutch army surrender on 14 May 1940; although a Dutch and French force held the western part of Zeeland for some time after the surrender. The Kingdom as such, continued the war from the colonial empire; the government in exile resided in London.

During the occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up and transported to Nazi German extermination camps in Germany, German-occupied Poland and German-occupied Czechoslovakia. By the time these camps were liberated, few Dutch Jews survived. Dutch workers were conscripted for forced labour in German factories, civilians were killed in reprisal for attacks on German soldiers, and the countryside was plundered for food for German soldiers in the Netherlands and for shipment to Germany. Although there were thousands of Dutch who risked their lives by hiding Jews from the Germans, as recounted in The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom and The Heart Has Reasons by Mark Klempner, there were also Dutch who collaborated with the occupying force in hunting down hiding Jews.





Dutch resistance members with troops of the US 101st Airborne in Eindhoven during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
Local fascists and anti-Bolsheviks joined the Waffen-SS in the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Netherlands, fighting on the Eastern Front as well as other units. Racial restrictions were relaxed to the extent that even Asians from Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) units were recruited.[35] Political collaborators were members of the fascist NSB, the only legal political party in the occupied Netherlands.

On 8 December 1941, the Netherlands declared war on Japan. The government-in-exile then lost control of its major colonial stronghold, the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), to Japanese forces in March 1942. "American-British-Dutch-Australian" (ABDA) forces fought hard in some instances but were overwhelmed. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, the Japanese interned Dutch civilians and used Dutch and Indos (Eurasians of Dutch and Indonesian descent) alike as forced labour, both in the Netherlands East Indies and in neighbouring countries.





Crowds during the liberation of Eindhoven, September 1944.
The Dutch Red Cross reported the deaths in Japanese custody of 14,800 European civilians out of 80,000 interned and 12,500 of the 34,000 POW captured. A later UN report stated that 4 million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labour (known as romusha) during the Japanese occupation. Some military personnel escaped to Australia and other Allied countries from where they carried on the fight against Japan. Soon after VE day, the Dutch fought a colonial war against the new republic of Indonesia.

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and heir to the throne, sought refuge in Ottawa, Canada, with her two daughters, Beatrix and Irene, during the war. During Princess Juliana's stay in Canada, preparations were made for the birth of her third child. To ensure the Dutch citizenship of this royal baby, the Canadian Parliament passed a special law declaring Princess Juliana's suite at the Ottawa Civic Hospital "extraterritorial".

On 19 January 1943, Princess Margriet was born. The day after Princess Margriet's birth, the Dutch flag was flown on the Peace Tower. This was the only time in history a foreign flag has waved above Canada's parliament buildings. In 1944–45, the First Canadian Army, which included Canadian, British and Polish troops, was responsible for liberating much of the Netherlands from German occupation. The joyous "Canadian summer" that ensued after the liberation, forged deep and long-lasting bonds of friendship between the Netherlands and Canada (See Canada–Netherlands relations). In 1949, Dutch troops occupied an area of 69 square kilometres (27 sq mi) of the British zone of occupied Germany, including Elten and Selfkant, and annexed it. At that time, these areas were inhabited by almost 10,000 people. As the result of a Dutch-German agreement, signed on 8 April 1960 in The Hague, the territory was returned to Germany on 1 August 1963, except one small hill (about 3 km²) called Duivelsberg which was annexed by the Netherlands.[citation need.



The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union.
After the war, the Dutch economy prospered by leaving behind an era of neutrality and gaining closer ties with neighbouring states. Government-encouraged emigration efforts to reduce population density prompted some 500,000 Dutch people to leave the country after the war. The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) grouping, was among the twelve founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and was among the six founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community, which would evolve into the EEC (Common Market) and later the European Union.

In 1954, the political structure of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was reformed when Queen Juliana signed the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch colonies of Suriname and Curaçao and Dependencies became integral parts of the Kingdom as the constituent countries of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. At the same time, the European country known until then as the Kingdom of the Netherlands became the constituent country of the Netherlands within the now expanded Kingdom, on a basis of equality with the other constituent countries. The reformed Kingdom of the Netherlands was a result of the desire to review the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies (especially the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia). International pressure to carry out decolonisation was an important motivator for the reforms. Before the reform was completed, Indonesia declared its independence in August 1945, which was recognised in 1949, and thus has never been part of the Kingdom.

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of great social and cultural change, such as rapid ontzuiling (literally: depillarisation), a term that describes the decay of the old divisions along political and religious lines. Youths, and students in particular, rejected traditional mores and pushed for change in matters such as women's rights, sexuality, disarmament and environmental issues.

On 10 October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Referendums were held on each island of the Netherlands Antilles between June 2000 and April 2005 to determine their future status. As a result the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES islands) were to obtain closer ties with the Netherlands. This led to the incorporation of these three islands into the country of the Netherlands as special municipalities upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. The special municipalities are collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands.



A satellite overview of the Netherlands.
The European area of the Netherlands lies between latitudes 50° and 54° N, and longitudes 3° and 8° E.

The Netherlands is geographically a very low and flat country, with about 26% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. The country is for the most part flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast, up to a height of no more than 321 metres, and some low hill ranges in the central parts. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made, caused by peat extraction or achieved through land reclamation. Since the late 16th century, large polder areas are preserved through elaborate drainage systems that include dikes, canals and pumping stations. Nearly 17% of the country's land area is reclaimed from the sea and from lakes.

Much of the country was originally formed by the estuaries of three large European rivers: the Rhine (Rijn), the Meuse (Maas) and the Scheldt (Schelde), as well as their distributaries. The south-western part of the Netherlands is to this day a river delta of these three rivers, the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta.

The Netherlands is divided into north and south parts by the Rhine, the Waal, its main distributary branch, and the Meuse. In the past these rivers functioned as a natural barrier between fiefdoms and hence historically created a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable on either side of what the Dutch call their "Great Rivers" (de Grote Rivieren). Another significant branch of the Rhine, the IJssel river, discharges into Lake IJssel, the former Zuiderzee ('southern sea'). Just like the previous, this river forms a linguistic divide: people to the northeast of this river speak Dutch Low Saxon dialects (except for the province of Friesland, which has its own language).

Floods

Main articles: Flood control in the Netherlands, Floods in the Netherlands, North Sea flood of 1953 and Storm tides of the North Sea



The Christmas flood of 1717 was the result of a northwesterly storm. In total, approximately 14,000 people drowned.
Over the centuries, the Dutch coastline has changed considerably as a result of natural disasters and human intervention. Most notable in terms of land loss was the storm of 1134, which created the archipelago of Zeeland in the south-west.

On 14 December 1287, St. Lucia's flood affected the Netherlands and Germany killing more than 50,000 people in one of the most destructive floods in recorded history. The St. Elizabeth flood of 1421 and the mismanagement in its aftermath destroyed a newly reclaimed polder, replacing it with the 72-square-kilometre (28 sq mi) Biesbosch tidal floodplains in the south-centre. The huge North Sea flood of early February 1953 caused the collapse of several dikes in the south-west of the Netherlands; more than 1,800 people drowned in the flood. The Dutch government subsequently instituted a large-scale programme, the "Delta Works", to protect the country against future flooding, which was completed over a period of more than thirty years.

The impact of disasters was to an extent increased through human activity. Relatively high-lying swampland was drained to be used as farmland. The drainage caused the fertile peat to contract and ground levels to drop, upon which groundwater levels were lowered to compensate for the drop in ground level, causing the underlying peat to contract further. Additionally, until the 19th century peat was mined, dried, and used for fuel, further exacerbating the problem. Centuries of extensive and poorly controlled peat extraction lowered an already low land surface by several metres. Even in flooded areas, peat extraction continued through turf dredging.

Because of the flooding, farming was difficult, which encouraged foreign trade, the result of which was that the Dutch were involved in world affairs since the early 14th/15th century.



Map illustrating areas of the Netherlands below sea level
To guard against floods, a series of defences against the water were contrived. In the first millennium AD, villages and farmhouses were built on man-made hills called terps. Later, these terps were connected by dikes. In the 12th century, local government agencies called "waterschappen" ("water boards") or "hoogheemraadschappen" ("high home councils") started to appear, whose job it was to maintain the water level and to protect a region from floods; these agencies continue to exist. As the ground level dropped, the dikes by necessity grew and merged into an integrated system. By the 13th century windmills had come into use to pump water out of areas below sea level. The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders.[citation needed]

In 1932 the Afsluitdijk ("Closure Dike") was completed, blocking the former Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) from the North Sea and thus creating the IJsselmeer (IJssel Lake). It became part of the larger Zuiderzee Works in which four polders totalling 2,500 square kilometres (965 sq mi) were reclaimed from the sea.

The Netherlands is one of the countries that may suffer most from climate change. Not only is the rising sea a problem, but erratic weather patterns may cause the rivers to overflow.




The Delta Works are located in the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland.
After the 1953 disaster, the Delta Works were constructed, a comprehensive set of civil works throughout the Dutch coast. The project started in 1958 and was largely completed in 1997 with the completion of the Maeslantkering. New projects have been periodically started since to renovate and renew the Delta Works. A main goal of the Delta project was to reduce the risk of flooding in South Holland and Zeeland to once per 10,000 years (compared to 1 per 4000 years for the rest of the country). This was achieved by raising 3,000 kilometres (1,864 mi) of outer sea-dykes and 10,000 kilometres (6,214 mi) of inner, canal, and river dikes, and by closing off the sea estuaries of the Zeeland province. New risk assessments occasionally show problems requiring additional Delta project dyke reinforcements. The Delta project is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

It is anticipated that global warming in the 21st century will result in a rise in sea level which, despite popular belief, will possibly not overwhelm the measures the Netherlands has taken to control floods.[citation needed] Even more specifically, the Netherlands is the only country in the world actively preparing for a sea level rise. A politically neutral Delta Commission has formulated an action plan to cope with a sea level rise of 1.10 metres (3.6 ft) and a simultaneous land height decline of 10 centimetres (3.9 in). The plan foresees in the reinforcement of the existing coastal defenses like dikes and dunes with 1.30 metres (4.3 ft) of additional flood protection. Climate change will not only threaten the Netherlands from the sea side, but could also alter rain fall patterns and river run-off. To protect the country from river flooding, another program is already being executed. The Room for the River plan grants more flow space to rivers, protects the major populated areas and allows for periodic flooding of indefensible lands. The few residents that lived in these so-called "overflow areas" have been moved to higher ground, with some of that ground having been raised above anticipated flood levels.

Protecting the country against floods is one element of climate change. The other is that the pressure of the sea water on ground water will increase.[citation needed] As a result, the fresh water table will be pushed more inland, resulting in more brackish or saline groundwater in the coastal provinces. Due to this change, some drinking water areas will be forced to apply desalination despite the apparent abundance of water. It will also affect agriculture. The greenhouses can continue their production by becoming more water efficient (they are already disconnected from the groundwater, thereby not becoming more saline), though they will need to become more energy and water efficient. The push of more brackish water into the mainland will also cause changes in flora and fauna.[citation needed]

Climate

The predominant wind direction in the Netherlands is south-west, which causes a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters, and typically high humidity. This is especially true close to the Dutch coastline, where temperatures can be more than 10 °C (18 °F) higher (in winter) or lower (in summer) than in the (south) east of the country.

The following tables are based on mean measurements by the KNMI weather station in De Bilt between 1981 and 2010:


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