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  • "Netherlands" literally means "Low Countries"

  • Present-day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg

  • Holland = a region on the west coast of the Netherlands

  • The word "Dutch" refers to the Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands who speak the Dutch language.


  • In 1500s, the 17 provinces of the Netherlands (inc. Belgium & Luxembourg)

  • Were part of the Holy Roman Empire

  • And a part of the Habsburg Empire

  • Pragmatic Sanction, 1549

  • Unification of 17 provinces into one entity

  • By Charles V

  • ​HRE and Habsburg ruler)


  • In 1556 Charles V divided his Hapsburg Empire between

  • His son, Philip II

  • And his brother Ferdinand.

  • Philip II, a pious Catholic

  • Inherited the Netherlands (with growing Calvinist population)

  • As well as Italy, Spain and the Spanish territories in the New World (all Catholic)

  • From 1567-1574

  • Philip II initiated a Council of Blood (Council of Troubles)

  • Organized by Spanish governor, the Duke of Alba

  • Reign of terror targeting Protestants and suspected rebels in the Low Countries

  • 80 Years War

  • Philip II's efforts to centralize control over the Low Countries was met with rebellion

  • Led by William I of Orange

  • Battle between Sp. and the Dutch lasted until 1648 (the end of the 30 Years War)


  • In 1579 the northern provinces (present day Netherlands)

  • Signed the Union of Utrecht

  • Promising to support each other in defense against the Spanish

  • The union of the seven provinces in the north

  • Was recognized in 1609 when the Twelve Year Truce was signed

  • The truce paused conflict in the Eighty Years War

  • In 1581 the northern provinces signed the Act of Abjuration

  • Declaring independence of the Seven Provinces from Philip II

  • Became the Republic of the Seven United Provinces or Dutch Republic

  • This was NOT recognized by the Spanish until the Peace of Westphalia 1648 (ending the Thirty Years War)

  • But the provinces acted as independent states

  • De facto (factually) independent but not de jure (legally) independent.

  • De facto independence allowed the Netherlands to flourish economically


  • From 1581 to 1795 the Seven Provinces had their own independent governments

  • States General

  • Representatives from the provinces also attended the States General*

  • Which met in the Hague

  • Amsterdam was the cultural and financial center

  • Stadtholder

  • Representatives at the States General elected a stadtholder.

  • In times of conflict (ex. during conflict with Spain)

  • The stadtholder held a lot of power (incl. commanding the army.

  • In times of peace

  • Power reverted back to the provinces.

  • William of Orange I ("William the Silent")

  • Was elected stadtholder in 1559 and led the revolt against Spain until his death in 1584.

  • Members of the House of Orange-Nassau traditionally chosen from that point onward.

  • Caused a power struggle among the Orangists

  • The position of stadholder disappeared in 1795



  • Religious toleration

  • The Dutch welcomed religious minorities (liked skilled, wealthy Huguenots from France and Sephardic Jews from Spain) to live in Holland.

  • Jews and Huguenots contributed to Dutch economy

  • Calvinism

  • Focused on education

  • And hard work (belief that we all have a "calling" from God

  • Less evangelizing since people were predestined to go to heaven or hell by God.

  • Dutch had exclusive rightst to trade at Dejima, Japan, in part because they didn't try to convert the population

  • Difficulty leads to innovations

  • The named "Netherlands" means "low country because the region was below sea level.

  • A system was therefore necessary to reduce the risk of flooding.

  • Dutch innovators created dikes, dams, pumping stations (usually windmills) and other systems to prevent flooding.

  • The Dutch government system cultivated freedom

  • The United Provinces were autonomous

  • The stadtholder had limited power (for example, no power to direct the economy towards mercantilism)

  • Led to

  • Free enterprise (see Adam Smith)

  • Joint-stock companies

  • Strong middle class (merchants)

  • Relative freedom of the press, religion, speech

  • Many Enlightened works were published in Holland because of freedoms.

  • Geography

  • ​Although the Dutch didn't have much arable land, it had access to the sea (see Dutch colonization and trade)

  • Technological revolution in shipbuilding gave Dutch a competitive advantage in shipping.

--- under construction --


  1. Shipbuilding

  2. Technological revolution in shipbuilding = competitive advantage in shipping

  3. Helped it become dominate trade power by mid 17th c.

  4. 1670 merchant marine = 568,000 tons of shipping (1/2 of European total)


  1. Dutch East India Company (VOC) and West India Companies (WIC)

  2. Dutch colonies

  3. First followed Portugal and Spain to spice islands in Southeast Asia

  4. To India (Ceylon, 1650s and Goa), left Dutch "burghers" in the regions

  5. Indonesia - attacked Malacca, Jakarta in 1619

  6. North America -- Henry Hudson sailed up river in New York 1609

  7. In 1614, Company of New Netherlands established capital at Fort Orange (present-day Albany) along Hudson River.

  8. Bought Manhattan built a wall to defend New Amsterdam from Indians (Wall Street)

  9. Wall Street

  10. Fortified New Amsterdam in 1625 at mouth of Hudso

  11. Fur trade impossible to monopolize

  12. New Netherlands was unprofitable

  13. Nearly colony of New Sweden on Delaware River – forcibly absorbed into New Netherlands 1655 after ships ad solders sent to capture it by the Dutch governor Pieter Stuyvesant

  14. Legacy

  15. Wall Street, Brooklyn, Holland Tunnel, Harlem, Flushing, Staten Island, Albany

  16. Jersey Dutch

  17. Martin Van Buren, T Roosevet and FDR

  18. South Africa (See Below)

  19. By middle of 17th c. Dutch had overtaken Portugal as the dominant player in spice and siik trade

  20. In 1652 foundd colony at Cape Town n coast of South Africa

  21. As way-station for its ships on route from Europe to Asia

  22. After first settlers spread out round the Company station

  23. Nomadic white livestock farmers – Trekboers

  24. Moved more widely afield

  25. Leaving the richer but limited farming lands of the coast for the drier interior tableland

  26. 1795, the heavily taxed Boers n the frontier districts

  27. Who received no protection against the Africans

  28. Expelled the officials of the Dutch East India Company

  29. Established independent governments at Swelendam and Graaff-Reinet

  30. Suriname

  31. Rivalry with GB and France (1652-1795)

  32. 1651 English parliament passed first of the Navigation Acts

  33. Excluded Dutch shipping from lucrative trade between England and its Caribbean colonies

  34. Led to outbreak of hostilities between the two countries following year (1652)

  35. First of 3 Anglo-Dutch Wars

  36. Lasted on and off for 2 decades

  37. Slowly eroded Dutch naval power to England’s benefit

  38. Second Anglo-Dutch War – 1664

  39. English moved to capture New Netherlands

  40. Ceded to England in exchange or the English settlements in Suriname

  41. Which had been conquered by Dutch forces earlier that year

  42. Dutch again took New Netherland in 1673 (Third Anglo-Dutch War)

  43. It was returned to England the following year

  44. Ending Dutch empire in North Amerika

  45. But leaving a large Dutch community under Anglia’s rule

  46. Language, church, customs until mid 18th c.

  47. Glorious Revolution 1688

  48. William of Onge to throne

  49. Ended 80 years of rivalry between Netherlands and England

  50. Napoleonic era (1795-1815)

  51. French invaded Dutch Republic

  52. Turned it into satellite named Batavian Republic.

  53. Put brother Louis in charge.

  54. Britain moved to occupy Dutch colonies in Asia, South Africa and Caribbean

  55. Treaty of Amiens

  56. Britain and France 1802

  57. Cape Colony and islands of Dutch West Indies that British seized were returned to the Republic

  58. Ceylon not returned

  59. and was made a British Crown Colony

  60. 1803 the British retook Cape Colony

  61. Kept it in 1814 with Anglo-Dutch Treaty 1814

  62. 1815 Dutch reunited with Southern Netherlands

  63. Constitutional monarchy – United Kingdom of the Netherlands

  64. 15 years until 1830

  65. Revolution in southern half

  66. De facto independence of Belgium.

  67. Bankrupt Dutch East India Company liquidated Jan. 1, 1800

  68. Territorial possessions nationalized as Dutch East Indies

  69. Dejima

  70. 1805 had monopoly on trade with japan

  71. Slavery on Dutch Caribbean colonies

  72. Not abolished until 1863 (long after Britain and France)

  73. Only 6,500 slaves remained

  74. Suriname

  75. Abolition of slavery, Chinese works encouraged to immigrate as indentured labores

  76. Dutch East Indies

  77. Jan. 1942 Japan invaded

  78. Indonesians initially welcoming Japanese as liberators

  79. Dismantling of Dutch colonial state’s economy, political and social structures – replacing it with a Japanese regime

  80. Japanese encouraged nd backed Indonesian nationalism

  81. New indigenous institutions created

  82. Nationalist leader such as Sukarno promoted.

  83. Internment of all Dutch citizens = Indonesians filled many leadership and administrative positions

  84. Top positions still Japanese

  85. Independence

  86. Two day after Japanese surrendered August 1945

  87. Sukarno and fellow nationalist leader Hatta unilaterally declared Indonesian independence

  88. 4.5 year struggle, 1949 Western new Guinea under Netherlands

  89. New Indonesian govt. under President Sukarno

  90. 1962 New York agreement

  1. Industrial revolution

  2. Wind, water and peat used as power

  3. Land reclamation from Sea (story of boy with thumb in dyke)

  4. Agricultural revolution

  5. = highest standard of living in Europe (probably world) by middle of 17th c.

  6. Banking

  7. Oldest stock exchange in world – funded 1602 by Dutch East India Company

  8. Rotterdam has the oldest bourse in Netherlands – first stock exchange

  9. Dutch East EIndia company went publilc in 6 different cities

  10. Navy

  11. 1590-1712 had one of the strongest and fastest navies in the world

  12. Allowed for breaking the Portuguese sphere of influence on Indian Ocean and Orient

  13. And lucrative slave trade from Arica and the Pacific

  14. Golden Age

  15. Art:

  16. Different from Baroque in South – royalty and Catholic /church

  17. Instead to nation’s perperous merchnts

  18. Wanted paintings of themselves, milies, possessions and land.

  19. Individual and group portraits, landscapes, scenes of everyday life.

  20. Rembrandt van Rijn 1606-1669)

  21. Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer

  22. Decline

  23. 80 Years War 1568-1648

  24. Participated in

  25. War of Spanish Sucession (but not much from Utrecht 1713)

  26. War of Austrian succession (Austria becam allies with Frnce against Prussia – end of the republilc as a major military power 1748)

  27. Fierce competition for trade and colonies

  28. Especially from France and England

  29. Furthered economic downturn of the country

  30. Rise of mercantilism

  31. Had negative effect on Dutch shipping and commerce

  32. Wars with England and France

  33. Three Anglo-Dutch Wars

  34. England and France dominant European powers

  35. Franco-Dutch War 1672-1678

  36. Anglo-Dutch War 1780-1784

  37. 1670

  38. Politico-military upheavals (wars with France and England)

  39. And averse economic developments

  40. Break in the upward “secular trend” of price levels

  41. Brought Dutch economic boom to an abrupt end

  42. Caused retrenchmet of the Dutch economy in period up to 1713

  43. Wars

  44. In debt (like Louis XIV) at end of War of the Spanish Succession


  1. Dutch colony established 17th c.

  2. Was at the time the only viable South African port for ships making journey to colonies

  3. Strategic but not economically significant

  4. 1794 – French Revolutionary Wars

  5. French captured Dutch Republic – client state of Batavian REpubic

  6. GB operations against Dutch Empire to prevent use of its facilities by the French Navy

  7. 1802 returned to Dutch Peace of Amiens.

  8. 1806 taken against during Naploenic Wars

  9. Remained British colony until Union of South Africa 1910

  10. Boers and Cape Dutch

  11. Collectively known as the Afrikaners

  12. Dutch farmers dissatisfied with British Rule (like hatred of Dutch East India Co)

  13. Movement for abolition of slavery – missioaires appealed to colonists

  14. Ordinance to abolish old Dutch Courts

  15. Khoikhoi and other free colored peoope granted equal rights with whites 1828

  16. Heavy penalties for harsh treatment of slaves

  17. Emancipation of slaves 1834

  18. Inadequate compensation to slave-owners

  19. Equality intolerable

  20. Great Trek (Voortrekers) 1835 to early 1840s

  21. 12,000 to 14,000 Boers impatient of British rule

  22. From Cape Colony to Orange Free States and Transvaal

  23. 1838 Boers fought and defeated the Zulu

  24. Founded Orange Free State and Transval.

  25. 1850s British recognized the two Boer repubics

  26. Change in 1867 when diamonds found in northern Cape

  27. 1871 diamonds also fund at Kimberly

  28. Gold discovered at Gaueng in 1886

  29. British want all of South Africa

  30. British settlers had moved into Transvaal –

  31. Boers called them Uitlander (foreigners)

  32. Cecil Rhodes

  33. was PM of British South Africa from 1890 to 1895

  34. In 1895 he plotted a rebellion by Uitlanders in the Transvaal

  35. S. Africa led by Leander Star Jameson

  36. Aim was overthrow govt. of Paul Kruger – President of Transvaal

  37. However Jameson Raid of Jan, 1896

  38. defeated by Boers

  39. and Jameson himself captured.

  40. Two Boer republics formed an alliance and hostility between them and British grew

  41. Anglo-Boer Wars 1899

  42. At first Boers successffful

  43. 1900 more British troops arrived and Boers were pushed back

  44. Boers then turned to guerrilla warfare

  45. However Kitchener,

  46. the British commander,

  47. began herding Boer women and children into concentration camps

  48. more than 20,000 of them died of disease

  49. Boers surrendered 1902

  50. An British annexed Boer republics

  51. Union of South Africa 1910

  52. Unification of Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal, Orange River Colony

  53. United South Africa given a constitution

  54. Constitutional monarchy

  55. Dominion of British empire

  56. Blacks were second-class citizens – most in tribal reserves

  57. Laws of 1913 and 1936

  58. Prevented the owning land outside certain areias

  59. Most blacks not allowed to vote

  60. 1912 black South Africans founded the South African National Congress (later the ANC)

  61. At first achieved little

  62. 1914 – South Africa joined WWI against Germany

  63. Rebellion by Boers crushed

  64. Administered German Southwest Africa Colony as a League of Nations mandate after WWI

  65. 1918 Afrikaners founded a secret organization called Broderbond

  66. 1939 South Africa joined WWII against Germany

  67. But some Afrikaners opposed esion

  68. 1948 National Party to power in S. Africa

  69. Strict policy of apartheid (separateness)

  70. Whites and blacks already segregated to a large degree

  71. New laws made segregation stricter

  72. 1955 organization representing blacks, whites colored an Indians

  73. Form Congress Alliance

  74. 1955 adopted Freedom Charter

  75. 1958 some black south Africans broke away from ANC

  76. Formed pan Africanist Congress

  77. 1960 Sharpeville policed fired at ANC and PAC demonstrators

  78. killing 69

  79. Government banned ANC and PAC

  80. 1963 Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment

  81. 1961

  82. Republic of South Africa

  83. Rioting Soweto Jun 1976

  84. Riots spread

  85. 1978 P. W Botha became PM

  86. determined to continue apartheid

  87. 1983 introduced new constitution with houses for whites, colored and Indians (no representation for blacks)

  88. Countries imposing economic sanctions

  89. 1989 Botha forced from office

  90. Replaced by Willem de Klerk

  91. 1990 pledge to end apartheid

  92. Released Nelson Mandela

  93. Introduced new constitution with rights or all

  94. First democratic elections April 1994

  95. May 1994 Nelson Mandela elected president

  96. He retired in 1999 but ANC continued to hold power

  1. Anglo-Boer Wars

  2. Transvaal and Orange Free State against thrata of annexation by British Crown

  3. Paul Kruger led resistance

  4. 1868 discovery of diamonds around Kimbery on join borders of South African Republic (Transvaal), orange Free Satte and Cape Colony

  5. 1886 Gold Rush in Transvaal

  6. Race against other European colonial powers

  7. British attempts to annex Transvaal 1880

  8. 1870s skirmishes with Zulu

  9. Shaka Zulu with firearms

  10. Boer diaspora to Argentina and Kenya

  11. WWI 1914

  12. Didn’t want to side with British agasint Germany so soon after a long bloody war with British

  13. Many had German ancestry

  14. Put down by Louis Botha and Jan Smuts

* Fun fact: the word "Staten" or "state" was applied in the New Netherlands as the name Staten Island in New York City.

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