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keskiviikko 18. tammikuuta 2017

Netherlands, Cool Facts #163

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The current Dutch flag was adopted officially in 1937. Variants of this flag had existed since 1572. The Dutch flag is the oldest tricolor flag still in use. 

The Dutch tricolor has influenced many other flags like the Russian flag (1693) and French flag (1794). The Russian and French flag have then further influenced many other national flags. The French flag has influenced mainly the flags in former French colonies in Africa. The Russian flag has influenced many other Slavic flags

The Dutch flag has also influenced its own former colonies like many Boer Republics established in South Africa in the 1800s, or the Indonesian flag. It's said that in Indonesia the nationalists, who wanted the force the Dutch out of their country, ripped apart the Dutch flags separating the blue stripe. This is how the Indonesian flag was born. 


Flags influenced by the Russian flag

Flags influenced by the Dutch flag


2. Name of the country 

The Netherlands
Refers to the entire country.

Holland
Refers to North and South Holland, two of the country's twelve provinces. Sometimes the designation Holland is used for the whole country.

Low Countries
The name used for the region, which currently comprises areas from Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. After the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) the Low Countries were divided into an independent northern Dutch Republic and Spanish controlled Southern Netherlands, which later developed into Belgium.


Twelve Dutch provinces


3. Dutch Geography 

- Only Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan have a larger population and higher population density
- Only about 50% of the land exceeds one meter above sea level 
- About 17% of the current land mass has been reclaimed from the sea and lakes
- The huge North Sea flood in 1953 collapsed several dikes causing the drowning of more than 1800 people 
- The Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt rivers form deltas in the Netherlands
- Old saying "God created the world, the Dutch created the Netherlands". 



Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta 


4. Separation of Belgium and the Netherlands

House of Valois-Burgundy rule, 1354-1581
The House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs ruled Low Countries between 1384-1581. These areas included present-day Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Eighty Years' War, 1568-1648
War between the Seventeen Provinces and their Spanish ruler started in 1568. In 1579 the northern part of the Seventeen Provinces formed the Union of Utrecht to support each other against the Spanish army. In 1581 seven northern provinces declared independence and deposed Philip II of Spain as reigning monarch. The southern provinces remained under Spanish rule as Spanish Netherlands, this region later developed into Belgium.

Belgium annexed back to the Netherlands, 1815
Southern Netherlands (Belgium) was added to the Dutch Kingdom in the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The aim was to create a strong country on the northern border of France.

Independence of Belgium, 1830
The Southern Netherlands, which had been culturally separate from the north since 1581 opposed the annexation and in 1830 the Southern Netherlands gained independence as Belgium.


Belgian Revolutin 1830
Benelux countries map

The Dutch Golden Age spanned much of the 17th century. During this time the Dutch Empire grew becoming one of the major economic and seafaring powers in the world. 

Dutch colonization 
The Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India India Company established colonies and trading posts all around the world from South America, North America and Asia. 

1614 The settlement of New Amsterdam was established in the southern part of Manhattan (present-day New York) 
1652 The Dutch established the Cape Colony
1667 The colony of Suriname was established 

Inventions 
Dutch science, military and art (especially painting) were known all over the world. 
The Netherlands became the world's first thoroughly capitalist country. 
First full-time stock exchange emerged in the Netherlands. 

Events
1636-1637 Tulip mania, world's first asset-inflation bubble.
1689 The Dutch stadtholder William or Orange and his wife Mary were invited to England as rulers 

Wars 
Eighty Years' War 1568-1648 
Thirty Years' War 1618-1648 
1672 Disaster Year, the Dutch Republic was simultaneously in war with France, England and three German Bishoprics. 


Map of Dutch colonies

Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
Astronomer, by Gerrit Dou
Fishing for Souls, 1614 


Timeline

8000BC Mesolithic tribes resided in Friesland and Drenthe, where the world's oldest canoe was found
57-53BC Roman forces under Julius Caesar conquered the area south of Oude Rijn and west of the Rhine
69 Batavian rebellion between the border tribe Batavia and the Roman Empire
490s Clovis I conquered and united all territories in southern Netherlands in one Frankish kingdom
650-734 Frisian Kingdom under King Aldegisel and King Redbad emerged with Utrecht as its centre of power
843 The Frankish Carolingian empire was divided into three parts - East, Middle and West Francia
900-1000s The Holy Roman Empire (the successor state of East Francia) ruled much of the Low Countries, but weren't able to maintain political unity
1100s Farmers from Flanders and Utrecht started draining and cultivating uninhabited swampy land in the western Netherlands
1350-1490 Hook and Cod wars were fought over the title of count of Holland
1384-1581 The House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs ruled Low Countries
1568 Eighty Years' War between the Seventeen Provinces and their Spanish ruler started 
1579 The northern part of the Seventeen Provinces formed the Union of Utrecht to support each other against the Spanish army
1581 Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of 7 northern provinces deposing Philip II of Spain as reigning monarch, the southern provinces (present-day Belgium) remained under Spanish rule as Spanish Netherlands
1614 The Dutch founded the settlement of New Amsterdam on the southern part of Manhattan
1636-1637 The world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania  
1648 Spanish King Philip IV finally recognized the independence of the seven north-western provinces in the Peace of Münster
1652 The Dutch settled the Cape Colony 
1672 Disaster Year, the Dutch Republic was simultaneously in war with France, England and three German Bishoprics 
1689 The Dutch stadtholder William or Orange and his wife Mary were invited to England as rulers 
1795 Dutch republicans proclaimed the Batavian Republic with the support of French revolutionaries, the stadtholder William III of Orange had to flee to England
1806 Napoleon Bonaparte set up the Kingdom of Holland as a puppet kingdom governed by his brother Louis Bonaparte
1810 Louis Bonaparte was forced abdicate he had tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's, after this the Netherlands were part of the French Empire until 1813 when Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Leipzig
1815 Congress of Vienna added the southern Netherlands to the north to create a strong country on the northern border of France and the son of the previous stadtholder proclaimed himself King William I 
1830 The Southern Netherlands, which had been culturally separate from the north since 1581, gained independence as Belgium 
1863 The Netherlands abolished slavery
1873 Slaves in Suriname were fully freed
1890 William III died without no surviving male heirs, Luxembourg became independent because the ascendancy laws prevented William's daughter Queen Wilhelmina to become the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
1910s The Netherlands were neural during the First World War
1940s Germany occupied the Netherlands during the Second World War
1944-1945 Canadian, British and Polish troops were responsible of liberating much of the Netherlands
1945 Indonesia declared independence from the Netherlands
1947 Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands formed the Benelux customs union
1948 Queen Wilhelmina was succeeded by her daughter Juliana
1949 The Netherlands joined Nato
1975 Suriname became independent from the Netherlands
1980 Queen Juliana was succeeded by her daughter Beatrix 
2010 Netherland Antilles was dissolved after referendums on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba leading to the incorporation of these three islands into the country of the Netherlands as special municipalities

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